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Choosing the right brick paint for brick houses and exterior walls

If you have a brick house that needs a facelift, before you pick up a brush and paint can, read below. Although you can paint brick without causing damage to the surface, there are certain things you should know about the process prior to heading out to the paint store. Once you’ve finished this project, if you’re feeling adventurous, I’d suggest checking out Earth 4 Energy – Make your own solar panels! – you’ll be saving money on your energy bills in no time!

Why Paint Brick? People choose to paint brick houses if the brick is damaged or is of inferior quality. White stains and areas of discolored brick can be eye sores that beg to be cleaned up and covered. Choosing the best brick paint is really important; elastomeric paint can do wonders to the look of faded/damaged brick because of its thick coat and elasticity.

If your brick is not damaged and looks good in its normal condition you may want to consider keeping it. Once you paint brick you commit yourself to years of maintenance potentially. If you use the proper brick paint and prep the area correctly, however, you can prevent this constant upkeep.

Efflorescence. Efflorescence is white staining that occurs on exterior brick as a result of salt deposits. When water interacts with the brick the salt inside the material dries and stains. These stains can be difficult to remove and will not usually disappear permanently with plain water.

Sometimes you can remove the stains with a stiff brush. If this method does not work try applying a diluted formula of muriatic acid. Consult a mason before you do this, however, as not all efflorescence will be cleaned by this acid. When you are applying the solution be aware that you are working with acid—a potentially dangerous substance. Use gloves and the proper applicators.

Preparation: Scraping and Caulking. Eliminate, first, any efflorescence with the above method(s). Using a scraper, widen cracks that are preexisting. Eliminate the dust in the brick with a brush and/or power vacuum device. Seal the cracks with 100% acrylic or siliconized acrylic caulk. You made need to repeat the application three to five hours later if needed. If there are joints that need mending re-point them as well. Be sure that the chimney caps have no cracks or holes in them.

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