How to Whitewash Brick: A Simple Solution for Transforming Your Space


Brick walls add a rustic and timeless charm to any space, but sometimes they can feel too dark or overwhelming. If you’re looking to lighten up your brick wall without losing its character, whitewashing is a great option. Whitewashing is a technique that involves applying a thin coat of paint to a brick surface, allowing some of the brick’s natural texture to show through while still creating a bright and fresh look.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of whitewashing your brick wall, from preparing the surface to choosing the right paint and tools. We’ll cover the pros and cons of different whitewashing techniques, as well as tips for achieving the perfect finish. Whether you’re looking to update your living room, create a cozy fireplace, or brighten up your outdoor patio, whitewashing your brick can transform your space and give it a fresh new look. So grab your paintbrush and let’s get started!

how to whitewash brick

What exactly is whitewash brick?

Whitewashing brick is a technique of applying a thin, watered-down paint mixture to a brick surface to create a fresh, bright, and somewhat translucent finish. Whitewashing allows some of the natural texture and color of the brick to show through while lightening up the overall appearance. The result is a charming, rustic look that can work well in many different settings, from traditional to modern. Whitewashing is an affordable and easy way to update the look of a brick wall, fireplace, or any other brick surface, without having to completely cover up the original brick with a solid paint color.

Why should you whitewash brick?

  1. Lighten up a space: If you have a dark or overwhelming brick surface, whitewashing can help brighten up the space and make it feel more inviting and spacious.
  2. Create a rustic, charming look: Whitewashing allows some of the natural texture and color of the brick to show through, creating a rustic, vintage look that can add character and charm to any space.
  3. Preserve the original brick: Rather than covering up the brick with a solid paint color, whitewashing allows the original brick to shine through, adding a layer of protection while still retaining its natural beauty.
  4. Update the look of an outdated surface: If you have an old, outdated brick surface, whitewashing can be an affordable and easy way to modernize it without having to completely replace it.

Overall, whitewashing brick is a versatile and affordable technique that can help transform the look and feel of any space while still maintaining the natural beauty of the brick.

how to whitewash brick

How To Whitewash Brick Overview

After doing some research, I decided to use a mixture of water and paint to create a thin, translucent layer that would let the natural texture and color of the brick show through. I loved how easy and affordable this technique was – I was able to achieve a fresh and bright look without having to completely cover up the brick with a solid paint color.

When it came to choosing the right paint, I went for a high-quality latex paint in a white or off-white shade. I found that this type of paint worked well with the brick surface, and it was easy to mix with water to get the right consistency for the whitewashing process.

To apply the whitewash mixture to the brick, I used a paintbrush and made sure to work in small sections to avoid drips or uneven coverage. The process was a bit messy, but it was so satisfying to see the transformation of the brick as I went along.

One of the things I loved most about whitewashing brick was how customizable it was. Depending on how much water you mix with the paint, you can create a variety of different looks – from a subtle wash to a more opaque finish. Plus, if you don’t like the result, you can always wash it off and start again!

Overall, I had a blast with this DIY project and would highly recommend whitewashing brick to anyone looking for an affordable and easy way to update the look of their space. It’s a fun and creative way to add some rustic charm to any room, and the possibilities are truly endless!

In Comparison

  1. Water: Water is a critical ingredient in the whitewashing process. It’s used to dilute the paint and create a thinner, more translucent mixture that allows the texture and color of the brick to show through.
  2. Paint: Paint is the primary ingredient in whitewashing brick. Latex paint is the most commonly used type of paint for this technique because it’s easy to mix with water and has a low VOC (volatile organic compound) content. You can choose any color of paint, but white or off-white shades are the most popular.
  3. Paintbrush: A good quality paintbrush is essential for applying the whitewash mixture to the brick. A 2-inch or 3-inch brush is usually sufficient for most projects.

Most popular ingredients for whitewashing bricks

WaterInexpensive, readily available, easy to mix with paintCan dilute the paint too much, making it too translucent
Latex paintLow VOC content, easy to mix with water, comes in a variety of colorsCan be expensive, may not adhere well to certain types of brick
PaintbrushAllows for precise application, can be used for multiple projectsCan be messy, may require multiple coats for even coverage

When it comes to whitewashing brick, the right ingredients can make all the difference. Water is critical for achieving the right consistency, while latex paint provides a durable and long-lasting finish. A good quality paintbrush is essential for achieving even coverage and a professional-looking finish. By comparing the pros and cons of each ingredient, you can choose the best combination for your particular project and achieve the perfect whitewashed look for your space.

Whitewashing bricks

Equipment You’ll Need to Whitewash Bricks

PaintbrushA good quality paintbrush is essential for applying the whitewash mixture to the brick. Look for a brush with natural bristles, as synthetic bristles can leave streaks and clumps. A 2-inch or 3-inch brush is usually sufficient for most projects.
Paint trayA paint tray is helpful for holding and mixing the paint and water mixture. You can use a plastic or metal tray, and make sure to clean it thoroughly after each use.
Drop clothWhitewashing brick can be a messy process, so it’s important to protect your floors and furniture with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Look for a heavy-duty drop cloth that won’t tear or shift during the project.
Painter’s tapeIf you’re working on a project that requires precision or masking off certain areas, painter’s tape can be helpful for creating clean lines and protecting adjacent surfaces.
Safety glassesTo protect your eyes from paint splatters or dust, wear safety glasses or goggles during the project.
GlovesLatex or rubber gloves can protect your hands from the paint mixture and make cleanup easier.
Cleaning suppliesYou’ll need a bucket, soap, and water for cleaning your brushes and tools after the project. If you’re working with a porous brick surface, you may also need a stiff-bristled brush or pressure washer to remove any excess paint or residue.

Having the right equipment on hand can make the whitewashing brick process easier, safer, and more enjoyable. By preparing your tools and materials in advance, you can ensure a successful and satisfying project outcome.

Step By Step Instruction On How To Whitewash Brick

Materials needed:

  • Water
  • Latex paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Drop cloth
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Cleaning supplies (bucket, soap, water, stiff-bristled brush or pressure washer)

Step 1: Clean the brick surface. Before starting the whitewashing process, make sure the brick surface is clean and free of any dirt, dust, or debris. Use a stiff-bristled brush or pressure washer to remove any excess paint or residue, and allow the brick to dry completely.

Step 2: Protect surrounding areas. Cover nearby furniture, floors, and other surfaces with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting to protect them from any potential paint splatters or spills. Use painter’s tape to mask off any areas that you don’t want to be painted.

Step 3: Mix the paint and water. In a paint tray, mix equal parts water and latex paint to create a thin, translucent mixture. Use a stir stick to blend the two ingredients together until fully combined.

Step 4: Apply the whitewash mixture. Dip the paintbrush into the mixture and begin applying it to the brick surface in long, even strokes. Work in small sections, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down. Allow the mixture to seep into the porous surface of the brick, but avoid leaving any drips or pools of paint.

Step 5: Repeat the process. Once you’ve covered the entire wall or section of brick with the first coat, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Then, repeat the process with a second coat of the whitewash mixture. Depending on the level of coverage you want to achieve, you may need to apply additional coats.

Step 6: Clean up. Once you’ve completed the whitewashing process, clean your brushes and tools with soap and water. If there is any excess paint on the brick surface, use a stiff-bristled brush or pressure washer to remove it. Allow the surface to dry completely before removing the drop cloth or painter’s tape.

Whitewashing brick can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that can give new life to an old wall or fireplace. By following these steps and using the right materials, you can achieve a beautiful, unique finish that will add character and charm to your space.


Can I use any type of paint for whitewashing brick?

No, it’s important to use a latex paint for this process, as oil-based paints can produce a different texture and take longer to dry.

How much paint and water should I mix together for the whitewash mixture?

The ratio of paint to water should be 1:1, or equal parts of each. You can adjust the ratio based on the level of coverage you want to achieve.

How do I know if my brick is suitable for whitewashing?

Whitewashing works best on porous brick surfaces. If your brick is smooth or has been sealed, the whitewash mixture may not adhere properly.

Can I remove whitewash from brick if I don’t like the result?

Yes, if you’re not happy with the whitewash finish, you can remove it using a stiff-bristled brush, pressure washer, or chemical paint stripper.

How long does the whitewash finish last?

The longevity of the whitewash finish depends on factors such as the level of foot traffic or exposure to the elements. With proper maintenance and touch-ups, the finish can last for several years.

Is it safe to whitewash indoor brick surfaces?

Yes, whitewashing indoor brick surfaces is safe as long as you follow proper ventilation and safety precautions. It’s also important to use a latex paint that is free of harmful chemicals or fumes.

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