A Brick Beauty: 4 Things to Know About Painting Brick Exteriors

A Brick Beauty

Feeling like your tired old brick needs a revival? It’s true that painting outside can liven up the appearance of your home.

That said, there are things you should consider before making such a drastic change.

Let’s look at 4 things it’s great to know about painting brick exteriors.

1. How Old Is Your Brick?

Age is one thing you must consider before painting brick.

Brick needs plenty of cure time. Normally, it takes about one year before newly installed brick dries and weathers properly. That means if you’re itching to change the color, wait at least a year before painting.

When working with old brick, inspect the mortar before you paint. Look for cracks and other signs of damage. You can usually fix the smaller cracks with acrylic caulk.

Brick masonry, by design, holds up under all kinds of stress, including weather and age. Even so, the mortar joints can crumble or crack. When that happens they may need repointing before applying paint.

2. Prepare Your Surface

Once you’ve taken care of any damaged mortar, you still have a few steps before you can paint.

Painting exterior brick isn’t a job for impatient people. There’s a preparation process and not following it could result in the paint not adhering.

If it’s been ages since the last cleaning, you may have an accumulation of dust and grime. Clean that away first with a stiff brush and soapy water.

In certain climates, you may encounter mold on your brick exterior. In that case, you’ll need more than a little soap and water. Hint: Be careful not to use any acidic cleaning solutions on brick.

Another thing you may find when you’re cleaning brick is the presence of efflorescence. Make sure you get rid of it before painting.

3. Choose Your Paint Wisely

Painting brick is no easy task. Brick is porous and absorbs the paint. Selecting the right paint(er) makes all the difference.

Curious about the best paint for brickwork? Most contractors like elastodynamic paint because it’s dense and can cover many sins.

If you’ve decided you like watching the DIY shows but aren’t so sure you’re a true DIYer, don’t feel discouraged. Consider hiring a painting professional who can translate your vision into a job done correctly.

4. Are You Sure You Should?

Before applying one smidgeon of paint, make sure the look of painted brick is really what you want.

Bare brick isn’t exactly maintenance free but it’s certainly low maintenance. Once you paint it, things change.

Unlike bare brick, the painted brick needs more frequent cleaning. Repainting is a real possibility—about every five years.

If you decide you hate the paint, you can’t simply take a power washer to it and get back to the natural finish. At that point, the only way you can get your brick back is by stripping the paint with chemicals.

Is Painting Brick in Your Future?

Painting over the brickwork on the outside of your home is challenging but can be rewarding as well.

Now that you know a little more about painting brick, consider one more thing. A professional painter can do the job more efficiently and with a better outcome than most DIYers.

If you’re ready for a brick transformation, contact us for a free quote.

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