Arke Stairs
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How do I apply a German schmear to brick?

Q: How do I apply a German schmear to brick?

A: A “German schmear” (or “smear”) is a technique of whitewashing brick by smearing lightly colored mortar over the surface and mortar joints. After cleaning the brick surface of dirt, mold and loose mortar, mix one part water to five parts mortar. Mix until it forms a smooth, stiff flurry. Wet the brick surface thoroughly with water. Apply the mortar to the wet brick surface with a steel trowel, working from the top up.

As you progress, wipe the surface with a dry rag to expose the underlying brick, if you prefer to accent certain areas.

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