How to White Wash Brick {Bathroom Update}

August 22, 2012 AT 4:28 pm 112 Comments

 

how to white wash brick

For anyone who is new to my blog, my family lives in a 1400 sq ft ranch that we are updating and adding on to.

The addition to the house includes a master bedroom and bath downstairs and two bedrooms and a bath upstairs.

how to white wash brick

When we added our master bedroom and bath to the side of the house, I knew I wanted to leave the brick wall exposed instead of covering it up.

how to white wash brick

 

The only problem was the brick was not pretty.  If you can see where the lamp is shining on the brick, it is very orange-y.

how to white wash brick

It looks a little darker in the picture below, but it definitely had an orange hue to it.  Try as I might, I didn’t think I could decorate around orange brick.

how to white wash brick

So at about 11:30 pm the other night, I got a hankering to white wash the brick.

I posted about my idea on my Beneath My Heart facebook page, and I got a bunch of “Yeah!  Do it!”

So full of courage, I mixed my wall color paint (SW Natural Choice) half and half with water.

I actually used my glass measuring cup, added two cups of water and two cups of paint, then mixed them together.

It gives you a milky consistency.

(Some people white wash with a lime and salt mixture, but not I.)

Then I just painted the brick with the mixture.  Be sure to put down a drop cloth because it can get really messy!

It goes on white, but as the white wash dries, the brick color begins to show through.

Here is what the brick looked like with the first coat of white wash on it.

 

how to white wash brick

It looked really good, and I was excited about the process.  I shared the pic on my facebook page again, and everyone gave me big thumbs up!

 

how to white wash brick

But the brick color still showed through a little too much for me.  I needed the brick to be a little whiter.

The paint mixture had thickened up a little by the time I got to the bottom of the measuring cup, so I added a little more water.  I had to do this several times.  I would add a little more paint, then water it down.  There is no perfect formula.  You just want to water down your paint color

NOW HERE IS WHERE I FREAKED OUT!

 

It was about midnight, and Cy was tiling the shower next to me.  I add the second coat of white wash on and the brick turned completely white.

It wasn’t pretty.  I said to Cy, “Oh no!  I’ve ruined it!  The brick is going to be completely white!”

But there was nothing I could do at that point, so I had to finish.

Luckily, as I continued to paint up the wall, the brick below me began to dry and the brick color began to show through.  WHEW!  It just takes a minute for the brick to soak up the paint to give it that white washed look.

how to white wash brick

I was so relieved!  And I was very satisfied with how it turned out.  You can still see the detail of the brick, but it got rid of the orange color.  And it gives me a more neutral palette to decorate around.

 

how to white wash brick

We have not finished the trim work around the doorway or the ceiling.

Cy will finish that this week.

how to white wash brick

I definitely love it!  And now I cannot wait to white wash my orange brick fireplace!

I plan on doing that in the next couple of weeks.  Can’t wait to share it with you!

how to white wash brick

Here is a little white washed brick “eye candy”

for you!

white washed brick

source

white washed brick

source

White washed brick.

source

So what do you think? 

Do you like the brick natural or white washed? 

(You won’t hurt my feelings.)  Smile

Have you ever white washed brick before?

 

 

how to white wash brick

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Comments

  1. Girl, I know I’ve told you I love whitewashed brick. Did I send you a photo of the house down the street from me (a ranch that was added onto) that has whitewashed brick? It’s one of my very favorite houses. And exposed brick INSIDE?? Be still, my heart.

    I’m so happy for you! You’re doing a great job!
    Richella at Imparting Grace recently posted..Updated master bathroom

  2. Oh my gosh, it looks FABULOUS! I can’t wait to see it in person. Oh, and I’ll be somebody ten bucks you can’t wait two weeks to do that fireplace. Haha! :) Great job!

  3. BET. That was supposed to be “bet.” LOL!

  4. I love the way it turned out. Wish I had some brick to paint!

    Love watching the transformation of your home.

    Well, and I love you too : )

    Blessings to you friend
    Denise In Bloom recently posted..Do You Ever Come Unglued? :: A guest post & giveaway from Lysa TerKeurst

  5. I love it Traci!! It looks fantastic!!
    Tonya @ Love of Family & Home recently posted..Life Insurance Movement….#LifeAware

  6. Oh, I love the brick now that it’s whitewashed! Great idea! Now I want to brick up a wall so I can paint it. :)

  7. I was one of the non-believer when you asked on FB. You made me love the white wash. I shouldn’t have never question your idea. What ever you do turns out beautiful. What did you use to put the white wash on with? (brush or rag) Thanks for sharing!

  8. I love it!! I have a fireplace in my living room that I would LOVE to do this to, but I live in a parsonage and I’m not sure how the church members would like it if I messed it up! haha Yours really looks great!
    Jessica recently posted..In-Between Mantle

  9. I love it! I saw a makeover on pinterest last night that I bookmarked of the same type of re-do. We are moving next month & that’s on my list of what to do when we get into the house, which has a very dark brick, soot-stained, not-in-my-color-palette fireplace. Thanks for the nudge!

  10. I love it white washed. Looks amazing especially with your wood beams and floors. Can’t wait to see it all finished!
    Brook @ BeingBrook recently posted..Princess Mirror with DecoArt Glass Paint

  11. Very chic! Definitely like the look. I recently pained some tan brick a solid white and I love it. Was nervous to try the wash but maybe I’ll be bold next time!
    Jessica @ Decor Adventures recently posted..A Decor Wish List

  12. I love what you’ve done! As for white washing or not as a “rule,” it depends on the room I think.

  13. Hi Traci
    Your white washed brick looks amazing….fabulous job! I have a kitchen wall I’m dying to white wash & am excited to give it a go! May I ask what kind of paint you used? Also, did you brush it on, then wipe it off with a rag as you went along?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated. Anxiously looking forward to hearing from you with the tips:)

    Rita

  14. Traci I loooovvve white washed brick! Yours looks awesome, I wish I had some to paint! I bet if you had to, if it came out too white you could let it dry and then take a wire brush to it lightly… that might have brought down the color.
    Looks wonderful!
    Susan
    Homeroad.net

  15. It looks so beautiful! I’m so glad you didn’t paint it a solid color. The whitewash was the perfect choice so that you can still see the color variation showing through.
    Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating recently posted..DIY Sisal Ottoman Made From A Tire

  16. Traci, I love the white-washed brick in your bathroom…looks awesome! I’ve always loved interior brick walls and yours turned out great! Good job!

  17. My fireplace will be my next big project and now I know exactly what to do with it!! Thanks!! Your brick looks wonderful!!!!! I’d add more exclamation marks, but I think I have plenty and you’ll get my point.♥♫
    Marilyn recently posted..Volunteers

  18. It looks great! We have an orangey-cream color brick fireplace that would look ridiculous if I did anything to it. I think we may put stone over it one day… far in the future. :)
    Nessa the Procrastinator recently posted..Hairbow display for my future craft fair endeavors!

  19. Your brick looks gorgeous, Traci. What a great feature in your room and very neutral now too. You and Cy are an amazing team.
    Elzabeth@ Blue Clear Sky recently posted..A Little Soup Tureen

  20. Just three words. Well…four…

    love. love. love. it!

  21. I love how it looks! Now I wonder if I can do it to my brick outside, anyone ever done it?

  22. I love it. Good call. My MIL had a peachy stone fireplace that went with….nothing! After much convincing, she let me dry brush it in an off white. It made such a huge difference. It still looks like stone and some of the color variation comes through but it’s been de-peached! Kudos to my MIL for being brave enough to trust me to paint her stone. (She’s the best MIL!)

    • Amy….what a lucky MIL to have you:) I bet it looks gorgeous! Do you mind sharing the details of how to do the dry brushing? Greatly appreciate it:)

  23. The white washed brick so fabulous. I have an entire wall of brick in my family room and this makes me wonder if I would like it even better with it white washed. Thanks for sharing.
    Traci

  24. This looks great. Especially against the dark floors and beams. Makes me want to try it on my fireplace too….Love it!

  25. Jealous! I have a big fireplace that is the main focal point in our house. I love it, but I wish it wasn’t quite so orange. I actually kind of like how it looks after the first coat, at least for my home. I don’t mind seeing some warmth. It’s what makes the brick look like, well, brick. I noticed a few other commenters asked about your technique, that is something I would like to know too! I’ve read about rubbing watered down paint off with a rag, but I would love to know what you did here.

    Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator

  26. I have never white washed before but, I have a fireplace that after seeing yours all finished…makes me think about trying it!!!!

  27. Wow, this makes me want a brick wall in my house! It’s gorgeous, Traci! I absolutely LOVE how your bathroom is turning out! (And jealous of the progress you’re making. Mine is going very. slowly.) :)
    Rachel recently posted..Apothecary Style Medicine Cabinet Door {Salvaged}

  28. Oh, Yes! (fist pump) Awesome!
    Guerrina recently posted..Rainy Day (No Paint Fumes) and a Bench Pt 3

  29. I love it! Looks really pretty! Can’t wait to see the remodel completed. :)
    Christy recently posted..Hi, my name is Christy…

  30. I love how your white washed brick looks!

  31. I love how it turned out!
    Lauren recently posted..Baked Pimento Cheese Dip

  32. I am a huge brick fan and don’t usually care for painted brick, but WOW! I absolutely love the look you created. That brick looks AWESOME!! I can’t wait to see your fireplace.
    Very nice job.
    Kelli recently posted..Why blog?

  33. I LOVE IT!!! I cannot wait to see this room done! It’s so beautiful now!!!

  34. It looks amazing. Love it. Hugs, Marty
    Marty@A Stroll Thru Life recently posted..Last Chance – Decorating Books Giveaway

  35. I love the white washed brick. One of my favorite photos of white washed brick is this one over on The Yellow Cape Cod. http://www.theyellowcapecod.com/2012/03/white-washed-brick-fireplacetutorial.html
    Kala M. recently posted..A Lighthouse and Pumpkins

  36. I’ve never white washed anything but now I wish I had some brick just so I could white wash it! It looks awesome!!
    Pepper recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

  37. I like red brick natural or slightly weathered red but orange-y brick is decidedly NOT my favorite. Love what you did!

  38. Love exposed brick, my foyer and kitchen have brick floors. But love what you did, completely changed the look.

  39. Thanks for the tips, and for showing us the progress pics – I am working with orange-y bricks and love the first wash!
    Jill recently posted..No Excuses Here

  40. Traci, I love it. It looks great. I love even more that you are doing this project at midnight!

  41. I think it looks BEAUTIFUL!!
    Kelly

  42. Love it! Great job. I have a chimney in our kitchen that I exposed and now I think that it needs to be white washed:)

  43. I love the white washed look. You were cracking me up describing it being midnight and you wrecking the wall :) I wish I had some old bricks to paint!
    jessica@fourgenerationsoneroof recently posted..Four Generations One Roof turns 1 today

  44. awesome! i love it and i will now be doing my fireplace because you just did the scary stuff for me. you’re so brave. your’re my hero! now i can with confidence do want i’ve thought about doing for years now. sometimes we just need others to go before us. thank you Traci :)
    Cindi @ Rustique Art recently posted..Purging the Garage

  45. Andrea Rivers says:

    I think the whitewash brick is the perfect compliment! I love brick. I think it depends on the type of brick, situation and personal style as to whether or not to leave it natural. Glad it soaked it after your “late night freak out”… lol Gawgeous… simly Gawgeous. :)

  46. Love it, totally perfect!

  47. Love This! Do you know if this will work for outside bricks? our house has some brick outside around the house but not a whole lot?

  48. Ana Maria says:

    I think your “new” brick wall looks fantastic! … now, please help me!

    My entire kitchen is covered in brick. Actually, it looks exactly like yours did. I’ve been thinking of whitewashing it and everywhere I read the recommendation is for a lime whitewash. You sound very much against this and did yours in paint. Please let me know why you chose paint instead of lime/salt whitewasch? And what did you use, brush or rag? I’m sure you’ve inspired many others like me and we just need a few more details from you to take on the job.

    Thanks!

  49. I LOVE this Traci!! Love that the texture comes through… I may have to do this on my family room fireplace!!
    Thanks for sharing ~ xo Heidi
    Heidi @ Decor & More recently posted..Here and There Thursday!

  50. Elizabeth Burton says:

    I love it! I have a brick fireplace that was painted over and would give anything to have it whitewashed. If I knew how to get rid of the paint without a huge mess, I would whitewash in a minute. Thanks for sharing!

  51. I love the white washed bricks. I think I am going to do the brick around my fireplace. Thanks for the inspiration.

  52. Christine says:

    It’s GORGEOUS!!!! And YES I’m totally DROOLING over it!!!

  53. I absolutely LOVE the whitewash brick! It looks beautiful & brings the room current instead of looking outdated with the ‘orange brick’. Such a clean, refreshed look! I’m working on transforming my spare bedroom into a craft room & am wanting a white washed wooden floor. The laminate that we have found is just too pricey, mostly because it’s going to be a “craft room”. (I can vision hot pink paint spilled on the new floor that I paid way too much for) lol Anyways, my husband and I are kicking around the idea of creating our own floor & whitewashing it ourselves. I’m thinking of just thinning the paint, like you did. If anyone has any other tips on whitewashing a wooden floor, I would love to hear! Thanks for sharing – I always enjoy your email updates & especially your pictures!

  54. It looks so pretty, Traci. I love how much character a wall of brick adds to a space!! Our new house has a brick fireplace that was painted peach by the former owner. I painted it white and it’s great, but the whitewashed look is gorgeous!
    Lisa recently posted..Stenciled Drop Cloth Curtain Tutorial

  55. It looks amazing! What great textures you have going in your bathroom/bedroom:) Thanks for sharing how to do the whitewash. As much as I love looking at the wall I still can’t get past those beams. They are to die for! So beautiful!

  56. I love the white washed brick. You did a great job and it looks beyond awesome. I have never whitewashed brick but I would in a heartbeat.

  57. Marjorie Spalding says:

    Love your whitewash brick. Our house has the same brick on the outside. Are you going to whitewash the outside also? I don’t like the white bricks spaced around in my brick. Have you ever tried to use anything to erase the white or tone them down? If so, I’d like to know what you did. I can’t quite bring myself to paint the outside but would like to get rid of the white bricks.

  58. Lisa Conforto says:

    No question the white wash is great looking! Its the kind of thing that you just need one or two walls to complete the look of the room. It looks fresh and clean and could actually go with any style of decor. Good choice

  59. Absolutely love it. After you white wash the fireplace I’m wondering if you’ll be wanting to do the exterior. When do you sleep?

  60. OMGOODNESS!!! I love it! I wonder if you can white wash the outside of a brick home like you did the inside wall. If so, would you use the same paint formula. I’ve been wanting to paint our little ranch style house for years but it felt like an overwhelming project. This doesn’t seem like it would be near as difficult and would “weather” beautifully. Please let me know if you think it might work using exterior paint and water. I live in Louisiana, so we don’t get much cold weather if that counts for anything.
    Ya’ll all so talented! Everyone one of you, I love reading your blog and Cyndi’s as well. God Bless you all

  61. It looks really great…can’t wait to see the fireplace when it’s done!
    Your bathroom is looking fabulous, by the way. :)
    Kelly

  62. A friend has been encouraging me to paint my fireplace, but I just did not want that white flat look. My fp is a stone brick, that is beige and is really dated with mahogany shelves on each side. She suggested to paint the whole wall a cream color.

    I love the look you have created and maybe it will be just enough to inspire me to get started.

  63. This is awesome! Such an improvement. And I know it took a lot of courage. Way to go!

    Warmly, Michelle
    PS – I’ve never white washed brick, but I have painted over some hideous lava rock.
    Michelle@Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust recently posted..Fabulous Friday Favorites

  64. Perfect choice! I would definitely do this if I had a brick fireplace. Great work, Traci.

  65. LOVE it! We’re getting ready to paint/wash some brick on our new studio exterior–happy to see your results!!
    :-)
    shaunna
    Shaunna recently posted..sneaky suspicion

  66. I don’t know how I missed this post, but man-o-man, I love the results! I have been wanting to white wash my salmon colored brick fireplace ever since we moved in 4 years ago! Now I just have to warm hubs up to the idea. ;)
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal recently posted..How to Brighten a Room

  67. Oh I love it! I was trying to figure out what do do with my fireplace because I planned on painting the mantle bright white and the walls gray. I kept going back and forth between doing the brick in gray also or in white. I think white wash is the perfect solution now! Thanks for the inspiration!

  68. Gorgeous! Love how it turned… the perfect white washing. I’m featuring your brick wall in the Power of Paint Party Spotlight this weekend. Thanks for linking up!

  69. Love it love it love it! Plan on doing it at my cottage :)

  70. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!!!!!! :-D
    Layla recently posted..For Sale By Owners

  71. This is gorgeous! I love the look of the white washed brick. I’m so glad you didn’t tear it down and put up sheet rock! I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  72. Traci thanks for the inspiration! I have a brick fireplace with the same color as yours. I think I’m going to give it a try. Just one question… well in fact two… first, what did you use to paint the brick, a brush a roller, what? and second, how much time did it take for the first coat to get dry?

  73. how very beautiful…i am in love…and it looks fantastic!

  74. Ok, Traci, you know I love ya so here goes. I don’t have any brick so have never whitewashed any. BUT I do LOVE white washed brick of the more tan/dark brown versions you see on houses today.

    BUT, I liked your brick after it’s first coat better, I think. :) It might have looked more “red” in person and maybe the after looks more white on the computer but I just love being able to see a little more character to it. Maybe could have gone back and just touched up some of the darker red bricks and made them look more white looking so it would have looked like it had various colors, etc. But that is just my opinion and I still love your room! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  75. This is so beautiful!!!!! I have an exposed brick wall in my den, and have been making over the room for the last 6 months. I have been going back and forth on wanting to paint it or leave it be, but I have seen your blog and this post and I am smitten!!! You are so incredibly talented!! I love this because the original brick texture shows and some of the old colors. I am pretty sure I want to try this but I am scared to death I’ll mess it up. WHAT A GREAT look this is for your bathroom!!! :D

  76. Tracey do you know what to do if there is a sealer over your brick? I really want to white wash my fireplace, but it is shiny with a sealer. Thanks, Z

  77. It looks great. Where can I find the directions and tools/materials needed? Can this be done on an exterior wall? Will it withstand the weather?

  78. Did you whitewash over the grout?

  79. I’ve been wanting to do this to my fireplace and brick wall in my den forever. This gives me the courage to do it… it’s looks fantastic. Will start mine soon! :)

  80. Rebecca C de Baca says:

    I love what you did. Now I need yours and everyones advice. I have a corner fireplace, its huge, and ugly. It is a kind of pinkish color brick. Should I whitewash it. Is there anyway I can upload a picture for you to see? Did you clean the brick first? With what? Thank you so much!!

  81. I love this post…white wash brick! I want my friend to do to her fireplace…it is the man made stone, rough texture, large irregular stone, very, very dark….I suggest she paint it, do you think this method will work on “fake” stone????

  82. mary etta brady says:

    I love the white wash on your brick and have been thinking of doing my fireplace for months –
    my concern is that we have dark grout and I don’t know how that would turn out. Any ideas?

  83. I had a huge wall of the same type of brick (a la 1970s) but with black mortar and a huge fireplace opening – I referred to it as the ‘dark hole’ in our living room because it sucked up all the light. My husband had this thing about not painting brick (I think it’s a guy thing). After 10 years I couldn’t take it anymore; he went out of town and I got busy LOL. Except I used glaze to mix with paint and sponged it, blended several earthy/beige tones + cream. Just bought a few colors from the craft store, a little went a long way. I wish I had a photo handy. I then dry-brushed the black mortar so it still had a texture but it blended in. He was amazed and really liked it when he got home… His guy friends who also had this thing about not painting brick even admired it, couldn’t believe it was paint LOL.

  84. i love it, my daughter did her fireplace this week and it makes me wanna move to a house so i can have some interior brick too, just BEAUTIFUL, thanks for the ideas

  85. I LOVE this. I have a fire engine red brick hearth for a wood stove. The bricks do not vary in color. After my first coat of whitewashing it looked pink. I freaked out and thought I’d ruined it! I sponged on beige tones, then whitewashed it again once that dried. Now I love it. Thank you for posting!! You were my inspiration!

  86. Totally wonderful and timely–I’m recommending this to a client ;).

  87. Hi Traci, I just wanted to say I read your little blog about yourself and how you got into “recreating” things you saw and liked that were “out of reach” persay. I too like to recreate and make my own things. Not only does it save money, I am proud of what I can do/did knowing how much I saved and what I created. It’s also great that your mother is so proud of you to suggest that you do a webpage, mine never compliments me on the things I make, she thinks I’m being cheap. I am right now deciding on whether or not to whitewash my red w/black grout z-brick the previous owners put up in my kitchen. I am so scared to do it because what if I ruin it and I really don’t want it white. Oh well thanks again for sharing your projects. Traci

  88. I love it! I’m going to do a big wall in a bonus room….
    did you prep the wall in any way first?

  89. just found your brick project on pinterest. well done. i have a very similar brick wall to brighten up but didn’t dare it so far as i don’t want a completely white wall which probably looks very unnatural. you encouraged me to finally attack it just by just white washing it, thanks from the southwest of ireland, eliane
    eliane recently posted..zauberorte | magical workplaces

  90. Love it! I am going to do my fireplace,

  91. sorry if i missed it, but what is the paint brand and the name of the color you used? i have exactly the same orange brick and want to used the paint/color you used.

  92. Love, Love your work!

    I wonder if you could help me?? I’ve called the paint stores and no one knew about white washing brick. I thought I could just buy a mixture, drats.

    I want to white wash my fugly brick porch and walkway. But, I’m concerned if the paint would make the brick slippery? I am soliciting any comments or advice as my brick is calling out to get a make over and I want to change it so bad.

    Do you have an advice on my walkway project? Thank you!! Laura

  93. Good Morning,
    Can you tell me what brand of paint you used? Just LOVE the project and looking forward to doing my fireplace!!!

    Thanks, Mish

  94. I want to do this but I don’t want a white, I want more of a off white because I have a darker wood work and I don’t want my walls painted white to kind of go with it has anyone used another color and it worked the same way?

  95. Hi, I whitewashed my red brick fireplace and liked it so much I whitewater the whole house ! Whitewashing gives the room a fresh new look. Shari, I used off white paint in the mixture and it looks good with my dark wood mantle. Go for it !

  96. I am researching how to whitewash my exterior brick I was reading some of comments cause I didn’t want to repeat the question but I didn’t find an answer and didn’t find the paint you used to finish it was for example: satin, eggshell, or semi glossy paint. I’m sure that matters please email me the answers and how exactly did you put it onto the wall with a special brush and where you wiping off the paint as you put it on? maybe you could email me a response??????

    • Hi!
      The paint I used was a Satin Finish. But my wall was an interior wall, so you would not want to use the same type of paint I used. I suggest that you google how to white wash exterior brick. I don’t want to give you information that will not be helpful for you.
      Thanks!
      Traci

  97. By the way absolutely love you did the whitewashed brick in the restroom looks way better!!!!!! Great job!!!!

  98. Did you use a brush or a roller on the brick? I have a fireplace I’d like to tackle.

  99. Does it matter what finish of paint you use…flat, eggshell, semi-gloss? Thanks. It’s beautiful.

  100. Pam Combs says:

    I have a fireplace that I want to do something with , just don’t know what !! Love the whitewash on the brick …Great job . Want to see more …

  101. Looks great! Just curious, seems this was a few years ago. How has it held up? I’m researching different ways and this seems the easiest and quite frankly I like the way yours turned out best :) Again, just curious how it held up?

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