Bagging and Painting Brickwork
by Allan Staines
If all the houses in your street are surfaced in brick, you might be interested in a change - something a little different?
The trend for bagging and painting has provided an ideal means of updating an old brick home where the bricks are dated or damaged or the whole street is red brick and you would like to improve the resale value of your home. Let's do it!
So: where do you begin?
Firstly, you need to water-jet clean the whole house to remove any mould or dirt that will prevent adhesion of the jointing and bagging mortar you will use.
Make a mortar mix of six-parts clean bricklayer's sand to one-part cement and one-part hydrated lime. If you prefer, dry mortar can also be purchased in bags ready to just add water.
Fill Brick Joints
Next you need to fill the Brick Joints. A plasterer's hawk will hold a portion of mortar against the wall beside the brick joints while you feed the mortar into the joints using a bricklayers pointing trowel. You will quickly get the knack of scooping just the right amount to fill the joints. Slightly overfill the joints and work from the top of the wall down.
After you have filled the joints in the first couple of courses, scrape the overfilled joints flush with the surrounding bricks. After filling all the joints, the walls will be ready for the bagging process!
The same joint-mortar can be used for the Bagging Process, but mix it in a bucket to get a creamy texture. Wet the wall you're about to bag down well to prevent the dry brick from sucking the moisture out of the bagging mixture too quickly. Next, cut a square of hessian and fold it into a suitable pad shape to apply the mixture from a bucket.
Commencing at the top of the wall, scrub the mortar on by scooping the mix onto the pad and applying it on the brick surface in a circular motion. Be sure to wear rubber gloves. Allow a residue to remain to form the bag texture.
It's a good idea to start at a rear wall to gain experience and check the areas completed for evenness of texture before moving onto the next section. The following brickwork will probably require re-wetting before bagging.
At the end of each wall be sure the window and door frames are thoroughly cleaned down as well as all soffit linings, mouldings, downpipes and paths. You can use a block of sponge for most of this.
After finishing the whole house, let it dry for a couple of days then apply 100% acrylic paint using a long hair roller - two coats should be enough.
Stand back and look at your handiwork. You'll be amazed at the new look you've just given your house!