Dingy brown exposed brick

Old 12-28-02, 07:17 PM
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Cleaning brick

I'm about to buy a house from 1920 that needs some cosmetic work. One side of the house is exposed brick. I like exposed brick when it's a nice lively red color but this brick is a dingy brown color. There are also spots where bricks are missing to provide nooks to put stuff that i want to fill. This house is 80y/o so I'm not sure if there is a way to restore the brick (i.e. chemically or like sanding it down) so that it would go back to a reddish color or if i just have to completely redo the wall. It also has 2 "decorative" fireplaces which i just think are a waste that i may fill. Might look into having the one in the living room turned real but there is one in one of the bedrooms (not even centered in the room, near the door) that i will just cover it up.

So basically, can i do something other then redoing the wall to get this brick looking good. Would it be likely to fill in the spots and fireplaces without it looking obvous.

Also i've seen some exposed bricks that have been covered with some sort of laminating glaze... it looks good i think, any pros or cons to doing that, and what exactly is used.

Thanks, i'm about to be a first time home buyer and will be here often!


Last edited by twelvepole; 01-03-03 at 10:10 PM.
Old 01-03-03, 10:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
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Cleaning brick

There are commercial brick cleaners that may restore the original color of your brick. There are many forum posts where folks paint or glaze brick or stucco over it to update its appearance and achieve a different decorative effect.

You might want to consult with an interior designer for some input. It may be worth a consultation fee. It is difficult to envision what you describe. Typically, fireplaces tend to be a decorative focal point in a room.

I recall a house in historic Williamsburg, VA, where the brick exterior front was laid on purpose with missing bricks. At Christmas they placed a red apple in each of the holes of the missing bricks. It was one of my favorites. Is this the style of which you describe? Or, are bricks missing because they fell out?

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