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Painting a brick exterior on a house can be a time consuming job, but the results are often worth the effort. Some people adamantly feel that exterior brick should not be painted with house paint, while others enjoy the aesthetic look of exterior paint on brick. Painting exterior brick is a choice that comes down to personal preference, functional need and style. It’s ideal to paint over a brick exterior when it is damaged or unsightly. If the exterior brick is in good shape, but you just want it to be a different color, hire a professional brick tinting company to fix it. Tinting avoids some of the pitfalls of brick paint (fading colors, peeling, staining, trapping water, etc). Here’s how to paint a brick exterior on a house and make it last:

Difficulty: Moderate


Things You’ll Need:

  • exterior latex masonry primer
  • cement base acrylic latex house paint (main house color and 1-2 accent colors)
  • pressure washer
  • premixed mortar patches
  • siliconized acrylic caulk
  • painters tape
  • pencil
  • scraper
  • paint sprayer, rollers, and brushes
  • paint drop cloths
  • old rags
  1. 1. Purchase exterior house paint supplies.

Purchase exterior house paint supplies from a local paint store or home improvement store. Make sure you buy a high quality exterior latex masonry primer and a cement base acrylic latex house paint that will allow moisture to leave the bricks. Avoid latex or alkyd exterior paint colors – they will only degrade the brick and cost you a lot of money in maintenance down the road. There will be many exterior house paint colors to choose from at the store, so have an idea of the paint colors you’re looking for before you go.

  1. 2 Pressure wash the exterior brick before painting.

Pressure wash the exterior brick with a 1500 psi pressure washer to remove dirt and debris. Be careful not to apply too much pressure too closely or you’ll damage the mortar. Make sure the surface is as clean as you can get it before you start the exterior painting. A clean surface helps the paint adhere better and last longer.

  1. 3 Repair damaged mortar with premixed mortar patch.

Use premixed mortar to repair damaged areas before house painting. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for drying time. The exterior house paint will look newer and last longer if the underlying structure is repaired and in good shape.

  1. 4 Apply exterior latex masonry primer.

Apply a high quality exterior latex masonry primer to the bricks. Exterior house painting is easier when the bricks are primed beforehand – you won’t have as much back brushing to do.

  1. 5 Caulk gaps with siliconized acrylic caulk.

Use siliconized acrylic caulk to caulk any gaps and keep water out. Also caulk around wood trim, windows and doors to seal them. Consider hiring a painting company to do this step if caulking becomes too tedious.

  1. 6 Spray the exterior brick with acrylic latex house paint.

Use a paint sprayer to spray acrylic latex house paint on the exterior bricks and use a paintbrush to fill in any areas that you can’t reach with the paint sprayer. Let it dry according to the manufacturer’s directions, then apply a second coat as needed. Exterior home painting is often easier if you use a paint sprayer, but you can use rollers and brushes if you prefer.

  1. 7 Add one or two accent colors to the house.

Add one or two accent colors to the house. Accent paint colors can be added to wood trim, doors, the roof, trellis structures, shutters, columns, etc. The point is to visually balance the accent colors and brick colors to the style of the house and the aesthetic look of the neighborhood. If you skip this step, your home may end up looking like the odd house on the block!

  • Once you paint a brick exterior, it will be hard to remove it, so be sure you like the look of painted brick before you start!
  • Painting exterior brick means you will have to paint it again in the future, so make sure you add painting and maintenance costs to your overall budget. Painting exterior brick always costs more than not painting it. You may have to paint your home every few years just to keep painted brick looking new. If this is not something you want to do, consider hiring a professional brick tinting company to tint the bricks instead.
  • Review the resources below and/or talk with a professional house painter, paint specialist, or designer before purchasing paint supplies. You need to make sure that what you buy is suitable for exterior brick and the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood.
  • If your exterior brick has old paint on it and you want to remove it, pressure wash or sandblast the bricks until the paint comes off. However, if you think the old house paint may have lead in it, don’t pressure wash, sandblast, or scrape it off! Hire a lead specialist to remove the paint for you. Lead paint can be hazardous to your health.

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