How to lighten the colour of indoor brick

Updated March 23, 2017

Interior brick has been used for many years to decorate homes. Usually the colour is red or brown and is found on walls, in kitchens and around fireplaces. In recent years, the trend has changed to lighter coloured stone, making darker interior brick quite outdated. In order to avoid the expense of removing and replacing interior brick, try lightening it. It will not be so noticeable and will blend into the rest of the decor.

It is important to first clean the brick. Since brick is porous, it can absorb a lot of dirt. Vacuum brick to remove any dust and dirt. Lightly wash brick with soap and water. Do not use too much soap. Make sure to clean the mortar in between the brick. Let the wall dry.

Pour paint into a roller tray. The paint colour will depend on the colour of brick. If it is red brick, use white paint. If it is brown brick, use a light beige paint.

Add water, a little at a time, to the paint. Stir and check the consistency. Keep adding water until the paint is thin.

Soak the rag in plain water and wring out. Now dip the rag into the thin paint and lightly wring out.

Wash each individual brick lightly with the rag. The brick will absorb some of the liquid paint and the colour will lighten. Do a small area at a time until the desired colour is achieved. Go back and dip the rag into the thin paint again and do another small area until all of the brick has been lightened. Let the paint dry.


After the brick is dry, you can go back and do touch ups or lighten the brick more by repeating the same steps. Make sure to cover anything around the area of the brick since the paint is thin and can easily drip or splatter. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Paint
  • Paint tray
  • Heavy duty cloth (size of a wash rag)
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves
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About the Author

Based in Florida, Rosemary Rugnetta has been a freelance writer since 2007 specializing in home and garden topics and real estate/mortgage. She is a former property manager and mortgage underwriter who writes for eHow and Answerbag as well as private clients. She has completed continuing education courses in writing, construction management and design.