Exposed brick and wooden beams lend an undeniable charm to any space. Whether your decorating style is industrial, rustic, vintage or contemporary, the classic colors and textures of brick and wood go with everything. Natural light sets them off beautifully, as do accents in warm metals like copper. You virtually can’t go wrong!
To remove unwanted paint from brick and return it to its ruddy glory, you’ll need a chemical or gel masonry stripper that’s approved for indoor use. Before you start, cover the floor with heavy plastic or drop cloths secured with duct tape, ensure the room is well ventilated, and don all recommended safety gear. Always start with a test patch, be ready to scrub, and remember that multiple applications will probably be necessary; while the end results will be worth it, you’re in for several days’ work.
If your brick is already raw, but has become dull with years of accumulated grime, the good news is that cleaning is totally possible. The bad news is that, like paint stripping, it is a time consuming process. This helpful guide will run you through several recommended techniques, from the least to the most harsh. Start with gentler products and work your way up from there if results aren’t satisfactory, bearing in mind that bricks, being porous, can actually be damaged.
Once you’ve put in the effort to get your bricks looking their best, you’ll naturally want them to stay that way. That’s where sealer comes in. Available in matt or gloss finish, brick sealers help repel dirt and prevent any liquids that contact your wall from creating stains.
If your home isn’t already blessed with indoor brickwork or wood, it’s possible to get the look without remodeling. DIY stores like Home Depot offer a selection of faux wood beams and moldings, which can be installed in place of the real thing for an instant transformation. A convincing brick wall can be achieved in the form of a veneer, where real bricks are cut in half and applied over the existing wall, or with products like Brickweb that mimic the look without the weight or the time investment.