Try Limewashing or ‘German Smear’ to Freshen Up Your Brick 

A lot of homes in this area use brick in some form or fashion. Whether it’s exterior walls (either entirely or partially), interior fireplaces, or even just an accent wall…brick is everywhere around these parts. But the options for changing the look of those bricks are somewhat limited. Sure, you can power wash it to clean it up. Or you can repoint it if the mortar is failing (which you absolutely should do before anything else). You can also paint it. But there are other, lesser known, options. Have you ever thought to try limewashing or ‘German smear’ to freshen up your brick?  

Both use a process very similar to painting, only you use a different substance. And you wipe it off before it dries. Think of a Karate Kid/wax-on-wax-off approach.   

Lime washing on a brick wall.
The different strengths of Lime Washing.

Let me explain. 

Limewash (we use Lime Works)  is a mixture of ground limestone and water. German Smear involves wet mortar. Limewash and German smear use a similar technique in that you spread the mixture over the brick and, before it dries completely, you wipe it away to let the brick texture show through. The result of both processes is that you can still see clearly that the wall or fireplace is made of brick, but now it looks distressed and aesthetically different. 

Both approaches to freshening up brick have been used for a long, long time in other parts of the world but are becoming more and more popular around these parts. Especially for things like older brick houses, farmhouses, brick barns, or just trendy homeowners looking to make their home stand out.  

JLM Masonry can do limewashing and German smear for whatever project you have in mind. JLM Masonry is the authority on Brick, Stone and all things when it comes to masonry. Contact us today to set up an appointment and get your brick looking fresh and unique today.