How to Seal Bricks With Wax & Turpentine

Written by brenda priddy
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How to Seal Bricks With Wax & Turpentine
Sealing a brick floor is important for the protection of the bricks. (brick pattern image by Kirubeshwaran from Fotolia.com)

Bricks are some of the most porous types of masonry, with a similar amount of moisture absorption to that of concrete. Bricks are often used as flooring both outdoors and indoors. To protect bricks from cracking and becoming damaged due to materials absorbing into the bricks, a wax sealer is often applied over the bricks to seal the pores. If a previous seal is already present on the bricks, you can use turpentine or white spirit to dissolve the original seal so that you can apply the new wax sealant over the bricks.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Dust mop
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket
  • Ammonia
  • Floor cleaner
  • Old towels
  • Respirator mask
  • Turpentine
  • Scrub brush
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Self-sealing, solvent-based wax
  • New sponge mop

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sweep the bricks with a dust mop to remove all dirt and dust from the floor. Dispose of the waste. Mop the floor with a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, ¼ cup floor cleaner and 8 cups of water. Dry the floor with old towels.

  2. 2

    Pour turpentine over the bricks and work into the surface of the bricks with a soft bristle brush. The turpentine will dissolve any previous finishes or waxes on the floor, preparing the floor to receive the new wax finish. If necessary, use a putty knife to scrape away the old finish. Rinse the floor with clear water, and dry with old towels. Allow the floor to dry for 24 hours before applying the finish.

  3. 3

    Pour a small amount of the wax seal onto the bricks. Work the seal into the surface of the bricks with a clean, dry sponge mop. Start in the corner of the room and work toward an exit. Allow the wax to dry for 12 hours.

  4. 4

    Apply a second coat of wax over the first coat in the same manner. Allow this coat to dry for 24 hours before placing furniture onto the bricks or walking on the surface of the bricks. A solvent-based wax finish will last for several years, protecting the bricks from moisture and other materials that might soak into the pores of the bricks.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear a respirator mask when working with turpentine to protect your lungs from harsh chemicals.

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