Your In-Depth Guide to German Smear on Red Brick.

In one of the most popular children’s fables, Three Little Pigs, the third pig didn’t get eaten by the wolf. That’s because the third pig made a brick house. The story taught people lessons on investment and the use of bricks. It eventually led to more generations to apply the lessons in their lives for many years to come.

Your In-Depth Guide to German Smear on Red Brick German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
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Bricks have become a staple building material, especially in the west. Bricks can withstand most natural disasters and any other threats to a home or a person. That makes them one, if not the most trustworthy, part of a house.

Despite its sturdiness, bricks can still be worn out over time. However, there’s no need to worry as there are a lot of solutions for old brick. One of them is the German Smear, which can both color and fix brick walls.

Bricks

Bricks have become a staple building material, especially in the west. Bricks can withstand most natural disasters and any other threats to a home or a person. That makes them one, if not the most trustworthy, part of a house.

Despite its sturdiness, bricks can still be worn out over time. However, there’s no need to worry as there are a lot of solutions for old brick. One of them is the German Smear, which can both color and fix brick walls.

Bricks German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Hunker

History

Bricks are one of the oldest building materials. One of the earliest bricks dates back to 7000 BC in Turkey. The first bricks were made from mud. However, as it was passed on to Egypt, the brick changed.

The Egyptians created bricks from clay and straw. That brick type would eventually become the adobe brick. It’s not as common as the bricks that are here today, but some countries still use it.

In 3500 BC, however, they discovered the fire brick or red brick. The fire brick became popular in places with colder climates like in Europe. The fire brick is the brick that is familiar these days.

The Formation of a Brick

The fire brick was made by hand until the Industrial Revolution, where brick machinery was introduced.

The raw materials of the brick include sand, clay, iron oxide, and lime. Sometimes, a little magnesium is also present. All these contribute to the sturdy and robust bricks everyone has come to know.

History German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: RedBubble

Benefits of a Brick

Because of the firm foundation of bricks, it became one of the most trusted building materials in the world. Here are some of the advantages of using bricks for your home:

  • Bricks offer a lot of protection.

Like the third pig in Three Little Pigs, bricks protect you from any harm or threat that comes your way.

  • Bricks are sustainable.

Now that the earth needs more protection than ever, bricks are one of the most sustainable things in the world. It is made from natural raw materials that are environmentally-friendly. 

They are also reusable and free from harmful elements. If you’re looking for a responsible home building, then the brick is the best answer.

  • Bricks are cost-effective.

While being sturdy and firm, bricks offer very few to no maintenance at all. They remain intact for up to 50 years or even more. Getting them for your home is an excellent lifetime investment.

  • Bricks are flexible.

Whether they are new or old, you can do whatever you want with your bricks. You can paint them or sculpt them whatever you like.

Aside from those, bricks adjust to the weather. If it’s cold, bricks can keep you warm. If it’s hot, bricks can keep your place at a moderate temperature.

Benefits of a Brick German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Renovations Roofing

The German Schmear

While bricks, especially new ones, do not need any alteration, many people tend to be creative and paint them. For older bricks, however, there is a need to revamp them. That is why a lot of inventions have emerged in brick modeling and adjustment.

Amongst the many techniques you can apply on bricks, the German Smear stands out. Initially started in the North of Germany, the German Schmear technique became popular throughout Europe and in America. A lot of people in the country have begun to apply this particular look to their brick wall.

The German Schmear German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Clayton Brothers

What is the German Schmear Painting?

German Smear painting is to paint a brick wall using mortar to achieve the old world or modern look. The mortar wash is not entirely covering the whole brick. The entire process results in the partial paint of a white mortar wash into a brick.

Can You Remove German Smear?

It is part of the German Smear technique’s nature that the mortar used would not penetrate every inch of a brick. After a person or the mason does the paint job, they remove the mortar.

German Schmear VS. Other Brick Paint Techniques

The main difference between German smear from other paint techniques is the materials used. German smear uses white mortar, which is a combination of sand, water, and cement. 

Aside from the color, the white mortar ensures the binding of the surface that you paint or smear. It fills the void between bricks so that they may stick together and improve their longevity.

German Schmear VS. Other Brick Paint Techniques German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
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The Benefits of German Smear

  • You can do the German smear technique yourself.

While there are several points to bear in mind, the German smear is generally easy to do. The materials are also widely available and accessible to everyone. After you have set all of them, you can smear your way into the brick wall of your home.

  • German smear materials are cheap.

The materials needed or how much German smear costs are very cheap. You might even own many of them already. A premixed white mortar’s price only goes from 15-30 USD per gallon. When mixed with water, the mortar goes a long way.

  • The mortar that was German smeared on a brick is permanent.

Unlike doing the traditional paint technique, the German smear lasts on the brick surface for several years. There is no need for maintenance.

  • The German smear look is flexible.

Whether you want to mimic the old world or the modern world look, you can do so through the German smear. The whole look will depend on how you will put and remove some of the mortar wash from the brick wall.

  • The German smear is sustainable.

Most of the materials needed for this technique are natural and environmentally-friendly. They are also available in every home so that the whole process will be less wasteful. 

Since the mortar wash will result in a permanent build, so no maintenance will be needed. The less maintenance it entails, the more sustainable it is.

German Smear on a Brick

You have learned how the German smear and bricks came to be. Now it’s time to find out how they can create a whole new look.
What Materials are Used for German Smear German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Ramshackle Glam

What Materials are Used for German Smear?

The materials you’ll need for the German Smear technique on bricks are fundamental. They are very common and available in home depots. Some of them can even be found in your garage and tool room.

First things first are the white mortar. It is perfectly fine to mix the raw materials of the mortar yourself as long as you have experience. Otherwise, you are better off with buying a premixed mortar.

You’ll also need water and a power drill with a concrete paddle bit to mix the mortar with.

You should buy grout sponges for smearing through the brick surface. For the brick bridges or joints, a putty knife is more applicable.

To protect yourself from all the dirt while you paint, you should buy gloves and wear old clothes. You may also get goggles if need be.

The Whole Process

When you have purchased the materials needed, it is time to envision the look you want for your brick wall. You may want to sketch the pattern you wish to do before you paint. That ensures that you will make very little to no mistakes when you smear the mortar.

Once you’re all geared up, and materials are prepared, it’s time to combine the premixed mortar with the water. Generally, the mixture should be 70% water and 30% mortar. It’s okay not to completely follow the ratio as long as it’s close to the suggested one.

After mixing the premixed mortar and water, you should clean the brick walls first before you paint. Make sure that all dirt and other particles are removed from it. Otherwise, all of them will get stuck with the mortar.

After cleaning the wall, you should splash water on its surface. That will allow extra time before the mortar sets. That way, you’ll have the chance to remove some mortar to be able to create the look you want.

Now, you’re ready to paint. Using the grout sponge, get some mortar, and smear it into the wall. When you paint the brick bridges, you can use the putty knife and spread the mortar towards the entire brick.

After smearing a few bricks, you may remove some of the mortar to get the look that you want. Make sure not to wait until 20-45 minutes before the removal or else the mortar will set.

The Whole Process German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Beauty for Ashes Home

Do you seal the German Smear?

There is no need to seal a German smear, but there are exceptions. One of them is a brick that is too old, crooked, and crumbled. Another exception is if you want to make sure that the mortar lasts longer. 

That is good, but the paint sealer would add up to your expenses. Paint sealers are accessible, so you might want to buy them if there is a dire need to seal the German smear.

Whether you are using a paint sealer or not, the German smear is generally low maintenance. You only have to clean the brick wall as you would do to your entire house. Not much cleaning is needed, especially after rain or snow.

The Aftermath: Beauty in every angle

Even though there are many German smear brick houses made through the DIY method, their beauty is undeniable. If you look closely, you would see that they are like abstract or messy art. However, seeing them from afar makes one see their elegance and uniqueness.

Apart from the physical beauty it entails, another bonus of the German smear technique is the superb quality of the bricks after applying mortar. This sturdiness is even manifested in its physical properties. 

Here are examples of the magnificent beauty and quality embedded in each German smear brick wall:

The Aftermath: Beauty in every angle German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: H20 Bungalow

The German Smear is perfect for redecorating and repainting your brick fireplace. It adds a unique facet to your interiors.

The Aftermath: Beauty in every angle 2 German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Bob Vila
Applying German Smear on your brick wall guarantees that you’ll be more protected from threats. It also exhibits either an antique or modern style, depending on what pieces go with it.
The Aftermath: Beauty in every angle 3 German Smear On Red Brick | Alexander and Xavier Masonry
Source: Hammers N' Hugs
Are you surprised? Yes, German smear on brick floors is not a big thing, but many people have applied it. It makes their brick floor more robust and long-lasting.

Conclusion

Both German Smear and fire bricks are flexible. That’s why they work perfectly together. Use both concepts for your home, and you get the best of both worlds.

Need help with the German Smear and Bricks? Here at Alexander and Xavier Masonry, we give the best masonry services. Call us Now!

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