How to Whitewash Brick

One of the first projects I did when we moved into our new home was whitewash my brick fireplace. I love the natural look of brick, but for my decor style, the natural red was too bright. Whitewashing my fireplace was one of the cheapest and easiest projects I started out with and made a huge difference in my living room.

Before:

After:

How to Whitewash Brick

White washing is a quick and easy way to update a space…there really isn’t a way to mess it up!

What you’ll need:

1. Rags. You can either buy rags or use any old one lying around. Just make sure that your rag has a little bit of texture like these. I also would recommend not using microfiber cleaning rags.

2. Paint. Don’t use expensive paint. We’re going to be watering the paint down so it won’t matter either way. Also, unless you’re whitewashing a huge amount of brick you’ll only need a small amount of paint. I would recommend starting with a half pint or any paint you have lying around the house.

3. Two Large Bowls

4. Water

5. Wire Brush. If you’re whitewashing a fireplace, make sure to have a wire brush on hand to clean any black soot that may be covering the bricks.

6. Sandpaper. I used a 60 grit, but anything up to around 120 will work just fine.

What you’ll do:

1. Wipe down the brick with a wet cloth and scrub with wire brush if necessary. This doesn’t have to be extremely thorough, just clean any soot, dirt, and debris from the bricks as best you can.

2. Mix some water with your paint. Take one of your bowls and mix some paint and water together. Start with 2:1 ratio of water to paint and add more paint as needed until you find your desired thickness. I ended up using a 1:1 ratio on my fireplace but I wanted it fairly light.

3. Dip the tip of your rag in the water/paint mix. Start with a small amount of paint. This will make it easier to work into the groves and lighten up as needed.

4. Apply the paint to the brick. Work the paint into the nooks and crannies of the brick and grout, adding more water to the applied paint if there are any areas you think need to be lightened. I recommend keeping a bowl of water next to you so you can lighten as you go before the paint dries.

5. Rough it up. Once you’ve painted the brick and the paint dries, grab some sand paper and rough the paint up. You can rough it up how ever much or however little you like!

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