I’m no sure if it’s more appropriate to call this project “whitewashing” or “faux painting”, because it certainly involved a bit of each.
In my research, all the “whitewashing brick” tutorials featured porous, red brick – not my flat-slabbed industrial, gray brick we found on the backside of our fireplace.
So I turned to my long-standing sound credo, let’s just wing it.
1. White Base
I started with a VERY watered-down paint – about 5-8 parts water to one part white latex paint. Stir thoroughly.
I used a fat brush to apply, and old rags to wipe around the excess – I found wiping was better than dabbing, which left a weird texture.
Most tutorials I read used a 2:1 water to paint ratio. But, since our brick was not very porous I was worried about it just looked straight-up painted. (Not the look we were going for.) You can always add more paint people!
2. Depth and Variation
Because our brick wall was straight gray, I wanted to add some variation. I made a few different colors of gray paint, using a bit of black paint. I painted specific bricks a different color gray – emphasizing darkness in certain corners of the brick to create shading.
I also used some bright white paint to highlight corners of some bricks to help with this.
3. The Grout
You will need to decide what color you would like your grout to end up being. We liked the look of a whiter-grout, so I took a small paintbrush and used the same step 1 treatment on all of the grout.
4. Final Layer
To bring together all of the different gray and white bricks, I added a little bit more white paint to my original watered down mixture. I went over the entire wall three times, wiping down each layer.
1. This was SUPER drippy. I had no interest in protecting our floor, since we are building right over it – but you should probably protect yours.
2. You can’t go wrong. When in doubt, dab, wipe, repeat.
3. Your arm should be moving CONSTANTLY. Otherwise your wall will just look drippy when the paint collects.
4. Layers. Layers. Layers. I probably did each step 3-4 times before moving on to the next step.
5. Back AWAY from the wall. Every few minutes, walk 10-15 feet away from the wall and see how it looks to ensure consistency.
6. Daylight. I paint at night all the time, but this project is definitely one you need daylight for. Harsh work lights will cast an uneven glare.
Now that we’ve started painting the room, I might do another layer to tint it. If I do I will sure let you know. : )