5 Tips for Painting Brick

Those who wish to introduce some color to their brick features and/or provide additional protection might decide to go this route. If you’re thinking of painting your brick, however, note that this decision should not be taken lightly. For one thing, removing paint from brick is challenging and runs the risk of damaging your surfaces. For another, the process of painting brick comes with unique challenges by virtue of this material’s coarse, porous nature. That said, painting brick can be done to great effect with the proper approach to house painting.

5 Best Ways to Paint Brick

  1. Perform Comprehensive Cleaning

No matter what material you’re painting, you’ll want to make sure it’s nice and clean before anything else. If a surface is riddled with dirt and debris, paint will have a hard time sticking to it. Of course, cleaning brick isn’t the easiest task in the world, and if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you might discover a fair bit of dirt, fungi, moss, and other forms of debris in the pores and crevices.

One way to quickly and effectively clean brick is to blast it with a pressure washer. However, too much heat and pressure can damage the material, especially if blasted at close range. Certain detergents can deteriorate brick as well. For these reasons, it’s best to hire professional pressure washing services to clean your brick or see if your exterior painters offer this service. Otherwise, you can clean brick using a soft brush and soapy water (mind the chemicals you use -- trisodium phosphate is a safe option). Obviously, this manual method will take much longer than pressure washing, but it’s effective nonetheless.

  1. Close Up Cracks and Crevices

Though brick is relatively durable, it’s still vulnerable to environmental erosion, namely due to high winds, rain, and extreme temperatures. Over time, your brick surfaces are bound to show some cracks. It’s important to fill and fix these abrasions before you get to painting. First, remove debris from crevices using a small scraper and brush. Then, using a caulking gun, fill these fractures with acrylic caulk and remove the excess material with a putty knife. Once the repair is complete and the putty is flush with the rest of the surface, let the caulk dry (up to 6 hours) so you end up with a nice smooth surface to coat.

  1. Choose the Right Kind of Paint

In order to get the most out of your brick painting job, you need to use the right kind of paint for this specific material. More than one type of paint can be used for brick, and your decision should be based on your budget, desired level of protection, and aesthetic preferences. For the most protective coating, consider elastomeric paint, which offers resistance to thermal shock, UV rays, and moisture. For a less expensive option, you might go with acrylic latex paint. Your exterior house painters can help you pick the best option for your brick surfaces.

  1. Always Prime Before Painting

Before you start exterior painting, however, you want to make sure that the surface is properly primed. Priming your brick before painting achieves multiple things: 1) it acts as an initial (potentially tinted) coat, 2) it seals the brick’s pores to provide a smoother surface for painting, and 3) it protects the surface from various forms of damage (i.e. moisture intrusion).

  1. Apply Paint Appropriately

When your primer has dried and it’s finally time to start painting, you can apply said paint in a number of ways. Many exterior painting services will opt to spray the paint on brick surfaces for greater efficiency and coverage. You can also use a roller with a thick nap to thoroughly coat your brick. Brushes can be used to cut in edges and touch up smaller areas and details. Generally speaking, at least two coats will be necessary for the best, longest-lasting results.

Painting brick is possible, but it requires the right tools and techniques. If you need help with this project, the experts at Endure Painting have plenty of experience painting brick and all other kinds of surfaces. For more information regarding our skills and services, call us at (510) 458-2120 or send us an email at hello@endurepainting.com.

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