Yesterday I hinted at the Large Scale Project coming your way, and I'm happy to report it's better than I had even hoped.
Let me start by saying that my brother-in-law is amazingly skilled and generous, and has a father who is equally as wonderful. Summary: I am one seriously lucky homeowner. Here's my team, taking a well-deserved break (I could only get them to sit down for five minutes, but at least I got a picture!).
This picture took place after the work was done, so now you know I didn't paint the brick (though I did consider telling you I had turned my house into a big mural of art/political statements). There are many beautiful painted brick houses in my neighborhood, but the brick pattern is delicious and I can't imagine ever covering it up. (In case you're interested, Wikipedia has a fun summary of brick patterns.) So instead I had it sealed, and I'm so glad I did. It looks like a whole new house, with all the historic character intact.
Now, the important part...pictures! Here's the east wall of my house, before the experts worked their magic:
This "in progress" photo shows the transformation:
I still can't quite believe how the sealant actually made dirt disappear. My brother and sister had spent hours scrubbing dirt off the walls (I stil feel guilty that I just hung out with my nephew while they did all the work!), but it still looked dull and a little dirty - the stain brought out the color and made it look brand new.
Here's another great in progress shot of the front wall:
And there was enough sealant left over to make my back patio look amazing, too!
I'm so grateful to my family for helping with this. It saved money but more importantly, it made my house feel more like mine than it ever has. I love you guys!
What did I do while this occurred, you ask? I'll admit it wasn't easy for a recently-addicted DIYer to sit still while someone else does the work. For awhile, I got work done from my computer while trying to read old newspaper stories that were covering the window. Turns out, "Bernanke" is the hardest word to read backwards.
So I gave up and became a pest, just standing outside enjoying the transformation of my home!
(A word of advice - and this is the first time I've ever felt well-informed enough to give advice! If you ever put sealant on your brick home, be sure to have experts do it. The kind you get at Home Depot doesn't last anywhere near as long, and it peels. I'm sure you join me in my lack of enthusiasm for homes that look like college freshmen after Spring Break in Miami).