The Ashland House: An Update

Friends don’t let friends paint their exterior brick.  Ever.  I have relatives in Northern Michigan that recently painted the exterior brick of their lovely mid-century home.  If I could take a time machine back to this past summer and chain myself to the front of their house in protest (knowing what I know now) I would.  Brick needs to breathe.  It. Needs. To.  Breathe.

The other day I stopped by The Ashland House and spoke to Aiden The Chicago Brick Stripper.  He explained to me that after the initial one or two coats of paint some menace to Chicago Brick decided to apply MORTAR in between the bricks.  Then some person(s) decided to apply another 2-3 more coats of paint.

Let’s review the different layers of shenanigans from the Chicago Brick out:

  1. Chicago Brick
  2. 1 Coat of Paint
  3.  Another Coat of Paint
  4. Mortar/shallow attempt at tuck pointing
  5. Another Coat of Paint
  6. And Yet Another Coat of Paint
  7. Touch Up Paint Used to Patch Certain Areas

On some level I understand what probably happened over the last 30-40 years with the brick and the paint.  The previous owners probably struggled with all of the peeling paint.  They wanted to make the sides of the house look somewhat presentable.  It was more affordable for them to repaint than to strip, repair and tuck point. Trust me.  I guarantee they saved A LOT of money by slapping a coat of paint over the problem every now and again.

Since one of my loyal (proof)readers told me that a picture really is worth a thousand words I have a bunch to show you.

Chicago Brick North Side Just Started

North Side of The House Gets Started

Sad Paint Sad Brick

Sad Brick on North Side of The House

Ashland House South Side Brick All Stripped

South Side of The House All Stripped. Yippee!!!

Chicago Brick That Needs Tuckpointing

Sad mortar to be tuck pointed.

Chicago Brick That Needs Replacing

The brick to the right of the window in the forefront needs to be replaced because it is missing ITS FACE. It’s missing ITS FACE. Don’t paint your brick! The paint suffocated the brick, compromised its integrity and then took the face of the brick off with it during the stripping process. And yes, there is more tuck pointing to be done.

Chicago Brick Up Close

Happier Chicago Brick 🙂

Let’s review:

Don’t paint your exterior brick.  For the love of all things that are good in this world, please DON’T PAINT YOUR BRICK.

As always, thank you so much for reading and have a Joyful Day!

xo Whitney

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  • 0 thoughts on “The Ashland House: An Update

    1. Mauri

      I can just hear the brick saying “Thank You Miss Whitney” – we can breathe again! They are truly joyous 🙂

    2. Chuck Foster

      If you did a survey, I doubt 5-10% of people would know about “brick breathing”. You need to get some organization to do a PSA. (Yes, with pictures!)

    3. Joan

      Interesting post. I had never heard of tuck pointing and had to look it up. I don’t have any brick, but if I ever do, I won’t ever paint it. 🙂

      1. Whitney Parchman Post author

        Whew! Glad to hear it Joan. I feel like I am on a crusade to defend brick everywhere now that I have seen how difficult it is to restore it. Maybe I should add some info on what tuck pointing entails? Thanks for reading and commenting!

        1. Joan

          Lol! Yes, the tuck pointing is a great illusion! It looks really difficult to do but gives such a refined and detailed look to the finished product. Thanks.

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