While brick can add character and charm to a room, it can also make it appear darker and more traditional. If your exposed brick wall or fireplace surround does not match your aesthetic or has seen better days, there is a simple fix: painting exterior brick. Once you’ve learned how to paint brick, you can make it blend in or stand out in a whole new way.
Continue reading to learn how to paint brick, what tools you’ll need, and how to prepare to ensure your project is a success. That soot-covered fireplace is about to get a makeover.
The Advantages of Painting Exterior Brick
A paint refresh can provide numerous benefits if your home has an outdated red, orange, or yellowed brick exterior.
- Boosts curb appeal
Painting brick is an excellent way to improve curb appeal and increase the value of your home. A dark colour, such as slate gray or even classic white, can have a significant visual impact when painted correctly.
- It protects against the elements
When you properly update your brick house with new paint, the paint acts as a sealant, protecting your home from precipitation and other seasonal weather changes. Paint can also help to reduce fading and deterioration on the exterior of your home. However, not all paints can achieve this. Discover the benefits of our water repellent paint for bricks.
- Easy to keep clean
Because brick is naturally porous, dirt and debris can become trapped and difficult to remove if left unpainted. Painted brick has a smooth surface that is much easier to clean with a power washer on occasion.
Things to Consider When Painting Exterior Brick
Painting exterior brick can be beneficial, but it is also a task that must be approached with caution.
- Painted brick is permanent
You can’t go back to the original brick exterior of your brick house once you’ve painted it. Professional painters understand that once a brick is painted, it must remain painted. And even attempting to remove paint from brick can be very expensive. The good news is that you can change the paint color as often as you want, so you don’t have to be stuck with one color for the rest of your life.
- Don’t Paint a freshly built brick
That’s correct: A just-built brick wall is not a suitable canvas. Brand-new brick can ooze a powdery substance, so you want to offer it at least a month to cure before painting.
- Moisture can cause paint to chip
This is true for many home exteriors, but excess moisture, especially near the ground, can be a valid concern with painted brick. Simple repaints every 7-10 years, on the other hand, can help prevent this. Repainting your exterior brick on a regular basis will also keep it looking new. You may be interested in this post: How often should you paint your house?
- You may need to clean your house exterior more often
While painted brick is easier to clean than natural brick, dirt and mildew show up much more on painted exteriors. Having your brick exterior professionally power washed on a regular basis can keep it looking fresh and clean. This service is very inexpensive, typically costing only a few hundred pounds.
Painting exterior brick walls: Materials and Tools required
- Wire scrub brush
- Trisodium phosphate (if necessary)
- Paint roller
- Masonry or latex paint
- Latex primer
- Drop cloths
- Painter’s tape
3 Steps: How To Paint Exterior Brick
Painting brick isn’t as easy as throwing some paint on drywall; if not done accurately, you could end up with flaking paint or maybe an alkali-burned topcoat.
Step 1: Preparation
If you do not prepare the surface for painting, the paint will struggle to adhere. Begin by ensuring that there are no cracks or holes in the brick, as these must be filled to create a smooth surface to be painted. To begin, remove all rubble from the crack or hole as this will prevent the filler from adhering. Fill all holes or cracks with an exterior filler, such as Toupret Touprelith F Masonry Repair Filler, and a filling knife.
Work the filler in straight lines up and down the hole until it is slightly overfilled to allow for shrinkage. After that, you can sand the filler down to create a completely smooth surface.
After the surface has been thoroughly cleaned, it must be prepared for painting. Wipe down the brickwork with a stiff brush to remove any large parts as well as dirt and dust. After that, use a masonry cleaner, such as an antifungal cleaner, to kill any green growth or fungus that may have grown and caused the paint to fail.
Simply brush the cleaner on and leave it to dry for a few hours. You don’t need to wash it off because any leftover residue will be covered by the paint.
To achieve the best results, lay down dust sheets and use masking tape to mask around the surface you’re painting. Wrapping newspaper around gutters and downspouts can save you time when painting an exterior wall.
Step 2: Priming
The primer acts as a glue, allowing the paint to adhere to the surface as easily as possible.
Primer is a thin, milky liquid that can be applied with a paintbrush or roller. At this point, it’s critical to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. When painting a rough exterior surface, such as a brick wall, a long-pile roller is far superior. Long-pile rollers have long fibres on the roller sleeve, allowing more paint to be picked up at once and applied more effectively on rough surfaces because they can reach all of the nooks and crannies. A masonry brush can also aid in the application of paint, though any synthetic paintbrush that you are comfortable with will suffice.
Apply a thin, even layer of primer to the brick and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In normal temperatures, this takes about 3-5 hours, but it can take longer or shorter in colder or warmer weather.
Step 3: Painting
It’s time to paint the brick now that it’s been cleaned and primed. It is critical that you do not paint in temperatures below 5°C because this will impair the ability of the masonry paint to dry. This is due to the fact that most masonry paints are water-based, which means that the water struggles to evaporate to dry the paint in cooler temperatures. If you plan to paint in cooler weather, you can use an oil-based masonry paint like pliolite, though this is not recommended for the average DIYer.
Begin at the top of the wall and work your way around the edges with your paintbrush, then finish with the roller to paint the rest of the surface. The first coat of paint should be thinner than the second coat because the goal is to provide a solid foundation for the topcoat to adhere to rather than achieve high opacity.
Once the entire area has been painted, allow it to dry completely before applying the second coat.
When the first coat has dried, apply a second coat that is slightly thicker than the first. Because most good masonry paints are two coat systems, try to apply this coat as evenly as possible to achieve your desired finish. If you’re using a low-cost masonry paint, you may need to apply a third coat after the second is dry.
How much does it cost to paint a brick house?
To do a proper job, the average cost to repaint a brick house will likely be around 3-4£ per square metre, so for a 2,500 square metre home, you could expect to pay around £7.500.
This will, of course, be determined by the amount of preparation work required. This would include issues such as access – is it a single-story house that can be done from a ladder, or will multiple levels of scaffolding be required? You should also consider the brick’s condition, as you may need to pressure wash it first and possibly repair the joints and mortar.
Remember that mineral paint for refinishing exterior brick costs roughly twice as much as a standard can of interior paint. If you get a quote from a professional to paint a brick house, make sure they use breathable paint or you’ll be doing it all over again in a few years.