How to Restore Color to a Red Brick Wall

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Things You'll Need

  • Muriatic acid

  • Bucket

  • Stiff brush

  • Clear-coat product

  • Scouring powder


The Brick Industry Association recommends using only a clear-coat product designed for use on clay brick surfaces and for the appropriate installation, interior or exterior. Other types of masonry clear-coat products can damage brick. Clear-coat products for brick walls are sold at home-remodeling stores and through the products' manufacturers.

Brick experts can be found through the Brick Industry Association and the Masonry Institute of America.

Test a clear-coat product's results by applying it to a hidden or unnoticeable area of the brick wall before covering the whole wall with the product. Allow the test spot to dry according to manufacturer's directions before making a final decision.

Faded red brick walls can be restored to a deeper, richer red color by cleaning the brick and applying a clear-coat product specifically designed for brick. Both indoor and outdoor red brick walls can benefit from this type of procedure. Clear-coat products add a gloss to the brick that helps deepen its color. The results may vary, making it important to test and verify the results on your red brick wall before applying a clear-coat product to the whole wall.


Step 1

Contact a brick expert to assist you with efflorescence:, which is the appearance of a white, powdery, salt substance on the wall. A wall with a history of efflorescence: should not receive an application of a clear-coat product until the moisture source causing the efflorescence is identified and the source removed. Once the source is under control, the white substance can be removed with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and 12 parts water and a stiff brush. Dampen the wall before applying the mixture, and wash the mixture off the wall by saturating the wall with plain water.

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Step 2

Read the clear-coat product directions thoroughly. It is important to follow the instructions closely to receive the results described by the product's manufacturer.


Step 3

Prepare the wall according to the clear-coat product's directions. Generally, that involves cleaning the wall and allowing it to dry for several days before applying the clear-coat product to the wall. Dirty brick prevents a clear-coat product from adhering properly. Using scouring powder, water and a stiff brush can help to remove most dirt and grime. Reference the clear-coat product's label for specific cleaning instructions.

Step 4

Allow the wall to dry for several or more days. A brick wall should dry faster when cleaned during dry weather than during wet weather. Humid, rainy days slow the drying process. The wall must be dry before applying a coating to prevent trapping moisture in the brick.


Step 5

Apply the clear-coat product on the brick wall as directed by the product's manufacturer. Protect surrounding walls, ceilings and floors when applying the product. Always work in a well-ventilated space when using coating products. Follow the application directions carefully.


references & resources

Alex Burke

Alex Burke holds a degree in environmental design and a Master of Arts in information management. She's worked as a licensed interior designer, artist, database administrator and nightclub manager. A perpetual student, Burke writes Web content on a variety of topics, including art, interior design, database design, culture, health and business.