Good day, my first time asking for assistance here.

Thanks in advance

I would like to apply a white wash effect on my existing brick columns, however they are quite inconsistent and uneven due to dried concrete splatter since whenever. We bough the place like this. My question is, how do I effectively clean the bricks to get rid of the obvious old concrete splatter? Please see picture attached. concrete  splatter brick

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    Either this was done by some amateurs that had no idea what to do, or they were going for rustic look. – ArchonOSX Jan 11 '18 at 18:58
  • Or it's a combination of an amateur + non-face-work and the column was intended to be covered up... – handyman Jan 12 '18 at 18:35

It doesn't look like concrete splatter to me, just rough mortar from laying the bricks, way back when. This means there is nothing to 'clean off' if you like, rather the protruding mortar needs scraping back and it looks to be a fairly strong mortar.

I'd use a flat, cold chisel held at a shallow angle and a light-ish hammer (2lb or 1kg) and gently chisel or chip away the excess mortar. Much like a stone mason, carving a statue if that description helps.

Obviously stop once you are close to the bricks. Then I'd fill in any gaps, or damage with new mortar before painting. NOTE: When you fill in any gaps, think more like re-pointing the joints rather than filling a hole in drywall. Then the brickwork will look better once painted. If you smear the mortar all over the hole, this will look worse/obvious once painted.

Bear in mind this column was not built as 'face work', i.e. it is supposed to be covered up.Thus you are looking at some work to make it 'pretty'.

  • Just to add, sometimes the rougher the brickwork, the better it looks once painted. As long as you keep in mind 'old brickwork' rather than bodged and filled when you are working on it. Try to recreate how the brickwork would have looked had the bricklayer struck off the joints as he/she laid the bricks... – handyman Jan 11 '18 at 13:21

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