I’m trying hard to stick to one blog post a week. Pretty soon I’ll be scratching my head for material but for now, I have a lot in reserves! We moved into our farmhouse about 11 months ago. I can’t believe the transformation that has occurred in those short months! I mentioned in my last post that this house was a flip. The interior was jazzed up pretty nicely. The exterior on the other hand was a different story! I don’t think it was touched in over 40 years. In some areas, the brick had taken on an orangish hue. The mortar was a lovely shade of dirty tan.
I had big plans for this little house. Besides the house itself having no curb appeal, there were no plants around the exterior. There was however a large amount of bindweed, old carpet, debris etc. It took quite awhile to clean it up well enough to plant some flower beds.
When we bought the house, the siding was all white. Once we took down the garage doors and enclosed that wall, I painted all the siding a greenish-gray color. It looked so lovely with the red brick!
I researched lime washing and decided that’s the route I would go for the brick. From what I read, limewashed brick should be virtually maintenance free for 50 years, whereas exterior brick that was painted could possibly peel depending on conditions. Also, it is a CHEAP and easy process. With the garage reno taking up so much of my husband’s time, I needed to be able to do it completely on my own.
On a whim one day in June, I started the limewashing. A friend of mine from church limewashed her brick. Knowing someone in real life who successful did it gave me the confidence I needed to begin!
I went to Home Depot and picked up a $12 bag of “hydrated S lime”, a bucket and a stiff bristled paint brush. I used an old plastic cup to measure my lime into the bucket. (When working with the lime I highly suggest wearing glasses, paper respirator, and gloves) I was never very precise with my measurements. I would scoop enough lime for the area I wanted to work on that day. Then I would add water until it was the consistency of skim milk.
After your lime is mixed, it’s time to paint! I used the jet setting on my garden hose nozzle to quickly clean the brick of dirt and debris, also limewash goes on much nicer when the brick is wet. I would work in small sections at a time, cleaning and wetting the brick then limewashing.
Speaking of his opinions, he didn’t love the fact that the limewash was drying opaque white. My vision was definitely a more distressed brick look than a painted brick, but I wasn’t sure how to achieve that. He had the great idea to hook a wire wheel up to his drill to scrape some of the limewash off the brick. It worked like a charm!
My new process was to clean/wet the brick, limewash, then randomly distress bricks with the drill. It was tedious but I made sure to do small sections at a time so I didn’t wear myself out. It took about a month to finish the entire house working a few days a week. I have to admit, I was pretty proud with what I accomplished. Besides the intital help figuring out how to distress the brick, my hubby didn’t lift a finger with this project!
Here are some after pictures of our finished house! My sweet father in law built and installed the shutters for us. We also installed some new farmhouse style lights that I scored at Sams Club for $20 each!
If you add the cost of the bucket, paintbrush and bag of lime, this project comes in right around $20…and I still have half a bag of lime leftover! Besides being so affordable and easy, the results were better than I imagined.