How to Decorate a Brick Wall

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Many people choose brick for its endurance and value. However, due to the age or color of your brick--or just as a personal preference--you may desire to change it. Despite its permanency, there are quite a few ways you can decorate a brick wall.

  • Paint your brick wall for an inexpensive way to get a whole new look. This is a great option if the brick is old, you don't like the color or want a brighter look. You need to prepare the wall to be painted properly and use a primer. Latex and Portland cement-based paints are a good choice, however, oil-based, alkyd, rubber and epoxy paints do not allow any vapor in the wall to escape and should not be applied to brick.

  • Hang pictures or shelves for an easy way to decorate. In order to hang pictures or shelves on your brick wall you need to use concrete screws, lead anchors or concrete and brick picture hangers. These are a good option for pictures or shelves up to 30 lbs.

  • Put up a mantel if you have a fireplace with a brick wall. This creates a focal point and can actually bring a warm and romantic feel to the room. You can further decorate the mantel with candles, pictures or a bright vase that accentuates the colors in your room.

  • Plant ivy to get the look of an old, English garden if your brick wall is outside. Ivy is an excellent vertical climber and can cover an area in a few years. If you have new brick or the structure is in good condition, growing ivy should cause no problems, however, if the brick is old or you have crumbling mortar use with caution. The ivy could cause further damage.

  • Tile your brick wall for an entire makeover. Before applying the tile, go over the brick wall with a wire brush to dislodge any loose mortar, and then scrub off the residue with a rag soaked in white vinegar. As long as the brick hasn't been painted, you can use a fortified, thin-set mortar to apply the tile. Use a trowel to apply it to the brick and remember to "butter" the backs of the slate tiles.

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