Stoneware Studios manufacture, supply and promote an extensive range of quality materials and services for the repair of Historic Buildings.

For long lasting paintwork on masonry walls, Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint and Primer offer a high performance alternative to traditional limewash.

Being water based and VOC free, Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint and Primer have strong environmental credentials. They also significantly outperform both limewash and conventional masonry paints; see table below.

The products bond with the underlying material to form a waterproof, weather resistant barrier that also allows the masonry to breathe. Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint lasts up to 15 years or more between re-paints.

  • Earthborn Silicate Primer – stabilises loose, powdery surfaces prior to painting, helps prevent algae growth, ideal for all mineral based surfaces such as stone, concrete, pebbledash, plaster and render.
  • Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint – long lasting, weather resistant, mould resistant, provides a crisp matt finish that does not discolour with time. Available in a standard range of 40 colours.

Compare the performance of Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint

Property Traditionallimewash Conventionalmasonry paint1 SilicateMasonry Paint
Maintenance frequency2 2 – 3 years 5 – 15 years up to 15 yearsor more
Effect of weathering2 weathers back slowly to substrate may crackand peel minimal
Suitable surfaces for coating limeplasterand most permeable, mineral surfaces most clean,stable surfaces all permeable, mineral surfaces e.g. brick, stone and limeplaster3
Suitability for cementatious renders poor good good
Typical coats required 3-5 coats 1 primer + 2 coats 1 primer + 2 coats
Application method roller or brush roller/brush/spray roller/brush/spray
Breathability excellent very poor/poor excellent
Moisture resistance poor excellent excellent
Resistance to mould/algae good(due to natural alkalinity of product) poor/good(depends on chemical algicides) good(due to natural alkalinity of product)
Colour availability limited excellent excellent
Acrylics/acrylic softener content4 none yes (up to 40%) very low (5%)
VOC content4 0% up to 8% 0%
Applicator health risks5 high(caustic) medium(VOC and fungicide content) low(silicate primer similar risk to limewash)
Appearance mottled, varied flat, uniform vibrant, delicate texture
Suitability for restoration work and historic buildings traditional considerationshould be given

to appearance

and lack of breathability

effective, durable alternative to limewash


  1. Information for conventional masonry paints is indicative of typical products and is not specific to any brand. Performance may vary from brand to brand.
  2. Dependent on site/environmental conditions and preparation.
  3. Acrylic softeners and VOCs are widely accepted as being damaging to the environment and contributing to global warming. Acrylics reduce the breathability of the coating to the possible detriment of the building fabric.
  4. Some clay surfaces may require special treatment.
  5. Always consult manufacturers’ health and safety data sheets for further information.