Breathable Brush Up

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Limewash wall with frames

When the pipes froze and burst in this Virginia Highland condo last year, the owners embraced the silver lining—this was their chance to start fresh. Once stripped down to the studs, it took about eight weeks to achieve a final look that, thanks to their eco-minded designer, helps them both breathe a little better.

Taylor Booth, founder of DESIGNBooth, is passionate about improving indoor air quality. To help her clients make more eco-conscious decisions with their remodel, she walked them through the benefits of choosing non-toxic paint alternatives for their walls.

“We used limewash on the walls and ceilings and a natural mineral paint for the trim and doors,” Booth said. “It gave the whole place an artisanal, old-world look that you can’t get with traditional paint.”

Office space with lime wash walls

What a lot of people don’t know is that the chemicals found in many paints (VOCs: volatile organic compounds) can lead to some major respiratory issues and health problems for both painters and homeowners.

Adversely, limewash has zero VOCs or harmful properties. Its matte finish and broad stroke texture is naturally healthy, hypoallergenic, extremely durable, mold and mildew-resistant, odorless and nonflammable. Natural mineral paint has the same qualities and offers a satin finish that binds to wood easily without an uneven look. The cons to choosing either include a higher price tag and a limited professional pool—but with growing awareness, both of those will likely change. Of course, due to its extreme approachability, it’s also a worthy DIY option.

“These homeowners fully trusted me to do something they had never heard of and were excited to learn about healthy alternatives to the norm,” said Booth. “They love the mix of vibrant and neutral colors we used, the texture of the walls and the positive impacts on indoor air quality. We took an old condo that needed a refresh anyway and gave it an old-world feel with a modern twist that’s drenched in dynamic finishes. The best part is, if it gets scuffed in the future, a few brush strokes is all it takes to fix this gorgeously imperfect aesthetic.”

Life-proof, and life-giving—that’s a fresh start worth taking a deep breath for.


Limewashed walls are so easy to clean. Just grab a damp cloth to treat light stains, or use vinegar on stubborn ones.

Taylor Booth is the founder of DESIGNBooth, an Atlanta interior design firm focused on regenerative design that improves our health by eliminating the negative effects of our environment. She works to improve indoor air quality by sourcing unique, eco-friendly materials and finishes.

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