Our Mediterranean Lime Render is a natural exterior render with unique characteristics. It differs greatly from modern acrylic renders and despite its undeniable beauty, it may not be the best choice for every project.
Due to the absence of acrylic content (which acts like a glue), our Mediterranean Lime Render relies on natural ‘suction’ or cohesion between its lime content and the substrate to stay secure on the wall. Naturally porous and/or mineral substrates are ideal, such as earth, brick and even block.
Application of our Mediterranean Lime Render over modern building materials such as FC sheeting or energy board, require additional steps to create enough cohesion for the material to adhere to, and are not our preferred substrate for our render.
Mediterranean Lime Render is a breathable material – it’s permeable to air and moisture. This means air and water can pass through it to a degree, and that moisture will not be trapped behind it, which can compromise a building’s structure due to decay and/or mould growth.
The flip side of this is that lime renders may not always produce a perfectly smooth, easy-to-clean surface in the way that acrylic renders can. They often produce a more ‘open’ surface that patinas naturally over time – weathering (cosmetically) and ageing with the years. They also take on water when it rains (producing a mottled effect), and then dry out again. This can be managed with the use of our recommended natural micro emulsion sealer, which helps protect the material and limits water ingress to prevent the render from becoming overwhelmed with water and preventing mould growth. Natural lime-based paints and washes can also be applied to the render to provide an aesthetic refresh and offer additional protection from the elements.
Lime renders also rely on being applied in the right conditions. Elements such as curing times and weather conditions can have a significant impact on the integrity of the final finish. Lime coatings are not as strong or fast to cure as cement-based renders, often taking at least 90 days to reach optimum strength (as opposed to the standard 28 days for cement). Lime-based renders may also need to be protected from weather conditions for the first 2 weeks of curing time.
Many of our customers are seeking breathable, living finishes for their external walls and love the soft, aged patina that lime finishes provide. However it’s helpful to remember that our natural render may not be able to withstand direct exposure to significant amounts of tannins leaching from trees, red dirt, bird droppings and other sources of heavy staining over time.
But the benefits of using a natural, permeable coating can outweigh the benefits of using acrylic and synthetic-painted cement renders if the ideal substrates are in place along with the right expectations.