6.27.2013

How to Paint a French Limestone Block Wall

The beauty of weathered, crumbling limestone walls adds so much texture, charm, and beautiful patina to the French provencial home. When we first moved to our lakeside home, 13 years ago, I fell in love with the views and grounds but the inside of the home really had no character, so I set out to create my own.  Hand painting a stone block wall in the foyer added instant French inspired romance.  Many people, over the years, have thought it was actually real, when in fact, it's just painted on.


Blogging wasn't even a word then, hence I have no step by step photos to share with you but I can give you instructions and show you the finished walls.  There used to be expensive stencils for this procedure, but I did it free handed.  I am certainly no artist, so if I can do it so can YOU. :)

The limestone block is a classic, elegant and timeless look and I have never tired of it. Very similar to a French wash, it is a delicate broken color; a subtle marble-like finish with a raggedy, multi-toned, aged effect.


 Block Wall Finish
Materials Needed
  1. latex paints: white, off white; beige - light, medium and dark shades, taupe, gray and for tinting and a little extra aging I used sienna and umber
  2. pencil
  3. ruler
  4. paint brush
  5. artist brush with long bristles
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  1. Prime the walls with two coats of off-white latex paint & let dry
  2. Use the pencil and ruler to mark off rectangular squares that resemble blocks.  They can be any size right for your surroundings but 8" x 16" is the standard for real blocks
  3. To add a warm undertone to the wall, apply a limestone-colored wash of latex paints.  Taupe and yellow work well.  Thin the wash to a thick soup consistency.  Brush it freely in all directions and rub it into the surface with a cloth.  Don't strive for a carefully painted finish.
  4. Use three shades for shadowing: a dark shade, a medium and a white for high lighting.  Mix these with water for a watercolor consistency.  To make light appear to come from one side, stipple the colors onto the wall in the following pattern: the darker color on the left, the medium in the middle, and the light on the right side.
  5. Thin a mixture of creamy taupe and white with a little water.  With the long bristled brush, paint the mixture over the pencil lines.  The lines should show through to create the look of shadows between the blocks.  ** I also added cracks to my blocks
You may make your paints more workable by adding paint additives or extenders that slow the drying process, making the paint more manipulative to create your desired effect.

  I hope you will try this.........And remember, there are no mistakes on this effect:) I always take extra liberties with my projects and encourage you to do the same :)
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19 comments :

20 North Ora said...

I love your wall you did! It looks authentic and old! Thanks for the tutorial.

Judy

chateau chic said...

Your limestone block finish looks very authentic, Lynn!
Mary Alice

ImagiMeri said...

Oh Lynn it looks wondrous. I currently have this taupe texture in my bedroom and I want to do like a much lighter plaster look, but I have to sand the whole wall down as it's a "sand" or rough texture. You did an amazing job.

Hugs,
Meri

Junkchiccottage said...

Wow Lynn you did a great job on this. It looks very authentic. Very beautiful.
Kris

The Quintessential Magpie said...

:Lynn, I am SO impressed. This look fabulous. You did such a good job! And the directions are perfect.

XO,

Sheila

Hartwood Roses said...

Your wall is beautiful, Lynn!!

I read blogs via my blogroll and my follower's list, so the loss of Google Reader isn't a big deal.

Jen said...

I love your wall, Lynn! What a creative and crafty way to achieve the look that you want! This would be a neat look on our screened in porch. Hubby will love this! ;-)

Have a great weekend!!
Jen

Tete said...

Love, love, love your wall. SO wish I had one to do this to. Great post on helping others make theirs beautiful!

Sarah said...

Lynn, you are very clever. Thanks for sharing this idea.

Alycia Nichols said...

No doubt about it, you are an ARTIST...pronounced the fancy FRENCH way! :-)And you did it free-handed???! Wow!

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

This is quite impressive! Looks like a fun technique and it yielded such beautiful results.

Sue said...

Do not sell yourself short, Lynn- this project took a lot of talent and effort!! I know I really couldn't have done this. You achieved a very authentic looking stone wall. xo Sue

Christine Graves said...

Good job, love your wall. Anyone who can turn a boring block wall into art is a genius in my book!

Beverly said...

Lynn, I love this look. You always amaze me.

I follow you via e-mail. That seems to work best for me. I wish more bloggers would add the option.

Pendra said...

Gorgeous! I think I would never tire of this look either... you did an amazing job!!!

Maureen Wyatt said...

This looks real enough to pin and that's exactly what I'm doing! Nice tutorial.

Bella said...

Beautiful work! I'm going to pin it, I have been wanting to faux paint the inside of my faux fireplace:-)
Thanks!
Bella

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Lynn, Your wall is even prettier in person and at first I thought it was real. I hope you had a great time in the mountains and thanks for joining the Open House party.
xx,
Sherry

Mary Soulios said...

This looks so authentic. You are so talented!

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