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How to Decorate Around an Ugly Brick Exterior

  • Transcript

    Now we’ve got Rebecca from Georgia on the line who has a question about her brick house. How can we help you?

    REBECCA: I stained my house – oh, gosh – 20 years ago.

    TOM: You stained your brick house?

    REBECCA: And I have – yeah.

    TOM: OK.

    REBECCA: It’s a brick house and I stained it in a dark color and I’ve never liked it. Is there anything I can do to get this stain …?

    TOM: But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    REBECCA: Yes, it did. Yes, it did. It’s an ugly brick and it just stood out. It just shouted at you and I was trying to just, you know, calm it down a little bit.

    TOM: Right.

    REBECCA: But it – I’ve never liked it. And I would like to – I wish I could get my natural brick back, is what I wish.

    TOM: And now that you’ve been staring at it for 20 years, that’s all you can stand and you can’t stand it anymore.

    REBECCA: Yes.

    LESLIE: And you really don’t like it.

    REBECCA: My next step will be to paint it but …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Oh. Hmm.

    REBECCA: I wish I can get that stain off; I really do.

    TOM: Problem is that the brick is like a sponge.

    LESLIE: Porous.

    TOM: It’s very porous.

    REBECCA: Yes, yes.

    TOM: And so I’m sure that whatever stain you used soaked right into it and since – not even like it’s something that we can physically get to …

    REBECCA: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Yeah, because even if you paint brick and then years later you’re like, “Bleh, I want to get rid of it,” that would be something that’s like a sand-blasting option. And you can get that paint that sticks to the surface off but once you get down to the brick, say you painted it white, you’re still going to see a wash of white in all the pocking of the brick.

    REBECCA: Exactly.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: So with the stain, I don’t even think sand-blasting would get that.

    REBECCA: No.

    TOM: And it’ll destroy the brick, too.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah.

    REBECCA: Oh, I see. I thought about that.

    TOM: Well, I think you should not stress about it anymore and I think you should think about painting it.

    REBECCA: Yes.

    TOM: But before you do that, think of any other things – and I’m going to ask Leslie to put on her decorator hat now – any other things that you can do to soften that dark color and do other things like the trim, the windows, the molding; any of those types of exterior …

    LESLIE: Adding shutters.

    TOM: Right, shutters.

    LESLIE: Adding window boxes with lots of beautiful floral and greenery to hide some of that.

    REBECCA: Yes.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: Encouraging ivy to grow on the side of the brick.

    TOM: But now, seriously, you can think about decorating around the dark color. It’s like when you buy a house that’s got a really old, 1950s bathroom and you hate the pink but it’s rock-solid – it’s a rock-solid tile project.

    REBECCA: Yes.

    LESLIE: She’s like, “Wait, I have one of those, too.”

    REBECCA: You’re talking about my house.

    TOM: There you go.

    LESLIE: Oh, God.

    TOM: There’s always a way to decorate around it, so I’d just like you to think about that because once you paint, you know what comes next?

    REBECCA: Yes.

    TOM: Repaint.

    REBECCA: I know, I know. Yes. But anyway, I will definitely do what you said. That sounds good.

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