17 Jun 2021

How to Maintain an Exposed Brick Wall

How to Maintain an Exposed Brick Wall

With the right design know-how, an exposed brick wall can be the perfect, unique touch for any room.  It brings organic character and warmth which isn’t found in plain drywall and can suit living and work spaces equally well!

Let’s look at some basics when it comes to cleaning, preserving and living with exposed brick!  We look at how to clean an exposed brick wall with non-hazardous brick cleaner and preserve it with our 5* matt brick sealant.

Cleaning an exposed brick wall

The extent of cleaning required depends on the condition of the wall and the effect or “look” that you are going for.   You can remove all plaster and paint residues or just leave them in place for added character.  Our eco-brick cleaner is a water based (non-haz) formulation designed to remove dirt, carbon, and efflorescent salt deposits.   Mixed with warm water and agitated with a deck scrubbing brush, you can clean large areas quite quickly.   Stubborn deposits can be abraded with a stiff wire brush.   Bear in mind that if you are doing the work in the course of a renovation and the building has not been wind / watertight, it may take several months for efflorescent salts to stop emerging.

Preserving an exposed brick wall

If you’re lucky enough to have some space that already includes a stunning brick wall, it shouldn’t need any decorative enhancement but what it will need is protection.   The right sealer will provide some protection from staining, limit surface delamination and crucially control the problem of “dusting”.  “Dusting” manifests itself as a gritty residue which accumulates on floors, furniture and anything else in the vicinity of the wall.  It is a problem because the dust / grit is highly abrasive, marking veneered surfaces and potentially damaging computers and other electronic equipment.   It happens because a mineral based (clay, sand, lime) surface in contact with heating dries out, causing granular particles to detach. 

Our clear matt brick sealant barely changes the look of the wall but protects the brick surface from disintegration and surrounding areas from the irritating dust problem.

“I can't tell you how highly I recommend this product. For dust troublesome bricks on exposed walls, there is nothing better on the market. A must for anybody with this design feature in their home.” 

“Couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We have had a problem with dust on 3 exposed brick walls in our home for a few years, never quite finding the right solution after some failed attempts with other brands. One application of Kingfisher's Interior Brick/Dust Sealer, the problem has gone and the eroding bricks are now stable and we can walk past without being covered in red dust. Thanks for the excellent advice! We'll be back!”

Painting an exposed brick wall

If you wish to paint an exposed brick wall, masonry paint usually works best. Clean the brick as described above, leave to dry for 12 hours & give it a quick vacuum before priming with Weatherflex Stabilising Solution and painting with Weatherflex masonry paint. We have a range of inspiring Lakeland colours available to order online, click here to check them out.

How to tell if you have brick under your plaster

As a rule, the earlier your home was built, the more likely it is you will find an attractive brick wall behind the plaster.  This is not a cast iron rule but pre-1950's construction was mostly brick or stone and the less appealing brick types/ concrete blocks came into wider use later on.  To check, just chisel plaster away from a hidden corner, or look through openings already in the wall - behind radiators or by unscrewing a socket, just make sure the power is off first!   Some walls will have had sand / cement renders applied.  These can be difficult to remove and may hide damp issues so proceed with caution and seek professional advice.   In most cases it is advisable to stick to exposing internal partition walls.  External walls tend to be much colder as they are exposed to the elements.   This matters because you can trigger condensation problems if you remove the plaster or any insulation which may have been installed.


We've lots of inspiration over on our Exposed Brick Wall board on our Pinterest

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