How to Whitewash Red Brick


Whitewashing is an inexpensive way to paint red brick. Whitewash is a thin, paint-like plaster coating that will last longer than a traditional paint job -- sometimes as long as 30 years -- with no extra maintenance. This is due to the chemical reaction between the lime and the water in the whitewash, which causes crystals to form and adhere to the whitewashed surface. Whitewash red brick the same way you would apply a coat of regular paint. If you do not want the whitewash to be bright white, add pigments to give it a light color.

Things You'll Need

  • Large tub or bucket
  • Hydrated lime
  • Water
  • Medium-bristled scrubbing brush
  • Paint brush
  • Roller
  • Mix your whitewash in a large tub or bucket. Pour 6 to 7 pounds of hydrated lime into the tub or bucket. Add about 2 gallons of water. Let it soak for 12 hours so it forms a creamy paste.

  • Clean the brick with water and a medium-bristled scrubbing brush. Rinse the loosened dirt off of the brick.

  • Apply the whitewash mixture to the damp brick using either a paint brush or a roller. At first the whitewash may look like it is going on unevenly. However, once it dries, the brick will look more covered.

  • Vary the appearance of your brick by applying the whitewash thicker in some areas than others. A thin layer of whitewash will allow the red bricks to show through slightly. Allow approximately two to three days for the whitewash to fully dry.

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