Getting the look of the German Smear House

Discover the beauty of applying this technique in every home. Check out these German Smear House design inspirations!

Getting the look of the German Smear House German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Hello Ivory Rose

Imagine having to live in a brick house that resembles the old world. Or perhaps a house with white modernist feel that will always clear your mind. You’ll marvel over its impeccable beauty, but its superb quality will surprise you as well.

Past to Present: From Red and Brown to White

Because of the cold weather in most states, the iron brick is needed for people to be protected. However, there are only two main colors of brick. It’s either within the shades of red or brown. Fortunately, the color of the brick can be painted with any color preference.

Past to Present From Red and Brown to White German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Camille Whiting

Red and Brown Bricks

The natural color of bricks is red or brown due to its high iron content. People are left with no other choice but to embrace this brick color. However, its natural content also makes the brick sturdier.

White Bricks

Is there a white brick? The answer is no, except if the brick was already painted white. If you ever see someone selling a “natural white” brick, be wary. It may be fake.

Painting a Brick

There are several methods of changing a brick color. You may paint it the traditional way. However, what if your brick is already old? 

Do you need to buy new sets of bricks? What if your budget doesn’t permit buying new ones?

The good news is, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Paint your brick with the color white and repair it at the same time. 

This method is called the German smear technique. With this, your simple brick can transform into a German smear brick.

Painting a Brick German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: H2OBungalow Home Decor & Home Improvement

What Is German Smear Painting?

The German smear or schmear is a brick painting technique that originated in Germany, particularly in the northern part. Most of its country homes and even castles have applied this German schmear brick. While this look was most common in the old world, several people have continued on with this heritage of brick paint. This technique is achieved by applying a white mortar wash that is made of cement, sand, and water. The cement and sand add more quality to a brick. This is why it is most ideal for people whose bricks need repair. With German smear, they do not need to buy new bricks. The mortar wash could hold up the old bricks together, making it stronger. Plus, it creates a brand new look.

Characteristics of the German Smear Home

The look of a German Smear home is very amusing. All over the country, you may see several houses that have applied the technique. This is because they see a lot of physical and intangible benefits to this paint technique.

Characteristics of the German Smear Home German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Restyled Homes
Beauty in Imperfection If you look at their brick walls up close, you may think that some of them are messy. It depends on how the people smear mortar on it. However, it doesn’t matter because they all look great from afar. You see the beauty of it despite its irregularity. It’s like many modern and postmodern artworks and designs. Traces of the Old Days If you’re yearning for the antique or vintage look, then the German smear is for you. It boasts the style of the 18th century or even way before that. If you combine it with other antique pieces, then it will be like you are living in the classical era. Zen-Inspired Modernity While many German smear houses are built with antiquity in mind, they can also be modern at the same time. For example, there are styles that resemble modern legos when you look at them from afar. Some houses that were painted even resemble a postmodern abstract painting. Let’s have a tour on this German Schmear house from Fixer Upper:  

Getting the Look for Your Home

Many people smear mortar all by themselves. That’s because it’s so easy to do. There is no right or wrong design. Its antique look makes it possible for anyone to dig in even without experience with mortar.

If you are not confident with using paint and the German smear mortar, then you just have to practice. Before you paint or smear mortar into the entire walls of your house, you may start with your fireplace first. 

Start with a little space then move on to bigger ones. Your own trial of the German Smear fireplace or any area will let you decipher if you are fit for the DIY job.

What materials are used for German smear?

The materials for the German smear are very cheap and easy to acquire. This is why people who love DIYs thrive on doing this technique. If you’re looking to repaint the whole brick walls of your home, then you’re still looking at more affordable prices.

The materials you’ll need are water, premixed white mortar, grouting sponges, wire brush or putty knife, power drill, and concrete paddle bit. You might also use some protective gear like gloves, goggles, and used clothes or a garbage bag. Combining mortar with water and smearing it can be very messy.

How much does it cost to German smear a house?

A Premixed white mortar can only cost from 15-25 USD, while the basic things like grouting sponges, wire brush, and gloves would cost from 6-30 USD per set. The project size costing would depend on the size of your home. Check out this homeowner’s guide on German smear cost.

If you’re looking to hiring a mason, then there are a lot of skilled contractors in Texas. Their charges could go from 18 to 22 USD per hour.

Make sure that you hire the ones who have good reviews. Aside from being talented, a mason with great communication skills is a must.

How do you do the German Smear?
How do you do the German Smear German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
source: Tilley's Threads

Once your materials are prepared, combine the premixed mortar with water. The consistency will depend on how thick you want your mortar and brick to be. The common ratio is 70% water and 30% mortar.

Before you paint or smear the mortar, clean the walls to get rid of the dirt. After that, water the bricks so that the mortar would not set right away. This ensures ample time for you to remove some mortar.

After that, it’s time to paint or smear the mortar into the bricks. You can do several techniques for this. Some people do it by smearing thick mortar into the joints, then spreading it through the bricks.

Others would smear the mortar directly to the bricks. They remove some of the German smear mortar afterward.

What is the best technique for smearing the mortar wash?

It doesn’t matter which technique you follow. The important thing is to stuff the mortar into the joints so that it will hold the bricks together.

The removal of mortar is a vital part of achieving the look you want. You don’t have to overthink it. Draw the pattern on a piece of paper. Practice on a little unseen part of your home. You’ll surely be happy with the end results.

Does the German smear last?

The German smear is made to last because of the long-lasting raw materials of the mortar. If you have old and crumbled bricks, however, you can apply paint sealer into them. This will ensure extra adhesive to achieve topnotch quality for the old bricks.

Should your interior design go with your brick walls?

The German smear paint can adapt to different designs be it modern or classic. However, the look and pattern of your German Smear paint will also depend on the entire design of your house.

One of the main factors that will affect the look is your roof. If your house has a steep cross-gabled roof, then it definitely resembles a Gothic architecture. A more classic or antique style of painting is suggested for this. If your roof is mono-pitched, then maybe you could go for a more modern design.

If your interiors are already designed even before the German smear, then you can adjust a few of their aspects.

German Smear Home Interior and Exterior Designs

Still in doubt? Get inspiration from these outputs. They’re some of the most coveted houses in the country.
German Smear Home Interior and Exterior Designs German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Renovations Roofing
German Smear Home Interior and Exterior Designs German 3 Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Anthony Wilder and Becki Owens
German Smear Home Interior and Exterior Designs German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Bob Vila
German Smear Home Interior and Exterior Designs 2 German Smear House | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: American Farmhouse Style

We always want the best for our homes. That’s why we paint them and change their look. It’s a great thing that nature has blessed us with features that we can improve over time.

If you’re convinced that the German Smear House technique is the perfect way to revamp your brick walls, call us. Here at Alexander and Xavier Masonry, we can help you.

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