The Do’s and Don’ts of Painting Brick Surfaces

House Painters Serving Anne Arundel County, MD, and beyond

When it's time to revitalize an old space, nothing does the job quite like fresh paint, but when it comes to brick, we always like to warn homeowners that there are some unforeseen factors they need to consider before beginning to paint on any brick surface. Let's take a look at them:

To begin, while brightly painted brickwork looks excellent, it's not always easy to achieve. Especially when it comes to exterior bricks that will constantly be braving Mother Nature's elements. Before we can ever begin any painting, these bricks should be completely free of dirt, mold and mildew. Believer it or not, mold will actually continue to grow even under a freshly applied coat of paint. To ensure the surface is cleaned correctly first remove any efflorescence - the white powder that forms on the surface of bricks, with a wire brush. Following that, we always use a high-quality cleaning solution to power wash the exterior.

After washing your bricks, it's then important to allow them to completely dry as efflorescence can re-emerge on wet walls causing the paint to crack and peel. We may also need to fix any cracks or damage and apply brick conditioner based on the overall quality of your outdoor surfaces. It takes careful attention to detail, but it's worth it! With a quality paint job, your home can be completely transformed, and it protect your bricks from mold and fading.

Now that we've addressed the importance of surface prep on exterior brick, let's move indoors

The Pros of Interior Brick Painting

Interior brick painting is a much easier job. While you'll still need to remove any efflorescence from the surface, the rest of the cleaning is done with a milder solution, by hand. However, be sure to pay close attention to the quality of your bricks as any you'll want to caulk any cracks and remove mould or mildew.

Protection is also an added plus as a painted surface is often easier to clean. With brick being a porous surface, it benefits significantly from a proper clean, and a high-quality paint job, as it ensures soot and dirt cam no longer be trapped within.

Mostly it's the appearance and aesthetics that draws many DIYers to this project. Painting over that old fireplace can often completely reinvent your living space, providing a modern twist on a dated look. When done right, a painted fireplace can brighten up a bedroom or completely open out a living area.

The Cons of Interior Brick Painting

While less labor-intensive, there is still a lot involved in painting brick surfaces and it is generally described by painters as a speciality skill. To achieve the perfect coat of paint you'll need to purchase the correct primer, cleaning solution and type of paint for the job. Furthermore, a paint roller alone won't do the trick when it comes to bricks as the paint will drip down into crevices. To account for this, a skilled painter will catch these drips and correct them with a paintbrush in real-time.

Permanence is another factor often overlooked when it comes to brick painting . If you change your mind down the road, unfortunately, once you've painted your brick surface, there's no going back to the original. As bricks are porous, the paint will remain inside staining the brick, so keep this in mind before making your final decision.

Although a quality paint job, as discussed above, will result in extra protection for your bricks, cleaning and maintenance will still be involved. As white or lighter coloured bricks will attract and show dirt easier, you'll need to clean than more regularly than you would standard bricks. Also keep in mind that even the best paint job will need to be re-done every 3-5 years to keep it looking fresh.

In the end, the many classic looks available in painted brick are a draw for a great many homeowners and we're here to help. For a free estimate just give us a call.

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