Our aim is to make sure building, restoration and conservation is done correctly, whilst sharing useful ideas and help with others.

How to build with Lime Mortar

Why Build With Lime Mortar?

Lime was traditionally used for mortar up until cement came about, when its use started to decrease. What we now know is that cement is not ‘breathable’, and consequently traps in moisture. Trapped moisture can seriously damage walls, and leads to damp patches on interior walls. Yet cement is still used today – unknowingly creating an environment prone to trapped moisture.

Lime mortar should be used along with sand to create a wall with high vapour permeability (breathable). This means that moisture can escape the walls, and prevents damp damage. Under no circumstances would we recommend mixing Portland cement with lime, as it does not have any beneficial factors – it just defeats the object of using lime.

How do I mix lime mortar?

Lime mortar can be mixed in a mixer, or in a container with a paddle mixer. We usually use around 3:1 with sand and lime, though the ratio varies from person to person.

Heres a handy video we created to show you how to mix lime mortar:

The image below shows how lime mortar should look. The colour can often vary as some mortars have pigments in them, and the colour varies from different brands of lime. We used Singleton Birch NHL 3.5.

How lime mortar should look

Applying the mortar to the bricks

Below are a few images to show you how we apply the mortar.

How we apply lime mortar

Applying mortar to wall

Mortar onto brick





How to mix lime mortar

How to mix lime mortar

Here is our instructional video showing you how to mix lime for mortar.

We recommend using approximately 1 part lime to 3 parts sharp sand. We used Singleton Birch NHL 3.5 for this project, and the mortar was used for building a small wall.


Which lime should I use?

Depending on the purpose of the mortar, different limes are usually used. We used a Natural Hydraulic Lime, with the strength 3.5 (known as NHL 3.5), on this particular project which is ideal for re-pointing and building walls. NHL 2 is weaker,  generally more flexible & sets slowly, which is ideal for internal applications or where conservation is a primary concern with soft or deteriorating stones and bricks. NHL 5 is stronger and has a faster set, which is primarily used for granite, engineering brick, basalt, flint, paving, roofing and chimneys.



Where can I buy lime?

Our online store is filled lime for mortar, render, plaster and much more, as well as specialist & eco friendly building materials. Visit our online store at lincolnshirelime.co.uk.


Wilderspin School Restoration

Restoration of Wilderspin School

Back in 2009, we supplied Earthborn natural paints, as well as lime to a local school restoration project.

The school (located in Barton-Upon-Humber), just a few miles north of Lincolnshire lime, is now a museum.

‘The Wilderspin National School was built in 1844 and was championed by the educational pioneer and teacher Samuel Wilderspin who designed, equiped and taught in the school.

The school closed in 1978 and fell into disrepair.  Restoration of the School was completed in 2009 and now stands as a celebration of the life and work of Samuel Wilderspin, for the benefit of the people of Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire and elsewhere.’ http://www.wilderspinschool.org.uk/

Before Restoration

Below are images of the school before any restoration work commenced. As you can see, it was in a real state.

Run Down Wilderspin School
The school before it was restored.
Wilderspin School in disrepair
Wilderspin school in a state of disrepair
Wilderspin School Interior pre restoration
Wilderspin School interior prior to repairs

Why natural paints were used for the restoration of the school

The school would have been originally painted with natural paints – and the main goal for the restoration project, was to keep everything as original as possible. Samples were carefully taken from the walls by scraping away at the paint, until the first coat of paint on the wall was visible. The first coats were then given to us, where we then replicated the colour with Earthborn Natural Paint. Below is an image of one of the rooms painted with a colour we replicated. Earthborn called it ‘Muddy Boots’, and it is available to purchase from our online store.

Earthborn Muddy Boots Paint
The colour ‘muddy boots’ by Earthborn
earthborn muddy boots paint
Walls painted with Earthborn ‘Muddy Boots’ paint

Wilderspin School after restoration

Here’s a few pictures of the school after the restoration work was done. The results are breathtaking.

Wilderspin School after restoration work
The new Wilderspin School
Wilderspin School Classroom
Newly restored classroom
breathable paint for school restoration
Like going back in time – beautiful & traditional room
Wilderspin school after repair work
Shhh!! Stunning room painted with claypaint

We’d love to know what you think to the new Wilderspin School! Leave your comments below!

Lincoln’s Newport Arch Restoration

Restoration of Lincoln’s Newport Arch

Lincoln Newport Arch Restoration
Lincoln’s Newport Arch after restoration with Singleton Birch lime mortar supplied by Lincolnshire Lime

Newport Arch is located in Lincoln city centre, and is reputedly the oldest arch in the UK still used by traffic. This is what remains from the 3rd-century Roman gate. Over the years, it has sustained damage from a range of causes, including weathering, and 2 incidents involving a lorry; one happening in 1964, and the other fourty years later in 2004. Lime mortar, as well as stone, was used to restore the arch.

Why lime mortar was used

Lime mortar was used to re-point and re-stabilise the arch, as well as for laying new stones. The arch was originally built with lime mortar in the 3rd-century, which has proven it’s durability and longevity! Because of this, lime mortar was used to restore the arch, ensuring it remains as traditional as possible. With old walls, the need for breathability and flexibility is necessary, and lime mortar is highly breathable, and can accommodate flex. Had the arch have been restored with cement, it would no longer be breathable, and could not accommodate any flex, thus making the passage of moisture through the stone impossible, causing the stone to deteriorate. Cement should never be used to restore old structures.

Which lime mortar was used?

Singleton Birch NHL (Natural Hydraulic Lime) 3.5 was used for the restoration of the arch. The lime mortar for this restoration project was supplied by ourselves (Lincolnshire Lime).

When repointing walls with lime mortar, NHL 3.5 is very popular, as it is of a medium strength, providing good breathability.

You can find this lime mortar on our online store here

singleton birch natural hydraulic lime 3.5 mortar
Singleton Birch natural hydraulic lime 3.5

The Newport Arch After Restoration

Below are images of the Newport Arch after the restoration project was completed.

Rear view of the Newport Arch
Close-up view of the Newport Arch
Newport arch after restoration
Newport arch after restoration
Project Overview

Due to unforseen complications, the restoration cost over £140k in total; after an initial evaluation of repair fees being around £60k. The restoration project was very costly, but inevitably worthwhile, because in our eyes, Newport Arch is priceless. The costs seem to be alot, but the Newport Arch does alot for the character of the city, losing the Newport Arch would have been a real loss.The Arch is now stronger than ever, and looks fantastic.



River wall repair using prompt lime mortar, Brigg

River wall repair using prompt lime mortar, Brigg












The historic river walls that run along the Ancholme through the center of Brigg were in much need of repair, however the water level of the river could only be lowered during the cold winter months.

This meant that the lower parts of the walls could only be accessed during this narrow interval of time.

These walls needed to be re pointed using a mortar that would allow them to breath but also set in the winter conditions

Cold and freezing conditions can cause problems for all type of mortar such as surface flaking, In order to avoid this a hydraulic lime mortar with a gauged addition of Prompt natural cement which gave a rapid set to the mortar before the effects of the cold could take place but maintained a breathability appropriate for the brickwork


Painting with Breathable Earthborn Claypaint

Why should I paint my walls with breathable paint?

Most ‘Plastic’ based masonry paints are not breathable. This can trap moisture under the surface, causing cracks and spots, bubbles, flakes and problems with damp. This can cause a lot of problems, especially in older buildings or outdoor projects, with factors such as rain and damp.

Earthborn natural paints are breathable; which can prevent the above problems from occurring. Breathable paints allow the walls to breathe and moisture can evaporate, rather than staying within the walls. This is why we use Earthborn natural paints when painting our walls.


Here’s a few pictures of our entrance, which we recently painted in Earthborn paint:

applying earthborn clay paint
Applying white base coat with Earthborn claypaint

As you can see above, a white base coat was applied to the lime plaster walls, and fibre lime ceiling. We watered down the claypaint with 20% water, however you can use it straight from the tin. A highly breathable lime plaster (Lime Green Solo) was used for plaster on this wall.

Second coat of earthborn clay paint
Applying the second coat of earthborn claypaint to wall. We used the colour ‘Bugle’.

Above, you can see the second coat of claypaint being applied. This time, the colour ‘bugle’ was used. We watered it down with 10% water, but that’s just our personal preference – you can use it straight from the tin without diluting it; but we find it works best for us this way and makes the paint go further.

building with lime mortar video

Building With Lime Mortar

Here is our instructional video of building with lime mortar.

This was on an extension project on site. NHL (Natural hydraulic lime) 3.5 was used for this wall. NHL 3.5 is the most popular choice for building and repointing.

We hope this video helps with any of your projects!

If you have any questions, or need advice with a build project, give us a call on 01469 531 227 or 07743 362 408

Galvanised Steel Guttering on our Barns

Galvanised Steel Gutter Close Up Image
Close up image of our galvanised steel guttering
Galvanised Steel Guttering Rain Water System
Zambelli galvanised steel guttering on our hay barn

Here are a few images of our guttering. It is made from galvanised steel, which is far superior to PVC. This guttering is available on our online store, so make sure to check it out.We offer great prices on this guttering, but we can always discuss quotes over the telephone, so why not give us a call on 01469 531 227.

It would be a shame to spoil such a beautiful old building with PVC guttering, and we believe this guttering looks perfect on our barn.

We’d love to know what you think, make sure to post any images of your steel guttering here too!
Read more: http://lincolnshirelime.co.uk/zambelli-galvanised-steel-guttering-34-c.asp#ixzz3ihmm6dT0