Inside: Learn how easy it is to whitewash faux or real brick to add aged, rustic or farmhouse charm.
Sometimes after I finish a project there is something just not right about it. It looks too bright, too colored…too perfect. So I grab two simple items that I have in my home and create the missing ingredient.
White paint and water…mix these together and you create an easy, little magical technique called whitewashing.
What is Whitewash?
If you look up “whitewash” on Google you get a gamut of answers from covering up the evidence of a crime to lightening your skin and structural surfaces.
Since there is no skin or crime involved here, what I am referring to is a mixture of paint and water that creates a semi-transparent film on a surface. When you apply it on wood, or brick you tone down the color giving it a more aged, rustic or farmhouse look. The white makes brown appear grayer and softens the look of all colors and stains.
Whitewashing is versatile. I have whitewashed several projects including my dining table to get a Restoration Hardware look for less and this faux brick stenciled wall.
To show you how to do the whitewash technique I will demonstrate it on the faux brick paneling we installed for our home gym makeover. If you have faux or real brick the technique is similar.
Here is how the brick paneling looked before whitewashing.
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TOOLS TO WHITEWASH BRICK
- Paintbrush – I used a chip paintbrush
SUPPLIES TO WHITEWASH BRICK
- White latex paint
- Rag or old t-shirt
STEPS TO WHITEWASH BRICK
Make sure your brick is clean and free from dust.
Step 1) Mix a 1:1 mixture of white paint and water. I used white chalk paint we had on hand. If you have the option test your whitewash technique on a scrap piece of brick paneling or a brick. Apply the paint water mixture in a small section so it’s easy to work with. Since the water thins the paint watch for drips. Allow it to sit for a few seconds. Then use a wet rag and either blot or wipe the painted brick.
Stand back and take a look. Repeat until you achieve your desired results. I was going for a subtle whitewash so I applied a light coverage. If you are doing this on real brick you may have to apply the whitewash several times as the brick really soaks up the paint. Blotting will probably work better than wiping on real brick.
Here it’s more than halfway done.
Here is how our home gym remodel turned out after everything was completed.
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