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White-washing?

Category: Barn Conversion Journal January 10th, 2008 by mbc

One solution I’m considering for the seemingly porous stone gable-end wall is to repoint and dub-out the joints between stones where necessary then whitewash it to provide a greater degree of rain protection.

What I’m wondering about this is how much work this would save over a time consuming hack out of damaged or cracked mortar and then repointing. The joints have already been pretty well dubbed out, although I suspect not properly hacked back before hand to give enough depth of mortar to provide better water protection (which is where the problems arise). So the sound areas of pointing could remain, repairs made and then a wash applied, rather than a more thorough overall repointing that may well leave differing coloured patches of mortar and potential problems in joints between old and new pointing.

Must admit, I quite like the whitewash idea but it’s not something I’ve used before and there must be some catches… any opinions?

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Posted in Barn Conversion Journal | 5 Comments » « Leave Yours
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5 Responses

  1. Craig Says:

    We faced a similar issue with our conversion, the old stone was originally whitewashed/painted for many years, but our predecessors had had the building stripped back to the stone, as many buildings in this area were in the 70/80/90s.

    The problem is that many of the older farm buildings stone is basically undressed farm stone and uncovering it leads to frost damage as well as water ingress in the mortar.

    We decided to either lime wash or paint the building, mostly as a protection against the elements but also as a way of bringing some cohesiveness to the finish as we had some old wall patching to be keyed in as well.

    After some long discussions with decorators, builders, Calch-Ty-Mawr (the local lime experts), we ended up deciding on a re-pointing where necessary, blasting the surface clear of loose/damaged stone, etc and then applying two coats of Keim Granital paint. It wasn’t a particularly cheap solution (although it probably significantly undercuts lime wash, due to labour time/effort), but its a fantastic paint to work with and very traditional looking. We’re delighted so far, having applied about 1/4 of the overall painted surface.

    The Keim Granitals fixative helps stabilise the stone and adhere the paint, whilst the lifetime guarantees on the finish were nice as well, whist it still offers a limewash like finish.

    Sample here: http://cinnabar.smugmug.com/gallery/3579169#207533400-A-LB

    and here: http://cinnabar.smugmug.com/gallery/3579169#208606354-A-LB

    HTH

    Craig

  2. mbc Says:

    Craig,

    Good to hear from you – Keim Granital paint is a new one on me.

    From a little reading I see that it is breathes and releases vapour like lime-wash. Why did you go for it rather than lime? What do you see as the advantages?

  3. Craig Says:

    We had some good reports about its long-term life, saw a few buildings that had been decorated in it and it fitted our direct needs—namely protection and some level of prolonging of the stone that was not weathering well in an exposed state.

    What atracted me was its lime like qualities (I’m a sucker for the limewash finish, where the colour is variable across the wall due to the chalky nature of the material and the different drying characteristics), we spent quite some time with (and at) Calch Ty-Mawr looking at what it would involve to restore a traditional lime render and limewash to the outer walls of the property. Nett was that we were looking at maybe three render coats, with quite expensive materials and even more for labour (or a very prolonged effort ourselves), then an expensive paint finish with a 3-5 year renewal necessary to keep the surface in tip-top condition.

    By the time we had re-pointed and re-dressed the walls, the direct paint was looking like a better option ;-) Renewal is pitched at a new coat possibly once in 10 years, with no special prep other than maybe cleaning before hand (jetwash) and the breathability (our walls are 2ft-8ft thick!) matches or exceeds that of a trad. lime finish which was very important as our house is circa 16/17C primarily.

    Keim were fine to deal with, delivery was prompt and once we stopped changing our minds about colour choice (9000 standard colours …) it went on very well.

    If you want to see it in situ, drop me a line and feel free to drop by and take a look anytime!

    Craig

  4. Lynds Says:

    thanks this is useful as our barn is also painted and the planning requirements state that it should remain so… which I also quite like as well. Am particularly in favour now as Craig has pointed out “many of the older farm buildings stone is basically undressed farm stone and uncovering it leads to frost damage as well as water ingress in the mortar.”

    Will check out Keim as they sound interesting.

  5. Whitewashing update 2010 | my barn conversion Says:

    […] wall. After finding it was ‘infested’ with stalactites and stalagmites, I considered whitewashing the wall, then eventually it was bag-pointed and whitewashed. The pointing tidied up the mortar joints then […]

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