A Makeover Story: Exterior Brick

This all started when we decided decided to put on an addition, which start with wanting to dig out our half basement crawl space. Things spiral like that, you know how it is. Anyhow, we will be putting siding on the addition and needed a way to blend it with the current exterior which is part brick and part stone. The stone part is tanish gray (pretty neutral) but the brick was a tanish yellow and taupe color. It wasn’t my favorite; let’s go with that.

However, I enjoy having a brick house. It’s very insulating and solid and I didn’t want to make a big investment because, well, the addition. So, I decided to look into painting brick which, it turns out, is bad for the brick. Lime wash, though, is an organic material (limestone) based product that is okay for bricks because it ‘let’s them breathe.’ After a bit of research, I came across a product called Romabio lime wash paint. If you DIY the lime wash, you have to perfectly portion a number of materials (water, pigment, limestone, etc.); with this product, the guess work is done for you. We chose nube gray to pair with our front stone. In hindsight, we might have picked a different shade, but I’m still happy with it as I love gray.

Also, often times, people will spray away some of the lime wash before it dries (or with a high powered sprayer) to give it a weathered, aged look. After testing that look (right) as well as a solid, non sprayed-off look (left), I decided to go for a solid finish as I was ultimately trying to hide the original color.

 

Oh, and it’s super easy to do. Here’s how.

Materials:

  • Romabio lime wash in a color of your choosing
  • Bucket to mix paint
  • Paint stirrer (or drill with stirrer attached)
  • Paint brush
  • Ladder
  • Painters tape
  • Hose
  • Measuring cup (depending how much you want to mix)

Steps:

  1. Mix up your lime wash – the product I used needs 100% dilution, which means for as much lime wash as you put in your bucket, put equal parts water; we mixed a bit at a time (no inherent value in this), but if you have a lot to do you could mix it all up. Use your stirrer or drill for this.
  2. Tape off any areas, like doors, windows or by your roof line.
  3. Spray water on an area of your brick with your hose; you will need to work section by section for this part because you don’t want the brick to dry before you can apply the lime wash.
  4. Then, just like painting, apply the lime wash/water mixture (it will be thin). Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies of the brick, especially the grout. Be careful about splatter on your sidewalks or driveway. It doesn’t matter quite as much in grass because it can be removed when you next mow your lawn.
  5. You will need to let it dry for 5 days before you hose down your house (or front planters – be careful). It’s okay if it rains – you shouldn’t have any problems with it running unless it’s freshly painted.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Q4 Craftiness

Credit where credit is due – I saw a version of this on pinterest and have since created both a copy cat and bastardized version. This is a fun project to make for your own home, or for those of your loved ones. It’s a relatively simple project with just a few required materials (all of which are pretty cheap). And BONUS, it is a decoration for both fall AND winter. Gotta love a good 2-for-the-price-of-1.

Materials:

  • Wood pieces (for the Happy Fall / Let It Snow set, I used 2×4 boards cut into two 6″ sections, two 4″ sections and one 5″ section; for the Happy Autumn / Believe set, I used 2×2 boards cut into two 5″ sections, one 6″ section and five 4″ sections)
  • Sand paper
  • Paint (in whatever colors you want to use – I used primary colors only and mixed all the rest, like brown, orange, etc.)
  • Paint brushes & pallette or equivalent
  • Paint markers (optional) – I used a few paint markers throughout this project to make some of the letters easier; Specifically, I used paint markers for all of the Autumn / Believe letters and the black and silver on Snow

First, figure our your design. If you want to go with a different message, get creative with how to split the letters, how many blocks to use, and how to arrange the pieces. Then, cut all your boards and make sure they fit nicely together and are smoothly sanded. Since you’re creating a double sided decoration, you really need to make sure they’re evenly sanded on all sides.

After you’ve prepped the wood, cover all the blocks in white paint all the way around. This will give you a nice even base to start with and will ensure you have clean lines at the top, bottom and sides (especially if your wood has rounded corners). Once the white has dried, you can mix up your colors and paint the blocks accordingly. *TIP, try to pick something that goes with your house decor while still keeping in line with the holiday color scheme.

Finally, once you’re SURE that the paint has COMPLETELY dried (at least 24hrs), go back through and start to add the letters. If you’re using paint and a brush, I would recommend using a white colored pencil to sketch out your letters. This can also be a good idea even if you’re using paint markers. Then, let that dry and voila, a beautiful new, custom decoration for your house that will last you through ~6 months of the year, depending on where you live!

HappyFallLetItSnow

BelieveHappyAutumn