Give Your Brick Fireplace A Whitewashed Finish for Fresh Appeal
While some do love the appeal of raw brick, applying a whitewash finish to a face brick fireplace feature wall will bring lightness and brightness into any room.
While I do love the appeal of a raw face brick feature wall or fireplace wall, there are times when applying a whitewash finish can make a huge difference in how a room looks and feels.
A raw face brick wall that surrounds a fireplace, or even a slasto or slate wall, can give a room a striking focal point. But when the room is small in size and filled with furniture, that raw face brick wall can be overpowering and make a room feel even smaller. Face brick walls are great for large rooms - not so for small ones. So how can you cover up a raw face brick wall and brighten up a room? Simple, simply apply a whitewash finish.
Whether the fireplace wall in your home is slasto, stone or face brick, applying a whitewash finish will soften the overall outlook and work towards an elegant solution that will look good with any decorating style. If you prefer a touch of rustic simplicity when whitewashing raw face brick or stone, don't apply as many coats of paint so that the brick or stone underneath still peeps through. Or apply several coats of whitewash paint and then use sandpaper around the edges of the bricks or stone.
WHAT IS WHITEWASH?
The traditional method of whitewashing involves mixing lime and water to paint over surfaces, but nowadays people can achieve much the same effect by using white acrylic or latex paint and water. The consistency of the mix is runny enough to give just a translucent effect on raw brick or stone, but this can be adjusted by reducing the amount of water to paint ratio to increase the paint and provide more coverage.
HOW TO WHITEWASH
There are many methods for whitewashing brick, from using a rag or paintbrush to using a paint roller. What is important is to cover up the surrounding area, as whitewashing can be a messy process. Put down drop cloths and cover surrounding walls or fittings not being painted with plastic and tape. You will also want to put on old clothes. With the whitewash mixture being so runny, you can be sure you are going to get covered in paint splashes.
For more information on how to whitewash a brick or stone wall, take a look at the video below. It offers simple instructions that take you through the entire process. You will also find more information and protect-based features on whitewashing brick walls in our Decorating section.
You can use the same whitewashing method to cover up slasto or crazy pave wall around a fireplace or feature.
HOW TO CLEAN WHITEWASHED BRICK OR STONE
Once the brick or stone wall has been painted, you are going to want to apply a sealer over the top. A sealer will not only protect the painted finish but also make it easier for you to clean the wall as and when required. You can use a matt, satin or gloss clear acrylic sealer - and Fired Earth have a great one that I use all the time - and need to apply at least 2 to 3 coats. Another option is to apply a wax paste over the paint, but I have tried this once and found it difficult to maintain and not easy to keep clean.
Have a soft brush on hand for keeping the painted wall free from dust and wipe down with a cloth and a mild solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water to remove dirt.