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White Washing Brick

Our downstairs family room is one of the rooms where we haven’t really done much since moving in except for painting…but yes there are a lot of plans in my head for this room….

The hearth around the wood stove was brick. But it wasn’t just brick, it was brick RED and I hated it. I wanted something a little softer, a little more neutral, and not so…bricky.


I decided I would white wash the brick to make it a little more vintage and not stand out as much.

My husband on the other hand liked the red brick and couldn’t really see my vision on white washing it. But guess who gets to decorate the house. ME. So off I went…

To white wash brick it’s really simple, yet really messy.

The only materials you need are paint, water,  a brush, and a rag.

Depending on how white you want the brick determines how much water to put into the paint.

I didn’t really know so I figured I would start off 1/2 water, 1/2 paint. I used regular semi-gloss white paint that I had left over from some moulding.

I poured the paint into a mason jar half way (a plastic cup would work fine too) and then filled the rest with water and stirred.

Now remember when I said it was messy?

If I had to do again I would have someone help me. I paint while they clean up with the rag.

But since it was just me, I set the jar down, dipped the brush and then just started “painting” the brick. It really was more of just jamming the brush in all the groves, then actually painting, but it worked. So I would do this with one hand and with my other hand I had the rag underneath to catch the drips and then I would blot and rub the paint into the brick with the rag.

I worked in sections going up one side and down the other as you can see in this picture look at the difference! I was loving it!


After I finished the whole thing, I stepped back and went over again where I thought it was still a little too red or where I missed in the groves.

If you wanted it more “white” you could always do another coat.

I love the way it came out! The hubby also likes it, he said it was totally not what he was thinking. He had no idea what white washing was so he was picturing just painted brick.

What do you think?


marti dillon

Saturday 28th of January 2017

This is awesome! I have a red brick fireplace that takes up a ten foot wall in a den of solid knotty pine panelling. I love it but its very dark in there. Its also VERY 1950s, which is when this little house was built! The kitchen cabinets are also knotty pine, so we're drowning in a sea of it! I'm thinking of painting them light gray eventually. I'm going to Homers to get some paint! I'll try the fireplace first then move onto the kitchen cabinets in the same color. Great idea! Thanks for sharing! Peace

June Garner

Wednesday 16th of September 2015

What are your choices since it will have to be fireproof? Stone veneer, maybe?

Mary Jo

Tuesday 15th of September 2015

We have the same thing in our basement and even with cream carpet and walls it really is dark on that side. I really love this and love seeing the result. We talked about putting on a mantel but I fell like it'll get lost against the brick. So glad you re-posted this! Hopefully I can tackle this, this winter!

Peg S

Monday 19th of October 2015

How did the white paint hold up with the high heat??

My hearth is HUGE and I hate the dark red bricks, but like you, start white would be just as ugly.

Thanks for the info!

Tips, Tricks and Ideas for Brick - Just Call Me HomegirlJust Call Me Homegirl

Monday 29th of December 2014

[…] You can also see my White Washing Brick post here! […]

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