Whitewashing exterior brick is a great home maintenance project that can be done with little-to-no carpentry skills. It’s an affordable, quick DIY task that will have your home looking brand new again in no time! If you’re not familiar with whitewashing, it’s a technique used to paint brick and other porous surfaces white to make them appear lighter and brighter. Whitewash is made from a mixture of lime, water, and often sand or gravel; it gives the appearance of old-world techniques. In this article, we will show you How To Whitewash Exterior Brick Using The Right Materials And Tools So You Can Save Time And Money Doing It Yourself
How To Whitewash Exterior Brick
Remove Your Existing Paint
The first step in whitewashing exterior brick is to remove the existing paint. If you have painted brick, you will need to scrape it off with a paint scraper or wire brush. Next, use a stiff-bristled brush to clean the surface of the brick. In some cases, if the existing paint is very thick, you may want to use a pressure washer to remove it.
Prime The Brick
Next, prime the brick using an oil-based primer. Apply one light coat of primer and allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before applying another light coat of primer. Make sure that your primer completely covers all areas of your brick and does not leave any streaks in its wake! If you are painting over an existing brick that was previously painted white or another light color, then skip this step and move on to the next one!
Mix Up Your Whitewash Mixture
Now that your brick has been primed and is ready for whitewashing, mix up your whitewash mixture in a large bucket according to the package directions! You can add more water or sand if necessary depending on how thick or thin you want your whitewash mixture to be; this will depend on how well it covers the surface area of your brick wall depending on how much texture there is on the surface of your bricks! You can also add more lime if you want more color out of your whitewash!
Apply Your Whitewash Mixture To Your Brick
Apply your whitewash mixture to your brick using a paint roller or paintbrush. Make sure that you apply it evenly and liberally over the surface of your brick. If you want to achieve a more distressed look, use a sponge brush to apply the whitewash mixture! Allow your whitewash to dry completely before applying another coat. Be patient, because this process can take several coats! You may also want to use a fine-bristled brush or sponge brush to apply a second coat of whitewash mixture if you want a lighter shade of white on your bricks or if you want the texture of the original brick to show through more than it did with the first coat!
Clean Up And Wait For It To Dry
Once you have applied all of your coats and allowed them to dry completely, clean up any messes that were made during the application process and wait for it to dry so that you can seal them with an exterior sealant such as an oil-based sealer or water-based sealer depending on what type of material was used in making your bricks! Allow at least 24 hours for this final step in order for it to be fully cured and protected from rain damage!
Materials Needed To Whitewash Exterior Brick
- White Primer – If you’re starting from scratch, a gallon of white primer will do the trick. You can buy inexpensive white brick primer, or you can mix your own with a small amount of water. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of cement for every quart (or liter) of white paint.
- White Paint – If you’re starting with an existing brick facade, you’ll need to paint it before whitewashing it. We recommend using quality exterior latex paint that is specifically designed for exterior use (such as latex-based paints sold by Sherwin-Williams). It’s important to use paint designed specifically for exterior use because these are specifically formulated to resist cracking and chalking due to humidity and temperature changes. The best brands also contain high-quality pigments that will give the finished product depth and brightness.
- Sandpaper – For the most part, sandpaper is used in conjunction with white paint so that it will adhere properly and not peel off over time from the wet surface of the brick or stone. Use a variety of grits in order to achieve different levels of texture on your project; start with coarse grits and slowly move up through finer grades as needed for your specific project (the whitewash brush should be able to reach through the surface at all times). This can range anywhere from 120 grit up to 2000 grit sandpaper (coarse). The finer grades are used to remove excess material from around joints, seams, and other features.
- Whitewash Brush – This is a good time to mention that for best results, we recommend using a quality whitewash brush. These brushes are made of natural hair (usually horsehair) and are specially designed for this project. You can tell the difference between a quality brush and a cheap one simply by looking at the strands of hair in the handle; the quality brushes have more strands of hair in their handles than cheap brushes do.
- Sandpaper – This is used to smooth out surface imperfections from the whitewash brush, as well as any excess paint that may have been applied during application (you should always apply paint with a light touch). Use fine grits (120-150) to achieve this effect; use medium grits (250-350) if you want to remove additional material from around joints and seams, or if you want to vary the texture of your project by adding ridges or grooves in your surface. It’s also important to use sandpaper when applying paint over existing brickwork at joints, seams, or other features because it will help ensure that your new white paint adheres properly and won’t peel off over time (it will be easier than trying to repaint these areas).
- Paintbrush – This is used for applying white paint onto surfaces such as brick walls or stone sills in order to achieve an even coat all over without having any drips or runs during application. You can use an old brush to apply the paint, or you can purchase a new one from your local hardware store (this will save you some money). It’s important to use an old brush for this project because it will be more likely to have the proper amount of paint on the bristles for proper application.
Tips For A Successful Diy Whitewashing Project
- Get the right tools for the job. You’ll need a flat paintbrush and a sponge brush to apply the whitewash mixture to your brick. You’ll also need a piece of scrap wood to use as a spacer between your brick and paintbrush so you don’t get any drips or smudges.
- Prepare your surface for painting by properly cleaning it first. Remove any dirt or debris from the brick using soap and water then rinse it off with water again. It’s important you get rid of any loose particles before you begin painting because they could end up being trapped in the mixture, making it harder to apply evenly.
- Begin applying your whitewash mixture by dipping your flat paintbrush into a bucket of water mixed with lime and sand or gravel, then begin brushing it onto one section at a time until you have applied an even coat on all surfaces of your exterior brick walls, making sure not to miss any spots that may be hard to reach like corners or around windows and doors.
- Allow the whitewash mixture to dry completely before adding another coat; about 2-3 hours should be enough time for it to fully dry depending on how humid or dry your climate is at this time of year, but if you live in a very humid area where there is lots of rain you may want to leave yours up longer before applying another coat so that its surface remains protected from moisture getting trapped beneath the topcoat of whitewash.
- Apply your second coat of whitewash to the brick using the same method; first dip your sponge brush into a bucket of water mixed with lime and sand or gravel, then apply it to the surface of your exterior brick walls, making sure not to miss any spots that may be hard to reach like corners or around windows and doors.
- When you’re finished painting make sure you allow the whitewash mixture ample time to dry completely before applying another coat; about 2-3 hours should be enough time for it to fully dry depending on how humid or dry your climate is at this time of year, but if you live in a very humid area where there is lots of rain you may want to leave yours up longer before applying another coat so that its surface remains protected from moisture getting trapped beneath the topcoat of whitewash.
Whitewashing exterior brick is a great DIY project for anyone who likes to get their hands dirty. This project is quick and inexpensive, and you can do it any time of the year. One thing to keep in mind is that whitewashing will only increase the brightness of the brick slightly; it won’t make it look entirely white. It’s a great maintenance project that will have your home looking brand new again in no time!