Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

I’m no sure if it’s more appropriate to call this project “whitewashing” or “faux painting”, because it certainly involved a bit of each.

In my research, all the “whitewashing brick” tutorials featured porous, red brick – not my flat-slabbed industrial, gray brick we found on the backside of our fireplace.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

So I turned to my long-standing sound credo, let’s just wing it.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

1. White Base

I started with a VERY watered-down paint – about 5-8 parts water to one part white latex paint. Stir thoroughly.

I used a fat brush to apply, and old rags to wipe around the excess – I found wiping was better than dabbing, which left a weird texture.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

Most tutorials I read used a 2:1 water to paint ratio. But, since our brick was not very porous I was worried about it just looked straight-up painted. (Not the look we were going for.) You can always add more paint people!

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

2. Depth and Variation

Because our brick wall was straight gray, I wanted to add some variation. I made a few different colors of gray paint, using a bit of black paint. I painted specific bricks a different color gray – emphasizing darkness in certain corners of the brick to create shading.

I also used some bright white paint to highlight corners of some bricks to help with this.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

3. The Grout

You will need to decide what color you would like your grout to end up being. We liked the look of a whiter-grout, so I took a small paintbrush and used the same step 1 treatment on all of the grout.

Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

4. Final Layer

To bring together all of the different gray and white bricks, I added a little bit more white paint to my original watered down mixture. I went over the entire wall three times, wiping down each layer.

Tips:

1. This was SUPER drippy. I had no interest in protecting our floor, since we are building right over it – but you should probably protect yours.

2. You can’t go wrong. When in doubt, dab, wipe, repeat.

3. Your arm should be moving CONSTANTLY. Otherwise your wall will just look drippy when the paint collects.

4. Layers. Layers. Layers. I probably did each step 3-4 times before moving on to the next step.

5. Back AWAY from the wall. Every few minutes, walk 10-15 feet away from the wall and see how it looks to ensure consistency.

6. Daylight. I paint at night all the time, but this project is definitely one you need daylight for. Harsh work lights will cast an uneven glare.

Now that we’ve started painting the room, I might do another layer to tint it. If I do I will sure let you know. : )

10 thoughts on “Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall

  1. joann

    Looks great ! I love whitewashed brick fireplaces too. I did mine last year, but also mixed white grout in with the paint to make it thicker. Whitewashed brick really brightens up a room ! Great job

    Reply
    1. designlively Post author

      thanks so much! adding the grout is a great idea to making it thicker. Fortunately we didn’t need to worry about protecting our floors, because mine was quick drippy. If I ever whitewash again I’ll have to remember that!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Your Favorite DesignLively Posts of 2013 | DesignLively

  3. Mandy

    so glad to see someone doing this treatment with color! I love the idea of whitewashing brick but I really don’t want the chalky look of white, especially since our walls are going to have a deeper color. It’s nice to see one way to do it with a multi-colored paint scheme.

    Reply

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