Dear Hometalk: How Can I Brighten up My Old, Dated Brick Wall?

8 Materials
1 Day

If you watched our previous episode you saw how we transformed my parent's kitchen cabinets. The next step was whitewashing & texturizing the brick to take their kitchen to the next level!

You can see how we painted their cabinets here!

With the new, bright cabinets, it became even clearer that we really needed to tackle that dark, red brick next.

All of the materials for this project were found my parent's garage! So it was nearly free - but estimated cost would be $20-$50 depending on the supplies you choose!
The brick in their house is a faux half brick that was already installed when they moved in. My mom was dreaming of the perfect white wash but really didn't want it to turn pink so we were very mindful of that during the whole process.
First things first, remove all items from the countertop & lay a tarp to protect the floor. Next, we cleaned the brick by rubbing a broom in-between the grooves to remove any dust or spider webs.
After that, we gathered the paint - they had some black & white leftover from some other projects in the house so that's what we used!

We had 3 containers: one full of black, one full of grey & one with the whitewash paint. (Which is white paint mixed with water - about 2/3 paint 1/3 water).
We then cut a large grout sponge into 4 sections. (You can use any kind of sponge this is just one they had in their garage).
After that, we painted on a few "test bricks" from a box my mom found in the garage to see how the paint was going to react. We tested a few there & took what we learned over to a section on the wall behind where the trashcan sits.

This is a great thing to keep in mind - you'll want to test it out! You won't know how it's going to look when it's actually painted until you try it out & see! From here we were able to tackle the rest of the wall!
We decided that the original grout was too dark so we started by brushing white paint into the grout followed by rolling white paint over the brick to reduce any pink areas! Rollers & a paintbrush did the overall trick - but we got detailed & used a toothbrush for those hard to reach sections. Let this dry for a few minutes.
Next, add some texture! We sponged on some black & grey paint spacing it out on the wall so no two colors were clumped together & let it dry.
Next, we grabbed the white washing solution & sponged it on & rubbed off the excess with a wet rag. The great thing about this technique is you can add more or less of each color - You can add more black or grey depending on the the effect you are wanting & if it's too dark for you in some areas you can always add more white washing solution!

Keeping a wet rag with you is very important to make sure any drips don't damage the countertop. You could also add a drop-cloth to it but we decided the rag would do the trick!

After you're happy with your ratio of dark & light areas, let it dry & you're done!

Total transformation!

The cabinets were already such a shocking makeover, but this really brought the kitchen to the next level! The whitewashing really brightened up the room & made it so much more open!
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Check out the video to see the makeover in action!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 39 questions
  • K Sandman
    K Sandman
    on Sep 6, 2020

    Did you not do the black/gray above the cabinets? Looks like it’s only done on the bricks below the cabinets.

    • Ellen Bertelsen
      Ellen Bertelsen
      on Sep 6, 2020

      My question too. Adding the texturing to the upper bricks would add dimension and visual interest, I think. But I sure like what was done on the lower bricks.

  • Jpj32757734
    on Sep 6, 2020

    I have dated grey plastic tile and plaid wallpaper (I think washable) - how could I paint or redo this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Imjhale
      on Sep 8, 2020

      You could always use a primer made especially for plastic, then paint as in this project

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    on Mar 2, 2021

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Join the conversation

2 of 149 comments
  • Sam
    on Sep 6, 2020

    it is most difficult to keep clean in a kitchen. been there, done that.

    but if you do like it. don't do it above the cabinets. it just doe snot look right.

    saw that done too. looks fake that way.

  • Refrigerator guide
    Refrigerator guide
    on Sep 18, 2020

    One of the most difficult talk. Know more

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