Can You Paint A Brick House?

Can You Paint A Brick House?

Bricks have been the building material of choice for thousands of years and it is still possible to view some of those ancient buildings today in Egypt, Rome and China. Remember The Great Wall? Built of brick!

People choose to build with brick for many good reasons, and one of them is the fact that brick does not need to be painted. Bricks need very little maintenance and their natural beauty does not fade with time, explains MPC Contractors Limited, an experienced building company in London

The other main features of bricks are:

  1. The clay from which they are made is able to provide insulation so that you will be warm in winter and cool in summer.
  2. Bricks are durable, without needing any type of coating and will last for more than fifty years in the harshest of environments.
  3. They come in a range of colors so they appeal to many tastes and styles.

So, should you paint a brick house?

In fact, it is not advisable to paint a brick house. Because bricks are made out of a natural material and fired in a kiln, they are resistant to all types of weather. They are able to absorb moisture and then dry out, remaining in perfect shape.

Here are some things to consider before you paint a brick house:

  • If, your reasons for wanting to paint your brick house are because the bricks have become damaged in some way, then think again.

 Painting bricks could affect the natural “breathing” properties and, in fact, reduce the ability to withstand the elements.

Damaged bricks are the worst types to paint because water will be able to penetrate the bricks through the mortar. Then, the coating of paint will block the evaporation process and the paint will begin to peel off. You could also have mold and algae starting to grow underneath the coat of paint.

It would be more sensible to spend the money and effort to get the brickwork repointed or repaired than covering problems with a coat of paint. The brickwork could be deteriorating behind the paint covering, and by the time you find out, it will be a major problem.

  • The paint on exterior walls will become damaged or discolored over time, but it will have to be removed before you can apply a fresh coat. Even when using powerful chemicals, removing paint from bricks is no easy task and often it will be difficult to remove every trace of paint.

According to The Brick Industry Association, once you start painting your brick house, you will be committed to repainting it every three to five years. That is quite a large and costly undertaking.

  • Painting exterior brick walls, even with a recommended product, can sometimes not deliver a satisfactory covering. You might end up with some naked bricks in amongst the painted ones because sometimes the paint just won’t stick to the bricks.

So, you still want to paint your brick house?

If you have decided that you really want to paint your brick house no matter what, then, of course you can!

This YouTube video may be a helpful place to start.

Before you start to paint, make sure that the bricks are clean and dust-free by using a stiff, nylon brush. A jet wash might be necessary if the brick is very dirty, but then you will have to wait until the bricks have completely dried out before painting. You should check the moisture content using an electronic moisture meter.

If your brick walls have efflorescence (a crystalline, whitish coating on the outside of the bricks) you will have to remove this before applying any type of paint.

A coat or two of primer is also recommended before you apply your choice of paint.

Check the weather report and always choose the warmest season for painting brickwork. You will need a long spell of dry weather before and after you paint the brick walls in order to end up with a satisfactory finish.

The advice from experts on is to use a porous paint for your brick house. As I mentioned before, bricks need to “breathe” and you will need to use specific products for external brick walls.

The type of paint you choose will also depend on the location of the house. Different environments will put different stresses and strains on the paintwork. For example, heavy traffic pollution will have a different effect to that of harsh winds in mountainous or coastal regions.

Amazon stocks a range of Super Acrylic Latex paint which is recommended for painting exterior brick walls.

Final thoughts:

There is a lot to consider before embarking on painting a brick house. If you think it is worth the time, effort and financial outlay and you have taken into account all the preparation that is needed, then hopefully you will achieve the desired look. Remember that it is going to be a long term commitment!