Whitewash

Believe it or not, I think about blogging ALL the time, and thanks to us maintaining a pretty steady level of productivity around here I actually have a TON to blog about. But I put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to other bloggers that have beautiful, amazing, professional looking photos of the projects they do, and end up thinking that since I don't have those I should just not post anything at all. Well friends, I'm pretty excited about everything we've been doing around here, so I've decided to suck it up and post about projects regardless of the fact that my good camera hasn't come out in months. My iPhone photos will have to do for now, but I figure it's better than nothing right?

First up is some family room progress in the form of our AWESOME whitewashed brick wall, which finally got finished a couple weekends ago largely thanks to my mom who came over and literally spent all day helping me paint. Thanks mom!!! And of course, thanks to Dan, who was also a huge help despite thinking the wall was just fine the way it was.

I read a bunch of other blogs that talked about how whitewashing is so insanely simple, so my expectations that this project would only take a few hours were waaaaaay off. First up was grabbing a gallon of paint and some extra cheap brushes. I used Simply White by Benjamin Moore, which I picked because a ton of bloggers swear by it as the perfect white and picking out ONE white paint color out of the millions available causes serious anxiety for me so I just went with it. (Spoiler alert - it's the same color we used on the kitchen cabinets and I love it immensely, so, another high five to the blogosphere!) The paint should be mixed half and half with water, and then all you have to do is brush it on a couple bricks at a time and then quickly follow up with a rag and dab over it all. Easy, right? Well, if you had a normal brick wall, sure! But our brick has the mortar set deep in the cracks between each piece, as you can see in the image below... which meant every single little crack required us to wedge a 1" brush in there with messy watery paint and I promise you that was absolutely miserable to do, oh, about 1,427 times. Twice.

 

After a couple hours of work on day 1, a whopping 1/3 of the wall had one coat of paint on it, and I knew right away it was going to need at least 2 coats. This was about the time that I started wondering if this project was worth it at all, and I maybe swore at myself a lot about it considering there was obviously no turning back at this point.


If I'm being completely honest, the wall sat just like you see it above for at least a week while I pouted about how annoying it was. I spent a couple evenings tackling little chunks here and there, but it took my mom coming out and spending the day with us to crank out 95% of this project.


After a full coat on the whole wall, I watered the paint down a little further, but we decided to forego the dabbing with a rag step in favor of having the paint cover just a bit more the second time around. This was not only a huge time savings on the second coat, but I really think it was the right move for our VERY dark brick in the end.


There are a couple of spots and cracks that I need to touch up with a tiny artist's brush, but all in all the wall is finished and I cannot believe how much it brightens the entire room up! As I'd hoped, the variations and coloring in the bricks still shows through the paint, which helps keep this looking a little more "natural" than completely painted brick. And while it was a frustrating project, I'm thrilled with how it turned out in the end!

We've made a couple other fun purchases for the family room since completing the wall, but I'm not quite ready to call it finished just yet... so stay tuned for more updates soon!