One of the most enduring building materials used here in Connecticut and New York is traditional brick. Maintaining its structure and appearance for decades, it has proven itself very effective. But after a while, when the mortar is eroding or the color has ceased to appeal, homeowners begin to wonder, “can I paint my brick home or chimney?”
Can Brick Homes be Painted?
Yes, they can! Brick homes can be painted with very good results, whether you hire a professional painter or do it yourself. The key to painting brick is to use careful surface preparation and to follow the correct procedure. The main consideration that you want to take into account is that the process is not reversible; once you have painted a brick home, the paint must be maintained, and it is extremely difficult to return to the original brick look.
How to Paint Brick
Step 1: Begin the project by thoroughly cleaning the surface. Dirt and other contaminants must be removed, along with any loose masonry. If you use a pressure washer, be careful to use low pressure and not bring the nozzle close enough to etch the brick. Make sure you give the brick adequate time to dry completely before proceeding.
Step 2: If your brick surface has large pores, or many gaps and cracks, begin by painting block filler over the surface. If your bricks are in good condition and not too porous, you can go straight to the priming stage. Use a latex masonry primer, which will fill up small gaps and seal the pores in the brick and mortar. Primer also adheres to the brick, which provides a surface that the topcoat can bond to. If you are going to paint the brick a bold color, you may want to have your primer tinted in order to reduce the number of topcoats you need.
Step 3: Now that you have a clean, sound surface, it is time to paint. Use a high-quality exterior latex/acrylic paint. Brushing and rolling are acceptable methods, but it is slow and difficult to achieve adequate coverage using these tools. Spraying is preferable, as it produces a smooth finish and easily fills all gaps and lines.
How long will it last?
A well-painted brick exterior can be expected to last at least 5-6 years. A.G. Williams recommends maintaining your paint before it begins to fail, so that there will be less need to scrape and prime before the next paint job.