It is no secret that brick houses are a staple of the Sydney area because they epitomize style and class. It offers a timeless look, is durable and eco-friendly, and has a sophisticated look. It is possible that the timeless appeal, sophisticated look, and eco-friendly design of bricks will make them a big draw for prospective home buyers.

However, brick surfaces are still susceptible to becoming raggedy, chipped, and moldy, even though they do not require as much detail and maintenance as wooden surfaces. Every exposed material needs a protective layer, including bricks. It takes a lot of time and effort to paint bricks, however. The porous nature of bricks makes them susceptible to damage if not cleaned thoroughly and properly maintained. You don’t have to paint bricks if you prefer a low-maintenance and affordable brick finish. We’ll compare three top finishes today: german smear vs whitewash vs limewash Let’s begin!

Limewashing: what is it?

The natural brick feel of a fireplace is often lost when you brighten it up. The natural look can be covered up with paint, even with whitewashing. Finished with a soft matte finish, it has a vintage feel, it breathes naturally and is good for the brick. No full coverage or distressing is needed. Lime wash is one of the best products because it calcifies to your brick (unlike traditional paint that dries with resin). With this technique, bricks are preserved in their natural state while your fireplace is significantly brightened. There are some amazing properties of limewash that make it a great choice for brick, if you’re not familiar with it.

Whitewashing: what is it?

You can easily identify whitewashed bricks. There is a thin layer of white or gray paint covering all the bricks, allowing you to see what lies underneath. The natural brick can be seen through thinning the paint with water while brightening the space at the same time. There is a very fast decline in the popularity of whitewashing bricks. There is usually a half-finished look to whitewashed fireplaces. The painter did an excellent job of covering everything evenly without leaving streaks on this fireplace, which started out with gray bricks. This is one of the few whitewash brick jobs that actually turn out well. This method of covering brick is not suitable for many brick colors, and leaving streaks that are obvious is easy.
Even painted fireplaces look intentional and complete when covered with German schmear, limewash, and even a layer of paint. There is something amateurish and half-finished about most whitewashed fireplaces, which give them the appearance of a poorly done DIY project.

German Schmear – what is it?

It creates a country cottage style using the German Schmear technique. The cement is mixed with the bricks and mortar and spread over them. There is usually a full covering of mortar over the brick but only a partial covering of mortar over the brick. To preserve the natural masonry look, mortar is used instead of paint, and varying levels of distressing can be added to create the desired effect. Limewash is the better choice if you want to completely cover the brick without distressing; German Schmear is best if you want to leave a lot of the brick exposed, rather than limewash, which looks best with a little distressing.


Now let’s jump to the german smear vs whitewash vs limewash and see how they differ:

In whitewashing, white latex paint is diluted with water. An application is made to the brick using a paintbrush. Depending on how much paint is watered down, a variety of coverage can be achieved.

In addition to brick painting, limewash is also applied to bricks. Slaked lime paint is used to paint bricks. Whether it’s used interiorly or externally, it’s a versatile finish.

A smear is a technique for applying white mortar to bricks in a cream or white color. Occasionally, wet mortar needs to be removed. It is not uncommon for original bricks to remain exposed. The finished look evokes an old-world European feel.

Limewash and whitewash are very similar in appearance. Depending on the paint sheen level, different sheens can be created. The nice aspect of limewash is that after it has been applied to brick, it is supposed to be able to be removed for five days. You can therefore give your brick a new finish without being hesitant.

What’s the Best Brick Makeover for You?

german smear vs whitewash vs limewash, you will have to make the right choice. But how do you know which one is right? Once you have stained, washed, or painted the bricks, it may not be possible to go back and remove the whitewash or German brick smear techniques. Prior to choosing a solution, it is important to understand maintenance, costs, and overall outcomes. There are several ways to enhance brick architecture, each with its own distinctive features, such as Limewash vs German smear vs whitewash.


Due to its advantages over painting, limewash needs to be reapplied every few years. A limewash treatment is ideal for surface treatment due to its natural tone, eco-friendly ingredients, and ability to be removed by power-washing. When applied to fresh bricks, this formula will give them an old-fashioned appearance.


Compared with limewashing, whitewashing provides a brighter, smoother finish with more colours to choose from. Surfaces that have already been painted can also be treated with the wash, but it leaves a permanent finish. If you have already purchased paint for the walls, you may be able to whitewash an interior surface like a fireplace within an afternoon.

German Smear

With its extraordinary texture, finish, the German Smear creates a cottage style lifestyle. You can experiment with different mortar tints and brick colours even though German Smear traditionally uses white mortar over red brick. As this is a labour intensive and permanent process, we would recommend hiring a professional masonry contractor.


By adding a natural look to brick, German schmear and limewash both enhance its appearance. Limewash tends to be softer and is better suited to full coverage looks. German schmear is better suited to heavily distressed looks; limewash tends to be better suited to full coverage looks.
In the choice of german smear vs whitewash, the best option is to whitewash your brick if you like its current color. The high translucency of this paint makes it prone to streaking and looking unfinished. When paired with a pretty starter brick color, it can produce fantastic results.
Despite looking unnatural, a solid paint job gives your room a planned-out look, which is especially useful in more contemporary apartments.