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Exploring Biophilic Exterior Paints

  • Originating in Perth, Australia, and globally available, we uncover why limewash paint company Bauwerk Colour is championing biophilic exterior paint.

    Bauwerk Colour’s limewash paints have garnered global recognition among architects and interior designers, owing to their nature-inspired hues, biophilic and holistic design principles, and the innate organic quality they bring to both interior and exterior spaces. The brand’s creative director Bronwyn Riedel emphasises that all 400 paints within the Bauwerk Colour range are explicitly formulated for both indoor and outdoor use, seamlessly adapting to various exterior masonry surfaces, including brick, render, stone and concrete.

    With expert insights from Bronwyn, we explore the distinctive characteristics and application processes of their limewash paints, shedding light on what makes them so well-suited for exterior use.

    Limewash paint is a natural alternative to acrylic paints, absorbing into rather than sitting on top of the substrate, allowing the walls to breathe while significantly reducing the risk of flaking and peeling. For exterior use, this means that the paints can be easily applied to and maintained on any natural masonry surface, without the need for any primer or sealer products. “They’re a beautiful and natural way to apply colour to your exterior walls,” Bronwyn affirms. “They’re also 100% UV tested, meaning they won’t fade in the harsh Australian sun.”

    The organic appearance of the paints can be attributed to their production and application process. “Limewash is crafted by utilising the elemental cycle of earth, fire, water and air,” Bronwyn says. The lime in limewash paint refers to the fired limestone, and the wash refers to the cooled limestone added to water, liquifying the stone into a lime putty. The putty is the basis of the paint that is mixed, purified and stored for a period of time to achieve the right consistency. Finally, the pigments are added, creating a variety of colours. This makes the paints highly suitable for exterior use as their natural pigments and ability to patina harmonise a building with its natural surroundings.

    The process of making limewash paints also makes them inherently biophilic. “An often overlooked consequence of conventional water-based exterior paints is that their use means that microplastics and other harmful chemicals are released into our waterways,” Bronwyn reveals. “Our limewash paints are non-toxic and solvent and VOC free; we don’t add any chemicals for colour, to make the paint stick to the wall or to make the paint stay mixed. Our paints are inherently good for the environment and for human health.”

    When it comes to choosing the right colour for an exterior surface, Bronwyn recommends earthen hues such as their umber and ochre-hued colours, or white hues for a more contemporary feel. “Transforming a home into a sanctuary, enveloped by the colours of nature, is a matter very close to our hearts,” she expresses.

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