Chicken Licken opened its new signature look store featuring Corobrik's Nevada Travertine with a rustic finish. Chicken Licken at Midway Crossing in Ntuzuma, Durban designed by Fevertree Studio and implemented by Boogertman + Partners features Corobrik's Nevada Travertine face brick with a German Schmear (or often referred to as mortar wash or bagwash) finish.
What is German Schmear or mortar wash/bagwash?
German Schmear, (the German way of spelling, “smear”), is a finishing technique for brick that involves smearing mortar over the face of wall. German Schmear involves troweling mortar onto a brick wall and then wiping some of it off to expose parts of the brick.
Geoffrey Richards, the Architectural Team Leader for Boogertman + Partners Durban explains that the contractors, Stefanutti Stocks, built on-site samples with various Corobrik face bricks until the desired aesthetic was achieved. Since there are so many different looks that can be achieved with German Schmear, it is best you practice a little before moving on to your final project.
The methodology followed to achieve the German Schmear look for Chicken Licken?
The contractor built the face brick wall with a 10mm deep, 12mm high, square recessed joint with a conventional grey plaster mix.
Once the joints were dry, white grout (TAL High Traffic Grout) was then applied to the recesses with a putty knife and the face brick cleaned with a sponge and cold water.
Ultimately the overrun of grout onto the face brick was unavoidable, but it added to the desired rugged sophisticated aesthetic.
There are no hard and fast rules for applying German Smear to face brick. It all depends on the look you’re going for.
Advantages of a German Schmear finish?
German Schmear on a brick wall (or mortar wash/bagwash) adds a lot of texture and character.
This effect is perfect for creating a rustic or distressed look, which many people appreciate today as they seek to blend modern, new technology with reclaimed wood, natural stone, and other earthy elements in their home’s architecture.
This option doesn’t require much maintenance. Even as it weathers over time, it looks great.
German Schmear can be used inside, without being exposed to the elements, you can expect your mortar wash to look consistently amazing over many years.
The mortar coating lasts a lot longer than paint or whitewash and requires very little maintenance.