Interior brick is more maintenance friendly if it has been sealed. Your brick will also have a fresh new look when it has been sealed. Over time unsealed brick will become dull and it is harder to keep clean because it is a porous material. You can complete this job yourself with basic paint tools and materials to protect adjacent floors, walls, or trim depending on where the brick is located.
Prepare the brickwork
Thoroughly clean your brick with a mild soapy solution and rinse it. Use a scrubbing brush to clean grout lines. If the grout is excessively soiled consider purchasing a grout cleaner. This step applies to walls, floors and fireplaces. Allow it to completely dry.
Prepare the surrounding areas before you apply your sealer. Tape floor edges that are adjacent to the floor you will be sealing. Place a 15 cm (6 inch) strip of plastic underneath the back edge of the tape to further protect your floors.
Use old rags or dust sheets to lay on top of the plastic to absorb splatters. This will keep the sealer from pooling on the plastic.
Buy your sealer from a DIY or home improvement centre. These sealers will last longer and provide you with sheen options. Your sheen is the amount of shine that you want on your brick.
Apply the sealant
Begin applying brick sealer at the wall furthest from the entrance to the room and work your way out. Use your 5 cm (2 inch) brush to apply the sealer next to your skirting board and underneath cabinets.
Use the larger brush to apply the sealer to the larger floor areas. Allow your floor to dry overnight or for the minimum amount of time required by the product you choose. Once your floor has completely dried apply a second coat.
Use a stain or sealer mop if you have difficulty working on your knees. These mops can be bought at local DIY shops.
Pour sealer in a paint tray and dip the mop into the sealer. Raise the mop and allow it to stop dripping before moving it away from the tray. Place the mop head on the floor and push it away from you, raise the mop off of the floor, and start again. You will repeat this pattern across the entire floor.
Pure acrylic sealers will last longer, are safer to use and more resistant to water or moisture.
If you use an oil-based product make sure that you have adequate ventilation. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can cause serious upper respiratory problems.
Thoroughly clean all paint tools after each use. They will harden overnight.
Tips and warnings
- Pure acrylic sealers will last longer, are safer to use and more resistant to water or moisture.
- If you use an oil-based product make sure that you have adequate ventilation. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can cause serious upper respiratory problems.
- Thoroughly clean all paint tools after each use. They will harden overnight.