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How to Make Bricks Look Old: 4 Techniques You Can Follow

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Wanted to redo your home and decided on an old and rusty exposed brick wall for your living room? If you are thinking it will give off a great vibe, then we’re with you on that one.

But first, you need bricks. Unfortunately, using old pre-used bricks is a safety hazard.

Therefore, the safest option is making new bricks look old. 

How to make bricks look old?

To make the new brick look old, combine the lemon and water to achieve a consistency similar to whole milk. A decent water-to-lime ratio is roughly 80% water and 20% lime. As it sets, the wash becomes lighter. Subsequent coatings could be applied for a more glossy finish, but wait two to four days between coats.

If you’re still here then you’re probably interested in learning more. Therefore, we suggest you read on. You’ll be able to learn about all of the techniques that you can employ. 

4 Techniques to Make Brick Look Old

We’ve gone over 4 Techniques that you can do to make the plain brick look old. These techniques will give your brick wall the rustic vibe that you’re probably looking for. But first, clean the walls and remove any mortar residue before you begin.

Technique 1: Lime Wash Technique

Our first pick of the technique is lime wash. Let’s see what you need for that.

Necessary Components

  • Paint Roller or Paint Brush
  • Lime
  • Water
  • Pressure Washer

If you don’t have a pressure washer and are looking for one, you can take a look at these:

Product 1
Product 2

Steps

  1. Limewashing uses a concoction of hydrated lime and water to form a coat that mostly conceals the brick. It only functions on unpainted bricks. Choose a cloudy day for lime washing because a lengthy curing procedure improves the finish’s endurance.
  2. Soaking the brickwork also aims to minimize the curing of the limewash. Combine the lime and water to achieve a consistency similar to whole milk. A decent water-to-lime ratio is roughly 80 % water and 20 % lime.
  1. To achieve good results, create a big quantity of limewash. You can also make lime wash of your own. Smaller batches can result in notable differences in the appearance of the limewash.
  2. To spread the limewash, use a paint roller or a paintbrush. Since lime can set, you might have to agitate the limewash from period to period. As it sets, the wash becomes whiter.
  3. You can put on more layers if you would like a more thick finish. However, you should wait for 2 to 4 days after applications.
  4. Limewash will not last as long as the other ways of aging. To maintain the appearance beyond 5 to 7 years, you may have to apply extra coats.
  5. If you decide you no longer desire the lime washed look, use a power washer to remove it.


For this process, you’ll be using a washer pressure. Therefore, to avoid water from damaging your walls you can install flashing.

Technique 2: Using Moss

Our second pick is by using moss. You can make old bricks look new though this.

Necessary Components

  • Pitcher
  • Cement
  • Mixer

Steps

  1. Collect a pitcher of moss. Fill a bucket halfway with earth and water until it resembles dense pancake dough.
  2. Spread the clay just on brickwork you wish to age and push the moss into it tightly. Moss will attach to and develop on the bricks, providing them an aged look. Ensure the moss remain moistened.
  3. In a mixer, combine equal measures of water, buttermilk, and moss to make a moss sludge. Whirl until the mixture is dissolved. Using an ordinary paintbrush, apply this moss slurry directly to the bricks.
  4. Keep the area damp for at least 3 – 4 weeks first before moss starts to grow. Avoid overwatering and rinsing the slurry. To age the bricks or workspace of your choice, use either of these two approaches.

Technique 3: German Smear

German smear is a brick-aging process that utilizes a cement splash to lend the bricks an Old World appearance. Since you’re distributing plaster on the bricks, you get a sharp edge that adds texture to the brick.

Steps

  1. Before you grab your shovel and plaster, you have to keep in mind something. The German smear method is everlasting and only adheres to untreated brick. Since you’re putting a plaster on the brick, there’s really no easy way to get rid of it.
  2. If you adopt this strategy, ensure you enjoy the appearance and therefore can devote yourself to it indefinitely. You can do the German smear alone, but you need to experiment first.
  3. The manner in which the mortar is applied, particularly the depth of the plaster, has an impact on the results. Sampling it first helps to find a style you like before committing to it on a large wall, hearth, or outdoor surface.
  4. You need your concrete mixture to be the texture of peanut butter. Put water to the premixed mortar powder until it reaches the desired texture.
  5. Unless you want to see much of the brick, thicken the solution with a bit of additional water. Before putting the solution, soak the brick.
  6. Distribute the plaster with a spade, a grouting sponge, or your gloved hand. Distribute the mortar on the brick, adjusting the layer thickness depending on the thickness of the finished coat.
  7. To achieve the desired effect, use a trowel or wire brush to remove a portion of the mortar. The idea is to have some of the brick visible.
  8. It’s harder to eliminate the cement of the bricks once it’s hardened. Therefore be sure you really like the appearance before it sets.

Technique 4 Whitewash Technique

Now we have the whitewash technique for you. Let’s have a look at what you need to do.

Steps

  1. To begin, dilute the paint with an equivalent share of latex paint and water. If you like a clearer appearance, reduce the amount of water used. Add more water if you really want more of the brick hue to show.
  2. It is preferable, to begin with, a thinner combination. If you want a more whitewashed look, go above it again on a coat that contains less water. Test your mixture in a secret spot to determine whether you like the result.
  3. Before you begin the whitewashing procedure, wet the brick. Whitewash can be applied with a paintbrush or a cotton towel.
  4. Scrape extra color off the tips of a brush before putting it to the bricks in a tiny space. To erase most of the paint, dab or wipe it with paper towels. As a result, it has a washed appearance rather than a solid paint finish.
  5. Scoop up cotton textiles, soak them in diluted paint, and spread it to the brick for the cloth technique. Based on how you want that to look, you may either wipe it on or dab it on.
  6. Experiment with your method until you find a look you like. If you feel that a particular spot has too much paint, spray it with water using a brush to wipe a little of it.
  7. Explore with the technique till you discover a look that suits you. If you believe a particular area has enough paint, spritz it with water and use a brush to remove some of it.

When changing tile colors, you’ve to go through a similar process. You need to be careful to ensure that the new color lasts.

Follow any one of the techniques that we’ve mentioned. Then go over the steps outlined and you’ll get your plain bricks to look old.

FAQs

Question: How do you distress a brick look?

Answer: Fine-grade sandpaper should be used to remove a little quantity of paint from the brick. To achieve a distressed look, vary the depth and pace of your sanding. Steel wool can be used to remove bigger bits of paint from the fireplace. Steel wool has a harsher appearance than sandpaper.

Question: How do you make a faded red brick look new?

Answer: Polishing the brick and adding a clear-coat solution made especially for brick will revive faded red brick walls to a deeper, richer red color. This approach can benefit both interior and outdoor red brick walls. Clear-coat products impart a sheen to the brick, which allows it to deepen in color.

Question: How do you darken red bricks?

Answer: Staining and painting are the two most common methods for darkening brick. Staining is less intrusive and appears more genuine, but painting might provide better coverage if you have a lot of flaws.

Conclusion

I believe we have to part our ways now. Now you know how to make bricks look old. We hope you can use this newfound knowledge to build a really cool brick wall. 

If you have any further questions, you can let us know in the comment section below. 

Good luck to you!