Tips for painting brick - Pro Masonry Guide

Tips for painting brick

Brick houses are painted for a variety of reasons. When a brick house is remodeled it might be impossible to get a brick that matches. Painting brick disguises that. Brick houses in parts of the country that are particularly damp are painted to preserve the brick. And still others are painted because the homeowner doesn’t like the look of brick. Whatever the reason, painting brick correctly requires proper preparation and quality products. Here’s how:

Tips for painting brick

Step 1

Make sure the brick is clean. Remove all dirt, moss and grime with soapy water and a medium soft brush. If the soapy water doesn’t remove all the dirt, use a trisodium phosphate heavy-duty general-purpose cleaner, following the directions on the bottle.

Step 2

Inspect the wall, as well as the mortar between the bricks, for any damage. All cracks, chips, or missing pieces must be repaired before you paint.

Step 3

Once the repairs are made and the repair is completely dry, apply a quality primer. The better the primer you use, the better the end result will be. Using a medium nap roller, begin painting at the highest point of the wall, painting in downward stokes to the lowest point. Wait for the primer to dry and apply a second coat of primer. Finally, use a small brush to get primer into the places the roller didn’t reach. It’s important to make sure all the brick is covered by the primer.

Step 4

Apply the paint in exactly the same way you applied the primer, using a high-quality acrylic paint. Use outdoor acrylic for outside walls or a product like Zinsser Watertite Mildew Proof Waterproofing Paint, which although it is designed for basements, does a great job on outside walls as well. Never prime or paint when the area is in direct sunlight or when the temperature is high.

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How to stain brick

Staining brick is an excellent alternative to painting, and in many cases it is preferable to paint, particularly if the brick is in good condition. Staining will restore the brick to its original luster. There are also many shades and brands of self-contained staining kits available commercially.

Prepare the area just as you would for painting (step 1 above). Make any needed repairs and allow the repair to dry thoroughly.

Using the brush supplied with the stain kit, apply stain to a test brick in an out of the way location to see what the color will be. Add water or pigment to the mixture to lighten or darken the color. Do not use a roller to apply stain. Spread the stain by moving the brush in one direction. Spread the stain as thinly as possible. Wait 24 hours and apply a second coat.

Material and supplies for painting brick

  • mild soap
  • soft brush
  • trisodium phosphate
  • primer
  • paint pan
  • paint roller and paint brush
  • paint or staining kit

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