Architects

The expertise you desire.

The excellence you deserve.

Our proprietary staining process delivers limitless design possibilities for your next project. From matchwork on repairs or additions, to custom, intricate patterns and designs, our expert staining specialists will bring your vision to life.

Because they are translucent and completely absorbed, our stains preserve the natural variation in tone as well as the natural texture of the pre-existing masonry. We can mix them to match a single shade expertly, or create complex patterns by applying different shades to different parts of a single brick or stone, or to different sets of bricks or stones within a single wall.

By absorbing into the pore structure of any absorbent masonry, our stain will not cause maintenance, and will not flake, blister or peel. A failed stain is a failure for all who are involved, so trust in the company who offers you what others don't: long-lasting proof.

limitless design possibilities

Staining brick to match

Stain brick to match sample

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Stain addition to match existing 

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Add new colors and patterns

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take pride in your work.

A failed stain is more than that - it's a failed brick project. When a stain fails, it reflects poorly on you, your business, and the industry as a whole. Think about the long-haul. 

masonry cosmetics staining project

We stained an addition white to match the existing brick. When we went back 16 years later, you still couldn't tell the difference between the original and stained brick.

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2003 | Before
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2003 | After
2003 | After
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2019 | After
2019 | After
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our competitors staining projects

AIA CREDITED COURSE
The Creativity of Brick Matching: The Future of Brick Additions

This one-hour, on-demand program teaches participants how to make new construction match existing masonry.  Participants will observe a number of projects in which matching was attempted and discover why some failed and others succeeded. 

Topics include selecting the right brick, making use of the physical brick-blending process, selecting a masonry coloring process, and specifying matching masonry in architectural plans. The presenter is an expert on the subject matter with over 30 years of hands-on experience in the brick industry. 

FOR AIA Credit or to get your Certificate of Completion: 

1. Watch the one-hour audio-visual class packed with striking images of masonry problems and solutions

2. Register & take online quiz

Questions about the course?
Call us: 1-888-698-8705  

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designing with color

We are here to help when you need it: 

  • New masonry can be made to closely match an older structure. 

  • Old masonry can closely resemble a new structure. 

  • Unique colors and patterns that only exist in your mind can be created.

office building in South Bend, IN

closely matching the older structure

Built in 1980, its enormous mirror-like windows were set off by walls faced with 8” by 8” square brick blended in a seemingly random array of reddish-brown colors. In 2001, when the owners decided to add a new three-story structure connected to the old by a walkway, they knew immediately that they would only be satisfied if the new construction could match the color blend of the original building.

But the owners and contractors could not find matching brick. The closest they could come to was a 8” x 16” brick with a score down the center that could make it appear to be two 8” x 8” squares. Unfortunately, it could only be found on the west coast and shipping was unacceptably expensive and still not a close match in color or blend.

The answer was to use a locally-available 8” x 8” brick in a uniform shade of red and then add color with nine shades of brown, in a carefully planned pattern that gave every appearance of being random and natural looking. The nearly flawless match earned us a 2002 Excellence in Construction Award from the Michiana Area Construction Industry Advancement Fund.

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Before | 2002
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During | 2002
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After | 2014
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morris inn in South Bend, IN

closely matching the new structure

Built in 1950, one of the most prestigious and recognizable buildings on campus, the Morris Inn was scheduled for renovation in 2012. The northeast wall was refaced and a new wing constructed with a fine grain wire-cut textured brick in a blend of orange, brown, grey and cream colors. Once completed the older west wall would suffer by comparison. The old brick had a gray color range with a coarse grain – much less attractive than the blend of new brick to the east. In addition, the mortar on the older section did not match as well and had to be stained to match the new mortar color. The mortar would have to be stained first. Then each brick in the old wall would have to be colored to closely resemble one of the colors in the new wall.

The result was a spectacular match, a spectacular building, and a 2013 Excellence in Construction Award from the Michiana Area Construction Industry Advancement Fund.

Before | 2013
Before | 2013
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During | 2013
During | 2013
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After | 2019
After | 2019
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brick matching 101

Nothing ruins the natural beauty of masonry than mis-matched additions and repairs. Think of brick staining as a tool or option to use anytime you need. “Brick” Matching 101 also applies to block, mortar and stone.

Step 1: finding the original brick

Are the brick still made today? If yes, is it still made at the same plant that the original brick came from? Manufacturers from time to time have to change which plant they make brick at although they still call it the same name, type and size. This, at times, can cause a change in color. Just be sure to get a current sample first. There are many variables brick plants have to deal with. Any one of these variables can effect the color from run to run. Again, getting a current sample is important. Be sure to double check the height, length, depth & texture of those brick. If the brick are not made anymore—Ask your local distributor to do a search. The actual brick could be sitting somewhere! Should the run still be off in color, We Can Help! If you still cannot find the correct brick, masonry staining can solve the problem, continue onto Step 2.

Step 2: finding a donor brick

The most important step to a successful brick match is to find a replacement that has the same size and texture. The color should be as close as possible. One of the most common mistakes that happen is that the size of the brick vary (especially if more than one style of brick will be used). Be sure the face height, length and bed depth of the brick are compatible in size to each other.

 

There are several brick manufacturers that are willing and able to make special runs of brick to try and match your building but sometimes they don’t succeed. If they don’t get close enough and you want it closer, We Can Add the Final Touch!

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Step 3: calculating the blend

Another common mistake in matching is that the overall percentage and placement of colors do not match up with the existing wall. Most brick have a range of color. Even one color being off in a blend of 4 different ones, can result in a bad match. The right percentage mix of colors and how they are spaced in the wall is the key to matching. Therefore, you must calculate the percentages of colors.

To find the percentages in the original wall, find a section of the wall that looks like what you want. Then use tape to mark a rectangle containing 200 full sized bricks. Now count the number of each color brick (i.e., don’t count brick that are “cut off” by the tape). The picture above is a 50 brick area for an example (using 200 brick gives you a better overall range of color in the wall). As you can see, we have 29 red, 9 brownish gray, 7 dark and 5 white bricks.

 

Therefore, if your project requires 15,000 brick, you will need (58% x 15,000) 8,700 red, (18% x 15,000) 2,700 brownish gray, (14% x 15,000) 2,100 dark, and (10% x 15,000) 1,500 white. As always, Masonry Cosmetics Inc. can add color to whatever blend to get a great match!

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Step 4: consider the mortar

In a wall with modular sized brick, the mortar represents 18 to 20% of the total wall which can have a major effect to the brick color and overall color of the wall. In the pictures to the left, only the mortar was stained. 20% of a wall is a noticeable difference. If the mortar does not match after being laid up, masonry staining can help. However, most of the time, mortar is usually not an issue.

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Step 5: Matching the pattern

Now that you have the closest donor brick available and know the percentage of different colors, you need to see if a pattern should be matched. Sometimes a geometric pattern is noticeable but random patterns are the most common while some other patterns have clusters of the same colored brick together. Using test panels is important to achieve successful results.

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AFTER

Step 6: Masonry Staining

There are many ways in which your repair or new construction can still fail to match the existing masonry. As soon as you notice a color issue, consider staining.

 

The first requirement is absorption. Run a simple water test on the brick by throwing some water on the wall. If the water soaks in and darkens temporarily, then our process will work for your project.

 

The second requirement is getting the closest donor brick available (don’t forget size and texture are very important). Smaller color changes can be less expensive than dramatic ones.

 

When our crews get to a job site, they create a test panel to be approved by the appropriate person. Within hours we can show you how successful our process can be. After approval, we can immediately (if needed) expand that test area over the entire project because all of the planning is already done.