Why Use Beeck Mineral Paint

Why Mineral Paint

Modern-day acrylic paints were commercialised in the 1950’s, and quickly took off as a significantly better option than the oil and lead based paints available at the time: healthier, cheap and easy to use.

Mineral paints were invented in the late 1800’s in Germany, long before acrylic paints, however they have only been commercially available in the UK for around the last 20 years.

While acrylic paints effectively glue themselves to the surface, mineral paints soak into the surface and form a strong chemical bond through a process called silicification, adhering to the silica in the substrate itself.

Acrylic paints and their bond with the substrate slowly breaks down over time and they eventually start to discolour, flake or lift off after cleaning and through weathering, ultimately reaching a point where they become unsightly and require recoating. Mineral paints by comparison due to their chemical bond don’t break down over time, are extremely lightfast and hard wearing, and aside from natural weathering offer unsurpassed durability.

In an environment where an acrylic paint lasts 5 years a mineral paint should last 10. In an environment where an acrylic paint gives you 10 years, a mineral paint will last almost indefinitely.

Why Beeck

While all mineral paints bond with the substrate, Beeck have a range of paints that take this a step further. Through a process known as active silicification (A.S.F) they form a permanent chemical bond with the substrate, etching into and essentially becoming part of the background so they cannot be removed.

Beeck is the only brand to offer active silicate paints, and all binders, pigments and additives used are derived from natural materials. Not all mineral paints can claim this.

Breathable and Natural

Beeck Mineral Paints contain extremely low VOC’s, are free from chemicals and additions, produce no hazardous waste or by-products, and can be fully recycled. They are naturally alkaline and therefore resistant to mould growth, and naturally fire proof due to their mineral composition.

Beeck paints are also fully breathable; that is, they are fully vapour open and allow moisture to pass through the paint. This means rather than moisture being trapped in the wall it is able to escape, which is essential for older buildings (solid wall construction). Where condensation is likely to occur it can also reduce mould growth, beneficial for both historic and contemporary construction.

Old and New

Used with the right primer, Beeck Mineral Paints are suitable for virtually any surface. For lime work, historic masonry and solid wall construction, only mineral paints can offer a long term durable finish. Acrylic paints are designed to seal the surface and are therefore trap water within the fabric, while lime washes have a low resistance to weathering and abrasion.

For modern or contemporary construction, Beeck Mineral Paints still allow for vapour movement where moisture build up occurs, making for a healthier environment. They also offer an environmentally friendly, low VOC, extremely durable and healthy finish suitable for homes, public spaces, schools, hospitals and hyper allergenic environments.

Maintenance and Upkeep

The initial purchase costs for acrylic paints may be lower when compared with mineral paints, however the whole life cost will likely be significantly higher. With ongoing maintenance and recoating, not to mention labour and scaffolding costs, any initial saving is quickly eroded.

Due to their chemical bond and high durability the maintenance for a mineral paint is relatively simple. The coatings are resistant to pressure washing (background dependant) and cleaning agents, they can be regularly cleaned and maintained with little hassle. When it comes to recoating a Beeck Mineral Paint, a clean down of the surface and one coat of the same coloured paint is all that is usually required.

Externally, Beeck Mineral Paints have been proven to exceed 10 years even in severely exposed conditions, which allows for simple maintenance cycles and budgeting. Internally a mineral paint will far exceed this timescale and will likely last as long as the background remains intact.

External Paints

Beeck external paints are fully vapour permeable, suitable for application onto any external masonry with the correct preparation or primer. Due to silicification, Beeck Mineral Paints will comfortably outlast any conventional paint coating, even in the most testing environments.

Beeck’s external range of mineral paints also contain the addition of a hydrophobe. Whilst not completely waterproof, it repels liquid to significantly reduce the levels of water from entering the building fabric. This addition further protects the building and allows it to dry much quicker during wet spells, providing an additional layer of security.

A property painted with Beeck paint externally.

The external range comprises of three coatings:

Beeck Renosil – Standard external mineral paint that can chemically bind to mineral surfaces, as well as existing masonry coatings. Renosil offers a long lasting, vapour permeable and water repellent coating. Renosil can support the full Beeck colour range.

Beeck Beeckosil – Superior external mineral paint for mineral surfaces, silicification active (A.S.F.), offering a true chemical bond to the substrate. Beeckosil offers the highest vapour permeability and durability for an external mineral paint. Beeckosil can support the full Beeck colour range.

Beeck S P Plus – Clear, vapour permeable, water repellent treatment for bare mineral surfaces such as stone and brick. S P Plus offers all of the benefits of the Beeck exterior mineral paints within a clear coating to retain and maintain the appearance of the natural mineral finish.

Internal Paints

The Beeck internal paint range, Beeck Maxil Pro, is fully vapour permeable, hard-wearing, environmentally friendly and can be used on virtually any background with the correct primer. Suitable for historic and modern buildings, Beeck paints can help regulate humidity, achieving a healthier internal climate and offering unsurpassed durability.

A bedroom painted in Beeck internal paint.

Case Study – Coastal Chapel Restoration

This listed chapel sits within a small coastal village that is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is situated less than 100 meters from the sea. Due to its location the chapel is subject to heavy wind driven rain and the area is classified as severely exposed.

Chapel 2004

This image shows the original condition of the building. The external façade of the chapel was renovated, given the exposure and the requirement of a vapour permeable paint, an application of Beeckosil was suggested. However a lime wash was specified and 6 coats were applied. Lime wash, whilst perfectly suitable for its vapour permeability, was unable to withstand the harsh climate and had virtually been removed through weathering within 6 months.

This image shows the building 5 months after the application of five coats of limewash. Following the limited durability the limewash coating offered, the render was then cleaned back and Beeckosil was then specified as a suitable alternative paint coating.

Chapel 2005

The image below was taken 12 years later with the initial Beeckosil coating intact and still offering the same performance as it did from the original application. While the render has developed some signs of bio/mould growth, which is due to the close proximity of the tree, this can be easily removed with an appropriate fungicide.

A property with white Beeck external paint.
12 years later in an extreme coastal location and still going strong.

The information provided by Cornish Lime is for informational purposes only and does not amount to a specification. Every project is unique, so please consult a professional before undertaking a project. Use of this site and reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.

19 thoughts on “Why Use Beeck Mineral Paint”

  1. Hello,

    Can you tell me if any Beeck paint(s) are suitable for use on a shower wall (that will be made of plasterboard skimmed with lime plaster)?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Hannah

      The Beeck paints are suitable for use over both lime and gypsum plasters with the correct primers. My only concern here would be the wall build up itself, plasterboard does not like being in contact with water and if finished with a lime plaster and then a vapour permeable paint this could lead to long term issues or perhaps failure. Bathrooms can be a difficult area when it comes to lime and it may pay to use something like aqua panel, whilst not breathable this is waterproof and then this can be decorated or tiled accordingly, or use a breathable system where the background/wall build up is breathable and water/moisture is able to transfer/escape.

      If you have any questions or would like to discuss this in more detail please contact us on 01208 79779.

      Kind Regards


  2. Hi – i have a stone building which has been painted previously with a plasticated paint. We have got most of the paint off, especially where it was covering the pointing; however there remains some paint on the stone which is very difficult to get off. Would it be okay to apply the mineral paint to the wall? Of course we will re-point the joints before doing so. Thank you.

    • Hi Philip

      We would recommend using the Beeck Renosil Mineral Paint System as this has been specifically designed for this type of application. Renosil has the ability to chemically bond to both bare mineral surfaces (i.e. stone, mortar joints) and existing masonry paint.

      It would be advisable to clean the surface with some form of fungicide to ensure that their are not contaminates (algae, mould etc.) present and this could be followed by a primer coat of Beeck Fixative, applied to the bare areas, then a coat of Renosil Coarse and Renosil Fine. The reason for using the coarse base coat is that it will help hide the areas where the existing paint may be, as these areas will be a different texture/finish they can stand out once the new paint has been applied.

      If you have any questions please give us a call on 01208 79779.

      Kind Regards


  3. I have a solid wall to paint(outside) would like to use limewash but unsure about existing coating.(looks and feels like acrylic resin) How do I know for sure that it isn’t limewash before I go any further. Thanks.

    • Hi Andy

      There are a few ways to check if the paint is modern, firstly I would recommend spraying the wall with water and see how this reacts with the surface, if there is no absorption this would suggest that it is a modern coating. Modern paints tend to have a ‘plastic’ like feel, whereas lime wash can be dusty (not always if additions have been used). You could attempt to remove a small section of the paint or use a paint stripper, a modern paint would peel whereas a lime wash wouldn’t. I have seen people also carefully take a blow torch or heat gun to a section of the paint and if it melts or becomes sticky this would also suggest that it is a modern coating.

      If there is a modern coating present a lime wash would be unable to sufficiently bond to this, so would be unsuitable.

      If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact me on 01208 79779.

      Kind Regards


  4. Hi
    What manufacturer would you recommend between Beeck and St Austier for a limewash paint onto exterior cob walls and why.?

    Rgds Eric

    • Hi Eric

      The two paints are completely different in formulation and work in a different way.

      The St. Astier Lime Paint is closer to that of a traditional lime wash and is made using lime and other additives. The benefit of lime paint over lime wash is that it will usually require fewer coats and offers an improved durability. Lime based paints work by being applied over numerous layers to build up a coating, and they are seen as a sacrificial layer which will need re-coating periodically (depending on exposure, weathering etc.). The higher number of coats, will provide more protection. Lime based paints are not water repellent and will take in and release moisture.

      Beeck Mineral Paints are based of potassium silicate and work by being absorbed into the background and forming a chemical bond with any silica present. This chemical bond results in superb longevity and durability and a more stable colour. Beeck Mineral Paints also contain water repellents and keep the underlying layer protected from water ingress.

      Both are suitable for historic buildings as both are vapour permeable and will work in conjunction with lime renders. Both paint treatments work best on bare, unpainted render, however Beeck do have a range of exterior paints which can be applied over existing coatings.

      As both paints are different it is difficult to compare or recommend one over the other. Beeck will be a more expensive paint initially (higher material costs) but will offer unrivalled durability and should offer a much greater long term saving. Whereas lime paints will initially be cheaper to purchase but will require maintenance and further re-coating. A lime paint will last anywhere from 3 to 5 years (on average), Beeck Mineral Paint should comfortably exceed 10 years, even in exposed locations.

      Both paints are suitable, but we would likely recommend the Beeck systems due to their longevity and water repellent finish.

      If you have any questions or would like to discuss the paints and your application in more detail please contact me on 01208 79779.

      Kind Regards


    • Hi Chris, thank you for your enquiry. Beeck are the only company which produce ASF paints. Active Silicification allows the paint to achieves a full chemical bond to the substrate, meaning that it is near impossible to remove. Please see the link to the Beeck website which explains ASF in greater detail: https://www.beeck.com/en/beeck-mineral-colours/bmf-beeck-asf.php
      If you would like to discuss your requirements in greater detail or would like a quotation please call us and we’d be happy to go through the system with you.

  5. Hi, if can the Beeck internal paint be painted over? I want to paint my lime plastered 1920 interior walls and ceilings and wonder how it would look if I oainted in a different color in the future

    • Thanks for your enquiry. Yes, the Beeck Internal Paint can be painted over.
      It should look absolutely fine but if you’re starting with a dark shade and wanting to go to a lighter colour you may need to do two coats of the new colour for good coverage.

  6. Hello we recently bought our house and the roof has not been finished well at the front and side, the roof has now been replaced and has a dry verge system. This led to water running down the walls and the bedroom internal walls were very damp , but since the reroof are slowly drying out. The external walls have been previously painted but needs a repaint due to weathering, but the paint is not peeling etc. I have sandtex trade paint that says it is for brickwork but have been advised I need to use a breathable paint – is the correct? Many thanks Mike

    • Thanks for getting in touch. A breathable paint is a much better option, but the peeling paint would need to removed first and any underlying layers need to be well adhered or removed (paint is only as good as the surface it is applied too) – Renosil Fine would work best for you in this instance. You can find information on this product and the application guide here: https://cornishlime.co.uk/products/breathable-paints/beeck-renosil/
      Please let us know if we can be of further help.

  7. I’ve got a solid wall house that has been finished with gypsum on the inside and was painted trade magnolia back in the 90s. Coastal cornwall and we have issues with moisture settling on the walls. Are there any advantages to be gained painting over with a mineral, lime or clay based paint?

    • Thanks for getting in touch. Healthier paint, could offer some slight help with moisture but paint is only as good as the surface it is painted over and given that the current paint and plaster cannot manage moisture the benefits may be limited. Please let us know if you wanted further information or any assistance.


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