How To Whitewash A Brick House

Whitewashing a brick house is a great way to give a home a fresh and clean look. It is a technique of applying white paint diluted in water to a surface. The whitewash covers the brick with a translucent white layer that reveals its texture and covers most of its red color. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to whitewash brick houses the right way.

Note: If your brick house is new, wait at least a year before painting it, as this will allow the bricks to weather and dry properly.

Prepare the surface
If you want to paint your house professionally, you must first prepare the surface properly by cleaning it thoroughly. Washing the house’s exterior is one of the most critical steps to whitewash a brick house. Pressure cleaning the exterior walls of your home not only helps remove dirt, cobwebs, and dust that has built up over the years, but it also gets rid of the mold spores, mildew, and efflorescence. Efflorescence is a white powdery substance that can occasionally be found on the surface of a brick.

Things you need:

  • 50 feet high-quality garden hose
  • Pressure washer 
  • Exterior cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Garden sprayer
  • 5-gallon containers
  • Clean rag
  • Raincoat
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves
  • Ladder
Combine one quart of external cleanser, three quarts of bleach, and four gallons of water in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly and then spray this solution on the house's exterior with a garden sprayer. Working in sections, begin at the bottom and work your way up.

Next, pressure-wash the house's surface before the solution dries; start at the top and work your way down in sections. Repeat the process until the surface is clean.

Wait at least 24 hours before moving to the next step.

Inspection and repairs

Once the surface is dry, you should inspect the brick for any damage and assess the mortar by looking for holes, gaps, or signs of crumbling. If you find any cracks or damage, seal it using a mortar repair caulk. For more significant gaps of damage, you may need to use mortar. 
  • Remove damaged mortar with a chisel.
  • Wet the work area with water.
  • Mix the dry mortar with water according to product specifications.
  • The consistency of the mortar should be such that it does not fall off when the trowel is held at a 90-degree angle but adheres to the trowel.
  • Fill in the horizontal joints first, then the vertical ones.
  • Pack the joints securely.
  • Wipe off any excess material with a damp sponge.
  • To match the mortar filling to the existing mortar joints, use a tuck pointer/mortar smoothing tool.
  • Brush off excess mortar before it hardens.

It’s also essential to look for signs of water damage, such as damp spots, mold growth, etc. Make sure you fix all the underlying issues before moving on to the next step in whitewashing brick houses.

Prepare the surroundings

Things you need: 
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Masks
  • Painters Tape
  • Kraft Paper
  • Drop Cloths
Remove any light fittings, mailboxes, or other items that are affixed to the brick. Painter's tape should be used to seal off windows and doors. Tape off the edges of the brick and use painter's tape to mask off any areas you do not want to paint. Underneath the brick, place paper or a drop cloth. Cover any bushes or landscape you want to protect with drop cloths or plastic.

Note: Remember to spray any plants with water before covering to help keep them alive

Tip: Whitewashed paint is more fluid than regular paint. So, if you are using Kraft paper, stack multiple layers on top of each other to protect the floor.

Painting 

Things you need:
  • ¾”-1 ½ “ Foam Rollers
  • 1.5" Angle Paint Brushes
  • Painters Tray
  • Latex Paint
  • Paint Stirrer
  • Water
  • Sponges
  • Bucket
  • Paint extension pole
  • Rags

In a paint bucket, combine white latex paint and water in a 50:50 ratio and stir thoroughly. Because latex paint is water-based, it should be simple to dilute. Stir the mixture until it is homogenous.

Apply whitewash to a brick in a less noticeable section of the wall. Allow it to dry a little before deciding how you want it. You can control how much brick shows by adding water to your paint. Add extra water if you wish for more brick to show through. Add additional color if you want less brick showing through and more coverage. Since bricks are porous, the whitewash can fade slightly as it absorbs into the surface.

  • Start by lightly spraying the brick with water from a spray bottle.
  • Work in sections from the top down.
  • Apply the whitewash with a wide brush or a roller, rub or dab it gently with a clean cotton rag as you go along.
  • Leave as much or as little whitewash as you want, depending on the look you have in mind.
  • Rubbing the whitewash with a cotton rag makes it smooth while dabbing gives an uneven rusty appearance.

Let the whitewash dry overnight.

Your preferences determine the number of coats required. If the first coat does not work for you, add a second or even a third coat.

Note: Oil-based paint should be avoided since it does not dissolve well in water.

Tip: Use the narrow brush on mortar, brick edges, and other hard-to-reach places.

Once all the brick is painted, remove the masking tape, and drop cloths, and consider adding some additional carbon fill. Painting your front door and shutters are a great way to do this. You can also change your light fixtures, mailbox and update your landscaping to change the look altogether. We hope this article on how to whitewash a brick house was helpful.

Happy DIY!


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