How to Paint Brick Surfaces With a Sponge for a Distressed Look

Change the look of bright orange or red brick using a simple sponge painting technique. Paint and a little creativity can turn a brand new brick surface into a distressed stone that looks hundreds of years old. Distressed brick complements Tuscan, old world or French country interior decorating. The project is permanent, and the brick cannot be restored once paint is added to the brick.

Change the look of brick using a faux finish paint technique.

Step 1

Clean the brick before you begin your paint project. Use warm water and a bristle brush to scrub the brick surface clean. Allow the brick to dry for about a day. Touch the brick – if it feels cold, the brick is still wet internally and needs to dry longer.

Step 2

Add painter's tape to any adjoining areas you do not wish to paint, including wall surfaces, fireplace mantels or other areas. Place dropcloths onto the floor. Move all furniture and accessories to the center of the room.

Step 3

Roll on a bonding primer to the brick made for stone products. Use a heavy nap roller. Mini rollers work well for small surfaces such as fireplaces. Use one to two coats of paint to get an even surface coloration. Allow to dry for four hours or more.

Step 4

Trowel on small sections of lightweight joint compound over the brick for a layered plaster look. Do not cover the entire surface, simple add rough looking sections about 1 feet by 2 feet. Do no create evenly square or rectangular sections. Make the plaster thin, not more than ¼-inch thick. The desired look is distressed plaster crumbling off from age. Allow to dry 24 hours.

Step 5

Roll on the base-coat paint to the brick surface and plastered areas. Use latex paint with a satin or eggshell finish. Again, the base coat must be completely cover the brick surface. Add a second coat of paint to the plastered areas. Allow to dry for four hours or more.

Step 6

Mix together dark brown latex paint and clear glaze. Use a ratio of one part paint and three parts glaze. Sponge on the glaze mixture to the brick and plaster surface using a sea sponge. Dab the mixture onto the surface so glaze falls into the pits of the brick and plaster. The glaze will give the surface an aged, transparent and dimensional look. Additional glaze and paint combinations may be added for more color, including deep reds and yellow ochre. Allow to dry.