The rheological properties of a suspension of lime in water (lime putty) are studied with the help of creep tests in a wide range of deformations including very small values. The results are compared with those obtained with a cement paste and several similarities between the two systems are observed. It is shown that the apparent yield stress of a lime suspension is the sum of two components: one due to standard reversible colloidal interactions and one due to the formation of a brittle structure associated with the formation of links due to dissolution–precipitation mechanisms. This second component increases with the time of rest as the square root of time, and the corresponding structure irreversibly breaks as soon as some significant deformation has been imposed. We show that similar structures are formed at concentrations between 25 and 34 % (solid volume fraction) and evolve in a similar way when the time is scaled by a factor decreasing with the solid fraction.