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5 Tips for Painting Brick

calander Jan 30 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

In a market dominated by homes with synthetic and metal siding, a brick exterior can set you apart from the pack. But what if you want to make even more of a statement? Bare brick is beautiful on its own, but painted brick offers a unique aesthetic worthy of envy as well. Plus, painting over brick helps protect it from environmental damage.

However, the process of painting brick can be challenging. Like other commercial and residential exterior painting tasks, it requires proper preparation and careful application, but with some additional hurdles. So, if you’re thinking about introducing some color to your home’s or business’s brick surfaces, make sure you do it right. Here are 5 tips for painting over brick.

1. Thoroughly Clean the Surface

This initial step is necessary for all painting projects. Clean surfaces yield stronger adhesion, meaning your paint job will last longer and offer maximum protection. But unlike smoother surfaces like wood, vinyl, and aluminum, brick’s rough texture can be difficult to clean. Not only that, because brick is porous and constructed from natural materials, it attracts plenty of dirt, fungi, moss, and other materials.

To properly clean brick, you’ll want to use a moderately soft brush soaked in soapy water. Mind the detergent or soap you use, as some chemicals can corrode brick. Trisodium phosphate is a good option.

For a faster, stronger, and deeper clean, you might want to hire pressure washing services. Just keep in mind that blasting your brick with water can cause damage. Make sure you or your contractor knows to use the proper power setting, nozzle, and detergent before attempting to wash your brick this way.

2. Fix Up Cracks and Fill Crevices

Brick is nothing if not durable, but it’s not impenetrable. Wind, rain, and other environmental conditions will wear down your brick surfaces over time.

Cracks and larger abrasions should be fixed prior to painting. Remove all dust and debris from the crack with a small scraper and brush and then fill them completely with acrylic caulk via caulking gun. Use a putty knife to remove excess material and ensure the repair is flush with the wall. Let the caulk fully dry before moving on. This may take up to 6 hours.

Note that if you plan on pressure washing your brick, any major openings should be repaired before blasting the surface. Otherwise, water can get inside and lead to mold and physical damage down the road.

3. Always Start with Primer

Primer is an important component in any painting project, as it acts as an initial tinted coat and aids in the paint’s adhesion. When it comes to painting brick, primer is even more important than normal. This is because brick, being a porous material, doesn’t make for the best painting canvas. In other words, paint tends to soak into the brick, meaning you may need an inordinate number of coats to fully cover the surface. With the right primer, however, you can get away with applying fewer coats of paint while still fully protecting your brick. Latex primer is typically the best option for this step.

4. Mind the Kind of Paint You Use

After priming your brick business or house exterior and allowing it to dry, it’s time to start painting. Various types of paint can be used to go over brick, but some are more durable than others.

Elastomeric paint, for instance, offers the highest level of protection, resisting extreme temperatures, moisture, and sunlight, but two coats are recommended. Acrylic latex paint is also viable (and cheaper), though it’s not quite as durable as the former. On the plus side, only one coat is typically needed.

5. Apply Your Coats Accordingly

Once you’ve chosen the type of paint for your brick surfaces, you need to apply it properly. Professional local painters tend to employ sprayers, rollers, and brushes for different parts of the process.

For instance, spraying or rolling the paint over larger areas is an efficient way to evenly coat the brick. Any excess can be corrected using a brush. Brushes also come in handy for painting hard to reach spots and areas that were missed by the sprayer or roller. Ultimately, you’re looking for complete and even coverage. All three application methods are useful in this endeavor.

Need Help Painting Over Brick?

Painting your brick surfaces can boldly transform the look of your home or business. So, you want to make sure you do it right. If you need help, reach out to a trustworthy and experienced Nashville painting company.

Nash Painting has handled countless brick painting jobs with great success, and we’re always eager to start the next one. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at (615) 829-6858 today!