Calcimine: The Traditional Paint That Endures

April 27, 2023

Calcimine, also known as whitewash, is a type of water-based paint that has been used for centuries. It is made of a mixture of powdered calcium carbonate, water, and often some type of glue or adhesive. Calcimine was a popular choice for interior walls of homes and buildings in the past, and is still in use today due to its many benefits, including affordability and durability.

History of Calcimine

Calcimine has been used for painting and decorating since ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it to paint their homes and temples. It was also used in medieval Europe, where it was often applied to the walls of castles and churches. In the 17th century, calcimine became a popular choice for house painting in England and America, and it remained a popular choice until the early 20th century.

Composition of Calcimine

Calcimine is made by mixing powdered calcium carbonate with water. The calcium carbonate can be obtained from a variety of sources, including limestone, chalk, and marble. The mixture is then typically mixed with some type of adhesive or glue, such as animal glue or casein glue. This helps to improve the paint's durability and adhesion.

Benefits of Calcimine

Calcimine has several benefits over other types of paints. For one, it is very affordable, making it a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. It is also very durable and long-lasting, and it can be easily applied to a variety of surfaces, including plaster and drywall.

Calcimine also has excellent breathability, which means that it allows air and moisture to pass through it. This makes it a good choice for homes that are prone to dampness, as it can help to prevent mold and mildew growth. In addition, calcimine is very easy to clean and maintain, as it can be easily washed with soap and water.

Applying Calcimine

Applying calcimine is a relatively simple process, but it does require some preparation. Before painting, the walls should be thoroughly cleaned and any loose paint or plaster should be removed. If the walls are very dirty, they may need to be washed with a solution of water and vinegar or a commercial cleaning product.

Once the walls are clean, the calcimine can be mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions. It is typically applied with a brush or roller in thin, even coats. Each coat should be allowed to dry completely before applying the next coat. It is important to apply the paint in a well-ventilated area, as the fumes can be quite strong.

Care and Maintenance of Calcimine

Calcimine is generally very easy to care for and maintain. It can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap. If the paint becomes discolored or stained, it can be repainted using the same process.

One thing to be aware of with calcimine is that it can become discolored or flaky over time. This is most likely to occur in areas with high humidity or moisture, or in areas that are exposed to direct sunlight. If this occurs, the walls may need to be repainted with a new coat of calcimine.


Calcimine is a traditional paint that has been used for centuries, and is still in use today due to its many benefits. It is affordable, durable, and easy to apply, and it has excellent breathability. It is a good choice for homeowners who are looking for a low-cost, low-maintenance option for painting their walls. With proper preparation and care, calcimine can provide a beautiful and long-lasting finish for years to come.



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I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality. I have a Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and currently practice professionally, but I also manage a few other ventures.
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