After a bit of landscaping out front, I started thinking about how to make it pop a bit more! Well, after a bit of reading and looking on the internet, I decided to German Schmear the old reddish colour brick on the front entrance to the driveway. In case you’re wondering what German Shmear is, it is also often referred to as Antiqued brick.
German Shmear is a type of mortar wash that is achieved by spreading wet mortar over the bricks, then removing some of it before it dries. It is the perfect combination of an old-style classic with a modern look! Create a distressed and rustic appearance on a budget!
The best part apart German Schmear is that unlike traditional bricklaying that requires a lot of experience and can be quite expensive, German Schmear is the perfect project for any DIYer. Did I mention it’s also really affordable to do?
So, if you’ve got a few days and are looking for a way to add a bit of curb appeal to your home, keep reading. I’ll walk you through the steps so you can get to schmearing yourself.
First, you’ll need to prep the brick for the German Schmear. You will want to remove any dirt, grease, and mildew by cleaning and brushing the brick with a stiff bristle brush and the garden hose. If you get any water stains on the brick, don’t worry as it won’t affect the mortar.
You’ll want to mix the mortar with water in a bucket. Depending on the size of the mortar mix you buy, your ratio will change. Be sure to read the directions on the mortar before mixing in the water. However, a standard is 70 percent mortar to 30 percent water. Depending on the look you are going for you might want to consider changing the ratios. For example, if you want a heavier textured surface, you’ll want to try adding less water and vice versa for a thinner more translucent. Finally, blend the mixture with a drill and a mixing paddle.
Before applying the German Schmear, you’ll need to dampen the bricks to extend the drying time of the mortar. Spray the bricks with a garden hose.
Make sure you wear some old clothes, find a pair of good heavy rubber gloves and consider some protective eyewear just in case. Schmear the wet mortar over the bricks with a grout sponge, or trowel. Work down from top to bottom working in small areas that are roughly 5 feet by 5 feet. Be sure to spread the mortar into the joints. Typically, the mortar begins to set anywhere from 20-45 minutes depending on temperature and humidity. Use the trowel and/or a wire brush to remove some of it from surface. This is all personal preference as to how much you want to have.
That’s it! Wait for it to try, make yourself a cocktail, sit back and enjoy your perfectly done German Schmear! The best part is that there is little to no maintenance. When necessary, all you have to do is spray the brick with a garden hose to remove any built on dust or dirt.