Get the Whitewash Look: Paint, Limewash, and the German Smear

PC: Private Newport

Today we are looking in to a favorite exterior trend. Whitewashed brick exteriors are so pretty and have a charming Old World feel. They have the fresh look of a painted white exterior without sacrificing the warmth of red brick. There are several ways to get this look and so today we are talking about the differences between whitewashing with paint, lime and mortar.


Joey Luke

Paint and Limewash

You can whitewash your brick with either latex paint or a limewash (a mixture of lime, tint, and water). Both give that charming worn look of old European brick. They will penetrate into your brick to create an instant patina. You can layer both paint and limewash for greater coverage and rub off areas until you get the look you want. Painted brick requires upkeep, but limewashing is a way to get this look you love without the maintenance. Lime is more durable than paint and also has properties that discourage mold growth.

PC: Flower Garden Girl

Romabio Paints

Patterson Custom Homes

Peter Block via Southern Living

Carolina Design Associates

Mortar Wash (German Smear and Slurry) 

The German Smear is a mortar wash technique. Instead of paint, you smear mortar mixed with cement over the brick to white it out. Unlike paint or lime, mortar does not penetrate the brick but instead covers it and creates texture. You can easily control how much mortar to smear and how much brick you want to keep exposed. A slurry wash uses the same mortar and cement mixture as the German Smear, but instead of covering just pieces of your brick, you completely cover it. This thick texture looks a little like smooth stucco, but still allows the brick texture to show through.

Anthony Wilder

PC: Becki Owens

Old Texas Brick

James F Carter

Horace Homes via Tell it to your Neighbor 

Aren’t these homes so pretty? If you are looking to update your exterior, it is for sure a look to consider. Also make sure to check out last week’s post Pros and Cons: Painted Brick Exteriors for more exterior renovation inspirations. Thanks for stopping by today!




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