Brick homes dress up beautifully for the holidays with greenery and lights for a classic look. But how do you hang lights without nails in window sill and eves?
Use a hot glue gun. We found this method online and wanted to test it ourselves, so we took our supplies to the Pine Hall Brick showroom in Greensboro and set up a Christmas light laboratory.
Here’s what you’ll need:
• Hot glue gun
• Extra glue sticks (you might need a little practice in getting the bead just right!)
• Extension cord to reach the “job site”
• Outdoor Christmas lights
NOTE: these instructions are for application to brick—unpainted—only. We do not recommend this for stucco, stone or other sidings.
You can use any outdoor lighting you choose, but it’s probably best to buy the larger bulb and base varieties, because you’ll have more surface upon which to apply the hot glue.
As always, test your strand first and make sure all the bulbs work. Then, we recommend removing the bulbs to make installation go a little faster, since the bulbs can be very fragile.
With any standard glue gun, apply a one-inch tube of melted glue to the side of the light. Think of applying toothpaste to your toothbrush! As an alternative, you can also apply a button of glue to the flat base of the light, if you prefer that the bulbs be perpendicular to the brick. Don’t be afraid to use too much glue, especially if you expect heavy precipitation. DO NOT TOUCH THE HEATED TIP OF THE GLUE GUN TO THE ELECTRICAL WIRE OF THE LIGHT STRAND.
It’s best to do this on dry brick, but the glue will hold up to rain and snow. Heavy ice might present a problem, but in most cases the lights will easily stay up till January. Before the glue hardens, press the light onto the side of the brick fro at least 20 seconds, then move on up the strand and repeat. Try to keep the cord taught, but not so tight that it puts stress on the lights above.
It’s a good idea to wear gloves because the hot glue can cause burns. We used knit gloves, but wished that we had some cool mechanics gloves like these that you can pick up at home improvement stores.
Once the lights are in place, you can reinstall the bulbs, alternating in any pattern you choose.
You don’t have to apply glue to all the lights, either. In fact, you might want to have a nice swag here and there. The glue on the anchor lights should be plenty durable to support several unglued lights.
When it’s time to remove the lights, remove all the bulbs from their sockets. Then apply a cotton swab saturated in alcohol to loosen the glue, which should then lift off like tape. If any are stubborn, keep applying alcohol until it some loose easily.
You can also try “brick clips.” These are sold and home improvement stores around the holidays. They’ basically brackets that grip the top and bottom of brick. But your mortar must be recessed at least an eighth of an inch. Use a small screwdriver to depress the springs at the boom of the clip. Actually, brick clips are probably best for indoor use on fireplaces, where they’re ideal for hanging stockings.
Merry Christmas from Pine Hall Brick!