How to turn painted brick into a German schmear look

Do It Yourself

Has social distancing given you the time to start tackling those at-home projects you’ve been thinking about doing for months, maybe even years? If you’ve been following my social media, then you know I havebeen getting a lot of home projects done during the quarantine.

And I have had quite a few of you reach out to me about the German Schmear project I’m currently working on so I’m taking you to my house to show you how it’s done.

A traditional German schmear is done on a smooth, non-painted brick. The brick has to be smooth so that when you mortar over the bricks and then wipe it away (aka smear) you are left with some bricks that are more white than others. However we aren’t all blessed with the perfect German schmear-ready bricks! So I had to get a little creative with mine. My bricks have 100 years of paint on them and it just wasn’t a reasonable solution to try and get the paint off. That’s where I got the crazy idea to paint them with three different colors to get a brick effect!

To achieve the same color brick effect as mine use the following paint colors:

Dark gray (SW 7047 Porpoise)

Light purple-toned gray – (SW 6261 Swanky Gray)

Van Dyke Brown (SW 7041)

I get all my paints at Norberg Paints. I usually pick my colors from one of the main color decks sitting around my house thanks to my husband or I do a little Pinterest searching and then I head down to Norberg’s and even if they don’t carry the brand with the color I like, they can mix up a color match just like that!

And because my bricks aren’t smooth, it doesn’t work to cover them with white mortar and then wipe the mortar away in areas. So to get the look, I rotate between using a mortar bag (actually I am using a piping bag with a large piping tip because I had it!!!) and my fingers to put mortar in all of my grout lines and then I wipe it down with my hand to spread the mortar across some of the surface areas.

For mortar, I actually used a white surface bonding cement with fiber glass.

I mixed a 50/50 blend of mineral spirits and weathered oak stain to age my mortar to complete the project!

To see more of my DIY and home improvement adventures, don’t forget to follow me on my KELOLAND Living Facebook page @KELOAshley!! I am constantly coming up with new crazy ideas to try and I post both the fails and successes to my facebook page!

Top photo is before and the bottom photo is after

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