Ways to Show Off Your Exposed Brick Wall

Exposed brick can be the focal point of a room or an eyesore. Caring for the brick and choosing how to decorate it carefully can help you make the most of any exposed brick walls you might have in your Philadelphia home.

You have a lot of options when it comes to personalizing your home in Philadelphia. You can put wallpaper on the walls, hang art, or completely renovate the interior to your liking. When renovating, some homeowners decide to expose the brick on one or more walls, creating a warm, rustic look.

But exposed brick can be controversial. It seems that people either love it or hate it. If you’ve decided to go the exposed brick route or you’re renting or have recently bought a home in Philly with a visible brick wall, there are a few ways you can make the most of it.

Clean and Seal the Wall

There’s a big difference between a well cared for brick wall and a brick wall that’s crumbling down. If pieces of brick come off in your hands every time you touch the wall, it’s going to give your home a feeling of neglect.

Protecting your brick wall is typically a three-step process. First, gently clean the wall with a mixture of water and vinegar. Before you wipe the vinegar mixture all over the wall, test it in an out-of-the-way area to make sure the solution doesn’t cause the wall to crumble. If the wall can withstand the solution, spray it all over and gently wipe clean with a soft cloth.

If your brick wall is in a room with a lot of moisture, such as the bathroom or even the kitchen, you want to make sure the grout is holding up well. Grout helps keep out moisture and reduces the chance of the wall being damaged by humidity. You can regrout the bricks yourself, but a simpler option might be to find a licensed contractor in the city to perform the work for you.

Once the wall is cleaned and regrouted, the next step is to seal it. A brick sealant will keep dust and moisture from building up on the wall, and will mean less headache for you in the long run. You can choose a sealant with a glossy finish or a matte finish, if you prefer a more rustic, natural look.

Whitewash or Paint It

Now that your exposed brick wall is in tip-top shape, the next step is to figure out how to enhance it. Some people use their brick walls as a focal point in a room and decide to paint those walls a bold color. You lose the natural, warm look of the brick when you paint the wall a bright color such as pink or green, which might keep some from considering paint at all. Plus, it’s incredibly difficult to get paint off of brick, so you should go into the project knowing it will be a permanent thing.

If you feel that plain brick is too heavy on its own, another option is to whitewash the wall. A coat of whitewash lightens up and creates an airy feel in the room.

Keep It Simple

You can also show off your exposed brick wall by keeping any decorative touches you use on it simple. Hang a mirror on the wall to brighten up your space and to create contrast between the rough texture of the brick and the smooth surface of the mirror. If you decide to hang art on the brick wall, pick something that complements the brick. A wooden wall hanging goes well with the rustic nature of the brick, as does a group of plants in wall-mounted planters.

With some prepwork and careful design decisions, a brick wall can be a great element in your home.

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