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5 Ideas for Brick Painting that Transforms Your Home Exterior

calander Oct 20 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home with a brick exterior, chances are you want to do everything in your power to maintain the beauty and integrity of your brick surfaces. At some point, though, you might face a dilemma -- let’s say you love your brick exterior but simultaneously wish to change up your home’s outward appearance. What then? The good news is that you don’t have to entirely abandon your brick exterior to revamp your home. Rather, you might consider painting your brick to retain the texture you love while introducing new colors or visual flair. The only caveat here is that brick painting can present several challenges. For one thing, the rough, porous nature of this material isn’t the easiest to prep or paint. For another, once a brick surface is painted, removing said paint is a major pain, one that might end up damaging your surfaces. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you truly wish to paint your brick surfaces before doing so.

Once you’ve committed to the decision to paint your brick exterior, you must determine how you wish to go about this process. Hiring an experienced residential exterior painting contractor is a great place to start, but the more information you can give them, the better. To help you get started, let’s go over five ideas for brick painting that will transform your home exterior without sacrificing style.

1. Whitewash Your Brick House Exterior

There’s no denying that bare brick boasts a classic, rustic appeal. For better or worse, painting over this material with thick coats of paint removes some of that charm by masking these natural flaws and variable coloration. If you want to coat your brick exterior and lighten it up but don’t want to completely conceal its natural beauty, whitewashing offers a winning compromise.

Simply put, a whitewash is a mixture of equal parts white paint and water -- the water dilutes the paint so that it provides a thinner coat that only partially covers the material’s inherent texture and color. Because this mixture is so thin, it tends to drip down the surface when applied, so professional painters will start at the top of the surface and work their way down to ensure a smooth, even finish. Additionally, whitewash may appear opaque when initially applied, but it becomes more translucent as it dries. If mixed and applied properly, whitewashing your brick exterior yields bright, organic-looking results while providing a moderate level of surface protection.

2. Consider White Paint Instead of Whitewash

Whitewashing brick surfaces is perfect for those looking to lighten up their home exterior without laying it on too thick, but it might not be enough for other homeowners. If you want to completely coat your brick exterior for aesthetic and protective purposes, watering down your paint is not the way to go. Instead, you’ll want to use a quality exterior primer and paint and apply multiple coats. Of course, you’ll have to decide which color you wish to paint your brick.

When in doubt, consider sticking with white paint. Not only is white painted brick bright and beautiful in its own right -- it also opens the door to coat your brick exterior with different colors in the future. After all, it’s much easier to paint over a white surface with a darker color than vice versa. If you begin with a darker shade like navy blue, dark grey, or black and then wish to lighten things up down the line, you may need to remove most of the previous coat and/or apply an inordinate number of coats to fully mask the previous darker shade.

3. Separate Your Siding

There’s nothing wrong with a fully-fledged brick exterior, but breaking up your brick areas with other types of siding (such as vinyl panels) can make your home more dynamic and modern. Going this route also means that you’ll have less area to cover when it comes to brick painting. For the most stunning exterior home painting results, consider choosing contrasting colors for your brick portion and rest of your siding. Or, for a more cohesive appearance, choose the same color for your entire exterior and let the different textures speak for themselves. There are many ways to approach this exterior transformation.

4. Protect Your Brick Without the Paint

Generally speaking, homeowners decide to paint their brick home primarily for aesthetic reasons. However, paint also provides protection that shields brick from moisture, ultraviolet radiation, erosion, and other environmental threats. What should you do, then, if you wish to boost your brick’s defenses but don’t want to alter its natural appearance with a thick coat of paint or a thin coat of whitewash? The answer: use a sealer instead.

Indeed, you don’t need to paint your brick exterior to enhance its appearance and protect its integrity. Waterproof masonry sealers come in various finishes (i.e. high-luster/gloss or low-luster/gloss) but don’t change the surface’s color or texture. Most importantly, these sealants help prevent moisture intrusion, reflect (rather than absorb) sunlight, and provide a smooth surface that’s easy to clean and maintain. Your local painters should be able to apply these products just as well as they would paint or whitewash.

5. To Be Safe, Start with a Sample

As mentioned earlier, painting brick is a big commitment with little room for error or re-dos. And, unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to know what the end results will look like (or how you’ll feel about them) until the job is done. If you’re unhappy with the outcome, you might be in for quite an ordeal. To avoid these headaches and help you visualize the finished product, find a small, perhaps concealed area of your brick exterior and use it as a sample space for whichever coating(s) you’re thinking of using for your entire home. Doing so will allow you to see what a given color, finish, whitewash mixture, and/or sealant will look like when completely dried. From there, you can extrapolate how this product will affect the appearance of your whole exterior.

A Better Brick Exterior

A well-maintained brick exterior will look great on its own. But if you want to transform your brick home exterior, some strategic painting can go a long way. And remember, standard paint isn’t your only coating option -- whitewashing and sealing your home are worthy efforts that produce stunning results when properly performed. If you need help working out the specifics, the experts at Nash Painting can help. Brick painting is one of our many specialties, and we love helping homeowners in Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN turn their home renovation visions into realities. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!