How to Bring Out Your Old Brick's Beauty
Property trends come and go, sometimes so quickly it can be hard to keep up. That said, some things seem to never go out of style. Though brick has been used in construction for millennia, this material continues to keep people’s attention to this very day. There’s something inherently appealing and nostalgic about brick homes and businesses, suggesting simpler times and down-home comfort. Like any other material, however, brick can lose its luster and integrity over time, fading into the background rather than proudly boasting its history. Fortunately, brick can often be restored and enhanced with the proper methods -- it’s merely a matter of making the effort. With that in mind, here are some ways to bring out the beauty of your aging brick that dons your home or business.
Ways to Bring Out the Beauty of Your Brick Home
Periodic Cleaning and Maintenance
All types of surfaces require regular cleaning to maintain appearances, and brick is certainly no exception. The rough, porous nature of brick lends itself to gathering dust, dirt, moisture, and more, which can lead to gradual deterioration and fading. If you want your brick to retain its beauty, then you must stay on top of necessary maintenance. For starters, inspect your brick surfaces every now and then to look for signs of damage -- if there are holes, cracks, and gaps, these issues must be resolved hastily to prevent further damage from occurring. As for cleaning, there are various ways to approach this task. Acid-washing is often the best cleaning method for brick, as it helps bring out the material’s inherent color. It’s important to hire professionals to perform this task, however, as the wrong techniques and substances can damage your brick. Avoid power washing your brick, too, as the heat and pressure can erode brick surfaces -- a garden hose with a spray nozzle should stand in for a power washer when rinsing brick exteriors.
Sometimes the reason a brick house exterior looks worn out has more to do with what’s between the bricks than the bricks themselves. Indeed, grout must endure its environment as well, losing its strength and color over time. Basic re-grouting can help restore your brick’s appearance and strength, but it’s not always enough to truly make brick features pop. For more eye-catching results, you might look into tuckpointing. Tuckpointing is a re-grouting technique that aims to create greater contrast between the bricks and mortar with careful application of dyed mortar. This process takes time and requires a number of specialized tools, so it must be done by skilled professionals. Though tuckpointing can become expensive, it offers long-lasting, appealing results, so some find it well worth the cost.
One of the simplest ways to bring out your old brick’s beauty is to coat it with a high-quality transparent sealer. When properly applied, this method tends to darken faded brick, emphasizing its coloration so as to make it look nearly good as new. The best brick sealers also offer some protection against moisture, ultraviolet (UV) rays, pests, and more. These products can be applied in various ways -- a brush or roller often works best for smaller brick surfaces, while expansive exteriors benefit from pneumatic spraying due to greater efficiency. Depending on the product and desired outcome, a single coat of sealer may do the trick, or multiple coats may be necessary.
Painting Your Brick Features
Sealing your brick can benefit its appearance and integrity, but it’s not always enough to completely revitalize appearances. Moreover, you might prefer to provide your brick with new colors rather than restore its existing coloration. In either case, brick painting can quickly become the superior option for bringing your brick features back to life. Most of us have gone past homes with painted brick exteriors and marvelled at their beauty. There are a number of important caveats to note when it comes to brick painting, however. As we discuss in detail in our blog, “Brick Painting: What You Should Know,” this choice is virtually permanent, as removing paint from brick is a challenging and expensive process that often yields messy outcomes -- so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before starting. Additionally, proper preparation is key to achieving the best-looking, longest-lasting results. And if you’re wondering, “how long does painted brick last?” in terms of appearances, the answer lies in how well you care for your painted brick surfaces -- by choosing to paint your brick, you’re tacitly agreeing to increased maintenance.
With all those warnings out of the way, properly painted brick can utterly transform your property, turning old brick into something entirely fresh. The importance of a professional touch cannot be overstated.
If the cost to paint your brick exterior is too prohibitive, there are other ways to enhance your brick’s appearance that don’t involve such a rigorous process. Whitewashing is like painting, but it involves applying watered-down white paint to produce a thin, light layer that allows some of the brick’s natural color to poke through. There are both stylistic and practical reasons for going this route. First off, whitewashed brick is currently quite popular for modern homes and businesses, especially those going for a rustic and/or minimalist design. Ultimately, the best color to paint a brick house comes down to personal preference. If you care more about keeping up with trends, however, whitewashing is a good way to go.
Also, as alluded to already, whitewashing is less expensive and time-consuming to pull off than traditional painting, involving fewer materials and less labor overall. Whitewashing your brick is also less of a permanent move than painting, and it’s usually easy to paint over whitewashed brick should you decide to go all the way in the future.
Embellish Your Brick with Other Features
In many instances, the best way to bring out a given feature is to adjust some of the features surrounding it. Contrast is a powerful tool in the world of design. If you’re looking to bring out your brick’s beauty, you might not even have to touch it (beyond keeping it in good condition). Instead, consider the overall context of your property. Exterior brick, for instance, is often surrounded by green spaces, pavement, windows, doors, trim, and more -- interior brick is in league with furniture, decorations, flooring, and other design features. By taking good care of these surrounding surfaces and making informed choices about their configurations and color schemes, you can allow your brick surfaces to steal the show. There’s no limit to the ways in which you can embellish your brick in this way.
Brandish Your Brick’s Beauty
Your brick features deserve close care and attention. With proper maintenance and thoughtful practices such as tuckpointing, sealing, painting, whitewashing, and more, you can not only bring your brick back to life but make a bold statement in doing so. At Nash Painting, we adore the brick properties scattered throughout Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN, and we’re honored to have helped restore and improve many of them with our wide range of services.
To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!