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Types of Surface Treatments for Antique Bricks

stucco surface treatment

Stucco was one of may popular surface treatments for antique brickwork.

If you have antique brickwork, you may have noticed one of many different types of surface treatments that were popular at the time the brickwork was constructed. The surface of brickwork was often treated to lend uniqueness to the facade, update the brickwork, or fix a poor tuckpointing job. Here are three types of surface treatments for bricks that you may have noticed on your antique brickwork.


Colorwash was a common masonry treatment. It’s made of a mixture of potash alum, water, pigment, and glue. This mixture is applied to the entire surface of the brickwork, essentially dying both brick and mortar. It adds a protective layer for softer lime mortars as well as covers up any noticeable smears or stains leftover from a bad tuckpointing job.


Chalk, glue, and water were combined to create a mixture that is painted over mortar joints to create definition and protection. This was sometimes combined with a colorwash treatment for ultimate protection and aesthetic appeal.


Stucco has always been a highly popular surface treatment, both due to its classic appearance and its impressive ability to protect brickwork. If you have brickwork with a stucco surface treatment that was made prior to the 1900s, it’s likely that the stucco was made with a mixture of lime and sand. Stucco was also commonly scored to look like cut stones and treated with a coating of limewash.


This finally brings us to limewash. Limewash is similar to colorwash, except that it is just composed of lime and water, sometimes thickened with an additive such as salt or milk for extra durability. Limewashes and lime paints were often found on rendered or bare buildings for an added level of protection.

Get In Touch With DelPrete Masonry Today

While there are many other materials that we use at DelPrete Masonry, we’re not about to abandon concrete anytime soon. It has proven its worth many times over and we know that we can bring you a solid masonry structure with it. To find out more about your masonry options including the environmental benefits of concrete restoration, please contact our office today at 410-683-0650 or email us at mike@delpretemasonry.com. We serve Baltimore City, County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County.

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