The Pros of Painted Brick and How Long It Lasts
At this point, it’s safe to say that brick will never go out of style for residential and commercial properties alike. This tried-and-true material stands the test of time, both in terms of physical fortitude and aesthetic appeal. That said, bare brick has its share of flaws, and no one would blame you for wanting to minimize these shortcomings in any way possible. Painting your brick provides a solid solution in this regard, shielding the brick’s porous surfaces while offering visual versatility. Of course, painted brick might not be for everyone. Painting your brick is, after all, essentially a permanent decision, for better or worse. Our blog, “Brick Painting: What You Should Know,” goes over some of these caveats in more detail. In this article, we’ll go over the many benefits of painted brick and exactly how long you can expect your brick paint job to last.
Benefits of Painting Brick
Painting Your Brick Protects it from Many Threats
Perhaps the primary reason to coat your brick house exterior is to provide it with a protective barrier. As mentioned earlier, brick is a porous surface, meaning small particles can enter its many openings, leading to various forms of deterioration. Water is the main threat here; when moisture intrudes in your brick and lingers, it can expand and contract with temperature changes, fracturing the material from the inside out. Dirt and dust can also cling to brick’s rough exterior and enter its pores. Brick is also prone to erosion from wind and impact. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can also take their toll on a brick exterior, leading to discoloration and potentially contributing to water damage via a phenomenon known as solar vapor drive. While brick coatings other than paint such as glaze or stain help defend your brick from these environmental threats, the right type of paint does the best job of all. High-quality elastomeric paint is a good choice -- this paint is flexible enough to allow the brick to breathe and also resistant to extreme temperatures, moisture, and sunlight. White is often seen as the best color to paint a brick house, as this choice naturally reflects sunlight (whereas darker colors like black absorb it).
Painted Brick is Easier to Maintain
While brick can withstand decades of wear and tear before crumbling, periodic maintenance is required to keep it sturdy and avoid major repairs. If you’re dealing with bare, unpainted brick, this maintenance requires more effort and frequency. As previously mentioned, brick is like a magnet for dirt, debris, and moisture. Moreover, its rough texture makes cleaning a challenging process. By properly painting your brick, you establish a smooth, protective surface that not only minimizes the amount of dirt that accumulates on the surface, but also facilitates the cleaning process. You’ll still need to perform periodic maintenance to keep your painted brick bright and beautiful, but you’ll have an easier time getting the job done. So, whatever the upfront cost to paint your brick exterior ends up being, it will be offset by the amount of time and money you save on maintenance and repairs over the years.
Painted Brick is a Major Selling Point
We’d be remiss not to mention the aesthetic advantages of painted brick. Despite bare brick’s natural beauty, painted brick allows for more creativity and control when it comes to enhancing your property’s curb appeal. Indeed, homes with painted brick exteriors (so long as they’re well-maintained) are highly sought after in the market, giving your home a boost in value. Even if you’re not interested in putting your property up for sale, everyone wants their home or business to be viewed in a positive light. A brief online search of painted brick exteriors will reveal a wide variety of color and styling options, such as stark white, off-white, light gray, gray-blue, muted green, mahogany, and more. Best of all, painting your brick won’t eliminate the material’s inherent segmented, classic look.
Painted Brick is a Permanent Solution
This last “pro” could also fall into the “con” category depending on your point of view. On the one hand, you want your brick’s paint job to last a long, long time. On the other hand, the permanence of painted brick limits your options down the road -- if you decide to paint your brick now, you won’t be able to easily undo it in the future. This dilemma is why it’s important to know exactly what you want before investing in such a project. If painted brick is truly what you desire, then you can rest assured that a properly painted brick surface will stay put for a while. This isn’t to say you can just leave things be, however. As mentioned before, you must still conduct periodic maintenance to keep your brick’s paint job secure and beautiful.
The Lifespan of the Average Brick Paint Job
So, how long does painted brick last, exactly? The answer depends on your commitment to maintenance, as well as uncontrollable factors such as your regional climate. Generally speaking, though, it’s wise to repaint your brick exterior surfaces about every 5 years (which is standard for many types of siding). Staying the course every half-decade this way will ensure that your painted brick retains both its appearance and integrity. As for interior painted brick, you can typically go longer between touch-ups and repainting projects since there are fewer direct threats. You might go 10 years or more before needing to repaint your indoor brick walls, assuming you stay on top of regular cleaning and minor repairs.
The Nash Painting Difference
Of course, not all brick paint jobs are created equal. The quality of materials, experience of contractors, and level of surface preparation all factor into the longevity of a given paint job. At Nash Painting, many of our brick painting projects last close to 20 years. Why? First, we thoroughly clean and prepare brick surfaces via pressure washing. Then, we prime the brick with Sherwin-Williams Loxon XP, a self-priming masonry paint used by numerous painting professionals. We also caulk any cracks or holes found in the brick to keep your finish free of imperfections. And when it comes to the paint job itself, we apply no fewer than two coats to deliver maximum protection, longevity, and striking results.
We know that brick painting is anything but a rush job -- that is, if you want your painted brick to last a long time. If you’re considering painting your brick surfaces, work with a company that resists shortcuts at every turn without sacrificing efficiency. Our commercial and residential exterior painting experts have transformed countless businesses and homes across Nashville, Brentwood, and Franklin, TN. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!