Brick feature walls and fireplaces: how to expose brickwork and add character
Removing plaster to create an exposed brick wall or fireplace can add instant character and charm to a room. Here's a step-by-step guide to exposing brickwork
Exposing brickwork, particularly around a fireplace, is a great way of adding character to a room, particularly period properties. Whether your style is cottagecore or industrial, Victorian or eclectic vintage an exposed brick wall can really give space the wow factor, adding texture, depth and cosy charm.
Chris Moorhouse, Category Director (Timber, Building, Decor and Garden) at Wickes, has this advice
How to expose brickwork
While exposing brickwork is a fairly straightforward task, Wickes would recommend the following steps to ensure that the finished result is of the highest possible standard.
- Do wear protective equipment, such as goggles, a dust mask, and gloves before you start.
- Firstly, examine the state of the brick you wish to expose by using the tip of a chisel to chip away a small piece of the plaster – if the brick below is intact, you’re good to go.
- Cover the surrounding floor with sheeting to avoid scratching or chipping as bits of plaster fall from the wall.
- Use a masonry chisel and hammer to break up and remove the existing plaster. If there are some sections that refuse to come away, try using a sharp knife. Once all the plaster has been removed, go over the exposed wall with a wire brush to remove small bits of plaster and sediment.
- When the wall is clear, spread a mild detergent on the brickwork. Wipe away after 10 minutes with a wet cloth.
- Finally, if the newly exposed brick is in a space where it may be at risk of spills, such as a kitchen, we would always recommend applying up to two coats of brick sealant to provide long-term protection
Brick fireplace ideas
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Brick feature wall ideas
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Debbie Graham is the senior digital editor for YourHomeStyle, and is passionate about vintage interiors. In her free time she loves nothing better than scouring second-hand and vintage shops for bargains and upcycling projects. Her home is a Victorian house that is a bit of a project and when she's not putting buckets under leaks you can find her painting and patching