Colour Washing Overview

A colour wash is essentially a stain, which is applied to brickwork with a brush. Prior to colour washing, the brickwork is cleaned, the old joints raked out, and the facework washed down. Today a wide variety of historic colours, using earth bound pigments, can be achieved by colour washing.


Colour washing of brickwork was practiced hundreds of years before tuckpointing. Colour washing was applied to new brickwork prior to tuckpointing. The purpose was to give a uniform colour to bricks of varying quality. The main ingredient in the colour wash was alum or copperas that was applied to the brickwork with a brush. If a red finish was required, then red ochre would be added.