Let There Be Brick

While demo is still continuing, we decided now would be the time to expose any brick we want upstairs. After searching through inspiration pictures and pinning away, we chose the wall behind the bed in the Master Bedroom for the Exposed Brick look. We needed to start the project on a day we both had off (since I HATE cleaning, and this is the messiest project of all time). So, Sunday we woke up early, had a quick breakfast, and headed off to Home Depot for the tools to get started.

Here’s what you need:

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(Tons of Garbage Bags, Acid Proof Gloves, Acid Resistant Sprayer, Muriatic Acid and Rental Demo Hammer Drill with chisel edge – Not Pictured: Wire Brush, Safety Goggles and Dust Mask)

Its important to note that although all row houses in Baltimore have brick behind the plaster, there is no knowing what condition it is in. So when you decide to expose brick, there’s a chance the brick is in terrible condition, and at that point, would need to be re-pointed ($$$). You are definitely taking a risk. We figured, worst case scenario, we can frame out the wall and drywall over it, so we moved forward.

After you get your materials together, you put down some drop clothes to protect the floors. We will be refinishing the floors, so were not too concerned about this. Then you just start hammer-drilling:

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This does not take much effort. The plaster basically falls off the walls. Also, the wallpaper helps keep it together in big chunks for easy clean-up. Your shoulders start to get sore just from the weight of the tool, so it helps to have another person you can switch with for a break. It moves really quickly. We were done in an hour or so.

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OMG – Look at that mess!

I went to go return the hammer drill to Home Depot while Collin cleaned up.

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Ahh – Much better!

Next it’s time for the Acid Cleaning. Mix the Acid as per the instructions (for our bottles, it was 3 oz of Acid and fill the rest with water).

To start you just spray some on the wall. It will fizz, since the acid is doing its job. Then you use a wire brush to clean the wall. It reminds me of brushing teeth motion.

 

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You can see the difference in the clean brick and the not clean brick above pretty clearly.

We will need to go through this process two times total over the next few days. Then we can let the wall dry out and seal it up!

 

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