Painted Brick-How to Easily Change It Back After Painting It

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Hi Guys,

As promised, this is part II of the discussion about brick houses. If you missed part I or would like to review, please click here.

 

And yes, this part is going to focus on painted brick.

 

Oh, I know. Some of you would sooner dive 500 feet into a bucket of water than even think of doing anything so offensive as putting PAINT on top of bricks.

 

bugs and yosemite sam - high diving hare
Talk about pulling a memory out of a hat. lol

Siwwy Wabbit.

Enjoy this enduring classic, “High Diving Hare” – starring the inimitable Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam

 

 

Funny is funny no matter what.

 

But, listen up, please. Before some of you get your knickers in a knot, you need to understand something about painted brick.

Are you listening?

 

Most brick created before 1870 was manufactured by hand and was not as durable as the machine-made bricks are today. In fact, the brick was MEANT to be painted!

 

I repeat. The bricks were meant to be painted.

That means that painted brick is HISTORICAL!  IT IS CLASSICAL.

So painted brick haters, please lighten up. I mean, you are welcome to love your unpainted brick. Sure, it can be awesome. But, so is painted brick.

 

1853 wood engraving old colony state house Newport, R via periodpaper.com

1853 wood engraving old colony state house Newport, R via period paper with its original painted brick finish

 

Old_Rhode_Island_State_House_photo Daniel Case

Old_Rhode_Island_State_House_photo Daniel Case as it appears today. Yes, they removed all of the old paint. Not sure why they do this.

 

But, Laurel, aren’t we mostly talking about brick homes built after that? And if so, then that brick is NOT MEANT TO BE PAINTED! 

 

Actually, that’s not true. While it is true that certain conditions need to be taken into consideration, it’s the type of paint one uses that makes all of the difference. And, if one wants their newer home to have an authentic late 18th century painted finish, then why not?

 

This is what I think.

 

I think that if you love red brick or yellow brick or whatever color your brick is meant to be when it comes out of the kiln, then absolutely fine. Stick with it. I forbid you to paint it or alter in any other way. ;]

 

Nancy Keyes incredible painted brick home in Atlanta (it was sold several years ago)

But, if you are dying and I mean dying to have a painted brick home, maybe ala Nancy Keyes’ old home in Atlanta, (above) then yes, yes, yes — go for it!!! (to see the icky poo before of this splendid home, click here)

(and no, we do not know what the color of the painted brick is. Sorry.)

 

However, before we delve into the type of paint to use for painted brick; and, where to get it, I want to go over the various ways that one can transform brick.

 

One thing, though and that is some of these terms are somewhat interchangeable. Or, there is more than one term that people use for the same thing. It is a little confusing, but hopefully this gives a good idea.

 

  • Whitewash: A thin coating of watered down paint over the entire brick veneer. However, sometimes folks use a thicker coat of paint and also call it whitewash

 

Southern Living - photo Emily J. Followill - looks like a German Smear

Southern Living – photo Emily J. Followill

looks like a German Smear, but is actually a limewash done super-well.

 

  • German Smear: A thicker coating of mortar which can have pigments added to it and applied in patches that creates a rustic, antiqued look. This is very similar to a lime wash. But, is permanent from day one. Bob Vila has an excellent post about German Smear. I keep thinking about a bagel with cream cheese. haha

 

domingue-architectural-finishes-exterior

Domingue Architectural Finishes – Gorgeous website!!!

 

  • Slurry: A thick application of mortar, or lime plaster covering the entire brick or stone veneer to create an almost a stucco-like finish. This is sometimes called parging. But again, the terms seem to vary depending on who you’re talking to.

 

@Classicfinishes instagram - designer @kariFerris Ramobio lime wash - pale green shutters

@Classicfinishes instagram – designer @kariFerris Ramobio lime wash – pale green shutters. How gorgeous is this!

 

  • Lime Wash – or sometimes called a Lime Slurry is an ages old technique of using a compound of lime which cures over time and seeps into the brick and thus needs less upkeep than paint.

 

One of the greatest advantages to this technique which has been around for centuries is that you have five days to decide if you like it or not. In that time period, all you need to do is power wash it to remove it.

 

But, I would not first do the entire house. Maybe one small side. It is also a relatively easy (they say) DIY project.

My preference is that the lime wash is applied fairly solidly. And, I really do not want to see a lot of unexposed dark red brick underneath white. And, then very evenly. It looks like the house has a disease.

I won’t show you the bad examples because the folks that did it love it. But, that’s their business.

We will look at some that I think are well-done.

 

Ramobio - painted brick off-white finish

Ramobio – painted brick off-white finish

 

  • Paint – This is one of the more controversial issues. One reason is that paint sits on top of the brick, while a lime wash penetrates the brick and cures over time. Lime is breathable. If the paint won’t let the brick breathe, then moisture can get trapped underneath the paint and start to eat away at it.No Bueno. Of course.

 

HOWEVER

 

What if there was a paint that actually acted like a thin layer of brick and was breathable, but still very much a painted brick?

 

Does such a paint exist?

You betcha!

The company that is hot, hot, hot right now is RomaBio Paints.

 

Romabio Classico Limewash color choicesThey have two main products. One is a classic lime wash which comes in seven colors. (see above)

Their lime wash is made from Dolomite lime from Northern Italy. It is slaked, (meaning water is added to it) and aged. This formulation requires little-to-no maintenance for decades. It will continue to patina giving an authentic, natural looking finish.

 

RomaBio also manufactures a wonderful paint as I described above.

 

It is a mineral-based paint that was developed specifically for all kinds of masonry– brick, stone, stucco, etc. It is not a latex paint which would seal the brick, creating the moisture problems we just spoke of.

The finish is opaque and durable giving the painted brick a matte, authentic look of historical brick.

 

And the darling bloggers from Young House Love have created 15 gorgeous colors from super pale off-white to some deeper colors which are all awesome.

Romabio-Masonry-Paint-Color-Collection-by-Young-House-Love

Here’s the link for more info on this fabulous paint

 

Okay, I will need all of you folks who can’t bear to see a brick with paint on it, go make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or something. ;]

 

Oh, Laurel, why can’t we just look?

 

Well, of course you can look. ;] But, I don’t want to hear any negative remarks. I mean, you don’t have to like the painted brick. But, please don’t spoil it for those of us who do ADORE it.

 

First, I want to show you a before and after of the Young House Love Home.

 

Romabiopaints on instagram - @younghouselove

Via Young House Love on instagram.

 

I adore the transformation. The only thing I would love to see, maybe, is a little more definition with the stairs. Maybe some blue stone treads and stoop? That would be lovely, I think.

 

Painted-Brick-House-White-AFTER-Door-With-Foliage-Young House Love

Painted-Brick-House-White-AFTER- via Young House Love

For an in-depth fabulous post on their process, how they chose the color and much, much more click this link.

And, this is excellent to read about the steps you need to know before painting your home.

 

loveandrenovations - romabio - navy steel masonry paint - painted brick

Love and Renovations – RomaBio – navy steel masonry paint – painted brick. At least, I think that’s the color. This home is so vastly improved. They only painted where the red brick was, but I think I would’ve taken the dark gray all the way around. Maybe there’s some reason they couldn’t do that. Still, it’s 1,000 times better.

Romabio Romabio Classico Limewash Color Avorio White - painted brick

RomaBio Classico Limewash Color Avorio White

I think this is perfect example of a really well-done antiqued look. Some of the areas are quite solid, but none are completely missing their lime wash.

 

Ramobio -@CristinaDanielle photo - nearly solid lime wash

Ramobio -@CristinaDanielle photo – nearly solid lime wash

 

I saved my favorite lime wash for last. I love that it’s nearly solid; just a small amount of rub-through. What an elegant home!!!

 

@artistic_finishes @CristinaDanielle photo @romabiopaints - antique limewash

@artistic_finishes @CristinaDanielle photo @romabiopaints – antique limewash

 

Artistic finishes has a gorgeous website, too.

 

Young House Love White-Gray-Painted-Brick-House-Richmond-Fan-District
I adore these row houses that Young House Love took in their hometown of Richmond, VA. Painted Brick rocks!

By the way, RomaBio paints also has a product for interior specialty paints.

 

So, where can you purchase RomaBio products?

 

Sure.

 

You can purchase them online on Amazon

 

Or, you can also find them at the Home Depot

 

Now, I just added something to Sunday’s red brick post. Benjamin Moore has a color viewer. And  I put in one of their images, similar to MJ’s home. This way, you can see how you can get an idea how your paint combinations will look BEFORE you purchase the paint and make a mistake.

I am wondering if RomaBio is making plans to increase their color selection. My guess is yes. But, we’ll have to wait and see.

 

However, please check out the Benjamin Moore color viewer in the link above. I think you’ll enjoy seeing how much of a difference paint can make to how a home looks.

 

***Warning*** The color viewer is addictive. It’s reminding me of the time I discovered this tool with the cement floors.

 

And, one last note for today. Okay, I made an executive decision last week. Some of you may have already noticed.

 

Years ago, I was advised to answer every comment that came in. Fine. I’ll be more than happy to answer both comments that have come in this month. Well, before long it was a lot more than two. And now, on an average week, between the two new blog posts and the old blog posts, still open, I am receiving a minimum of 100 comments weekly. And, sometimes more.

That’s awesome and I love hearing from you.

In addition, I also receive at least 100 emails (from readers) a week that are blog-related. I think you can see where this is going. It’s gotten to the point where it’s not possible. That is, unless I want to sit tethered to my laptop 18 hours a day.

 

However, even if I don’t answer every comment, I am definitely reading each one and still moderating them. That won’t stop.

 

And, I will always answer a question that pertains to the post. And, is not something specific to a problem you and only you are having. Of course, if you would like your problem to be considered for a blog post, please send it back to me from any email you receive from me. (via Mail Chimp)

 

Thanks all for your understanding. Each of you is dear to me. I want you to know that. Without your caring, support and feedback this would be a very arduous job. Conversely because of you, it’s a joy to create something that hopefully is helpful or at least good for a little relief from the day-to-day.

xo,

 

PS: Please check out the newly updated Hot Sales. The Serena and Lily Sale is still going full-force and is ending October 14th.

 

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Julie - October 26, 2019 - 8:06 AM

    Thank you for such great inspiration! My house is not all-over brick; rather, it is a combination of brick and siding on all four sides. I love the look of painted brick. If I limewash the brick and paint the siding in the same color, would that look okay? Form the front, the ratio of brick to siding is about equal. Thank you very much!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 26, 2019 - 1:35 PM

      Hi Julie,

      Maybe try googling or searching on pinterest to see what others have done. My guess is that it would probably be beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Virgnia - October 15, 2019 - 6:13 PM

    Thank you Laurel, I always find your articles and pictures so informative and well written. I always learn something new!!!ReplyCancel

  • Madonna - October 15, 2019 - 11:41 AM

    I don’t know whether this is well known, but years ago Ross Perot bought his childhood home. He was pretty upset the previous owners had painted the brick–he wanted the house to be as he remembered it growing up. There was no taking the paint off, so he had the bricks chiseled off carefully, turned around and re-installed. I’m sure it cost a pretty penny, but he got what he wanted. This is the story I think about whenever I consider painting my stone fireplace!ReplyCancel

  • Mary E - October 14, 2019 - 6:26 PM

    I’m on team “ paint all the brick”. Especially when it’s done in dark colors.
    As far as your announcement, I always wondered how you managed to find the time to answer each comment you received.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 14, 2019 - 10:47 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you. The time is there if I don’t have much of a life. Well, I’m trying to also have a life and have to say that I’m rather enjoying it.ReplyCancel

  • Miller Shire - October 12, 2019 - 8:33 PM

    Thank you SO much for writing this blog! It gives me facts to use with those who think brick should never be painted. Personally, I LOVE painted brick. I grew up in a white painted brick colonial home. The current owners have painted it dark gray and it is beautiful still. I don’t know what paints were used, but moisture seeping into the brick has never been a problem – since 1952. My grandfather had a brick cotton warehouse. We called it “old brick” because there was a lot of pinkish white in it – no red. Perhaps it had been painted or lime-washed. After the warehouse was torn down, my mother had enough of the brick transported to our home for a patio. Unfortunately, the patio was never built and the next owner got rid of the pile of “old brick”.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Dahlstrom - October 12, 2019 - 5:56 PM

    Laurel, This post was extremely timely. We just finished painting our 2-story fireplace in our Great Room with a custom color from Romabio. I had read about this product on Y.House Love blog and thought it sounded perfect. We had “icky poo” midwest Orange, carmel, rust brick that served us well for 34 years but I wanted a new fresh look. I did a custom color from Benjamin Moore (White Down) and they mixed it up for me and shipped it directly to my home. Very easy. The product is incredible and the difference in our room is amazing. I then changed the walls from a dark butterscotch color to BM Manchester Tan. It looks like we live in a new home! I can’t get over the difference. It boggles my mind. By the way, I’m sure you know that Manchester Tan is not really tan, it is a lovely neutral that seems to go with everything. My home was overly done with dark colors from the Tuscan decorating era and I am trying to move to a fresh up to date look…now I just need to recover all my furniture!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 12, 2019 - 11:08 PM

      Thanks Susan. It’s amazing what a popular blog like Young House Love can do for a brand. I heard of the product there, as well.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten - October 11, 2019 - 3:35 PM

    You always seem to pick topics that are timely for my current project. Thanks for that! I just ordered your fav electric fireplace. Now I need to change out a plethora of crappie hollow interior doors. Help me pick a style! It’s such an emotional commitment…
    My house was built in’56, not contemporary ranch. White inside and out. Unstained maple herringbone floors.ReplyCancel

  • Louisa - October 10, 2019 - 5:46 PM

    I too used to think it was a sin to paint brick. When we purchased our home and wanted to add on, there was no way to make the brick match up, so we decided to paint. I got very nervous about painting a traditional paint on the brick and it eventually flaking off and causing moisture issues.

    I did my research and chose Romabio Biodomus tinted in BM Classic Gray, and I LOVE it! Most painters who are unfamiliar with the process (mix the concentrated paint, wet the brick with water, spray or paint on, let dry, come back for another pass in a few hours) may resist. But our painter was open to exploring with us, and we have enjoyed the finished result for a while so far. I’m expecting it will only get better in time!

    Love the pictures in the post!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 7:03 PM

      I bet the Classic Gray is gorgeous! And great that you found a painter who was open to exploring a new product. I love contractors like that!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Lee - October 10, 2019 - 4:38 PM

    I’ve limewashed both our previous home and the one we’re currently in with my own limewash recipe. If it helps anyone who doesn’t have the budget for romabio products. It comes out beautifully opaque thanks to the zinc oxide and is easily applied with a cheap hvlp sprayer. The total cost to limewash our 3000 sq ft house was less than $30! I use 5 lbs hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) ($8); 1 lb zinc oxide ($8); and for a creamier color and less stark white 1 oz raw sienna($10) all mixed together in a 5 gallon bucket filled with water. The powders don’t dissolve, they just disperse in water so I also used a paint/mud mixer drill attachment to stir the batch and restirred everytime I refilled my spray gun. Just in case anyone wants another option 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 7:01 PM

      Oh wow! That’s so cool. Thanks for sharing your recipe Sara.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - October 10, 2019 - 4:07 PM

    We went to a Benjamin Moore to look at RomaBio lime wash to decided between the whites. To only make things harder, the man at the front desk told me they can add BM colors/ pigments to the RomaBio lime wash and make it any color you want! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 4:11 PM

      Hi Karen,

      Yes, too much choice! They probably don’t need more than 3 or 4 shades of white, but alas, you get 60! But, if you go and look at the colors that look good with red brick from the previous post, those are a good place to start. Oh, and the color Young House Love used is a very nice soft white. Of course, photos can be deceiving. I would always do a test somewhere, no matter what.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - October 10, 2019 - 11:07 AM

    Will these solutions look as beautiful on brick that isn’t red? For example, the brick that is already gray and white?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 11:45 AM

      That’s a good question. I would probably do the mineral paint in that case. But, if the brick is not naturally gray and white, then I would recommend finding out what it is that’s on there before applying something else.ReplyCancel

  • Shari - October 10, 2019 - 8:35 AM

    We had our home professionally (the co we used specializes in limewash & RomaBio recommends them) lime washed using the RomaBio product just north of the Atlanta area in the spring of 2018 (BTW: RomaBio is based just down the road & you can select your own color from BM or as we did- SW Alabaster). It completely transformed our square large brick georgian style home. We love it. Now what to do with those 5 large double windows on the front….to shutter or not or possibly shutter bottom and awning top windows? The windows are very large (really take up too much space on the front of the house).The elderly lady who built the house in 2000 wanted it replicated from the movie “In the Garden of Good & Evil” based in Savannah. It has been a total redo inside & out since moving into in 2015 (with huge guidance & influence from Laurel’s blogs)….but we still have questions on what else to do to the front. The downstairs (total of 5000 sq ft plus a 800 sq ft carriage house also lime washed) has been almost completely gutted and redone….pool & outdoor kitchen added to the back & now onward to redoing the upstairs and the front of the house. With Laurel’s help we might just get through this process! Murals in bedroom and moldings….yes lots of moldings….all the things I share a love for with Laurel. Thanks Laurel you’ve been a tremendous asset!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 11:44 AM

      Can’t say for sure, but it sounds like no shutters, especially if the windows are super wide.

      Thanks for your kind words, too Shari!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - October 10, 2019 - 12:57 AM

    This was a wonderful post Laurel, thank you. There are those fabulous, classical homes with just the right colour of red brick that I love, but I also love it painted. Of course a lot of brick, especially modern, sand-coloured brick, is horrible and needs to be covered.
    I am so glad you’re limiting your responses. I never understood how you possibly could’ve answered every comment. It’s just confirms your incredible generosity. Thanks for all you give to your readers. No response required!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 10, 2019 - 1:13 AM

      I appreciate your support and wonderful comments always, Gail!ReplyCancel

  • Parnassus - October 9, 2019 - 5:25 PM

    Hello Laurel, Last night I was walking along a street with a lot of large brick houses, noticing which ones had paint. I think the red brick adds a lot of character to the street, and it would be a pity if too many were painted. It also depends on the style of the house. Some were more modern (i.e., mid-century) and had white brick lower floors with usually white clapboards above. In that case, the painted brick is unifying and seems appropriate. However, the older, Tudor or French houses from the 20’s and 30’s with limestone trim looked good (to me) unpainted. One was painted gray, and reminded me of a prison. Another was painted white, but it was in a cluster of all red brick, so the white paint provided some relief when the whole neighborhood is considered.
    –JimReplyCancel

  • SW - October 9, 2019 - 4:58 PM

    I found your article interesting and timely! I wanted to have the brick portion of our tri level painted to unify it w the siding. I learned of Romabio via a discussion thread online. One person had a great experience and another commented that their color tint was off, the product Itself can be very messy w splatters bc of its thin consistency, and the brick sucked it up like a vacuum! I also found that it seems not many painters work w it! I am happy with our paint job – Aura low luster w Fresh Start primer, but remains to be seen how long will last~ReplyCancel

  • Jule - October 9, 2019 - 4:02 PM

    Hi Laurel, Thank you for a most informative post. I live in Raleigh. We have many beautifully painted brick homes in this area. I am getting ready to paint my brick home with a mineral based product by Keim. The company color matched to a BM historic selection. I will make sure to follow up with the before and after pictures! Again, thank you for sharing the transformations! They are stunning! Also, wanted to mention that a company called RingsEnd will color match RomaBio to any Benjamin Moore color and ship for free at the right price point.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 7:05 PM

      We have Rings End here in Westchester. I didn’t realize it was elsewhere. Thanks so much for the great tips. I figured that there was a way to get color matching (or close to it) in a mineral based paint. Maybe Benjamin Moore will create their own version.ReplyCancel

  • DEB - October 9, 2019 - 2:12 PM

    Great post on transforming less than beautiful brick facades. I learned about lime wash! Having said that, I have purchased 2 homes over the past years, both brick and already painted. One from the 1920’s in Atlanta (and lovely). The 2nd from the 1950’s in Utah and not too pretty. I also repainted both with a brush (I know!) and found BM Aura paint to be outstanding. Rather than a flat finish, I used an eggshell, which makes it easier to hose off dirt/dust, yet does not appear shiny, just a slight sheen. Highly recommend this product. It is not inexpensive, but it lasts and looks fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - October 9, 2019 - 1:10 PM

    Oh yes, Helen Avalon, that was the other thing I wanted to mention! Traditional limewash does become somewhat transparent when wet! Here in Connecticut it doesn’t bother me, but I used to live in Florida and it would probably be a tougher sell there, where everything is ultra-manicured.ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - October 9, 2019 - 12:19 PM

    My husband and I limewashed our mid-century red brick shoebox a few years ago. It made a tremendous, positive difference in the appearance of the house, and also kept it much cooler! (We did not have central AC in the house when we bought it, and it was like living in a pizza oven all summer.)

    We did the work ourselves, and it does take a very careful and dedicated approach for the end result to look even. (My husband did a lot better with this than I did.) It was SO INEXPENSIVE – literally maybe $20 total for the slaked lime from a local masonry supply company and a half gallon of boiled linseed oil from Home Depot. We did not tint our limewash and the end result is truly, blindingly white in direct sunlight. (From what I understand, the limewash actually forms tiny crystals on the surface of the brick, so that explains why it basically glows.) It does wash off over time – perhaps the newer, more sophisticated limewash paints are longer-wearing – and traditionally, a new coat would be added each year. (The initial application requires many coats.) However, the annual limewashing also used to be done for hygienic reasons, as limewash has some inherent anti-microbial properties, which is why it was used for interiors of stables, etc.

    We have now added a second story to our home and sides it in Arctic White Hardie Board, so I need to figure out a way of getting a color match in limewash paint to unite the brick and siding.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 12:36 PM

      Hi Kelsey,

      Maybe one of the RomoBio lime washes is a good match? Thank you for this very insightful, informative comment!ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - October 9, 2019 - 11:50 AM

    RE: Not answering all the comments

    How did you ever find the time? Young House Love got so burnt out at one point that they quit blogging altogether. These days, they have no comment section at all in their posts!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 12:34 PM

      Hi Lorri,

      I don’t have the time! I mean, let’s just say, that it does get to be too much some times. It’s not just the blog writing, hot sales and comments. I have to do social media which is a few hours a week and I get comments there, too. And emails. Sometimes 200 in one day! And most of them are nothing I’m interested in. But, it’s every day. And, that’s why burnout can set in.ReplyCancel

  • Helen Avalon - October 9, 2019 - 11:00 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    How I wish that I’d read this post two years ago! I redid a house for my mother-in-law then that had a red brick facade. My idea was to lime wash it but since this is in Central Florida where there aren’t lots of beautiful historical looking painted brick homes, I was on my own about how to proceed. I read all I could and then with the help of a couple of painters (who didn’t express much confidence in this approach), we lime washed it.

    It looked HORRIBLE: like a really bad primer job. The more of the lime wash that I tried to rub off, the worse it looked. The more lime wash that I put on, the more it looked like an ugly base primer coat. I wasn’t aware that I could have power washed the whole thing off so I just kept going…

    I found a company that sold color pigments that I could mix into the lime wash, so I bought a few different colors and then set about painting individual bricks with these different colors. Watching me spend hours doing this confirmed all our neighbor’s doubts about my sanity. When it was finished, though, it at least didn’t look like a bad coat of primer. We have gotten lots of compliments on it but I think that may be because we live in the same city as Disney and people are used to bizarre fake things. I’d be happy to send you before and after pictures if you’d like. I like the pictures of your historical homes a lot better.

    Since then I’ve wondered whether lime-washing isn’t done in Central Florida because we get so much rain in the summers… after it rains, certain parts of the lime-washing stay a darker color for hours.

    Anyway, thank you for the informative post! And don’t feel that you need to reply… with all the writing that you do, I’d assumed that you wouldn’t have time to answer each post.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 12:14 PM

      Well, with a lovely comment this long, I feel I must. You definitely had me chuckling with the thought of you standing on a ladder for hours, individually painting bricks. It sounds like something I might do.

      Sure, if you’re a subscriber, you can just reply to any email you receive from mailchimp and send photos that way. Replies go back to me.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - October 9, 2019 - 10:42 AM

    What a fantastic post! I appreciate good-looking ‘natural’ brick but also love it painted (especially to disguise the ugly brown shades there were so popular in the 70s and 80s 😬)

    The limewash treatment is my favorite, thank you for sharing that product!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 12:10 PM

      I always learn a lot with these posts too. I’m an INTERIOR designer, so am not often involved with the outside. I just know what I like. :]ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - October 9, 2019 - 10:19 AM

    Fabulous post and it seems to be just what I’ve been waiting for. I have no excuses now for delaying painting my brick fireplace. What a great discovery. Thank you Laurel!ReplyCancel

  • nancy keyes - October 9, 2019 - 10:02 AM

    Hi Laurel,
    You know we always get a kick out of seeing our beloved house on your post! This post has some truly beautiful homes and great explanations of all of the different ways to use the finishes.
    Thank you once again!!! XOXOXReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 12:08 PM

      Hi Nancy,

      I will always be grateful you sent me those. Your house before and after is one of the top pins and probably the top painted brick exterior pin. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Amanda - October 9, 2019 - 9:52 AM

    Wow, these all look great! I used to be quite anti-painted brick, but I think I’m converted. I’m still a little afraid to go for it inside my house (red brick fireplace) but these exterior images are lovely. I didn’t know there were so many exterior finish options.ReplyCancel

  • Lindsay - October 9, 2019 - 9:47 AM

    Thank you for this post! We are remodeling our 1990 traditional home. It was a foreclosure, so it needs a TON of work, and I have 3 kids, so very little time. Anyway, I am very interested in painting the terribly ugly orangy brick exterior. It is orange with a slight green tinge. Simply terrible. I love the limewash technique and have never heard of such a thing. Interesting that you could DIY and get materials on Amazon. Thanks for enlightening me!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 11:54 AM

      Hi Lindsay,

      It is probably still best to find a pro to do it. I don’t know. I’ve never attempted to do anything like that. It’s probably pretty messy. If there’s an obscure spot, I suppose you could try it, first.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Tyson - October 9, 2019 - 9:17 AM

    The link to the Benjamin Moore color viewer goes to your Laurel Rolodex…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 11:50 AM

      Forgive me. That’s my auto-linker. Unless I turn it off which I do sometimes, every time I say “Benjamin Moore” it links to my sales page for all of my products.

      A girl has to earn a living. :]

      But, the first link will take you to last Sunday’s post and there you will find the link to the Benjamin Moore product. Sorry for the confusion.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - October 9, 2019 - 8:44 AM

    You wonderful woman! I would never want you tethered to your laptop! I want you to know I love you, your skills, your humor, YES! and everything you do. Yours is the only email in my inbox that makes me thrilled. Thank you for all you do. xoxoReplyCancel

  • Ivis - October 9, 2019 - 8:42 AM

    Dear Laurel–so happy to hear that you are taking care of yourself and don’t feel the need (which was very thoughtful of you) to respond to every comment–GO you! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts for so long and thank you for them. Young House Love! I haven’t read their blog for YEARS. Clearly they are a success if that is their new house–I must go back, thanks for the link. Your posts are one of the highlights of my week!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 11:34 AM

      Thanks so much Ivis. Yes, I’m sure that they’re doing quite well. But, they’ll soon need to change their name to “middle-aged house love?” I dunno. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?ReplyCancel

  • Margaret Vant Erve - October 9, 2019 - 8:41 AM

    Love this post Laurel. Great examples and so informative. I have always been so impressed that you respond to all your readers who write in. I have certainly never expected responses but it has always been delightful to receive them. That engagement and your wonderful sense of humour has really set you apart from any of the other bloggers. Each blog is so enjoyable and informative.

    I have a request for a theme – home offices – creating inviting, yet functional work spaces that are unoffice looking. Many home offices are small too, so examples of smaller working spaces would be awesome.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - October 9, 2019 - 11:32 AM

      Hi Margaret,

      Although this post about home offices doesn’t go into the details of how to create and inviting yet functional work space, if you missed it, I think you’ll most likely enjoy it quite a bit. It’s one of my favorites, for sure. In fact, I originally wrote it in 2015 and revised it two years later.ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - October 9, 2019 - 7:45 AM

    I just headed over to Young House Love, and apparently the reason they painted the front porch steps the same white as the rest of the house, was to unify it for the time being. They plan tile it with Bluestone or something.ReplyCancel

  • Lorri - October 9, 2019 - 6:58 AM

    I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE painted brick houses! This is the best explanation I’ve ever seen on what methods to use.

    Seems like tons of people think it’s a mortal sin to paint brick. They evidently have no idea how historical it is.

    I’m currently reading an online forum where a homeowner is getting push back from everyone because they want to paint their red brick fireplace. My sister painted her brick fireplace last year and regrets not doing it sooner. It was a boring tan brick and now it looks so fresh.

    BTW, I didn’t know that Young House Love had painted their house! I can’t believe how much more expensive it looks now. It’s gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • GL - October 9, 2019 - 5:36 AM

    I cannot agree with your remark about early brick being meant to be painted, Laurel. The Tudor brick of Sissinghurst Castle has never been covered in any way, and it is still standing, contrary to the timber buildings which formed the other elements of the courtyards.
    In America, the main construction material for early settlements (in the east, that is) was wood. But early brick buildings, found especially in Virginia, used decorative bond, clearly not intended to be painted: think of Bacon’s Castle (c.1655), which mimics Tudor mansions in England. And later C18 brick constructions offer similar parallels to English architecture.
    Conclusion? If you’ve got beautiful hand-made brick, in a beautiful colour, don’t paint it. It’s the more modern, hideously coloured brick (think yellow London brick) which needs paint or stucco.ReplyCancel

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