I LOVE Brick! Especially inside of a home. Our first home was a simple ranch style home, no bells and whistles. But, it had a brick kitchen. That pretty much did it for me. It was not a cookie cutter kitchen and had the character and charm I desired. It seemed to add warmth to the house.
Our dirty diamond home has a lot of brick too; the fireplace and the sun room (which is an add on to the exterior wall). The thing about this brick, kind of “BLAH!” I knew we should do something to the brick but what? I probably spent several weeks on Pinterest looking at Before and After photos of fireplace makeovers. I kind of had a look I was going for but just couldn’t put it into words. And my poor husband just looked at me with confusion when I would try to tell him what I saw in my head. There were tons of tutorials about “white washing brick.” Y..e..a..h— that is kind of what I’m looking for but still not quite it. It looked great on some of the fireplaces I saw but I found myself liking the BEFORE pictures with the original fireplace than the finished product. Sound familiar? I finally found an exterior photo of a home with what I was looking for. I read up on it and it was called “BRICK MORTAR Washing.” YES!! That is what I WANT! Now to find some tutorials and look up that term on Pinterest. WHAT?!?! There isn’t anything out there (at least from what I could find). I did find one video tutorial on some masonry website and I think it was for exterior brick. It didn’t go into a whole lot of detail. More just on the technique and what tools to use. So I thought, I’m going to give it a shot. I went to my local hardware store and tried to explain to them what I was going to do. And soon I was surrounded by 3 sales people who were trying to translate to one another what I wanted. Still wasn’t sure if they knew what I wanted, but I trusted them. Turns out they pointed me in the right direction but I still ended up with the wrong color of mortar and 2 bags of unnecessary sand. Don’t ask.
Water (a water pump or spray bottle)
Plastic for cover up
Elbow Grease (that means some arm muscles)
I can’t give you specifics on how much to mix. It really is just an “eye ball” it kind of thing. A lot depends on how much brick you are covering. This project took me a couple of days on the sun room. The fireplace in the living room took me a couple of weeks and only because I was so burned out from the sun room wall. It’s not a difficult project and you could do it in a day if you were doing a fireplace. I was also experiencing what may be carpal tunnel syndrome in my hands and wrists and I needed to take it easy.
Here’s what I will tell you about mixing the mortar wash.
- 1. Scoop out the mortar, maybe a couple of cups and place in bucket
- 2. Add just a little bit of water to the mortar and stir where you have something that looks like pancake batter (if you add too much water just add more mortar and visa versa)
- 3. Spray water onto a small area of brick so that mortar will stick
- 4. Use sponge to spread the mortar mix onto the wet brick
5. Continue this process on the remaining brick. You will need to continue adding mortar and water to the bucket as you go. If you do too much and you have to take a break for awhile this mortar mix will harden and ruin your bucket.
Depending on the size of area you are Brick Mortar Washing you will want to let it set for about 30 minutes to an hour, This is where the Burlap comes in.
Take Burlap and begin scrubbing the brick. Dust the grit/sand off the brick. I left the mortar grout lines alone. My grout lines were level with the brick. That was the look we were going for.
Here is what will happen if you don’t scrub the brick and let the mortar mix dry.
And that is pretty much it! Super easy and not very expensive.
Here is a TON of pictures so you can see how our project turned out. I also did a little video tutorial and you can click here to view.
The Sun Room. And yes the wallpaper did come off as well.