Rbytsdy from the Greenleaf Forums asked how I seal my brick. You can read more about the entire process here, here and here, but the basic steps are these: after gluing on all the bricks I paint them with their base coat color, whatever that happens to be, then seal them with two coats of Krylon Low Odor Matte Finish. Then, after letting that cure--usually at least overnight--I float on the grout. If you've ever grouted a backsplash, the process is basically the same. I usually do a second wipe down, after removing all the grout I can, about ten or so minutes later just to remove what I can in terms of the grout film. But, at least for me, the change in color it causes is just part of the overall project and something I have to anticipate and work around.
Then, I do the colorizing and aging with pastels (I don't spray seal between this step and the last). On the Glencroft, I did a few coats of spray finish between aging steps, but on the Laurel I just did everything all at once. It sort of depends on what effect you're trying to achieve. Here, I wanted everything to blend together. On the Glencroft, I was going for a much darker, scummier look so I wanted to keep the layers separate. Otherwise, they would've just blobbed together into a single shade of muck.
Finally, I do another two coats of spray. Soon, when I have some free time and natural light, both at the same time, I'm going to age the exterior woodwork. Not a lot, but enough to give it some character. Brand-new trim would look pretty bizarre, I think, with an old house; I want the sense that the whole structure has been here awhile. At least, that's what I'm going for--and it's hard, for me at least, to achieve just the right amount of old and grimy without making the house look like something out of "Desperation!"
Thanks, everyone, for reading!