Although beauty lies in the eye of te beholder, there are still features that can be considered timeless.
This time, we are going to have a butcher’s at an interior brick wall. This bold element certainly draws a lot of glances and attention and makes everyone have at least a single thought on it, whether it is a judgment or a quick, curious look.
Regardless of one’s taste, a brick with the right design approach can add a unique, catchy and quirky touch to any room, thanks to its natural imperfections. Moreover, the organic character of the feature cannot be found in plain drywall, thus, a brick wall can suit both modern, traditional, eclectic and contemporary interiors.
Nevertheless, one must never forget to get familiar with the basic activities that embrace a brick wall’s presence in one’s home, i.e. preserving, styling and finishing. Otherwise, one will suffer a disappointing failure and will never get back to the idea of incorporating a brick wall into his or her design.
How to preserve brick
If you’re blessed by the courtesy of having a naturally exposed brick wall, all you have to do is to show it off. However, you have to be aware that this material requires decent protection, so in order to make your wall dazzling to your eyes, you will have to protect and seal the surface to reduce the risk of damage to the wall over time.
If your brick wall has a matte sealant, it may be prone to gather dust and dirt, therefore making it less persistent, so the investment in a slight gloss finish will sound like the right choice to make; it will help you keep the space feeling bright and fresh.
How to clean brick
Before you seal your wall, determine if it requires a little cleaning. If it does, I would suggest that you use a mixture of vinegar and water, as nothing cleans natural design elements as nature itself. All you have to do is spray the solution onto troublesome spots and rub it with a towel. Use a coarse bristle brush only if necessary; it is best to start gently on a less significant area of the brick to make sure it won’t crumble.
How to moisture and grout brick
If you own a bathroom with a built-in brick wall, it’s essential that you secure it from the mold and other disturbing issues.
For grouts that are worn away and stay in bad condition, it’s advisable to regrout the brick to attain more solid surfaces. To succeed in this task, you will need to rout the existing grout to at least a 0,75-inch depth before you refill it with new mortar. With that said, you will do it only once and, after that, you will have to carefully look after it.
What to know before painting the brick
Painting a brick wall is a long-term investment, hence, it requires some essential measures to be taken. Before painting your brick, consider these questions:
- What is the quality of my brick? Is it chipping, deteriorating, or in molding condition? If the answer is yes, the brick is a poor candidate for paint. Since the majority of bricks was never meant to be painted – because paint blocks the natural pores in the brick’s surface, which can cause existing conditions to deteriorate over time – you have to look for a brick of the highest quality possible. In addition, keep in mind that removing the paint is a demanding process and, sometimes, you won’t be able to completely erase the paint, so think over the subject carefully.
- What are the potential risks? A brick wall is not something you install in the home yourself, so each concern you have about the construct should be consulted with the original owners or the builder, for the brick may not be appropriate for painting. After that, moisture is something that has to be considered at first. Actually, it is visible right off the bat, as the water enters brick through its pores, incomplete sills, copings, mortar joints and other flaws. With that said, make sure the brick is bone-dry before you paint it.
- How to understand brick? You should educate yourself on the natural chemical features of bricks as they may affect your paint’s durability too. Albeit most bricks are neutral, mortar has a basic alkalinity, so, according to professional recommendations, an alkaline-resistant primer will come in handy.
- How to prepare the brick for painting? You must clean brickwork and allow it to dry for at least a day before you paint it. Beware of acid cleaning solutions – use simple water and soap, as they are neutral. Acid solutions, on the other hand, may lead to paint chipping. Also, any cracks and reappointments should be done if needed. Wash off dirt, eliminate mold with a weed killer and deal with efflorescence (that annoying white residue on older brick walls).
- What is the best paint for brick? As you gather now, brick is not naturally meant to be painted, so it’s best to use specific masonry paint products for brick painting. Your toolkit will also include a conditioner, primer, and a breathable latex exterior or interior paint. To leave no stone unturned, you ought to look for brick stain. Although the staining is usually more expensive than painting, it will penetrate the pores of the brick, in opposition to paint, which just covers the surface.
Although naturally beautiful, a simple red brick wall may be not enough for some homeowners, so there are lots of accessible finishes on the market, and they’re just waiting for you to make up your mind. I have prepared some of the most popular finishes people complete their brick walls with:
- White: A red brick wall may feel too heavy and dirty, especially in a kitchen or bathroom, so many homeowners decide on putting a few coats of white on it. Not only does this tint preserve the texture of a brick wall, but it also brightens the space, giving it a clean and modern impression and making space feel less busy. Apart from kitchens and bathrooms, a white brick wall is an excellent solution to the bedroom wall treatment, as it gives the room more dreamy appeal.
- Whitewashed: It’s an exceptional alternative to plain white if you want to create more rustic, farmhouse feeling in your interior. To achieve that look, you must mix a small amount of water with your paint. Generally, add 1 part of water to 3 parts of paint at the beginning. Loosely stroke the mixture across the wall with a large brush; after that, let it absorb and reapply next layers in uneven patches to attain an aged, worn-off finish. As drips are inevitable throughout the process, cover your floor with a drop cloth. The final effect depends on how much water you use and how quality you apply the solution; you will end up with either a patchy, broken-in effect or a more balanced, cloudy look. For better softness use more water in even coats, while drier paint will let more brick remain bare.
- Gray: This color is beautiful for painted brick, as it is warm and soft. It’s contemporary yet earthy and natural quality helps the owner achieve exceptionally clean appeal, and it makes a compromise between natural and white brick.
- Stained: If you’re not that lucky to have a darker brick palette and would like to change it, you can stain your brick in the same way you stain wood without losing the texture and alteration. It is crucial to use a small brush in key areas and play gently with your handiwork. An occasional uncoated brick will create the vintage look, giving the illusion of several bricks having been changed over time.
Paint absorbance – how to deal with it?
Painting a brick may sound like an easy task but stripping paint from brick after some time will make the process more challenging because of the ability of brick to absorb paint into its core.
You can make the struggle easier by taking the advantage of using masonry paint stripper; on the other hand, such tool emits strong fumes and takes a lot of time and effort to work well. Having considered this, it’s best to leave any vibrant, trendy colors aside and turn to other decorating options, which are as follows:
- Mirrors: If the brick wall is in a larger area, place your bet on a large floor-length mirror that will reflect the opposite wall, which will make the illusion of two separate surfaces more tied together. On the other hand, if you own a smaller place, with less brick exposed, a small mirror will help brick repeat visually, so it makes it more present and sprinkled throughout the room’s interior.
- Art: If you are going to implement some art in your design, a brick wall will make a hilarious background for a gallery wall. However, there is a little hitch when it comes to hanging the art; you will have to drill into the mortar (not with the brick itself) to a depth of no less than 1 inch with a dedicated masonry-use drill bit. Moreover, you’ll need to ensure that the screw anchors to bolster the connection. Once you’re finished, you will be able to hang the wall art accordingly with the vision of your gallery.
- Open shelving: If you want to create additional funky storage space, consider layering open shelves over brick. This trick is especially popular for kitchens, where extra storage space is always welcome and – if we can add it with style – seems a dead giveaway in this case. To complement the industrial vibe, you should put sturdy dishes and materials in earthy tones to give it a transitional look.
- Punk: This idea will appeal to the adolescent part of the audience. To add a strong, rebellious accent, you should look for a graffiti-inspired look, especially when you’re planning to decorate you child’s bedroom or you want your basement to be more than just a sunken space below the floors of your house.
- Colors: Should your brick be already colorful, it’s best to pair it with other neutral elements of your interior. Mix light and dark tones to pick up the subtle differences in the brick without trying to supersede it from the foreground. On the contrary, if you want to sneak more color and pizzazz in the placed occupied by a brick wall, you may consider a traditional Persian rug.The same crimson brick tones will be mixed and matched with harmonizing colors like rich blues and hot oranges.
- Faux brick: If you are jelly of your friends’ exposed brick walls, you may afford one without actually having natural brick walls in your home or loft. Create an authentic brick effect with a half-brick design that you will layer over a fireplace column or existing wall to confer true depth and texture without doing the major remodeling.
Armed and prepared
Now you can tell that you are familiar with all the essentials worth acquiring while designing a brick wall in your home layout. Brick is beautiful, yet this beauty can be either pumped up or totally lost with the wrong wall-treatment. Fortunately, such thing is no longer a concern to you. With the basic knowledge of the nature of brick, the right approach to its painting and maintenance, you will be able to achieve a glamorous design accent that will not only make a statement but will also add sturdiness and industrial vibe to your home.
Fortunately, such thing is no longer a concern to you. With the basic knowledge of the nature of brick, the right approach to its painting and maintenance, you will be able to achieve a glamorous design accent that will not only add character to the interior but will also add sturdiness and industrial vibe to your home.