How to Color Wash Brick

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Color bricks white or rainbow hues with whitewash.
Color bricks white or rainbow hues with whitewash. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Giving brick walls and fireplaces a dose of color is typically achieved with paint, a variety of which is produced especially for masonry. However, these specialty paints have a tendency to peel or rub away and require frequent touch-ups. For maximum effect with minimum maintenance, whitewash and a mixture of lime and salt can be used to paint bricks, resulting in a finish that can last decades. Adding powdered pigments allows you to color the whitewash to just about any shade.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Bucket, large (25 to 50 gallons)
  • Hydrated powdered lime, 12 lbs.
  • Table salt, 2 lbs.
  • Powdered pigment in desired color
  • Water
  • Wooden dowel
  • Large paint brush

Spread newspaper below the surfaces to be painted to collect drips. Use painter's tape to cover areas you do not want painted.

Pour the lime, salt and pigment into the bucket. Add water, stirring constantly with the wooden dowel, until wash has the consistency of a milkshake.

Apply the mixture to the bricks using a large paint brush. The thickness of the wash will affect its opacity and color deepness; the thicker the coat, the more opaque and bright the color.

Allow to dry overnight. Dispose of used newspaper and painter's tape.

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