How to Paint Limestone: 3 Steps

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Often, people ask, Can you paint limestone? The short answer is yes; you can easily get creative with your limestone fittings so they match the look you desire for your home. You can learn how to paint limestone in 3 simple steps, which makes it an easy and quick activity to undertake without too much prep work needed.

Painting over limestone can help you achieve a brighter look other than the traditional pale coloring associated with classic limestone fittings. However, limestone is a highly alkaline rock that tends to absorb rather than retain moisture. Therefore, painting a limestone fireplace, for example, requires a special preparation technique to achieve a proper limestone paint effect.

Things You Will Need for Painting Limestone

The following are the materials needed for painting over limestone:

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Towel
  • Acrylic latex primer
  • Masonry paint
  • Soft brush
  • Bucket
  • Paintbrush or paint roller

Painting a Limestone Fireplace Surround

You can touch up your home beautifully with a touch of paint on your limestone fireplace surround. The steps below outline how to paint a limestone fireplace in only a couple of hours.

Step 1

Wash the fireplace surface using soapy water made using a trisodium phosphate-based cleaner (TSP). TSP works to remove dirt and grease easily. You can scrub the limestone surface with a stiff brush to remove loose materials. Start washing from the top of the wall and then work your way down. Make sure to use gloves when washing with TSP as well.

Step 2

Before painting a limestone fireplace, you will need to apply an alkaline-inhibiting paint primer. This makes the paint coat stick to the surface and prevents damage to the limestone from absorbing moisture. A masonry sealer would also work the same way and will prevent bubbling or peeling of the paint.

Use a paintbrush or paint roller to apply the primer. Make sure you dab the primer into crevices and swellings on the surface to prevent the paint from peeling from those points.

Step 3

After the primer has dried, the next step is to apply the paint. Use a paintbrush for flat surfaces or a medium-nap paint roller for textured or rough surfaces.

You’d need to apply more than one coat of paint. However, you must wait for the first coat to dry before painting another coat over it. Note that elastomeric latex paints are the best option for painting over limestone.

Painting Limestone Floors

Painting limestone floors follows a similar procedure to painting a limestone fireplace. You can go with elastomeric latex paint or use stone or concrete stains. Using stone or concrete stains makes your intended color come out well after you have painted the floor.

Before painting over a limestone wall, clean it using alkaline or ph-neutral detergent and distilled water. Clean the floor surface with clean water and a towel and then wait for it to dry thoroughly.

If the floor has tough stains on it, you can clean it using one cup of water to ½ cup of bleach and a non-abrasive cleaning tool such as a soft towel.

Of course, do not forget to coat thoroughly with a primer before painting.

Creating a Limestone Paint Effect

You can also create a limestone paint effect for your floors and walls. You can either do this by using a natural stone stain or by creating a faux limestone paint effect yourself.

To do this and mimic a natural limestone color, you can get eggshell base latex paint with other colors like light grey, cream, pastel, and pink, to your taste. You will find enough ideas online that can help you create limestone paint faux patterns using painter’s tape.

You begin painting by first applying the mixed base coat color and letting it dry completely. Choose a paint color for the grout. After that, mix four parts of glaze with a paint color that is darker than your intended grout color.

Next, use painter’s tape to designate areas that will serve as your grout. Begin the final painting using a painting sponge. Vary the intensity of dabbing to create shadow effects around the edges of your “stones”. Use a piece of cheesecloth to lightly dap over the areas and get the painting to blend smoothly.

Remove the painter’s tape and paint in the grout. Allow it to dry and then apply a sealer on the grout surface.


Whether you are painting over limestone or working to achieve a faux limestone paint look, improving the outlook of your limestone fittings is fairly easy. We understand there is a high chance you will require limestone fittings for your home. Stone Center is a frontline limestone supplier in Ohio with countless stone patterns to meet any design preference. Reach out to Stone Center today!


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Jon Smiley

Jon, the owner of Stone Center, is a knowledgeable expert in natural stone products, specializing in various types of stone for landscaping and architectural projects. Passionate about promoting the beauty and versatility of natural stone, Jon aims to use these blogs to inspire readers with creative ideas to upgrade their homes.

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