How to create an exposed brick wall
Firstly, what you’ll need:
Small crow bar
Dust mask & eye protection
Protective sheets. As you can imagine removing the plaster from your brick wall is messy work! This is particularly important if you have an old house with the original plaster. Whilst it may seem like a bit of work it is definitely worth using plastic sheets (painting drop sheets are perfect) and taping them to your walls and ceiling to completely seal off the area you’re working in. It is also highly recommended to wear a mask to protect your lungs from the plaster dust, and even eye protection as the dust can easily irritate your eyes.
Pretty easy to see what’s next. Simply make a hole the plaster using your brick chisel. This is a good chance to expose a small area of the brick, perhaps somewhere hidden, to see if the quality of the brick underneath is good. Once you’ve created a hole, you can either use the chisel or a small crowbar to remove the plaster. Just tap it lightly to get behind the plaster and level it off. Be careful not to damage the bricks with the chisel or crow bar by tapping too hard. When you get to the ceiling and side walls ensure you neatly remove the plaster without damaging adjacent plaster.
Once all the bricks are exposed the next step is to clean the bricks. Some people use acid to do this, but this can be messy and dangerous and not really required. Just some warm water and a sponge should be all you’ll need to clean the bricks. Wipe the dust off with the sponge regularly wringing it in the bucket. Repeat this 2 or 3 times replacing the water between each time until most of the dust has been removed from the bricks. If there are cracks or noticeable holes in the bricks now is your change to patch them with some cement. Small cracks and holes are fine, just ones that may impact the look of the wall.
Sealing the wall. Various types of sealer are available for sealing bricks. Look out for brick sealers in particular. You can normally choose between gloss and matte with most people preferring a matte solution as it looks more natural. Follow the instructions on the can for applying the sealer, which normally suggest applying it 2 or 3 times. The sealer will also darken the appearance of the bricks with each coat.
Let it dry and you’re done!