Renovation 2007: Brick

I painted the exposed brick white. It looks lovely when the light from the outside streams in and bounces off the semi-gloss white. The problem, or more so a problem because it is interior, is the brick gets dusty. The brick that makes up my house has a lot of small holes, gouges, and was not laid evenly. This makes it hard to paint the exposed surfaces and what doesn’t get painted sloughs off brick dust.
The big gouges mostly have gotten touched with some caulk. In some spots that has worked out okay. In other spots I see that so much caulk was squeezed into the cavity that it is beginning to shrink and separate from the brick.
It’s white paint on white primer so that wall has gotten 2-3 coats. I can’t tell because it is hard to see where I painted before. Yet the strong tell tale signs that I missed a spot is a thin layer of brick dust that shows up quite well on a white surface. The number of small holes in the brick is more than I can sanely fill with caulk, so I’m going to have to accept a layer of dust.

4 thoughts on “Renovation 2007: Brick”

  1. Hi Mari,
    I’m a long time lurker on your blog, first or second time poster. I started reading your blog when I was looking at a couple of houses in Shaw a year or so ago. We settled on a place by H St, instead.
    At any rate, I had a brickpointer who is an expert at historic properties look at our place for a job. She told us that in DC, the senior masons worked on the front, the junior masons on the back and the apprentice masons on the interiors and that brickwork in DC homes was never intended to be exposed and that’s why so much of it is so messy.
    It was an ‘ah’ moment for me and I thought I’d share, since you had so much interior brick issues. Just think, a lazy apprentice 100 years ago might have done a sloppy job on your place!

  2. mari-

    I’m with you on the painted brick. I did ours a couple of years ago and have had no regrets!!


  3. I know that you said that this brick is on an interior wall and that the problem you are having is brick dust coming from the many small holes in the brick. I just wanted to suggest trying painting the brick with a paint sprayer. it might get the paint into holes and stop the dust. One other suggestion would be to try using “block filler” as a primer. It is what they use on cinder block before painting to fill and smooth the surface. hope this helps.

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