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How to Cover Up Brick

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: So if Grace lived in New York City and had an exposed brick wall, you could get so much money in rent or sales. But you live in Indiana and you want to cover it up, so how can we help?

    GRACE: Right. We just finished remodeling; remodeled kitchen, dining area, sitting room – it’s all open. Everything has white chair rail, white trim, white door facings, red fireplace wall. It’s about 14 feet long, about 9 feet high, and it just takes over the room.

    LESLIE: You could certainly whitewash the brick. You know, I almost never recommend painting brick but I think whitewashing brick can sort of really enhance the look of it and also …

    TOM: What’s the difference between painting and whitewashing?

    LESLIE: Well, a paint would be like an opaque color. You wouldn’t be able to see through it. But if you did sort of a whitewash, which is even like watering down white paint or using …

    TOM: Like a stain?

    LESLIE: Yeah, or using like a white stain that’s not full-strength opacity; like you can see through it. This way some of the characteristics of the brick will still show through but in areas you can concentrate a little bit more heavier hand and have it to be a little bit more white but still allow the beauty of the brick to pop through. Because I understand that red can be so overwhelming but brick is also something very expensive that people spend a lot of time installing. And a lot of people are from the school, you know, there’s a special place in hell for those who paint brick (Tom chuckles), which is what someone at a Home Depot told me one time. And I believe it.

    GRACE: I really don’t want to join them but it would look so much better.

    LESLIE: Now I mean I agree with you. I think if it’s so overbearing as it sounds it is, you can absolutely go with it. And really, the white on the brick looks really nice.

    GRACE: Now we were talking also about possibly, if not painting, drywalling over a portion of it. But with the mantle, I think it would just ruin the looks of the – because it’s a full-wall mantle as well.

    TOM: It would be a shame to cover that completely, Grace. I think lightening up is the right approach.

    LESLIE: And it would be a lot of work to cover over it because you would have to fir on top of the brick to give yourself distance so that that drywall’s not going right on top of the brick. So you have to put in firring strips and if you’ve ever used a Tapcon or a masonry bit, it’s a lot of work. And once you finish with that first strip and realize what you’re in for, for the rest of that 14-foot wall, you’ll be kind of sorry you started.

    GRACE: By that time it’s too late. (chuckles)

    LESLIE: And you’re exhausted.

    TOM: Exactly. You can’t go back because you’ve ruined the wall with all of the holes from the Tapcons. (Grace and Tom laugh)

    GRACE: OK. Well listen, I totally appreciate your time. Thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome.

    LESLIE: Enjoy it.

    GRACE: So go with the whitewashing if I consider – if I do anything at all, right?

    LESLIE: Yeah, I agree.

    GRACE: OK, thank you very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Grace. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. 

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