Are you looking to add visual interest, character, and charm to your home? Whitewashing a brick exterior is an excellent way to do so. This simple home improvement project can help add the look of a century-old home in no time at all. If you’re thinking about whitewashing your brick exterior but aren’t sure how to get started, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about whitewashing a brick exterior as well as step-by-step instructions on how to DIY this project from start to finish. So read on for our best tips, tricks, and advice on how you can whitewash your own home!
How to Whitewash a Brick Exterior?
Step 1: Prep the surface and remove any stains
Before you paint your brick, you’ll want to prep the surface. Start by scrubbing the brick with a soft-bristle brush and water to remove any dirt, mildew stains, and algae, which can prevent your whitewash finish from adhering to the brick. To prevent the whitewash from seeping into cracks and crevices, use a wire brush to remove any loose mortar. If your brick is stained or has a weathered appearance, try cleaning it with a mix of muriatic acid, water, and a paintbrush to ensure that the whitewash will adhere properly. You’ll also want to remove any loose paint or rust stains from metal ladders, scaffolding, etc., before beginning the whitewashing process.
Step 2: Apply the whitewash
Remember that the key to a professional-looking whitewash finish is a smooth and even application. The first step is to apply a coat of joint compound to the wall using a 6-inch paintbrush or roller. Be sure to cover the entire wall surface, but avoid any over-saturating the surface — this will cause the whitewash to peel away from the wall once it dries. If you’re applying the whitewash over a previously painted wall, you’ll want to scrape or sand away the old paint before applying the joint compound. If the wall is previously uncoated brick, you’ll need to apply a coat of cementitious sealer to prevent the whitewash from soaking into the wall. After spreading the joint compound over the wall, apply the whitewash using a synthetic bristle brush. Work in small sections, and be sure to use even strokes to ensure a smooth finish.
Step 3: Whitewash windows and doors
As you’re applying the whitewash, you’ll also want to whitewash any doorways and windows to ensure that they’re properly protected from moisture. Use a paintbrush and a small amount of joint compound to seal around the edges of the window or door frame. After applying a couple of coats of whitewash to the windows and doors, you can use a piece of painter’s tape to cover the sealant and create a crisp white border around the edges. You can also use a paint roller to apply a thicker coat of whitewash to the door and window frames. This will create a thicker, more durable seal around the window and door frames.
Step 4: Lighten up with a second coat
Once your first coat of whitewash is dry, you can apply a second coat to lighten up the finish. Additionally, this will help to create a smoother finish around the edges of the whitewash coating. You should apply the second coat of whitewash using the same synthetic-bristle brush you used during your first coat. A good rule of thumb is to apply a second coat when the first coat is still tacky to the touch but isn’t leaving any drips or pools of paint. After applying the second coat, you’ll want to apply a third coat of whitewash using a clean, dry paintbrush to lightly feather the edges of the second coat and create a smooth, even finish.
Step 5: Seal your paint job
Your whitewash finish will last longer if you seal it with a couple of coats of high-quality exterior paint. We recommend using water-based paint, as this will help to preserve the texture created by the whitewash. Once you’ve applied the first coat of paint, you can use a paintbrush or roller to apply a second coat of sealer. Be sure to feather the edges of the paint to prevent the sealer from seeping out and creating a sloppy finish.
Why Whitewash A Brick Exterior?
Brick exteriors are durable and long-lasting
Brick is one of the oldest building materials still in use today. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, where it was used as both decoration and structural reinforcement. From there, it was adopted by many of the world’s major civilizations. As a building material, brick is highly durable and long-lasting. It can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and even seismic activity. It weathers well but does need occasional cleaning to remove the soot that accumulates from burning fossil fuels. Brick is very strong structurally, and it transmits less sound than other materials. It also offers good insulation for moderate climates and can help keep a home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Whitewashing can lighten a dark brick
While most people associate red brick with warm climates and southern living, dark brick is also a very popular choice among homeowners. In fact, a darker brick color can be just as classic as a red brick. But darker brick doesn’t always mesh well with certain design styles. A light, classic look like Charleston Charm, for example, often works best with light-colored brick. A darker brick, on the other hand, often clashes with the light, airy style of Charleston Charm. In this case, whitewashing a brick exterior can help lighten a dark brick. It can also help a dark brick blend with other materials, like wood siding, that usually look better with lighter brick.
Brick exteriors need less maintenance when whitewashed
Brick, like all masonry materials, naturally repels water. It’s a great choice for areas that are susceptible to high rainfall, frequent flooding, or just plain old high humidity. Unfortunately, this water repellency can lead to problems when homeowners use darker brick. The water that is repelled so effectively by the brick is also repelled by the mortar between the bricks. This can lead to water damage on the surface of the brick. Darker brick can also make these water stains stand out, as they often appear as a plain black line against the dark color. Whitewashing a brick exterior can help reduce the risk of water damage and make maintenance easier.
Benefits Of Whitewashing A Brick Exterior
It’s easy to maintain
If you want a maintenance-free exterior, the best option is to whitewash your bricks. Because you’re essentially covering the bricks with stucco, you won’t have to deal with problems like moss, algae, and lichen that commonly occur on raw brick exteriors. This means you won’t have to clean the walls regularly or use harsh chemicals to eliminate these issues. You also won’t have to worry about repainting the bricks each year, like you would if you had painted them. Whitewashing also makes maintenance much easier. All you need to do is wipe your exterior walls clean every so often, and if you notice any discoloration, you can apply more whitewash to the walls.
It creates an illusion of more space
Whitewashing your bricks will create an illusion of more space on your home’s exterior. Your walls will appear higher and appear to have a clean, crisp texture that will contrast nicely against the surrounding environment. This contrast will help your home’s exterior stand out and appear much larger compared to homes with raw brick exteriors. The clean, crisp appearance of whitewashed walls will also make your home look much more modern, which is something that will appeal to many potential homebuyers.
It’s an effective way to bring life to your home
Because a whitewashed brick exterior is such a neutral color, it’s the perfect way to add life and vibrancy to your brick home. You can apply a bright or bold color to your whitewashed brick walls to add a pop of color to your home without painting the bricks. You can choose from a wide range of colors, or you can choose a color that matches one of the accents on your home’s exterior, such as your front door. There are many different types of paint that will adhere to a whitewashed brick wall.
Whitewashing brick is a centuries-old technique that can transform an ordinary exterior wall into a piece of architectural art. The best part is that anyone can do it with a little bit of practice and patience. To whitewash your brick exterior, you first need to understand why this technique was once used as a primary means of preventing moisture issues in masonry walls — it’s because white pigment blocks sunlight from penetrating the surface and heating up the wall beneath it. You can use these five steps to whitewash your brick exterior and transform your home into a work of art.