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How to Color Wash Brick

Updated March 23, 2017

Giving brick walls and fireplaces a dose of colour is typically achieved with paint, a variety of which is produced especially for masonry. However, these speciality 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 colour the whitewash to just about any shade.

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

  2. 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.

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

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

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Bucket, large (25 to 50 gallons)
  • Hydrated powdered lime, 5.44kg.
  • Table salt, 0.907kg.
  • Powdered pigment in desired colour
  • Water
  • Wooden dowel
  • Large paint brush

About the Author

A writer and professional lab assistant based in Seattle, Kate Bruscke has been writing professionally about health care and technology since 1998. Her freelance clients include "The Seattle Times," KGB.com, Reading Local: Seattle, Nordstrom and MSN/Microsoft. Bruscke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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