Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Whitewash Tutorial

Whitewashing, or in my case greige-washing, is actually quite simple. In fact, I'm quite certain I could have employed Belle & Peanut to do the job if it wasn't for the fact that the family room carpet is white & I wish to keep it that way.  What I'm trying to get at is that the project is a no-brainer…shockingly time consuming, but simple minded. So let's get to the details.

First thing I did was run over the brick with a dry dust cloth to remove any loose mortar/ cobwebs/  superfluous stuff that might have taken up residency on the brick.

Next I mixed up the "paint". Traditional white wash is equal parts white paint and water. I knew that I wanted a more subtle gray tone for the brick so my mixture was 1/4 BM Pashmina, 1/4 BM Dove White & 1/2 part water.

I mixed it all in an empty gallon paint container and then carried the container with me as I tackled the project.

Here is how I went about applying the mixture. I worked in sections starting with the sides of the fireplace first (to hone my skills in a less noticeable spot). I painted a large section of grout lines first and then when back & filled in the face of each brick.

When my brush ran out of paint, I would grab a dry paper towel and dab the freshly painted bricks allowing as much brick to show through as desired.

That is it folks. Repeat about a million and one times & you're finished.

A couple of tips:

  • Baby wipes do a great job of removing dry paint build up from bricks if you find you accidentally applied too much paint in an area.
  • Magic Erasers will remove all the dried paint from a brick if you need to start fresh.
  • If you find your whitewash medium is beginning to resemble paint, add more water. 
  • If whitewashing a fireplace, once you are done the inside of your hearth will appear filthy…be prepared to clean that as well. 

So there you have it, my DIY step-by-step guide for ridding your home of ugly brick. (Click here to see more fireplace before & after shots and here to tour the updated family room in its entirety.). If you use the tutorial please leave me a message or drop me a line. Nothing makes my day more than to know I've inspired others to make their space reflective of themselves. Plus, I'm nosy and love to see the inside of other people's homes..thank God for blogs or else I'd be watching endless episodes of House Hunters!


  1. I have been staring at my brick fireplace for several years, hating it more every day. I thought about painting, but my 12 year old son likes the brick. Pinterest led me to your blog. BAZINGA! What a perfect compromise! I actually love this look much more than I would have a thicker solid paint. Thank you SO much! Absolutely brilliant idea! Really, thank you. REALLY!

  2. Love this! Just curious if the whitewash holds up after using the wood burning fireplace. I heard that I may need to use an oil based paint so it won't mess up the painted brick. Any feedback on that? Thanks!

    1. We haven't turned on the fire yet since the weather is still warm. I would think that the finish would be ok since
      1: the majority of the brick doesn't get hot during a fire
      2: the brick isn't completely painted over so it is able to breathe

      I will certainly report back if there is a problem...I'm crossing my fingers that there isn't!!!

  3. I just found your blog and love it! I am looking into buying the chandelier for our room (which is very similar in space to yours) and was wondering if you would mind giving me the dimensions of the room (including from floor to ceiling). We just want to make sure that it would be the appropriate size. Also, what is the color of the walls? I love it! Thank you for such inspiring ideas!!!

    1. Hi Kelly-
      So glad to have you as a follower! The room measures 20x17 and the ceiling peaks at 15ft. The chandelier is large for the space but because it is airy, it doesn't feel overbearing.

      Hope that helps & please let me if you have any other questions.

  4. That's a great room you got there. Love the accent pieces. Do you think a paint sprayer will work just as well?

  5. That's a great looking room you got there. Love the accents . You this a paint sprayer will do the job just as well? Just wondering......I just know I have to do this to my fireplace!

  6. I never thought to use anything but white - what an excellent idea to mix those colors together to create a 'greige' look. I can't wait to do this project to my own fire place this week. Thanks for the great post!


Thanks so much for taking a minute to share your thoughts with me! I love reading each of them. Have a great one.