To whitewash red brick, mix up a pickling stain with white enamel-based oil paint, turpentine and yellow pigment, then apply with a rag and wipe off the excess. Allow the coating to soak in and dry before deciding if a second coat is needed.
Whitewashed brick creates a neutral, cool and open feeling in a room. It is also a great option for changing up the look of a red brick wall or fireplace. This process starts with a homemade pickling mixture, paint brushes and clean rags.
- Create pickling mixture
- Prep the work area
- Apply the mixture
- Wipe down the brick
Combine 2 quarts satin white enamel oil-based paint, 2 quarts of gum turpentine and a 1/16 ounce of yellow oxide pigment in a large bucket. Stir until well mixed. This creates about 1 gallon of pickling mixture.
Spread out a tarp to cover the floor. Remove furniture and small items from the immediate area, and put on old work clothing. Open a couple of windows, or set up a fan to provide plenty of ventilation.
Test the mixture on a small section of brick to see how much gets absorbed before painting the entire wall. When ready, paint the mixture onto the bricks with a paint brush or roller. Make sure to apply a smooth, even coat across the entire surface. Work in sections to keep a lot of the pickling mixture from being absorbed where work started and less being absorbed where it was last applied.
Wipe any excess pickling mixture off of the brick surface with a clean rag. Multiple rags may be needed for a large work area. This allows some of the natural brick to show through and creates visual texture. Allow the brick to completely dry before adding a second coat, if necessary.