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Brick Painting: What You Should Know

calander Apr 10 , 2020 user-icon Nash Painting

When well-maintained, brick often looks great in its natural state. Still, most of us feel compelled to change things up every now and again. One day, you might take a look at your interior or exterior brick surfaces and decide they require an update. Maybe you want to change the color and atmosphere of a room or enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Whatever the case may be, choosing to paint over your brick is a big deal (bigger than, say, painting drywall, wood, or vinyl siding), thanks to the material’s rough, porous nature. Without the proper mindset, preparation, tools, and techniques, you can end up with a big, expensive mess on your hands.

So, before you dive into a brick painting project, here are some key things to know.

Make an Informed Decision Before Painting Your Brick

Plenty of planning goes into painting brick, and for good reason. Unlike smooth, non-porous surfaces, brick isn’t built for painting, per se. That isn’t to say it can’t be done, of course -- people paint brick all the time. However, note that some brick surfaces should not be painted, namely newly built brick and brick that is in poor condition. Brand new brick is naturally dusty, meaning paint will have a hard time sticking to the surface. And painting older, deteriorating, molding brick will only seal its existing problems and make them worse.

Also, consider that taking paint off of brick is extremely difficult and potentially damaging to the surface. And know that you’ll have to perform more frequent maintenance on painted brick than bare brick. In other words, if you want to paint your brick, make sure you’re in it for the long haul and willing to put in the work to maintain it. If you’re having second thoughts, put off this project until you’re certain it’s what you want.

Repairs May Be Necessary

You want your brick to be in the best condition possible before sealing it with paint. This will help ensure that it’s well-protected from moisture, impact, pests, and other threats. So, be prepared to fix any holes, cracks, or missing pieces. If you’re not sure how to go about making these repairs, hire an experienced contractor.

Improper Power Washing Can Damage Your Exterior Brick

All surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned prior to painting, and brick is no exception. When it comes to cleaning a house exterior, pressure washing is typically the most effective and efficient way to get the job done. When pressure washing brick, extra care must be taken. If the heat or power settings are too high, the wrong detergent is used, or the nozzle is too close to the surface, this method can damage the brick and mortar. So, it’s worth it to hire pressure washing services to clean your brick without causing any harm.

You Must Make Time to Prime

Applying primer is an important step in any painting process, especially when painting a never-before-painted surface. Simply put, primer acts as the middle-man between the surface and the paint, facilitating paint adhesion while sealing the surface underneath. Priming is even more essential for brick painting because, as mentioned earlier, brick isn’t the most easily-painted surface out there. When coating the surface with the proper primer (one designed for masonry), the product seeps into the brick’s pores and every crevice, freezing any loose material in place so the paint can easily glide over it and stay put.

You Need the Right Kind of Paint

Not all paint products are created equal. Not only do you want to work with high-quality paint -- you must also choose a paint that will work well on brick. For residential exterior painting, you might consider elastomeric paint which is highly durable and resistant to environmental conditions such as sunlight, moisture, and extreme temperatures. You can also use acrylic latex paint for exterior and interior brick painting, which is generally easy to clean and requires fewer coats. As for the finish you choose, this is mostly a matter of aesthetic preference. Higher-gloss paints are typically more durable than their less shiny counterparts. However, flatter finishes tend to hide imperfections a bit better.

Painting is Rough

Finally, keep in mind that painting a rough, gritty surface like brick requires tough tools. Of course, once the primer has been applied and dried, painting over it shouldn’t be much of an issue. But when initially applying your primer, make sure your applicators can hold up to the friction. Some professional local painters use sprayers to cover more area in a shorter time and avoid directly contacting the brick. Then, for full, even coverage, they might go over it with a durable roller or brush. Whichever way you approach it, make sure you use a quality synthetic bristle brush and/or a high nap roller for the best results.

Having Doubts About Brick Painting?

There’s a lot to consider before painting your brick, even if you’re sure you want it done. If you want the best results, work with the Nashville painting company committed to quality and customer service. Work with Nash Painting. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!