How to PAINT Your Home’s EXTERIOR BRICK

painted brick

Painting your home’s exterior brick is a daunting task.  Choosing the right color, right paint, and right person to do the job is essential in achieving the results you want!  After years of experience in painting and getting to know my painter, I have come up with a few suggestions on how to paint your home’s exterior brick.

Tips of the Trade for painting your home’s exterior brick:

♦  Unlike clothes, dark paint actually shows more imperfections than light paint.  Also, the more shiny the more that shows.

♦  Choosing the correct color is KEY.  Some colors look beautiful on the chip but have a higher LRV (light reflective value) which means they won’t look the same on your exterior surface.

♦  Consult a professional… an exterior design professional, like the ones at brick&batten, can help select a color. A paint professional can help select the right type of paint.

dark paint

 

You’ve decided to paint your brick, you have consulted with an exterior home design professional to help select a color, now it’s time to educate yourself on how to paint your home’s exterior brick.

 

#1.  CLEAN YOUR BRICK

To prepare your exterior brick to be painted it needs to be cleaned, cleaned, and cleaned some more.  This may mean pressure washing, scraping, and/ or scrubbing gently with a wire brush and soapy water. 

Scrubbing with a wire brush helps; however, if your brick is severely damaged or crumbling a wire brush will make the damage worse.  In that case, you may use a scraper to help clean and remove those streaky white deposits (efflorescence).  That’s basically salt build up from moisture in the brick.  If your brick is especially stubborn, you may buy products, like zinc sulfate, at a local hardware store designed to clean masonry.  That said, stay away from products that are highly acidic because they will affect the final paint job.  The bottom line, clean your brick thoroughly before painting.

power washing brick
cleaning brick with wire brush

#2 . LET IT DRY and LET IT DRY SOME MORE

After your brick has been cleaned, it must dry thoroughly for several days.  If your brick doesn’t dry well, it will cause bubbling and peeling in the paint and damage to the brick; therefore, be patient and let the brick completely dry.  The bottom line, after cleaning, your house needs to completely dry, so be patient.

#3.  REPAIR YOUR BRICK

Next, take a critical look at your brick exterior.  Do you see cracks, chips, or crumbling bricks?  If so, that is an underlying issue that needs fixed before you begin painting.  That may mean using a chisel to open cracks so they can be blown out and filled with paintable patching compound or caulk.  Also, are the gutters in good working order?  Gutters direct the water away from the house; therefore, if the gutters aren’t working properly, water will be an issue, and painting the brick is not a great idea.  The bottom line, fill the cracks in your brick before painting.

#4.  PRIME THE BRICK

First, begin with a specialty primer specifically made for bricks.  An alkali- resistant or latex masonry primer is best.  If the brick has been damaged by mildew or white deposits be sure to treat this before just trying to cover the issue.  After treating, you may need multiple of primer in certain areas.  Alkali-resistant primers are formulated to seal brick and prevent your paint top coat from being attacked by alkali.  They will protect your wall from weather, intense UV radiation, high temperature, elevated moisture levels and the white streaking caused by efflorescence.  Primer will also help your top coat stick! The bottom line, we recommend  specialty primers before painting brick.

primed brick

#5.  PAINT the BRICK

Behr offers its Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint. The high-quality satin-finish, acrylic-latex paint self-primes, repels water, and resists mildew when applied on properly prepped brick.

 Benjamin Moore recommends its Aura Waterborne Exterior Paint for brick surfaces. Available in flat, low-lustre, satin, and semi-gloss, it also self-primes and resists water, mildew and stains as well as protects against cracking, peeling and fading.

There is also an exterior brick paint called Romabio.  Through my research and reading Young House Love Blog, I’ve found this as another excellent option because of it’s breathable coating.  With far less prep work, Romabio should be considered as a top option.  The paint is not as popular but worth your effort to investigate.    Another blog about Romabio  is here! 

painted brick

Overall, don’t let the articles about not painting your brick scare you off from the beautiful outcome.  Painting your exterior brick can be a daunting task; however, knowing what to expect will make the decision easier. 

First, hire an exterior design professional, like those at brick&batten, to help you find the correct color for your home style, personal taste, and fixed elements. 

Second, get quotes from painters and listen to their ideas.  Be sure they are talking about the prep work necessary before starting the painting.  This is a huge part of the job! 

Next, check references and ask them to see other projects they’ve completed. 

Finally, armed with the knowledge above, select the company or team you feel most comfortable with.  

 

Remember, your PAINT IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PERSON WHO IS APPLYING…and it’s JUST AS EASY TO PAINT THE RIGHT COLOR as the WRONG COLOR!