Here's a thought I hadn't considered before: what about simply Coloring them? Not a flat coat of latex interior paint, mind you. (not to say that this can't be a beautiful solution, too) But what about embracing the textural variation in tone, overlaid with beautiful rich color? Intrigued? I was.
I had never seen this approach attempted until I discovered photos of a particular apartment in the Chelsea Hotel. The space is rented (not even owned!) by Gerald Decock, an artist and hairstylist with a unique perspective on color in interiors.
images source with permission from Todd SelbyHis apartment is Wild! As one article puts it so eloquently, "the whole vibe is reminiscent of a harlequin outfit put into a blender without the lid."(source)
But what caught my eye was his extraordinary treatment of brick in his apartment.
image source with permission from Todd SelbyAnother brick wall was a variety of violets. Gorgeous. The translucent pigments allow the natural variations in the brick to show through so that the walls don't appear flat or too uniform. Instead, they practically vibrate with life.
To replicate this look without necessarily delving into fuchsias and violets, brick staining/tinting kits are available. Instead of coating everything one tone, I would opt for several similar color choices, then mix different strengths of the stain to mimic the different shades in the brick. Much more natural looking.
Wait, we can't leave our tour of Gerald's apartment without a parting glance at...wait for it...his hot pink ceiling!
image source with permission from Todd SelbyOh yes, and the floors are orange. Of course.
Okay, so does that spark some ideas for how you'll deal with tired old brick in your house? Anyone ready to paint their ceiling pink? Oh come on, give it a try- it's only paint!