How To Change Exterior Stone Color

Exterior stone is a popular choice for many homeowners who want a natural, rustic look on their home. Stone can be beautiful when well-taken care of, and they can come in a variety of textures and colors. However, some homeowners might want to change the color of their stones in order to conform to their tastes, improve the look of their home, or simply because they want a change.

To change the exterior color of your stone home, it's important to use the most appropriate materials including mineral paint or high-end acrylic paint, limewash, or stain to change the color of your stone exterior. If you have a stone veneer, you can also opt to remove the stones and replace them with new ones. This method is not appropriate for homes without a faux stone exterior. 

New modern home features a backyard with covered patio accented with stone fireplace, vaulted ceiling with skylights and furnished wit, How To Change Exterior Stone Color

Popularity of Stone Exterior

A recent study found that around 1% of homeowners have real stone exteriors on their home, as opposed to faux exteriors. However, as many as 19% of homes used stone brick or brick veneer on the outside of their homes.

The beauty of stone is unmatched, but it is quite pricey to install. That's why many more homeowners turn to using manufactured stone veneer, which is comprised of cement and other aggregates and can easily be placed on many different types of home exteriors.

Big modern house with exterior stone house design

Materials To Use for Exterior Stone

Whether you have a manufactured or natural stone exterior, it's important to understand that these materials are porous and absorb material easily. Therefore, regular oil-based paint that is used for regular exteriors, such vinyl siding, will not work to redo your stone exterior. 

Instead, you need to use materials that will penetrate deep into the stone, changing its color without risk of having paint chip off. The best materials to use for exterior stone including:


surface of vintage stone wall at old house

Limewash is also known as whitewash, and it is a type of substance that has been used in the United States since the early 20th century. Unlike paint, whitewash is made of slaked lime in water. It adheres to the exterior of stone surfaces through carbon dioxide, and it hardens into a new material that is lighter in color.

It is a cheaper option than paint, and one of the best ways to change the color of stone. Although additives can be added for decorative purposes, most whitewash or limewash materials are designed to simply lighten the stone instead of change the color completely. It's also important to note that this material has to be placed onto damp or wet stone in order to fully adhere to the stone. 

Mineral Paint

Repainting old dated kitchen ceramic tile back wall with modern gray chalk paint indoors at home

Most paints used for the exterior of homes are made out of oil-based solvents. These oil-based paints do not absorb into the stone, making it difficult for any type of color to stick to natural or veneered stone.

On the other hand, mineral paint is made to chemically bond to different types of stone materials, including brick, stucco, cement, and stone substrates. This creates a permanent change in the look of your stone, and is revolutionizing the masonry industry.

Stone Staining Products

Stains are similar to mineral paints, but they are usually water or acid-based. They will be labeled as "Stone stain for concrete," but in reality, they can be used on different types of stones. There are different types of stains, so it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

The stain you're using might require a clean surface, or a damp surface to fully penetrate into the stone you're decorating. 

How to Use Limewash

To use limewash, it's important to follow a few simple steps first

1. Gather your materials, including:

  • Various brushes in different sizes to cover larger and smaller crevices in your stone
  • Powerwasher to help clear away debris on the exterior of your home

2. Thoroughly clean the exterior of your home, so you're not placing whitewash on dirty stone, which can impact its ability to adhere to the surface.

3. Mix your limewash with one part water to one part limewash, or use more water to get a more distressed look.

4. Test out your limewash on a sample of your stone, or a small area that will not be seen. Wait to see the results first to carry on with the dilution mixture of the limewash.

5. Using a paint roller or masonry brush, use them to place the limewash over the exterior stone of your home. Then, use a small 3" brush to get into any crevices in your stone that might have been missed through the larger application process.

6. Clear away any limewash or continue to distress the look of your exterior using a spray bottle with water and a cleaning rag. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours or according to manufacturer's instructions.

How to Use Mineral Paint

Mineral paint is a bit easier to use than limewash. To do so:

1. Clean away any dirt and debris like you would preparing for limewash. Power wash the exterior of your home if necessary.

2.  Use a primer such as this one here on Amazon designed for exterior stone. You can skip this step if you're using your mineral masonry paint on an unfinished stone surface.

3. Use a roller, masonry brush, and a smaller 3" brush or a paint sprayer to cover your stone evenly with a layer of mineral paint. This mineral paint on Amazon is naturally mold-resistant and can last up to 20 years!

4. Wait for your paint to dry to determine if you need to apply a second layer.

How to Use Stain and Sealant

Manual worker painting concrete floor for protection

Staining is less toxic to the environment, and it can also be easily applied to your stone. To do so:

1. Again start off by cleaning your stone exterior.

2. Place the staining agent in a spray bottle, such as this one on Amazon, and apply it to your stone in small circles. Make sure to use circles, since streaks can form if you leave it to sit too long.

3. After your stain has dried, apply a layer of sealant with a regular spray bottle or nap roller. Do not use a power sprayer, since this can damage the staining underneath. This particular sealant on Amazon is easy to apply and does not need a second coating.

For any of these methods, make sure to first test a sample of stone before applying the final material to the exterior of your home.

Final Thoughts

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Staining your stone is a great way to drastically change the look of your home with little to no effort, and at little cost. Products are now easy to use and can naturally change the look of stone, as well as brighten up your home! Make sure to always test your products and find the one that suits the look of your home and neighborhood.