Ouch – Don’t mix your brushes!

You’ve been warned ladies…. however beautiful and fine-bristled they might appear, don’t confuse your Mason Pearson with your Wire Brush, else it might be very painful!

Very exciting news today, at lunch I made a new friend… I was the only, lucky one allowed to take photos, can’t wait to share with you shortly….  For now though back to bricks.

I love beautiful brickwork – I wish it didn’t have to be covered in plaster and hidden, so that all walls could show off their intricate red and grey hues!  Am envious if your house if the structure and brick type is suitable to be able to expose naked bricks in all their glory, haha!

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Sadly my flat has very hap-hazard brickwork… Apparently historically the best bricks were used on external walls (for protection, structure and aesthetics), leaving the defunct, chipped and irregular ones for the inside (and being covered up)…. just like my walls with cast offs inside along with varying cement types holding them together. In some places bricks are even substituted for wood??!

I’ve also found some archaic treasures between bricks, evidence that some were put in place in 1969….

So here’s a wire brush, banished for DIY use only…

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You might want to clean your brick wall to preserve it, or before adding plaster.  My rationale was simply to be able to better assess brick damage and so figure out next steps.  Whatever your reason, the process is the same – using good old sodium chloride NaCl, known as salt.

Oh and take care to ventilate the room well else you’ll have a ‘detergent high’!

Here the comparison soft bristle, wonderful Mason Pearson hair brush, the latter you can certainly use on your luscious locks…

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What do you need?

For approx. 3m x 2m wall area:

  1. Wire brush £1.99
  2. Roughneck Cold Chisel 1×12″– £9.99 with a small end.  Why called a chisel Cold, wonder what the Hot one looks like?!
  3. Mallet – £14.99
  4. Washing up liquid – Same as you use for washing dishes, about half a bottle
  5. Table salt ground (I crushed my coarse variety) – About half a pack
  6. Scrubby backs – Several (alternatively you can use rags, I didn’t have any)
  7. Washing up bowl
  8. For you – Goggles, face mask, gloves

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What are the steps?

  1. Electrics – Turn them off at the mains, it’s just not worth the risk especially as if you have electric sockets(like I do), they are likely to get soaked
  2. Preparation – This is messy so if you have a beautiful carpet, cover it for a large area as water will splash onto it
  3. You – Put on goggles, face mask, gloves
  4. Remove loose dirt – Bricks are easily damaged by harsh cleaning.  So using the cold chisel and mallet, gently – and I mean gently – carefully chisel away large pieces of debris on the bricks, such as clusters of remaining plaster.  Where possible try and put the horizontal force in alignment with the horizontal cement rows
  5. Grease-cutting washing solution – In washing up bowl, mix washing up liquid 1 part with table salt 1 part, until it forms a thick paste. Do not add water.
  6. Apply to bricks – Using the soft sponge of the scrubby back, in gentle circular movements apply paste to bricks. Start at the top of the brickwork, finishing at the bottom
  7. Leave for about 10 -15 minutes – By the time you are at the bottom the top section will probably have had about time
  8. Wire brush – Using the wire brush, in gentle circular movements scrub the brick to remove stubborn dirt.  CARE – depending on how damaged / crumbling are your bricks, be extra gentle and careful not to damage them
  9. Rinse – Fill washing up bowl with clean water, ideally slightly warm (only if safe to turn on electrics on) and using scrubby back rinse the solution off the walls, starting at the top, so that water drips below.  This is very messy and with so much detergent alot of bubbles – I did at least 20 cycles of filling the bowl with warm water than washing down the wall and got soaked!  Eventually though the water started to last longer and look cleaner, with less and less bubbles
  10. Leave to air dry

I’m so excited, already my bricks look incredible – the RHS third section are the clean bricks (like you didn’t spot them!).

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I’ll let you pick before and after!…

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