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Okay, so this brick porch might be the best thing that has ever happened to the exterior of our house. It’s at least tied with the limewashing. I love it so much!
I knew that after the brick was limewashed, the house was going to feel a little one-tone and that I was going to need to add some more depth and texture in, so I came up with the idea of adding this little porch. It does exactly what I wanted it to do, which is bring in some warmth and character, and it also makes our front entry feel a lot more intentional.
Fast Growing Trees supplied the trees for this project. As always, all opinions are my own.
Here’s what you’ll need to add this awesome feature to your house :
- Garden stakes
- Quickcrete (I used 9 bags)
- Mixing tub
- Something to mix with, either a trowel or a shovel
- Old Mill Brick adhesive
- Thin brick from Old Mill Brick (I used herringbone brickwebb, corners, and singles)
- Mixing bucket
- Mixing paddle
- Floaring Trowel
- Piping bag
- White mortar
- Angle grinder
The first thing I needed to do was to create a concrete porch, since previously we only had a walkway here. I used a 2×4 and screwed it into garden stakes to create a mold for the concrete to sit in.
I mixed my Quickcrete with water in a mixing tub with a shovel, then dumped it into the mold. It’s important to overfill the mold a little and run a 2×4 over the top as you go (this is called screeding) to get a smooth surface. I wasn’t too worried about making it perfect since it would be covered with brick, but it still needed to be pretty smooth for the brick to lay flat.
After I poured the concrete, it needed a week to cure. Curing the concrete helps it dry slowly, preventing any cracks. I sprayed it with my hose everyday and then covered it with plastic.
(I limewashed the house in between these steps so I didn’t have to worry about covering up the porch)
Then it was time for the brick – yay! I used Old Mill Brick when I redid my fireplace and they very generously provided me with the brick that I needed for this project. One thing that I always recommend in tiling (or bricking!) projects is to dry fit everything first. This means cutting and laying out where everything goes before adding any adhesive. This gives you the ability to plan and problem solve before you’re having to deal with your adhesive drying out on you.
Cutting the bricks is really easy because you don’t need a tile saw – thank goodness! You can use one if you’d like or you can use an angle grinder, which is a lot easier in my opinion. Make sure that you wear eye and ear protection and a dust mask. I clamped the brick to a scrap board to prevent it from moving, then slowly cut through with the grinder. I used a diamond tipped blade that I have for cutting through tile and it was like butter.
To make laying the herringbone pattern incredibly easy, I used Old Mill Brick’s new Herringbone Brickwebb. The bricks come adhered to a webbed backing, so the pattern is already laid out for you. Herringbone is normally rather tedious to lay, but the brickwebb makes it a breeze. I used a couple single bricks to make a border and then special corner pieces to run along the curb. Since the bricks are thin like tiles, you need the corner pieces because they are bent and give the appearance of a full thickness brick. I recommend trimming the top corners off of the webbing at this point! They kind of get in the way, but are easy to trim with scissors.
After I had everything cut and aligned where I wanted it to be, I took all the brick off so that I could spread the adhesive. I mixed the adhesive in a bucket until it was the consistency of smooth peanut butter and then started spreading it with a 3/8″ notched trowel.
Then the process is simple – spread, add brick, repeat. This step was pretty fast since I already had all my cuts made and I was using the awesome brickwebb.
It needs to sit for 24 hours in order to set, so don’t walk on it for at least a day. I taped the porch off to keep away any accidental foot traffic.
Once it’s had time to dry, you can grout. There are a couple different options for how to do this and it depends on what style you want. I decided to do a light German Schmear. I mixed up some white mortar and used a piping back to run it through the grout lines. Then I smoothed it out and used a sponge to spread just a little onto the bricks. Use some painters tape along any surfaces you don’t want grout to get on because this is a messy process. I have a more in depth tutorial on how to German Schmear here.
The grout will need another 24 hours to dry and then you can step back and stare at your gorgeous new porch all day long!