Painting Exterior Brick – Everything You Need to Know

There’s a reason America’s oldest brick home, built in 1680, is still intact. Brick homes hold their value and structural integrity. So if you’ve been lucky enough to score a brick home, you have an asset. Of course, not everyone loves brick’s traditional warm tones, but luckily, there’s paint. We understand that painting your brick home is a big decision. After all, it is pretty difficult and costly to go back on your choice after that first coat of paint goes on. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding painting brick and what it does to a home’s value. Here’s what to consider before painting exterior brick as well as tips and tricks for a successful paint job.

painting brick
Photo credit: Romabio Paint and Young House Love

Painting Exterior Brick – Everything You Need to Know

The Effect on Resale Value

If your current brick home isn’t your dream forever home, sometimes you should put your future buyer’s desires before your own. Of course, you can’t predict exactly what your specific future buyer will want. However, it’s safe to say that most homeowners prefer low maintenance homes, and unpainted brick is very low maintenance. Painted brick homes need a fresh coat of paint every five to seven years, and possibly more frequently if you live in a high-moisture region. In addition, dirt and mildew tend to show up more on light-colored homes but tend to blend on brick homes. This means you can get away with power washing an exposed brick home less frequently.

So does adding a maintenance project to your home decrease its value? The answer isn’t clear cut. In some cases, painting a brick home can significantly enhance curb appeal, which certainly adds value. Painting brick white is a classic and safe choice. To save on money, you can opt for whitewashing your brick, which involves diluting the paint with water to let some of the brick’s texture show through.

Bottom line: If you live in a low-moisture region and you choose a neutral color, painting exterior brick shouldn’t have a negative impact on your home’s resale value. In fact, the improvements to your homes curb appeal is likely to increase the value.

Tips for Painting Exterior Brick

So you have a few free weekends this fall. Why not roll out the tarps for your shrubs and start painting your brick? While this project is certainly easy to DIY in most cases, you need to do all your research to prevent making the chore one you look back on with infamy.

Start by gathering your exterior home painting tools:

  • Tarps to protect the soil around plants from stray paint
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • A ladder
  • Pressure washer
  • Brick conditioner
  • Sealant with primer
  • Brick-friendly paint like Romabio
  • A 1-inch paint roller
  • Angled brushes
  • Caulk
  • A caulk gun

Next, prep your brick.

The best time of year to paint a brick home

Summer and fall are two great seasons to paint your brick. Of course, you should pick a span of days that doesn’t include any rainfall in the forecast. The temperature should fall between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit so the paint can properly dry.

Clean your brick house before painting

You’ll need to start by prepping the brick. Regardless of whether you are painting exposed or already painted brick, begin by cleaning the brick with a pressure washer. If any parts of brick get damaged in the process, you can repair it with caulk. If your brick is older, it is a good idea to apply brick conditioner.

We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.
Seal the brick when dry

Once the brick is dry, it is time to use a sealant. Using sealant is very important because bricks are porous, so they hold moisture. Moisture can get trapped inside the paint and cause the brick to crumble over time if you fail to use sealant. Most sealant products also include primer, which adds another layer of protection and helps paint roll on smoothly. You should apply at least two coats of sealant and primer for most paints.

It’s time to start painting!

Once the sealant and primer are dry, you can begin painting. Protect shutters, doors, and window panes with painters tape, and start covering your house with paint. You can use the roller for large surfaces and an angled brush for tighter spots.

Of course, you can always contract out the painting project if it becomes more than you can handle. Labor rates vary depending on the region, but hiring someone to paint your home typically costs around $2.40 per square foot.

Deciding on what color to paint your exterior brick is a big decision. We’d love to help you take the guess work out of designing your home exterior through our virtual exterior design service by brick&batten.  Let’s get started!