Exterior Makeovers: Should You Paint Your Brick House?
Do you feel as though your traditional brick home needs an exterior refresh?
YOU’RE not alone. Painting your exterior brick can give your home’s look an overhaul, but there are important factors to consider when making such a drastic change to your abode. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this option, and what to keep in mind when tackling this project on your own.
Pros of painting exterior brick
Reviving your tired brick home with paint can be a relatively inexpensive and easy way to make a big impact on your home’s kerb appeal. You can transform a red, orange or yellow brick home with a dark colour like grey to create drama, or use a classic white for a crisp, clean, Scandinavian look.
For those who are thinking about purchasing a home and love everything about it except for the brick exterior, don’t count the home out – paint can be an easy solution to your problem.
Cons of painting exterior brick
Like a tattoo, painting a brick home is all but permanent, so you want to be absolutely confident in your decision to paint your home. Once completed, it’s nearly impossible to reverse. If you try to take it off, it will be costly.
You also need to consider the maintenance of painted brick homes. Dirt, debris and mildew are more visible on painted brick, so you will need to power wash your home more frequently.
Moisture is also a concern with painted brick. Water can seep through brick pores, windowsills and other gaps, which can cause the bricks to deteriorate and paint to chip. To help prevent this, it is often recommended to repaint your brick every five to seven years, depending on exposure to sun and rain.
How to paint exterior brick yourself
Although experts typically suggest that you hire a professional to paint the exterior of your brick home, it is possible to do it yourself if you take the right precautions and use the appropriate tools.
The most vital step to take to ensure a flawless outcome is prepping the brick for paint. If you don’t properly prep the brick, it could end up not only looking bad, but it could also be extremely detrimental to the integrity of your home.
Step 1: Clean the brick
Clean the brick using a high pressure water cleaner set between 1,500 and 2,000 PSI. If you use a stronger force, it may damage the brick’s mortar. For more difficult spots to clean, add soap to the stream.
The goal of cleaning is to remove any dirt, mould, efflorescence or any other surface contaminants.
Once the washing is completed, allow the brick to dry for at least three days.
Step 2: Prep the bricks
Repair any missing or damaged mortar using premixed acrylic mortar patch that lets you prime and paint as soon as it dries.
Step 3: Prime the bricks
Using a high-quality acrylic or latex masonry primer, prime every part of the brick and mortar.
Step 4: Caulk and seal bricks
Caulk any area that can let water in, including doors, windows and trims. Also, caulk any hairline cracks in the brick using a flexible, paintable caulk.
This step will help prevent water from seeping into gaps and pores as mentioned above.
Step 5: Paint
After you’ve completed the extensive prep phase, it’s finally time to begin to paint. It’s important to choose the right paint for optimal results. Pros recommend a breathable paint designed for brick, such as a 100 per cent acrylic latex paint. Products can be applied by sprayer or roller, and it’s best to consult the specifications for each product, taking into consideration the amount of surface area to be painted. Apply two coats to achieve the best look.