Asked on Oct 28, 2014

Help with rough brick walls

by Diana
Hi, all. Any ideas or help with ideas/advice on how to modernize/improve these horrible brick walls? I have found many ideas for smooth brick walls but nothing for rough thick brick. My lounge has 3 of these brick walls and one rendered painted wall.
Unfortunately, these walls darken the room and we desperately need something to lighten the room. I have looked at the option of painting but I think it would be a major job due to the thickness of the bricks and the grouting being so deep? Also, I have found out that it is impossible to remove the paint at a later stage.
I will have to do this myself (DIY) due to costs and unfortunately I am a complete novice. I have looked at plywood and paint on render, but because the edges are uneven so I don't know if these are even an option? Any ideas/advice in detail (due to ignorance) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Diana
Close up photo of deep grooves in between bricks
A large amount of wall to improve (including 3rd wall not photographed)
  9 answers
  • Adrianne C Adrianne C on Oct 29, 2014
    If you do decide to paint it, it's a lot easier with a thick nap roller. The thicker the better. 5/8 or 3/4 nap roller would coat the brick relatively easy. Furring it out and attaching paneling or sheet rock is in itself a task. I think the easiest would be to paint.
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Adrianne C Thank you so much Adrianne for your help. I didn't know that there were different rollers for it, will be going to have a look at the hardware shop for one this weekend. Thank you again for taking the time to help. Very much appreciated :)
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Oct 29, 2014
    Have you thought about doing white wash type of painting on the bricks. It would be less work than painting the brick but still lighten up the room. Personally I would put in the effort and paint the brick.
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Sherry Fram Hi Sherry, thank you for your idea. I had looked at the white wash look and it is an option I might consider. Thank you so much for taking the time to help. Always much appreciated :)
  • Karen V Karen V on Oct 29, 2014
    Steam clean it and that will brighten it up a lot. But if you want to paint it , spray paint it lightly. You can also change the colors of each brick with oil paints on a pallet and small paint brush., and this will take a lot of time but will be beautiful when you are done.
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Karen V Hi Karen, thank you for your idea of cleaning and spray painting. Unfortunately we live in a state were there is so much dust and I am sure that cleaning it will make a huge difference. I must admit spray painting would probably be the best option and it wouldn't matter the depth of the grouting. Really a good idea. Thank you again for helping, very much appreciated :)
  • Karen V Karen V on Oct 29, 2014
    Use a hand held, Shark Steam Clean machine , start at the top and sop up any excess moisture with old towels. OXI clean and a sponge mop, or Clorox with hot water.
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Karen V What a honey you are for even giving me the brands. Thank you so much :)
  • Linda Linda on Oct 29, 2014
    I had the same problem but with horrible 1980s orange bricks I decided to use a lime based paint since I didn't need to use an undercoat, it was low voc and allowed the bricks to breathe. I used the paint on wipe off procedure detailed on many websites but turned out with a pink salmon colour. On top of this the bricks were symmetrical ie not tumbled or aged at the edges and the result was horrible. Almost gave up but decided have another go to age the shape of the bricks by knocking off the edges with a hammer to give it a rustic look. Made a huge difference.Then I tackled the colour. First I needed to get rid of the orange colour, so painted them white without wiping off. Next I applied with a sponge different shades of grey, then cream. finally a creamy whitewash which I left on for a few minutes and wiped of and just allowed hints of grey to show through. A lot of trial and error with colours and you have to get used to working the properties of lime based paint of which there are pros and cons. For the Bauwerk paint (Australian) that I used the pros were;on unpainted brick no primer needed, non toxic, and goes on extremely thinly so the texture of the brick really shows, also doesn't flake off with age but tends to come off gradually after many years after which another coat can be applied straight over the top. .Cons are the colour tends to dry a bit lighter than on the colour cards so you may need to experiment with this. However since you have a browny creamy coloured brick you probably don't have all the colour problems that my orange ones had ie a simple wipe on wipe off whitewash (perhaps you may need to do this a few times depending on the finish you want. I hope this helps and good luck.
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Linda Hi Linda, your idea sounds wonderful - it must look quite beautiful. I agree the orange would date the house. Luckily you persevered. Would of loved to have seen your wall as it does sound amazing and really a good idea. Thank you for taking the time to help and advise - very kind of you and very much appreciated.
  • Diana Diana on Oct 29, 2014
    I painted mine white then put a brown wash on it. My den was also really dark this helped and turned out really well.
    • See 1 previous
    • Carol Oswald Carol Oswald on Dec 30, 2014
      @Diana With the texture of the brick, I doubt you would ever see the dust on the wall. I would go for it. If you did it as a white wash, the brown from the brick would definitely show through and there would be no way for anyone to tell the difference between the variations of the paint and some dust that might accumulate.
  • @Diana hello! I just saw this post recently it could be of some help to you? it would be more expensive than just painting over it, but at least you would have a blank canvas! Good luck!
    • See 1 previous
    • @Diana You are very welcome! Do post what you decide to do in the end! :)
  • Beth Carr Beth Carr on Oct 30, 2014
    Might be a little messy but I think even cleaning them will be! Concrete stain or even a light whitewash stain and spray it on...
    • Diana Diana on Oct 31, 2014
      @Beth Carr Hi Beth, thanks for your help - very much appreciated :)
  • Diana Diana on Dec 30, 2014
    Thanks Carol for your advice - very much appreciated :)