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Filed in PROJECTS & DIY — March 25, 2022

We made massive headway this week for the One Room Challenge sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens on our exterior refresh. I’m so excited about our progress, this transformation is already huge, and we aren’t even close to done. Love when a vision really starts coming together. Check out last week’s post here to see the design plan and project list for our exterior refresh.

This week we focused on painting the brick on our exterior. I’ve painted our brick fireplace and the brick floor in my office before. Going into this project I was up for the challenge, but I truly underestimated the extent to how physically exhausting this project would be.

The previous owners painted our brick a muddy brown color, and I’ve always really disliked it. It made our porch and home overall look and feel so much darker. This white brick now pops against our sage green siding and shakes. It’s going to look even more amazing once the cedar posts are done and shutters are hung.

Our posts were in good condition I just want to bring them out a bit and add more of a craftsman touch to the design of them. They also needed a new coat of stain so instead we sanded them down in preparation of adding more wood and re-staining them.

We also built the shutters, still need to sand and stain. We’re really making way through and it’s coming together!

Once the brick was dry, we painted the cream trim on the windows white. Then, painted the screen door and trim black to match the front door.

I researched for several months about painting brick, and I think often times you hear not to do it because it ruins the integrity of the home. This just isn’t true anymore. An updated exterior in a neutral palette is very appealing to buyers. Plus, I’m a firm believer in loving your home!

There are specific products on the market now geared towards exterior brick to preserve it and allow it to breathe through the paint. Regular exterior paint isn’t suitable for brick because it traps moisture, doesn’t allow the brick to breathe. Using an elastomeric paint meant for stucco, concrete, masonry or brick gives it a breathable film to repel moisture, resist cracking, mildew, dirt, and retain color from the elements.

In general, I prefer Behr products. Our Home Depot had the Flat White Masonry, Stucco & Brick paint in stock in store. There’s another version available online for a few dollars more as well if your brick is cracked and needs extra protection – Elastomeric Masonry, Stucco and Brick Exterior Paint. Both of these products have come highly recommended and we had the best experience using it.

Coverage was solid, color is a great true white with no undertones, and I’m so pleased with this paint so far. Time will tell how it holds up, but I have zero concerns.

If you feel going the extra step is worth it I prefer KILZ primer to begin this type of project. Their interior/exterior primer is mildew resistant and is meant for use on interior or exterior brick as well! I especially think this step could be useful if your brick is dark or has been previously painted.

We used cheap flat chip brushes to paint the mortar lines first then rolled over the brick. We tried a masonry brush, but we ultimately preferred using the flat brushes more. Our brick took two coats. I love the coverage and color. It looks amazing!

This weekend we’re focusing on the deck. We’ll be staining the deck, finishing the posts and hanging the shutters. Few other fun things to come! Be sure to follow along on IG to check things out as we go. Also, be sure to check out the other participants progress, there’s so many spaces to be inspired by and learn from!

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Founder and Principal Designer.
I created Grace Oaks Designs based on a need for attainable design. I kept coming back to my signature style time after time and realized, this is it! We bridge the gap creating attainable design for the modern family. Home tells our stories. It's the cornerstone of where we're going and where we've been. Where beautiful style meets comfort and functionality. For an elevated everyday. It's our safe haven. Which is why I'm so passionate about creating refined casual interiors. Elevated yet livable. Because I want you to love coming home. 

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I'm Hillary

Grace Oaks Designs is an interiors and lifestyle brand located in Central IL. We offer inspiration and design services to help you elevate your everyday.