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DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

A few weeks ago I posted my Tips on a DIY Whitewashed Brick Wall.

Since then we’ve made more progress in the room-formerly-known-as-the-sunroom. I think we’re going with “family room”. The trim and walls are all painted.

Crown molding is in progress as we speak I type. I’ve learned today how much I dislike putting up molding. Mostly because the sound of the airgun scares me and you have to hold your arms above your head for long periods of time. But on the plus side, I think I’ve finally convinced Moose to write up some of his wisdom for the blog – so hopefully you’ll get to finally meet him soon.

Back to the brick wall – After I painted the room (Shoreline Haze by Valspar, like the living room), the gray-ness of the brick wall was too cool colored compared to the warmer putty colored walls. That brought me to stage II of the brick wall project: tinting.

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

I took some of the wall paint and watered it down slightly (about 3:1 paint to water ratio – enough that the roller left bubbles but there weren’t drips). I rolled it directly on the brick wall.

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

Then I went to town with some old rags. I rubbed and splotched my way across the brick until it resembled a color and texture I was happy with. Then I repeated until the wall was done.

Do NOT paint the whole wall and then rag it. I worked in 2’x2′ squares to prevent the paint from drying before I rubbed it in.

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

We also had some cracks in our brick wall. After the paint dried, we filled them in with DAP DryDex Spackle- this is obviously only an aesthetic solution. This would not work for structural or outdoor use.

We like to use the pink kind so we know when it’s dry. After the spackle dried it was just a matter of sanding it down.

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

Then I dipped a paper towel (too lazy to dirty another brush and rag) in my watered-down-wall-paint solution and rubbed around the spackled areas.

(In hind sight I would have spackled from the beginning, but we thought it wouldn’t be that noticeable… we changed our minds.)

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

While the brick is still distinctly a distressed whitewash color, the wall blends more with the wall.

See the transition of the color here:

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

I can’t wait until we get the crown molding and baseboard around the brick! I think it will really look sharp next to the crisp white trim and a nice piece of art hanging on it!

DIY Tutorial: Tinting a Whitewashed Brick Wall

Soon enough we’ll be able to rip up the floor coverings and I can show you my new floors – no more cracking linoleum here!

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. : )

Just call me Tom Sawyer.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

In case you’re wondering, we’ve made zero progress on our sunroom since we gutted it.

But that will all be changing very soon.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

As a part of the project, we have one DIY project we are going to attempt.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

Perhaps you are  seeing a theme in all these inspiration photos I am posting today?

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLivelyvia

When we gutted the room, the back of the fireplace was exposed.

We’re going to try whitewashing it and see how it looks.

Whitewashed Brick - DesignLively

If we fail, we will just drywall over it!

I love DIY projects with little-to-no negative consequences.

My only concern is that I have only seen how-to-projects on people whitewashing over red brick, but gray like ours.

Have you ever whitewashed brick? Gray brick?