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20 July 2023

How do you make old brick look new again?

Brick walls are timeless and can lend a classic charm to any property. However, over time, exposure to the elements and other factors can cause bricks to appear weathered and worn. The good news is that there are several effective techniques to rejuvenate old bricks and make them look new again. In this article, we'll explore five methods to revitalize old brickwork and bring back its original luster.

Cleaning the Bricks

The first step in restoring old brickwork is cleaning the surface to remove dirt, grime, algae, and other stains that accumulate over the years. For light surface dirt, you can use a soft-bristle brush and water to gently scrub the bricks. For more stubborn stains, consider using a mixture of water and mild detergent or a specialized brick-cleaning solution. Be cautious with high-pressure washers, as excessive pressure can damage the bricks and mortar. Always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire wall.

Removing Efflorescence

Efflorescence is the white, powdery residue that appears on brick surfaces due to the migration of soluble salts. To eliminate efflorescence, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and apply it to the affected areas using a sponge or soft brush. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water. If the efflorescence is stubborn, you may need to repeat the process. Once the bricks are free from efflorescence, let them dry completely before proceeding with the next steps.

Repointing and Repairing

Inspect the brickwork for any damaged or deteriorated mortar joints. Cracked or missing mortar can not only diminish the appearance of the brick wall but also lead to structural issues. Use a pointed trowel to carefully remove damaged mortar, and then replace it with fresh mortar. Repointing not only enhances the overall appearance but also ensures the structural integrity of the wall. If there are any cracked or broken bricks, replace them with new ones to maintain a uniform and tidy appearance.

Applying a Brick Sealer

Once the bricks are cleaned, repaired, and efflorescence-free, applying a brick sealer can protect the surface and enhance its appearance. Brick sealers form a protective barrier that repels water, prevents stains, and reduces the impact of UV rays, thus slowing down the aging process of the bricks. Before applying the sealer, make sure the bricks are completely dry. Use a roller or sprayer to evenly coat the surface with the sealer. Allow it to dry as per the manufacturer's instructions before applying a second coat if needed.

Enhancing with a Fresh Coat of Paint (Optional)

If you desire a drastic transformation or want to update the look of the brickwork, painting the bricks is an option. Painting old bricks with a fresh coat of paint can give your property a modern, clean appearance. Choose a high-quality masonry paint specifically designed for brick surfaces. Ensure the bricks are thoroughly cleaned and dry before applying the paint. Keep in mind that painting brick is a more permanent change, as it can be challenging to remove the paint once it's applied.


Restoring old brickwork and making it look new again is a rewarding process that can breathe new life into your property's facade. By cleaning, removing efflorescence, repairing, sealing, and optionally painting the bricks, you can achieve remarkable results. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help preserve the refreshed appearance of the bricks for years to come. Remember to take precautionary measures and seek professional assistance if needed. With patience and care, you can revive the timeless beauty of your old brick walls and enjoy their charm for many more years.

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