My mind was blown and maybe it shouldn’t have been. Maybe I should have known white brick was a possibility, that there is a version of it that is within our budget but I didn’t. For the farmhouse’s new sunroom, I really wanted it to be in a different material than the original home, but obviously still something classic. I love white painted brick A LOT and the fireplace inside is the original white brick so it felt appropriate. But traditional masonry is FAR more expensive in labor than applying wood siding so I gave up on it pretty early on. Then I saw on my friend (and amazing designer) Rosa Beltran‘s Facebook page how she redid a client’s house in painted brick for LESS than it would be for wood siding. I immediately texted ARCIFORM about it. They hadn’t ever done this cladding before but were excited to explore it. So I reached out to Rosa to ask how she did it…
So with her generous info, we’re gonna show you a step by step breakdown of the entire process, but first, let’s take a look at what the end result looks like. But wait…how could we show you how it’s going without showing you how it started???
Here’s what the exterior of the home looked like before…
and here’s the wizardry that Rosa did on this home…
So here’s the general overview from Rosa so you can get an idea of what she did, but we’ll also break it down step by step in the next few paragraphs so don’t you worry.
From Rosa: “So we clad the exterior of the house with “thin brick” that I believe we sourced at Lowes, but is widely available. Behind the brick was a scratch coat of stucco… so we prepared the walls just as you would if you were going to finish with stucco. Then we installed the thin brick using spacers (just like with tile) right on top of the stucco scratch coat. Grouted with sanded grout. And lastly, we painted everything with standard latex house paint (you can use limewash instead but we used paint.) After laying the thin brick we used other types of thicker brick to create some architectural detailing for window sills, arched doorways, little decorative arches above the windows, trim along the roofline, etc.“
That thin brick thing?? IT’S GENIUS. And widely available. Here’s a link to the brand that Rosa used for this project and here are the types of brick they have if you’re curious:
So now that you have the gist of what’s going on, here’s a step-by-step on how to actually do it. Also please note unless you’re very skilled at building houses, we recommend this being less of a DIY and more of a hire a contractor thing to ensure it looks (and functions) its best 🙂
Step One: Prepare Walls with a Scratch Coat
The first thing you’ll do in order to achieve this hack is to prep your exterior walls with a scratch coat as if you were going to finish it off with stucco. We found this video (by a very sweet man named Kurt) on how to create a scratch coat and it’s all in all very entertaining and gives you a solid overview if you want more info. Rosa informed us that all the waterproofing and wall prep is done just the same as you would for a fully stuccoed house, so it’s totally up to snuff if that was a concern of yours.
Step Two: Install Brick Using Spacers
This step is pretty much exactly what you would do if you were applying tile. You just take your brick, apply it from the bottom up and put spacers in between each so they are evenly dispersed. You apply them directly onto the stucco scratch coat so it will adhere to that 🙂
Step Three: Grout With Sanded Grout
You probably could’ve guessed what came next, but you just apply sanded grout between the brick (yes, just like you would regular tile!). Just ensure that it’s sanded so it has that brick-vibe to it. Here’s a close up of what the sanded grout looks like:
Then, you basically do the very tedious task of covering the entire house. It might take a second but BOY is it worth it in the end. Also if you’re worried about the cost of labor and materials, know that redoing the exterior siding of your home is pretty much never cheap (especially if you’re wanting brick), and Rosa found this to be even a little more cost-efficient than doing regular siding. Here’s what she had to say on the cost matter:
“As far as pricing, the material cost isn’t crazy and the labor is more like paying a tile setter than a finish carpenter, which I found to be more economical than wood siding which requires so much more cutting and nuance. It was much easier to just brick up the walls and call it good.”
Step Five: Add in Any Additional Brick Details
Geez, Rosa is a genius. And if you weren’t convinced before, let me show you why she is so smart AGAIN. After applying the thin brick & grouting it with sanded grout, Rosa then created borders and detailing with regular brick, so you’d never even think that there was thin brick underneath it. She put her details on rooflines and around windows/doors, and for this home did some really cute archway detailing. I’m a BIG fan.
See that little arch above the window?? It’s just…so charming…
Rosa also did a stacked archway for the entrance and added brick under the window to create a window sill which adds a lot more depth. Check it out:
GAH SO SWEET.
Step Six: Select Paint Color & Paint
Next up, you just paint your desired color using a standard latex house paint. Rosa informed us that you can also use limewash if you’d rather.
Look at how great this looks. You would never know it was “thin brick”.
See how special yet simple that entrance is with that arch?
So there’s the insanely awesome hack I am so excited to steal (with credit) for the farm sunroom exterior. Have you guys tried this before?? Any key learnings or advice? I’m all ears. See you in the comments xx
**Once again this project & genius idea is by my amazing designer friend Rosa Beltran. Check her out for all your design needs as well as custom furniture. She owns an incredible store called Clad Home where I’ve gotten a bunch of custom pieces made for truly affordable prices. Thank you, Rosa!!!