HH Painting on April 2, 2024

What are tips for painting exterior brick walls?

What is the best way to paint exterior brick walls?

Painting exterior brick walls can breathe new life into your home’s facade, offering a fresh look and enhancing curb appeal. However, this project requires careful consideration and preparation to ensure a successful outcome. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the tips and techniques for painting exterior brick walls, covering everything from surface preparation to choosing the right paint and application methods.

Cleaning the Surface Thoroughly

Before you begin painting, it’s crucial to clean the brick surface thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and any mildew or mold buildup. Use a power washer for exterior walls and a mixture of dish soap and water for interior walls. Additionally, a wire scrub brush can help smooth rough surfaces and dislodge any stubborn residue. Allow the brick to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Applying Primer Designed for Brick

Priming the brick surface is essential to ensure proper adhesion and long-lasting results. Choose a primer specifically designed for masonry surfaces, as these formulations are optimized to penetrate porous brick and provide a strong foundation for the topcoat. Look for primers with good alkaline resistance to prevent issues such as alkali burn. Apply the primer evenly using a synthetic bristle brush or a high-nap roller to ensure thorough coverage.

Using High-Quality Acrylic Latex Paint

When selecting paint for exterior brick walls, opt for high-quality acrylic latex paint formulated for outdoor use. These paints offer durability, weather resistance, and excellent color retention, ensuring your painted brick maintains its appearance over time. Consider paints specifically designed for masonry surfaces, as they provide superior adhesion and coverage on porous brick. Choose a paint color that complements your home’s exterior and enhances its architectural features.

Choosing the Appropriate Tools for Application

The tools you use for painting exterior brick walls can significantly impact the quality of the finished result. For smaller areas and detailed work, such as around windows and doors, use a high-quality brush to ensure precision and control. For larger surfaces, such as entire walls or sections of your home’s exterior, consider using a paint roller with a high nap to ensure even coverage and proper penetration into the brick pores. In some cases, spraying may be a more efficient option for covering large areas quickly, especially if you have access to the necessary equipment.

What do I need to know before painting exterior brick?

Consider the Age and Condition of the Brick 

Before painting exterior brick, consider the age and condition of the brickwork. New brick and mortar may exude a powdery substance, requiring sufficient time to cure before painting to ensure proper adhesion. Additionally, inspect the brick for any signs of damage, cracks, or areas in need of repair. Addressing these issues before painting will help ensure a smooth and durable finish.

Ensure the Area is Free of Water Damage

Water damage can compromise the integrity of the paint and lead to premature peeling or flaking. Before painting, inspect the exterior brick walls for any signs of water damage, such as efflorescence or discoloration. Address any underlying moisture issues and ensure the brick is completely dry before proceeding with the painting process.

Address Any Necessary Repairs Before Painting

Before painting exterior brick walls, take the time to address any necessary repairs or maintenance tasks. This may include replacing damaged or loose bricks, repairing mortar joints, or filling in any cracks or gaps in the brickwork. Properly addressing these issues before painting will help ensure a smooth and uniform finish and prevent further deterioration of the brickwork over time.

Understand That Painting Brick is a Relatively Permanent Decision

It’s essential to understand that painting exterior brick is a relatively permanent decision, as removing paint from brick can be a challenging and labor-intensive process. Before proceeding with painting, consider whether you’re committed to the color and look of painted brick in the long term. While painting can offer a fresh and updated appearance, it’s not easily reversible, so be sure to choose a color and finish that you’ll be happy with for years to come.

What is the best paint for exterior brick walls?

Select High-Quality Acrylic Latex Paint

When choosing paint for exterior brick walls, prioritize quality and durability. Look for acrylic latex paints specifically formulated for outdoor use, as these paints offer superior adhesion, weather resistance, and color retention compared to standard latex paints. Additionally, consider paints with added weatherproofing properties, such as UV protection and resistance to mold, mildew, and moisture, to ensure long-lasting results.

Consider Paints Specifically Designed for Masonry Surfaces

For optimal results, consider using paints specifically designed for masonry surfaces when painting exterior brick walls. These paints are formulated to penetrate porous brick and provide excellent adhesion and coverage, resulting in a smooth and durable finish. Masonry paints also typically offer enhanced weather resistance and durability compared to standard exterior paints, making them ideal for protecting brick surfaces from the elements.

Choose a Paint That Offers Durability and Weather Resistance

When painting exterior brick walls, prioritize durability and weather resistance to ensure long-lasting results. Select a paint that can withstand exposure to the elements, including sunlight, rain, snow, and fluctuating temperatures, without fading, peeling, or deteriorating. Look for paints labeled as “exterior” or “all-weather,” as these formulations are designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions and provide maximum protection for your home’s exterior.

How do you make an exterior brick wall look nice?

Clean the Surface Thoroughly

Before painting exterior brick walls, it’s essential to clean the surface thoroughly to remove dirt, debris, and any mildew or mold buildup. Use a power washer set to a low pressure to gently remove surface contaminants without damaging the brick. Alternatively, you can clean the surface manually using a mixture of mild detergent and water and a stiff-bristled brush. Be sure to rinse the brick thoroughly with clean water and allow it to dry completely before painting.

Choose a Paint Color That Complements the Surroundings

When selecting a paint color for exterior brick walls, consider the overall aesthetic of your home and its surroundings. Choose a color that complements the existing exterior elements, such as the roof, siding, trim, and landscaping. Neutral tones like white, gray, beige, and taupe are timeless options that can enhance the architectural features of your home and create a cohesive look. Alternatively, bold colors like navy blue, forest green, or red can make a statement and add personality to your home’s exterior.

Read our guide on choosing a building’s exterior painting scheme.

Consider Adding Architectural Details or Decorative Elements

To enhance the visual appeal of your painted brick walls, consider adding architectural details or decorative elements. This could include features such as shutters, window boxes, trimwork, or decorative moldings that complement the style of your home and create visual interest. Additionally, you can use landscaping to soften the appearance of the brick walls and create a cohesive outdoor environment. Planting flowers, shrubs, or climbing vines around the perimeter of your home can help blend the painted brick seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.

Maintain the Painted Surface Regularly

To keep your painted brick walls looking their best, it’s essential to maintain the painted surface regularly. Inspect the exterior of your home periodically for signs of wear and tear, such as peeling, fading, or chipping paint. Touch up any areas of damage promptly to prevent further deterioration and ensure the longevity of the paint finish. Additionally, consider cleaning the painted brick walls annually to remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate over time and dull the appearance of the paint.

What is the most durable exterior paint for brick?

Look for Acrylic Latex Paints Designed for Exterior Use

When selecting paint for exterior brick walls, opt for acrylic latex paints specifically formulated for outdoor use. These paints offer superior adhesion, durability, and weather resistance compared to interior paints, ensuring long-lasting results and protection against the elements. Look for paints labeled as “exterior” or “all-weather,” as these formulations are designed to withstand UV exposure, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and other environmental factors without fading, peeling, or cracking. Additionally, choose paints with added mold and mildew resistance to prevent unsightly growth and maintain the cleanliness of your painted brick walls.

Consider Paints with Added Weatherproofing Properties

For maximum durability and protection, consider paints with added weatherproofing properties designed to withstand harsh outdoor conditions. Look for paints formulated with UV inhibitors to prevent fading and discoloration caused by sunlight exposure. Additionally, choose paints with built-in moisture barriers to repel water and prevent moisture penetration into the brick substrate. These weatherproofing features help prolong the life of your painted brick walls and maintain their appearance for years to come.

Check for Products That Offer Long-Term Durability and Color Retention

When choosing paint for exterior brick walls, prioritize products that offer long-term durability and color retention. Select paints from reputable brands known for their quality and performance in outdoor applications. Read product reviews and testimonials from other homeowners to gauge the durability and longevity of different paint options. Additionally, check for warranties or guarantees offered by paint manufacturers to ensure peace of mind and confidence in your purchase.

Choose a Primer Designed for Masonry Surfaces

To ensure proper adhesion and long-lasting results, use a primer specifically designed for masonry surfaces when painting exterior brick walls. Masonry primers are formulated to penetrate porous brick and mortar, creating a strong bond between the substrate and the paint topcoat. Look for primers with good alkaline resistance to prevent issues such as alkali burn, which can occur when painting over high-pH surfaces like bare brick. Additionally, choose primers with excellent penetration and adhesion properties to ensure a smooth and uniform paint finish.

Look for Primers with Good Penetration and Adhesion Properties

When selecting a primer for exterior brick walls, prioritize products with good penetration and adhesion properties. Choose primers that can effectively penetrate the porous surface of the brick and mortar, ensuring a strong bond between the substrate and the paint topcoat. Look for primers formulated with acrylic or epoxy resins, as these materials provide excellent adhesion to a variety of surfaces and offer superior durability and weather resistance. Additionally, opt for primers with low VOC (volatile organic compound) content to minimize odor and environmental impact.

Consider Primers with Added Resistance to Alkaline Substances

Brick and mortar surfaces typically have high pH levels, which can affect the performance of paint and primer products. To prevent issues such as alkali burn, choose primers with added resistance to alkaline substances. These specialty primers are formulated to withstand the high-pH environment of masonry surfaces, ensuring optimal adhesion and long-lasting paint finishes. Look for primers labeled as “alkali-resistant” or “high-pH tolerant” for best results when painting exterior brick walls.

Is it better to spray or roll exterior paint on brick?

Spraying may provide faster coverage for large areas

While rolling may offer better penetration into brick pores. Consider using both methods for optimal results, starting with spraying to cover large surface areas quickly and evenly, then using a roller to ensure thorough penetration into the brick pores and achieve a smooth finish. Be sure to use high-quality painting equipment and follow manufacturer guidelines for proper application techniques.

Rolling may offer better penetration into brick pores

Ensuring proper coverage and adhesion of the paint topcoat. Choose a high-nap roller cover (at least half an inch) to ensure optimal paint absorption and distribution on the textured surface of the brick. Roll the paint onto the brick in a smooth and even manner, working in small sections to ensure thorough coverage and avoid overlap marks. Use a brush or roller to touch up any missed spots or areas that require additional coverage.

Consider Using Both Methods for Optimal Results

For large-scale painting projects, consider using both spraying and rolling methods for optimal results. Begin by spraying the paint onto the brick surface to cover large areas quickly and evenly. Use a high-quality paint sprayer equipped with a nozzle suitable for masonry surfaces, and adjust the spray pattern and pressure as needed to achieve uniform coverage. Once the paint has been applied via spraying, use a high-nap roller to back-roll the surface, ensuring thorough penetration into the brick pores and a smooth, even finish. This combination of spraying and rolling helps achieve maximum coverage and adhesion on exterior brick walls, ensuring long-lasting results.

Don’t have any scaffolding for your brick wall painting project? Steal our process on how we paint exterior walls without any scaffolding.

HH Painting