Thinking of giving a refreshing look to the exteriors of the house? Try this cost-effective technique of German smearing. The exteriors of the house form the first impression for those visiting your place and even passers-by. It should not only be well-equipped and maintained but also visually appealing. Many homeowners usually paint the outer surface, but in the longer run, the paint peels off, making the place look unpleasant.
Apart from this, many houses are built with bricks on the exterior, which gives the place a rustic and traditional look. The dark color of the bricks makes the site look dimmer. In a period, the damage caused to the bricks, like cracks, can also be seen, which degrades the look of the house.
A simple and inexpensive method to elevate the brick exteriors of the house is by German schmearing the walls or washing them with mortar. The mortar wash comes with the benefit of being water-proof and protecting the exteriors from UV radiation.
Here is a compilation of everything you need to know about German smears and a few design ideas that you can apply to the house for an aesthetic look.
Why Use German Smear?
The German smear gets its name from Germany, where it is used as a brick-painting technique. This method is a budget-friendly one and can be DIY at home by anyone. German smear involves using cement-based mortar on red or darker bricks to convert them into white. This mortar wash can be used wherever bricks have been installed in the house, like exterior walls, a fireplace, interior brick walls, etc. The German smear will give the original bricks a lighter tone and turn the space into a visually beautiful one.
The German smear mixture consists of 70% cement-based mortar and 30% water. The slurry that is prepared from the mixture can be altered as per requirement.
If you want a thick layer of German smear, add less water, this will give the bricks a deep look. For a thin and translucent brick look, add more water. Apart from this, a German smear can give the space a refreshing and farmhouse look in just a few steps.
How to Apply German Smear?
Nowadays, homeowners are undertaking many projects that are budget-friendly and can be done in a few accessible steps. Moreover, they are trying to convert their current space into a more functional and aesthetical one. German Smear is one such home project that is not only easy to undertake but also gives the place an old-European touch.
The cement-based mortar can be prepared at home by mixing cement, lime, and sand with water in appropriate proportions. You can also get a pre-mixed mortar blend, which requires only water to be added. You can give the place a new look by choosing a white or gray colored mortar as a German smear.
Here are a few steps that you can follow before applying a German smear on any corner of the house.
- If you are making cement-based mortar at home, take 4 parts of sand, 1 part of cement, and water, and mix all the components with a power drill till it becomes a thick and consistent paste.
- Clean the brick wall with a bristle brush or water to remove all the dirt and grease from the bricks so that the mortar adheres easily.
- Before applying the mortar on the entire brick wall, try and test it on a few bricks so that you can alter the slurry by adding water or mortar to give it a thinner or thicker look.
- Dampen the bricks with water so it provides more room for absorbing the mortar. Use a hose for dampening the exterior brick wall and a wet sponge for the fireplace and interior walls.
- With the help of a sponge or trowel, apply the German smear on the wall from top to bottom. The smear takes at least 30 to 50 minutes to set on the wall, so before it glues to the wall, with the help of a wire brush, remove mortar from the surface of the bricks.
- If you want a soft look on the walls, remove a small amount from random bricks. This will give a slight look of the original brick color, making it look aesthetic. If you remove a larger portion of the mortar, you’ll get a visually appealing look, with German smears on the seams or brick joints.
What Are the Benefits of German Smears?
The mortar wash can uplift your current space and also be done within budget. This permanent treatment can be done by anyone as a DIY home project. Apart from this, the German smear has many other benefits that are mentioned below.
- German smears can be applied to both the exteriors as well as interiors of the house. Being versatile in nature, you can choose to take this DIY project instead of the entire renovation of the house.
- All the tools and materials used in German smearing the bricks fall under budget. Moreover, the mortar wash easily adheres to raw brick better than painting.
- German smears are water-resistant. Hence it becomes the perfect choice for exterior bricks.
- There is no ground rule or pattern while applying German smear on the brick wall. Both thick and thin mortar wash gives an aesthetic and eye-catching look to the space.
- German smears remain permanently on the brick walls without re-applying, so this DIY is a one-time home project.
- The mortar wash is easy to clean and maintain. With the help of a power washer, you can remove the dirt in the seams and walls. For the fireplace, you can use the inexpensive method of vinegar and water solution for cleaning purposes.
- You will get a lifelong decorative wall that blends well with other furniture items, flooring, etc. Moreover, the space will get a rustic and antique look that is budget-friendly.
What Are the Different Designs that Can Be Done with German Smears?
German smears add a neat character to the walls when it is applied. Due to its’ lighter color and different textures, it gives the space an airy look. This mortar wash technique helps update the current brick wall’s appearance and does not fade out easily.
Here is a compilation of German smear design ideas that can easily be executed for a beautiful outcome.
1. Faux Brick Wall with German Smears
German smears are unable to stick on painted walls or bricks. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy the rustic look in your bedroom, kitchen, or any other corner of the house. You can still get the mortar washed within budget without heavy renovation.
Purchase brick panels after measuring the size of the wall where you want to apply the German smear. With the help of nails, secure all the panels on the wall, and then caulk the gaps for a saturated look. Use a wide plastic putty knife to apply the German smear on every corner and seam easily. Allow the wall to dry. You can keep the faux brick wall as it is with the original smear or brush it with whitewash.
2. The Brick-And-Stone Combination
If you are German smearing the exterior of the house, you can choose to be creative. Although stones can also be mortar washed, they can be left in their original form for a visually appealing look. Choose to German smear the outer brick wall with a thick paste to give a lighter shade. This technique will give your home a farmhouse look.
You can add black metallic accessories like nameplates, window panels, and lights for a modern touch. Wooden beams and border shrubs can help elevate the German smear wall look.
3. German Smear on a Thin Brick Wall
You can create an accent wall in any corner of the house with the help of a German smear. One of the most aesthetical and eye-catching looks can be achieved by DIY a thin brick wall with mortar wash. Collect single thin bricks according to the height and width of the wall you want to install. With the help of adhesive, you can stick these bricks in any manner, horizontal, vertical, or geometrical shape, for a unique look.
After the bricks have been assembled, grout the joint with German smears. This will give the accent wall a brick-and-mortar touch that has both dark red and white shades.
4. German-Smeared Wall in The Bathroom
You can get the rustic aesthetic look in all nooks and corners of the house without breaking down the entire wall. German smear works on all kinds of untreated bricks and stones.
You can also install brick panels on any surface easily and then apply mortar wash. Bathrooms can also enjoy the antique look provided by the German smear. Install a faux brick wall on a plain surface. Apply mortar with a trowel on the entire surface, or for a unique look, grout the seams.
You can pair the German smears with wooden signboards, black metallics, and lights for aesthetic appeal.
5. German Smear in The Kitchen
The light-toned and textured German smear gives the place a spacious and bright look. Apart from this, the mortar wash is timeless and will never leave the trend. This cost-effective technique can also be applied in the kitchen as a backsplash or on the cabinets. If your kitchen has stone or brick walls, you can easily apply the mortar with the steps discussed above.
If not, you can convert any wall into an accent wall by using faux brick panels. These panels are smoother compared to the original bricks. Hence German smears can be directly applied without treatment. Choose to cover the backsplash with a German smear in a thick paste for a white paint look.
6. Stone and Brick Fireplace
The German smear is abundantly used in both indoor and outdoor fireplaces. The mortar wash helps grab attention due to the lighter shade and allows accessories like wooden and black colors to steal the show. German smears can be applied to both stone and brick fireplaces and make them look visually interesting.
The mortar wash blends with all kinds of furniture and flooring and makes the space look cozier. Furthermore, you can add an accent wall filled with rocks or pebbles. The German smear can be applied to the grouts or space between the rocks. The dark and light shades will create a beautiful dimension.
German smear technique of brick painting is the best and most inexpensive method to add a new personality to your current house. Not only does it uplift the house’s view, but it is durable for several years.
You don’t need to think of any other paint or renovation where German smears have been applied. Apart from this, the German smear technique is the most suitable method to protect your exteriors from moisture damage. With the help of a few tools, you can DIY this project on your brick as well as stone walls and elevate the look. German smear is well-known for its versatility and adaptability.
Not only does it give the home a fine character, but it also establishes a connection between the antique and modern touch.
Try this inexpensive method by following the above technique of brick painting and convert your space into a visually interesting and eye-catching one.