How to Dress Up an Exterior Brick Opening: Tips and Ideas

Brick openings in exterior spaces present unique opportunities to enhance the overall aesthetic and functionality of a building or outdoor area. Whether it’s a window, a doorway, or any other opening, dressing it up can instantly transform the look and feel of the space while adding character, charm, and visual appeal. Additionally, dressing up a brick opening can also serve practical purposes such as providing better insulation, increased security, and weather resistance. By paying attention to details, considering the overall design concept, and working with a cohesive color palette, one can effectively enhance the exterior facade and create a visually pleasing and inviting atmosphere.

What Decor Style Is Exposed Brick?

Exposed brick is a versatile decor style that can fit seamlessly into various design aesthetics. One such style is the modern farmhouse style, which effortlessly combines rustic elements with contemporary finishes. In this style, exposed brick that’s been painted or whitewashed adds a touch of charm and warmth, while still maintaining a clean and streamlined look. It creates a perfect balance between the old and the new, lending a sense of character to any space.

Exposed brick also finds a natural home in industrial-inspired spaces. With it’s raw and rugged appeal, it complements the edgy and utilitarian features of this style. Exposed brick walls in industrial lofts, for example, create a striking contrast against sleek metal accents and concrete flooring. It adds a touch of texture and warmth to an otherwise stark and minimalist space.

It’s natural, earthy tones create a warm and inviting atmosphere that aligns with the clean lines and minimalist aesthetics often associated with these styles. When combined with modern furniture and neutral color palettes, exposed brick becomes a focal point that adds depth and character to a space.

It enhances the charm and character of modern farmhouse, vintage-inspired, eclectic, industrial, contemporary, and Scandinavian styles.

Tips for Incorporating Exposed Brick Into a Modern Farmhouse Style

One popular trend in modern farmhouse style is incorporating exposed brick into the design. Exposed brick adds a rustic and charming element to the overall aesthetic. To achieve this look, start by choosing a wall or area where you want the brick to be exposed. Clean the brick thoroughly and repair any damaged areas. Next, you can choose to leave the brick in it’s natural state or paint it in a complementary color. Be sure to consider the color palette of the room when making this decision. Finally, accentuate the brick by using furniture and decor that complements the farmhouse style, such as distressed wood pieces and vintage accessories. By following these tips, you can seamlessly incorporate exposed brick into your modern farmhouse design.

By applying a layer of whitewash, the brick will have a subtle and natural-looking finish that enhances it’s charm. This method allows the texture and color of the bricks to shine through while adding a touch of warmth to the overall appearance. Whitewashing is a popular choice for those looking to update the look of their exterior brick walls and create a more appealing aesthetic.

How Do You Make an Exterior Brick Wall Look Nice?

First, clean your brick wall thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. You can use a mixture of mild detergent and water or a pressure washer for this step. Once the wall is clean and dry, prepare the whitewash mixture by combining equal parts water and latex paint in a bucket. Stir well to ensure the consistency is smooth and even.

Next, apply the whitewash mixture to the brick wall using a roller or brush. Start from the top and work your way down in small sections, making sure to coat the surface evenly. Apply a thin layer first and allow it to dry before applying a second coat if desired. This will help to achieve the desired transparency.

To add more depth and texture to your brick wall, consider using a technique called “dry brushing.”. This involves dipping a dry brush into a small amount of paint and then lightly brushing it over the surface of the brick. This will create a subtle, weathered look that adds character to the wall.

If you prefer a more opaque finish, you can increase the ratio of paint to water in your whitewash mixture. Experiment with different ratios until you achieve the desired level of transparency. Additionally, you can also add tint to the paint to create a colored whitewash effect.

To protect your newly whitewashed brick wall and prolong it’s lifespan, consider applying a clear sealer or paint protector. This will help to prevent moisture penetration, fading, and potential damage to the paint over time. Maintain the look of your whitewashed brick wall by periodically cleaning it to remove dirt and mildew.

Overall, whitewashing is a simple and cost-effective way to enhance the appearance of an exterior brick wall. It allows you to achieve a stylish, rustic look while still allowing the natural beauty of the bricks to shine through.

Exposed brick walls can add a unique and vintage touch to any interior space. However, if you’re looking to give your brick wall a modern update, there are several creative ways to do so. By creating contrast in textures, using different painting techniques, or adding elements like windows or murals, you can transform your brick wall into a stylish focal point that fits seamlessly into your contemporary decor.

How Do You Modernize Exposed Brick?

One way to modernize an exposed brick wall is to create contrast in textures. By pairing the raw and unfinished look of the brick with smooth, plain black tiles, you can achieve a rustic yet modern feel. This combination adds depth and visual interest to a space, making it more visually appealing.

Another way to update an exposed brick wall is by applying a limewash. This technique involves applying a mixture of lime and water to the surface of the brick, creating a soft, white finish. This not only freshens up the wall but also adds a clean and contemporary touch to the room.

Adding windows to the wall can also give it a more modern and airy feel. This allows natural light to flow into the space, illuminating the brick and creating a beautiful contrast between the rough texture of the brick and the softness of the sunlight.

For those looking for a bolder approach, painting the exposed brick wall black can be a great option. This instantly transforms the space and adds a dramatic, modern look. The black paint creates a sleek and polished effect, making the brick wall appear high-end and sophisticated.

Another creative way to update an exposed brick wall is by adding a mural. Whether it’s a hand-painted design or a large-scale decal, a mural can inject color, personality, and a contemporary vibe into the space. This can be a great way to turn a brick wall into a focal point and create a truly unique interior.

Lastly, adding a pop of color to the brick wall can instantly modernize the space. Whether it’s a vibrant accent color or a soft pastel shade, the addition of color can bring new life to the brick and create a fresh and modern atmosphere. This can be done through using colorful wall art, vibrant furniture pieces, or even strategically placed plants to add a burst of color to the room.

Cement render, also known as stucco, is a popular choice for covering exposed brick walls while preserving their natural texture. This mixture of sand, cement, and lime plaster provides a durable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to conceal the brick surface.

What Do You Cover Exposed Brick With?

This mixture is applied directly onto the brick surface, providing a smooth and even layer that effectively covers up the bricks while still allowing for the texture to be visible. Cement render can be customized by adding pigments or dyes to achieve the desired color, making it a versatile option for covering exposed brick walls.

Alternatively, you can also choose to cover the exposed brick wall with drywall. This involves attaching sheets of drywall directly onto the brick surface using adhesive or screws. Drywall provides a blank canvas for further customization, as it can be painted, wallpapered, or adorned with various materials such as wood paneling or tiles. This option is ideal if you want a completely smooth and seamless surface, without any traces of the original brick texture.

Another option to consider is brick veneer. Brick veneer is essentially a thin layer of bricks that’s attached to the existing wall. This option allows you to maintain the appeal of exposed brick while providing a more polished and refined look. The brick veneer can be made from real bricks or manufactured ones, giving you the flexibility to choose the most suitable material for your project.

If you prefer a more organic and natural look, you may opt to cover the exposed brick wall with wood paneling. Wood paneling provides a warm and rustic feel to the space, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. It can be installed directly onto the brick surface using nails or adhesive, depending on the specific type of paneling chosen. Wood paneling also offers the advantage of easy customization, as it can be stained, painted, or left in it’s natural state.

For those seeking a contemporary and sleek finish, you can cover the exposed brick wall with metal sheets. Metal sheets, such as aluminum or steel, offer a modern and industrial look that can complement various interior design styles. The sheets can be attached directly onto the brick surface using adhesive or screws, providing a durable and striking cover for the wall. Metal sheets also offer the advantage of being easy to clean and maintain, making them a practical choice for high-traffic areas or spaces prone to moisture or dirt.

From cement render and drywall for a smooth finish, to brick veneer, wood paneling, and metal sheets for a more textured or contemporary look, the choice ultimately depends on your personal aesthetic preference and the desired style for your space.

Their timeless appeal adds character and charm to any space, and their versatility allows them to complement a range of interior design styles. Whether you love the rustic look or prefer a more modern aesthetic, exposed brick walls have a way of standing the test of time. However, if you’re feeling unsure about how to incorporate this beloved feature into your home or how to make it truly shine, fret not. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can transform your brick wall into a stunning focal point that will continue to captivate for years to come.

Will Exposed Brick Go Out of Style?

For decades, exposed brick walls have been a timeless and sought-after element in interior design. These walls possess a certain charm and character that can instantly elevate the aesthetic of any room.

To make your exposed brick wall a remarkable feature of the room, it’s important to choose the right furniture and decor. Keep in mind that the bricks themselves are already visually stimulating, so opt for simple, streamlined pieces that won’t overpower the wall. Incorporating natural materials like wood and leather can enhance the earthy, organic feel of the brick.

When it comes to hanging photos and other artwork on an exposed brick wall, drilling into the bricks is essential. This can be a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully. It’s crucial to use a drill specifically designed for masonry and to select the appropriate drill bit size. Marking the desired locations and using anchors or plugs will ensure that your decorations are securely fastened to the wall.

If you ever decide to paint a brick wall, it can completely transform the space while still retaining the timeless appeal of exposed brick. Painting can be an excellent way to refresh the look of the room or to create a more cohesive color scheme. Choosing neutral tones like white or gray allows the texture of the bricks to shine through, while bolder colors can create a more dramatic statement.

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Exposed Brick Walls

  • Remove dust and debris by using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
  • Mix equal parts water and vinegar to create a natural cleaning solution.
  • Apply the solution to the brick wall using a sponge or soft cloth.
  • Gently scrub the surface in a circular motion to remove dirt and stains.
  • Rinse the wall with clean water and remove any excess moisture.
  • For stubborn stains, create a paste using baking soda and water.
  • Apply the paste to the stained area and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Scrub the area with a brush or sponge to lift the stain.
  • Rinse the wall thoroughly with water.
  • Allow the brick wall to air dry completely.
  • Seal the exposed brick with a water-based sealant to protect it from dirt and moisture.
  • Regularly inspect the wall for any signs of damage or deterioration.
  • Repair any cracks or loose bricks to prevent further damage.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers, as they can damage the brick.
  • Consider applying a fresh coat of paint or whitewash to enhance the appearance of the brick wall.

Source: How to Decorate Exposed Brick Walls | Home Matters | AHS

Additionally, staining allows the brick’s texture and character to shine through, giving it a more natural and authentic look. It also provides a long-lasting solution, as the stain penetrates the brick and doesn’t peel or chip like paint. With a wide range of stain colors available, you can easily find one that complements your overall exterior design.

How Can I Make My Outside Brick Look Better?

Additionally, you can enhance the appearance of your outside brick by cleaning it thoroughly. Over time, dirt, grime, and weathering can make the brick look dull and aged. By using a pressure washer or a mixture of water and mild detergent, you can remove these imperfections and restore the shine and vibrancy of your brick.

This not only adds a layer of protection against water damage and stains, but it also enhances the natural color and texture of the brick. Sealants can be clear or tinted, allowing you to customize the look of your brick while maintaining it’s original charm.

If you want to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outside brick, consider adding a decorative element, such as cladding or veneer. These materials are designed to mimic the appearance of brick but offer more flexibility in terms of color, texture, and pattern. By incorporating these decorative elements, you can transform the look of your brick and give it a unique and personalized touch.

By strategically placing plants, trees, or other decorative features around your brick, you can create a visually appealing outdoor space that complements the natural beauty of the brick. Additionally, landscaping can help soften the harshness of the brick and make it blend seamlessly with it’s surroundings.

Finally, if none of the above options appeal to you, consider hiring a professional brick restoration company. These experts have the skills and knowledge to restore and revitalize old, damaged, or worn-out brick. Whether it’s repairing cracks, repointing mortar joints, or replacing damaged bricks, a professional restoration can make your outside brick look better than ever.

With a little bit of creativity and effort, your outside brick can become a standout feature and add value and beauty to your property.


By carefully considering the architectural style, color palette, and surrounding landscape, one can choose appropriate materials, such as window frames, shutters, and entryway features, to create a harmonious and visually pleasing composition. Attention to detail, such as selecting decorative elements and maintaining a clean and well-maintained finish, will contribute to the long-lasting beauty and durability of the exterior brick opening. Furthermore, the incorporation of greenery, such as potted plants or climbing vines, can add a touch of nature, softening the starkness of the brick and creating a more inviting atmosphere. Ultimately, dressing up an exterior brick opening allows for the transformation of a plain and utilitarian area into a striking and welcoming facade, showcasing the meticulous effort and personal style of the building owner.

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