Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
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When replacing bricks, building an addition, or remodeling your home, there’s typically a desire to match brickwork. This is why it’s so frustrating when you can’t find the same colors or anything even close to what you currently have.
If you can’t match brickwork, it’s best to contact the manufacturer to ask if the brick is still produced and, if so, where you can buy it. Otherwise, buy the closest matching brick available and stain it to match. Just ensure the new brick’s size matches the old one so it’s not uneven.
This article explains the two ways you can match brick colors if you can’t find the brick you want. I’ll also explain why matching the size of your brick is just as important as matching the color.
Ways To Match Brick Colors
With brickwork, you want the colors to match. Otherwise, it’ll be very obvious that your new brick is new and replacing or adding on to the old brick. When your brick doesn’t all match, it can make your home significantly less attractive and even push away future prospective buyers, as not everyone desires to live in an unmatched house.
So, if you want to make sure your brick matches, even if you can’t find an exact match, you do have some options for resolving the issue.
Contact the Manufacturer
First and foremost, the option resulting in the optimal solution is to contact the brick manufacturer. This could solve your problem both quickly and efficiently. Granted, this requires you to know who made your brick.
If you do happen to be privy to this information, they’ll be knowledgeable about their products and can tell you right away if they still make the brick you need. Even if you don’t know the exact name or style of the brick you have, they should be able to identify it. Furthermore, if they no longer make your particular brick, they can likely find the most similar brick to the one you need.
However, if you don’t know the manufacturer’s information, or the manufacturer doesn’t have what you need, the alternative solution is to stain your brick, which we will explain next.
Stain Your Brick
To successfully stain brick and create a convincing match, it’s important to purchase the closest matching brick to your current brick as you can find. For starters, this means finding a similar color, because if you try to stain a brick that’s nowhere close to matching the current brick you have, it’ll take more time and materials to effectively match your current brick.
To ensure you find a brick of a similar color, ask your local hardware store staff to help you out. Bring them a sample or picture of your brick, and they can help find you one in a similar color. They can also provide you with the resources needed to stain your brick if you’re doing it yourself or offer suggestions for where to find someone you can hire to stain your brick.
Why Finding the Same Size Brick Is Important
Another critical factor –perhaps more important– is to find the exact same size brick as what you have. If available, any brick manufacturer, mason, or your local hardware store should be able to help you with this.
Matching the size of your current brickwork is crucial, and you can’t fix it like you can color. You need to get a brick that is the same size, whether new and existing or all-new, otherwise, you’ll face a few issues.
For starters, the wall will look uneven because all your bricks won’t line up. It’ll be difficult to choose where to put the different sizes because the bigger ones will get to the top of the wall faster, and it’ll take a lot of planning. With bricks all the same size, it doesn’t matter which ones go where.
Furthermore, bricklaying will be troublesome. Not only will it take much longer to do, but it may be outright unsuccessful and you’ll end up with a bad-looking wall. Plus, if you pay a mason by the hour, it’ll cost you significantly more if they need to lay uneven brick.
Therefore, getting bricks that aren’t the same size, even if they match the color better, isn’t worth it. Again, get some assistance from a knowledgeable staff member at your local hardware store to guarantee you find the right size brick. At the very least, if they don’t have any suitable options for you, they can likely point you in the right direction.
Only Use Absorbent Bricks for Staining
It’s important to note that staining can only be performed successfully with an absorbent brick, so make sure the brick you buy is absorbent. To check brick absorbency, splash or spray some water on it. If it holds in some of the water, then it’s absorbent. You can also inquire about this feature with any knowledgeable sales representative.
The Masonry Brick Staining – Colorant Kit (available on Amazon.com) is a great assistance for a DIY brick staining. The brick textures don’t change, but the color changes permanently and won’t fade. The stain is easy to use right out of the box, but it also comes with a guide to help you through the process.
Here’s a video that demonstrates how to apply Masonry Cosmetics stain to your bricks and how to practice before you use the real stuff.
Being able to match your brick is important. It helps make your home look nicer and can help provide appeal to potential buyers. To match the color of your brickwork, check with the manufacturer to see if you can still find the brick somewhere. If not, buy the closest matching brick and stain it to match the brick you have.
Also, be sure the size matches to avoid uneven rows of brick and so the bricklaying doesn’t take longer than necessary.
For more info about how to stain brick, check out this video from Home Painters Toronto that answers some FAQs:
- Champion Brick: Adding New Brick Old Project Guide
- Masonry Magazine: Brick Matching 101
- Brick Hunter: How to Match Your Bricks Successfully
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