Can You Paint Brick on a House?

Can You Paint Brick on a House

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Are you considering giving your brick home a fresh and updated look? Painting the exterior of a brick house is no small task, but when done right, it can significantly enhance its curb appeal.

This blog post will explore the pros and cons of painting brick on a house, how to prepare and paint the surface, as well as tips for maintaining your painted brick house exterior.

From choosing breathable paints to addressing common challenges like efflorescence and moisture damage, we’ve got all the information you need to make an informed decision about painting your brick home.

Key Takeaways – Can You Paint Brick on a House? 💭

  • Painting brick on a house can potentially improve its curb appeal, but it also comes with risks such as potential damage to the structure and a negative impact on resale value.
  • Proper preparation is key when painting brick surfaces. This includes thoroughly cleaning the surface, repairing any damage, and choosing an appropriate primer and paint that allow breathability.
  • Regular maintenance is necessary to preserve the painted brick’s appearance and longevity. This includes gentle cleaning with mild detergent solutions, addressing chips or cracks promptly, and avoiding harsh chemicals or high-pressure power washing that could damage the painted surface.
  • It’s important to consider all factors before deciding whether or not to paint your home’s exterior brickwork, including cost, long-term upkeep requirements, and structural integrity impacts of modern paints vs. natural breathable options like mineral-based or silicate-based paints. Consulting professionals can help you make an informed decision about this popular home improvement project.
Can You Paint Brick on a House

To Paint Or Not To Paint Brick On A House: Pros And Cons

Painting brick on a house has its advantages, such as improving curb appeal and updating an outdated exterior, but it also comes with potential risks and drawbacks, including the impact on structural integrity and resale value.

Benefits Of Painting Brick

Painting brick on a house can bring numerous benefits, such as giving the exterior brick and home a fresh and updated appearance. By choosing the right paint color and type, homeowners can improve curb appeal and potentially increase the property’s resale value.

Painting bricks offers homeowners more aesthetic freedom to match their brick homes’ preferred design style or update their exterior look easily. It allows them to explore various color schemes that reflect personal tastes while maintaining cohesion with surrounding homes in the neighborhood.

Potential Risks And Drawbacks

While painting brick may offer many benefits, there are also potential risks and drawbacks to consider before making a decision. One of the most significant risks is that modern paints can trap moisture in the porous surface of the brick, which can damage the structural integrity of your home over time.

Efflorescence is also a common problem with painted brick exteriors, where mineral salts leach out from within the wall and leave unsightly white stains on painted surfaces.

Additionally, once you paint brick, it’s very difficult to remove or restore it back to its original state without causing damage to your exterior walls and potentially affecting your resale value.

Impact On Structural Integrity And Resale Value

Painting brick can potentially impact the structural integrity of natural brick in a house, especially if modern paints are used. Traditional brick is breathable and allows moisture to pass through easily.

However, sealing it with paint may trap moisture within the bricks leading to cracks or damage over time. This could result in costly repairs or even compromise the stability of your home’s structure.

That being said, there are ways to mitigate these risks when considering painting your home’s exterior brickwork. Opting for all-natural paints like milk paint or lime-based whitewash helps preserve breathability while still providing color options that enhance curb appeal without damaging the structure of your house.

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Prepping The Surface For Painting Brick

Before painting brick, the surface must be thoroughly cleaned using a wire brush, power washer, and a mild detergent solution to remove any dirt or debris.

Cleaning The Surface

Before painting brick on your house, it is crucial to properly clean the surface. Here are the steps to follow to paint your brick:

  1. Use a bristle brush or stiff broom to remove any loose dirt or debris from the brick surface.
  2. Mix a cleaning solution of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP) in a bucket according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Apply the cleaning solution using a long-handled scrub brush, starting at the top of the wall and working downward.
  4. Rinse off the cleaning solution with a hose or power washer on low pressure.
  5. Allow the brick surface to dry thoroughly for at least 24 hours before painting.
  6. If there are any stubborn stains or areas of mold growth, consider using a specialized cleaner before proceeding with painting.

Properly cleaning the surface ensures that your paint job adheres well and looks great for years to come. Remember to wear protective gear such as gloves and eye protection while cleaning and follow all safety precautions when handling chemicals like TSP.

Repairing Any Damage

Repairing any damage to the brick surface is vital before painting it. This will ensure that the paint adheres properly and gives a uniform finish. Here are the steps for repairing damaged brick:

  • Inspect the brick surface and identify any cracks, chips, or holes.
  • Clean the affected area with a wire brush to remove debris and loose mortar.
  • Use a chisel and hammer to remove any loose or damaged bricks.
  • Mix fresh mortar and fill in the gaps or holes using a trowel.
  • Smooth out the surface of the mortar using a putty knife.
  • Allow at least 24 hours for the repaired area to dry completely before painting.

Ignoring damaged areas can result in poor adhesion of paint, leading to peeling or flaking. It is essential to repair all damage before beginning any painting projects on brick surfaces.

Removing Old Paint Or Sealant

Before painting brick, it’s essential to remove any old paint or sealant. Here are some steps to take:

  1. Use a pressure washer or sandblaster to strip the paint and reveal the raw brick surface.
  2. If using a chemical stripper, apply it with a brush or spray and let it sit for the recommended time before scrubbing it off with a stiff brush.
  3. Once the old paint is removed, make sure to thoroughly clean the surface of any debris or dust.
  4. Inspect the brick for any damage or cracks that need repair before continuing with priming and painting.
  5. Use caution when removing old lead-based paints as they can be hazardous to health and require professional abatement services.

Keeping these steps in mind will help ensure that your newly painted brick looks beautiful and lasts for years to come.

Steps For Painting Brick

Apply a high-quality primer to the surface, choosing one specifically formulated for brick. Choose a natural paint such as mineral-based or silicate-based that allows the brick to breathe and prevents mold growth.

Applying Primer

Before painting your brick house, it’s crucial to apply a primer that prepares the surface for paint. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a primer specifically made for masonry surfaces.
  • Make sure the surface is clean and dry before applying primer.
  • Apply the primer evenly using a roller or brush.
  • Allow the primer to dry completely before painting over it.
  • Consider using a tinted primer if you’re painting over darker colors to ensure better coverage and color accuracy with your topcoat.
  • If efflorescence is present, use a specialized efflorescence-blocking primer before applying your regular masonry primer to prevent further issues.
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By taking these steps when applying primer, you’ll help ensure that your painted brick house looks great and lasts longer. Plus, using proper priming techniques can help prevent potential issues like peeling, chipping, or cracking of the paint.

Choosing The Right Paint

When it comes to painting brick, choosing the right paint is crucial for a successful outcome. It is important to avoid using modern latex paints that can trap moisture and cause damage to the structure over time.

Instead, opt for all-natural breathable paints like mineral-based or silicate-based options that allow vapor transmission.

Another factor to consider when selecting the right paint is color choice. Lighter colors tend to be more forgiving in terms of wear and tear compared with darker shades which show dirt easily and fade quickly when exposed to sunlight.

Overall, taking the time to select an appropriate paint option will ensure long-lasting results and preserve your home’s curb appeal while protecting its structural integrity.

Applying The Paint

To apply the paint properly, follow these steps:

  1. Use a high-quality roller with a thick nap to allow the paint to seep into the porous brick surface.
  2. Paint in small sections to avoid lap marks.
  3. Apply two or three thin coats of paint for even coverage and better durability.
  4. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.
  5. Pay extra attention to corners, edges, and crevices that may need additional coats or touch-ups.
  6. Avoid painting over mortar joints as this can cause moisture buildup and damage the brickwork.
  7. When applying natural paint, mix it well before use since natural ingredients may settle at the bottom of the container.

It is crucial to ensure that all surfaces are clean and dry before applying any primer or paint on brick exteriors. Proper preparation is key to maintaining painted exterior brick for its longevity and appearance while protecting it from potential damage due to weathering or mold growth.

Maintenance And Care For Painted Brick

Regularly clean painted brick surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and mild detergent, being careful not to use high-pressure power washing that could damage the paint.

Regular Cleaning

Cleaning painted brick on a regular basis is important to maintain its appearance and longevity. Here are some tips for cleaning painted brick:

  1. Use a soft-bristled brush or a pressure washer with a low-pressure nozzle to remove dirt, dust, and debris.
  2. Avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents that can damage the paint and affect its durability.
  3. Clean the brick surface gently, taking care not to scrape or scratch the paint layer.
  4. Spot-clean any stains or marks with a mild detergent solution and rinse with water afterward.
  5. Check for any chipping or cracking of the paint and touch up as needed.

Regular cleaning will prevent dirt buildup, mold growth, and other environmental factors that may harm the painted brick exterior. It is essential to keep it looking fresh while ensuring its long-term structural integrity.

Touching Up Chips Or Cracks

Chips or cracks on painted brick houses can sometimes occur due to weathering or accidents. It’s important to address these issues promptly to maintain the appearance of your brick house. Here are some steps for touching up chips or cracks:

  1. Clean the area around the chip or crack with a wire brush, then wipe it with a damp cloth.
  2. Apply a small amount of exterior caulk to the damaged area using a putty knife.
  3. Smooth out the caulk and let it dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Sand down the dried caulk until it is smooth and flush with the surface of the brick.
  5. Apply a matching paint color using a small brush, blending it in with the surrounding brick as best you can.
  6. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before applying another coat if necessary.
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Regularly checking for chips or cracks and addressing them quickly can help maintain the appearance and longevity of your painted brick homes’ exteriors.

Repainting As Needed

To keep painted brick looking its best, it’s important to stay on top of any necessary touch-ups or repainting. Here are some tips for repainting as needed:

  1. Monitor the condition of the paint regularly and plan for touch-ups every few years.
  2. When repainting, start by cleaning the surface thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that could interfere with adhesion.
  3. Remove any loose or chipped paint before applying a fresh coat.
  4. Apply a high-quality primer designed specifically for brick surfaces.
  5. Choose paint with good durability and weather resistance, especially if your home is exposed to harsh conditions.
  6. Apply two coats of paint for maximum coverage and protection.
  7. Check for any areas that may need extra attention, such as around windows or doors where moisture can accumulate.
  8. Consider working with a professional painter who has experience with painting brick surfaces.

Remember that repainting is an ongoing process when it comes to maintaining your painted brick home exterior. By staying proactive and addressing any issues promptly, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting finish on your home’s facade.


In conclusion, painting brick on a house is possible, but it comes with some potential risks and drawbacks that need to be considered. While the benefits of painted brick houses can be aesthetic and may increase curb appeal, the impact on structural integrity and resale value needs to be taken into account.

If you decide to paint your house’s brick exterior, remember to use breathable all-natural or mineral-based paints for best results. Ensure that you maintain regular upkeep by cleaning the surface, touching up chips or cracks regularly, repainting as needed, and identifying water damage root causes before painting.

Consult professionals if necessary when undertaking this project as they guide you through choosing an appropriate primer for painting exterior brick and exteriors from our various options like latex paint or silicate-based paint depending on your preference and budget.


Is it possible to paint the brick on a house without damaging the surface?

Yes, painting brick is possible if it is done correctly using the right materials and methods. It’s important to avoid using regular house paint when painting masonry, as this can trap moisture in the bricks and cause them to deteriorate over time. Instead, use specialized masonry paint or lime wash which allows for proper ventilation while providing a durable finish.

Why would someone want to paint their brick house?

There are several reasons someone may want to do exterior paint colors on their brick house including improving curb appeal, updating an outdated exterior, covering up stains or damage, or simply changing the color scheme to match personal taste.

What factors should be considered before painting your brick home?

Before painting a brick home, it’s important to consider factors such as the age and condition of the bricks, exposure to weather conditions (such as sun fading), potential damage from previous repairs or renovations, and whether you plan on selling your home in the near future.

Can I do it myself or do I need professional help?

While some homeowners choose DIY options for painting their homes’ exteriors – like prepping surfaces with pressure washing- many professionals recommend hiring licensed contractors due intricate nature required to get desired results that ensure the best-finished product – especially when dealing with old & historic properties where specific care must be taken during the process itself).

However – depending upon experience level some people may feel comfortable tackling a project solo but still recommend doing thorough research ahead of beginning the process so there no unforeseen complications arise along the way.

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