Prior to the Georgian period (Check date), the limewash or lime harling would have been either a natural off-white shade or coloured with natural or earth pigments that were easily and cheaply available. These were usually yellow ochre, but red ochre and green earths would occasionally be used to provide a variety of colours. Strong bright colours are not usually appropriate on such buildings.
The only exception for painting external walls in the Birkenhead Georgian Quarter is that the basement area wall facing the building could be painted a light colour of limewash to improve the light reflection into the basement (this requires Seeking Listed Planning Permission).
There are a number of period buildings that have rendered facades, which different finishes, such as ashlar effect finishes and floating finishing. They also have particular problems to look out for, such as cracks, loose render and hollow spots. See Rendered Facades for more details.
Limewash and lime-harling are specialised products and although less simple to use than modern masonry paint, give a most attractive appearance. You should get specialised advice before using these materials.
The Georgian Quarter of Birkenhead is built largely from sandstone and derives much of its splendour from the natural appearance of the stone. These houses should never be painted.
Where this has occurred previously, then owners (or their agents or property managers) are strongly encouraged to carefully remove any paint by an approved method to reveal the original stone.