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43 Comments

  1. Michelle Fahrenbach
    September 10, 2016 @ 6:37 am

    I love the work done here. I have painted brick and have wanted to do this process; do you know if it is possible to mix paint and mortar and do the German spreading process? I want to make a much more stuccoed appearance on my 1953 ranch house which we have been renovating into a modern home.

    Reply

    • Julie
      September 10, 2016 @ 6:34 pm

      I would not recommend mixing the paint and mortar. They do make dye for certain types of mortar, so I would go that route if you want a custom color. You can use this same technique and apply it in a thicker manner to get the look you’re going for! Good luck with your project!

      Reply

    • wendy
      September 14, 2016 @ 12:21 pm

      Can you do this over painted brick?

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      • Julie
        September 14, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

        Great question! We have not tested that ourselves yet. If I were you, I would probably test it in an inconspicuous area first, let it cure well for a few days, and then try scraping it off. If it comes off, then it won’t work. It depends on how well the paint is currently adhering to your brick. I hope that helps you!

        Reply

      • Fran
        August 17, 2017 @ 11:25 pm

        Yes. Just did it to my son’s fireplace. Was a nasty yellow brick, painted them reds with black then the next day did the smear. Turned out awesome!!!!

        Reply

  2. kami
    September 27, 2016 @ 9:02 pm

    I am curious how this holds up over time. How is it looking? I live in Ohio and worry about the heat and cold…

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    • Julie
      September 28, 2016 @ 1:40 pm

      Well, this is holding up wonderfully so far but it’s only been up for couple months. However, because this veneer mortar is made for stone & meant to stand the test of time, I’m sure it can weather all kinds of weather! Hope that assures you!

      Reply

      • Stephanie
        July 1, 2019 @ 2:06 pm

        I’m curious, almost 3 years later, how is it holding up? We are in the middle, well testing stage, on our house. And it seems to just wash off with the garden hose, even after over 24 hours of cure time.

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        • Julie
          July 3, 2019 @ 8:25 am

          Theirs is still holding up perfectly, just like when they first did it! We are puzzled as to why yours is washing off. If you are doing the same products & technique, it should be staying on. I wish I had an answer for you!

          Reply

  3. Debbie
    October 28, 2016 @ 3:11 pm

    What did you do for the siding that is on the house?

    Reply

    • Julie
      October 28, 2016 @ 3:29 pm

      New vinyl siding!

      Reply

  4. Becky DeWitt
    November 8, 2016 @ 10:48 am

    Thank you for this great how-to. I have a painted brick backsplash that I’d like to use a German Smear on. Do you have any idea whether there’s a primer I need to put on, that would be a better surface for the mortar to adhere to?

    Reply

    • Julie
      November 11, 2016 @ 9:28 am

      So sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I wanted to ask my brother what he thought. Here is his response :
      Painted makes it tricky. I don’t think she’ll need a primer. That won’t do anything. It could work but then again it may peel after a while. The thing is mortar will draw every bit of moisture out of there so it just makes me concerned that it may cause that paint to flake

      I wish it could say it would work, but he’s not sure about that!

      Reply

  5. Stacey
    November 23, 2016 @ 4:43 am

    Would the mortar transfer to your clothing or skin if you brushed the brick walking by? I’d like to use this technique inside my home but worry about getting it on my clothes or my guests getting it on their clothes.

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    • Julie
      November 23, 2016 @ 11:53 am

      You would want to definitely avoid letting the wet mortar mix come in contact with your clothes. But after it has dried and cured, just brush it off well and vacuum over it, and it should be totally fine after that!

      Reply

  6. Jackie
    December 31, 2016 @ 5:40 pm

    Thank you for your great information. I’m doing German schmear on my brick fireplace then adding a sliding barn door fireplace screen. Your info was a great help

    Reply

    • Julie
      January 23, 2017 @ 11:33 am

      Sounds great! I’d love to see a photo of your finished project!

      Reply

  7. Dale Hart
    January 23, 2017 @ 10:54 am

    Just shmeared fireplace and 12 hours later it still rubs off. Should I apply a sealer or some sort?

    Reply

    • Julie
      January 23, 2017 @ 11:33 am

      We recommend giving it a few more days to fully cure, and then reassessing the situation at that time. If it’s still rubbing off at that time, you probably want to seal it. We have only had experience with this technique on the outdoors so far, so I’m not sure which sealer to recommend. We’d love an update on your project in case others have the same questions! Good luck!

      Reply

    • Eric
      April 12, 2017 @ 10:28 am

      The bricks on a fireplace should be sealed to minimize staining. You can sandblast to take the sealer (or paint) off. You need raw brick or stone for proper adhesion.

      Reply

      • Julie
        April 13, 2017 @ 6:39 am

        Thanks for the tip!

        Reply

  8. Corey
    February 1, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

    To the person interested in the German Shmear on painted brick, the typical mortar mix will not adhere well to the paint and primer will not help much. The brick needs to be porous, so sealed brick, painted brick or even brick covered in soot like on a fireplace are not good candidates for a mortar coating. I have not done this, but it is very common in construction to float a coat of polymer modified cement or thinset onto brick or tile and it will adhere. It dries much faster than mortar does, but it sticks to everything that it dries onto. Good luck.

    Reply

  9. Cathy
    February 6, 2017 @ 3:31 pm

    Hello, I wanted to know what would happen to the finished brick on the German Smear morter if it rains?
    Would you suggest a sealer or maybe adding paint to the formula, trying to go for the same look as the house Johanna did on hgtv.
    I was also like to know how you would achieve the thicker grout look.
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Julie
      February 6, 2017 @ 7:58 pm

      The mortar sets pretty quickly, so unless there is heavy rain soon after you do it, there should be no effect. If you’re looking for the heavier German Smear look like Joanna Gaines, you will use the same technique, but apply the mortar more heavily, leaving some bricks more exposed and others thickly covered. It’s a technique that’s unique to your individual preference & will come with a little practice. I would suggest you start in an inconspicuous area to test it & get the coverage you’re wanting!

      Reply

  10. Karen Siglasky
    March 18, 2017 @ 5:06 pm

    How long does the smear last? Do you need a sealer on outside use? Does it change color.
    Wear away., we live in midwest

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 19, 2017 @ 1:33 pm

      The smear will last for the long haul just like mortar on brick. You can expect the same results from it as you would your mortar on your existing brick now. It does not need a sealer. Hope that helps you!

      Reply

  11. Dee Messinger
    March 24, 2017 @ 7:08 pm

    I’m determined to do the German Smear on my brick exterior but I haven’t been able to find white mortar mix, so it really is as difficult to find as everyone says. The fixer upper house on HGTV looks like a cream color and not white but I cannot find any instructions on what they used. I know that I don’t want to go with gray, so can you help me in where I might find the white mortar?

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 24, 2017 @ 8:12 pm

      Yes! Check in the tile section of Lowes or HD. They should have the white or other colors and the technique should be the same. Hope that helps you!

      Reply

  12. Belinda
    March 29, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

    Hi there from Australia, I’m so in the this mortar/ german smear techniques, I’ve been prowling websites and pinterest and anywhere else to get as much information as possible too. I’m having a little bit of trouble as well sourcing the white mortar here in Australia…also the ongoing maintenance was a concern, all comments and advice so far suggest minimal upkeep…WINNER!!! sounds perfect…loving all the imput from everyone so far and a big thanks to you all…I’m keen to get started…stay tuned and thanks again Belinda

    Reply

    • Julie
      March 29, 2017 @ 5:44 pm

      Great! So glad this was a help to you. Hope you can find that mortar!

      Reply

  13. Sara B. Pollard
    May 1, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    I am a single senior citizen. Do you know of a contractor who will do a brink smear for me. I live in Wood Co., TX.

    Reply

    • Julie
      May 7, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

      I wish I could help you, but I’m not near & have no connections there. Good luck with your search!

      Reply

  14. Lynne Fairhall
    May 7, 2017 @ 8:19 am

    Any colour suggestion for doing the bricks on a home with terracotta coloured tile roof? I love the schmear look but just can’t work out what would go with the tile, and I can’t afford to replace the tile.

    Reply

    • Julie
      May 7, 2017 @ 5:13 pm

      I think the light gray or cream colored mortar would be great! Especially with a darker gray accent color. I would suggest searching for homes with terra-cotta roofs on Pinterest & see what comes up that you like! Good luck!

      Reply

  15. Sandy
    July 9, 2017 @ 9:53 pm

    I have native stone on my home, I hate it! Do you think a German smear would work just as well as brick?

    Reply

    • Julie
      July 10, 2017 @ 7:21 am

      Hmmm– I really don’t know! I’m not familiar with native stone done with this process. Sorry I wish I could be more help!

      Reply

  16. Fran
    August 17, 2017 @ 11:33 pm

    Just painted the bricks on the fireplace. They were a nasty yellow, painted them three reds with some black. Waited a day to completely dry, then did the white mortar. Like with original brick, spray with water first then adhere the mortar. Used a ziplock with corner snipped off like you were cake decorating to get in the original grout lines, worked like a champ! Used a trowel to take off the main bulk then for the next two days, used burlap to wipe off to expose more color. Walk by, wipe a little, walk away. Rinse and repeat. It turned out awesome!!!

    Reply

    • Julie
      August 18, 2017 @ 6:39 am

      Great! Thanks for the tips!! I’m sure it’s beautiful!

      Reply

    • Rachel
      August 28, 2017 @ 7:46 am

      Fran, can you show or email me a picture of your finished project? thank you, Rachel

      Reply

  17. Barb
    August 27, 2017 @ 6:24 am

    I have light brick – can you do the German smear technique ? Tint the mortar? Need ideas on how to change the color.

    Reply

    • Julie
      August 28, 2017 @ 8:07 am

      Yes, this can be done on lighter bricks. You can add dye to mortar to change the color. I would recommend finding a brick distributor that sells the dye & checking out some samples of finishes. Good luck!

      Reply

  18. Patricia
    November 29, 2020 @ 5:29 pm

    Can you do a thinner consistency to do on brick floors? If so, how would it hold up to foot traffic (both human and dog) and also washing it?

    Reply

    • Julie
      November 30, 2020 @ 6:29 am

      I’m really not sure about that! Haven’t tried floors yet.

      Reply

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