by Masonry Cosmetics: "The Brick Matching Experts"
Brick Staining News
A Letter to Brick Manufacturers
A Message for Everyone in the Industry
We want to grow our relationship with you and start a conversation to inform you of current perspectives on color enhancing brick. All parties are best served if brick color is enhanced correctly the first time. When color enhancement is done the right way, with the right product, and only when it is needed, it eliminates the need for costly upkeep later. In sending you this letter, we want to help you achieve two things:
First, to help you and the Industry sell more brick.
Second, for the Industry "Not to Settle."
Advantage of Proven Masonry Stain
Masonry Cosmetics’ Proven-Masonry-Stain never hurts a brick because it does not create an applied layer on the brick’s surface as many available paint-like stain products do. In MCI’s process, the brick remains completely porous, or “breathable.” Our products cannot peel, crack, blister, or flake, while other “staining products” often do. Our proven-to-last stains are translucent and absorb into the surface of the brick. MCI’s special process permanently bonds the stain to the pore structure of the brick, and we use color theory the majority of the time to get a very close color match. If our color treated brick becomes wet during a rainstorm, there will be no noticeable demarcation between the stained bricks and the existing bricks they were stained to match. In other words, you won’t be able to detect where existing bricks end and our stained bricks begin.
Before and After
We also want to recommend Still the Best, one of our older brochures which covers 50 of our jobs that have stood the test of time. The completed projects showcased there are actually 15 to 25 years old now (instead of the 10 to 20 years of age noted in the brochure). They still look great, and we continue to work on updating the photos for those earlier projects. Over time we are putting together documentation of our next 50 projects. We are always limited by time, however, it is important to return to each project after some years to take current “after” pictures for comparison. Another limiting factor we face is that sometimes we were not able to take “before” pictures for older projects because of earlier technology.
We are confident we have the best process for masonry color enhancement because our stains are proven to last the test of time. Also, MCI makes it a priority to be available on project sites when you need us there. That being said, when complaints do arise, they usually center around these issues:
Requests for MCI to stain bricks before a brick wall has dried properly.
Requests for MCI to stain bricks when conditions on site are not good weather-wise, or...
Requests for MCI to stain bricks when other trades are still on the job, accomplishing work that interrupts or hinders our progress.
Improper cleaning of the wall before staining. Though there is thorough and complete information on this process availible, I am surprised that some contractors still do not clean the brick properly. As a result, when staining, we find an acidic reaction throughout the brick. This prolongs our work. An additional thorough cleaning of the brick (or neutralization of the wall) is required so that our stain will make a maximum bond with the brick.
Different Time, Same Advice
In one of the articles on matching brick that I wrote for Masonry Magazine a few years back (https://www.masoncontractors.org/2015/07/20/brick-matching-101), I emphasize always finding the actual brick first, or, secondly, how to blend different brick. If both of those options are exhausted, getting brick in the same size, texture, and closest in color to the brick to be matched is important. Finally, staining with a Proven Masonry Stain can begin. Masonry Cosmetics’ proprietary Proven Masonry Stain stands the test of time. The advice I gave in that 2015 article is just as current today!
As a result, there is no reason to settle for a poor match. Bad looking repairs and additions make buildings into eyesores, giving brick a bad name. Some repairs or matchwork/additions are so poorly done that they bring down resale and property values. This can discourage an Owner or Architect from ever using brick in the future. In situations like these, we as an industry can make all the difference. Correcting poorly matched projects and bringing them to an acceptable match speaks louder than words. So, if you find yourselves in need of a better match, DON’T SETTLE!!! If someone tells you the match they have for you, though not acceptable, is the best available anywhere, this is when you CALL US!!! We can take that poor match or addition and turn it into something better. A project we can all sign our name to.
More Proven Masonry Stain Advantages:
Matching: Some of the brick colors in a new addition that do not fit in or blend can be changed to colors that do, with no possibility of cracking, peeling, flaking, or blistering. We can always stain the new brick to closely match the old brick, as long as the new brick can absorb the stain. Working together, we can eliminate most unsightly repairs and poorly matching additions.
Placement: We can mirror the brick color pattern in the wall we are matching by placing colors in the right areas, helping the overall brick design of the wall to flow properly.
Percentages: There are times that the full range of brick colors are present in the design of a wall, but they are in the wrong percentages, which detracts from the wall’s appearance. We can recreate the range of brick color in proper percentages on the walls, improving the flow of the wall.
Matching Old to New: Some of the projects we have worked on is where we would have stained the older outdated brick on a building to match the new brick color on the addition. Giving the entire building a new, fresh, updated look. The old building and new addition looks today like an entirely new building.
MCI has seen an increasing demand for this kind of work on some of the Universities we have worked on. There are over 7,000 Universities and Colleges in the U.S. presently involved in construction, and we now are currently able work on 7 to 8 of them a year. This opens a door of opportunity for others.
We have the best color enhancing process for brick, but at Masonry Cosmetics, Inc. we are busy most of the time. That can be a good thing, but not when we are needed in more places than we can cover! What good is it to have a superior process and product, if we cannot get there to use it?
MCI National Training Center Opened in 2017:
We began certifying Contractors in a few cities over 10 years ago. This process has gone well. We opened our Training Center in South Bend, IN, last fall with a plan to Certify a Nation. We are not looking to Certify everyone, but we would like to get all the States and Cities represented with a Certified Contractor of ours. Here is the website for that training https://www.certifiedcontractortraining.com. MCI manages good coverage in the Midwest for the most part, but we need help finding Masonry Contractors or Restoration Companies that would be a good candidate to do what we do the best. Texas and a few other areas are covered, but, apart from the Midwest, most of the Country is open especially on both Coasts. We need your help.
Help us to better help and serve you. If you know of anyone in your circle of influence, your company, your plant, or related affiliates who would be interested in this kind of opportunity, we would love to start a conversation with them. We are especially interested in those who have a good work ethic. For these candidates, we would like to demonstrate the ways that they could earn money - in ways that they couldn’t have before - and show them how we do the best brick color enhancement in the market.
I am open to your ideas and suggestions. We want to help the Brick Industry Association and the Masonry Industry. We have had full careers in the Industry and have dedicated ourselves to excellence in that field. Here is a link to my bio for more information about me: https://www.howtostainmasonry.com/about-don.
Please email your thoughts, suggestions, or questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We get stronger because we learn from you.
Remember, it’s proven, because it lasts.