How to Paint a Brick House

orange painted brick wall

Painted bricks are a popular trend, with paint being a great way to update the look of any brick home. Compared to the cost of rendering, painting bricks is both cost-effective and simple, and it’s the right solution for homeowners all over Brisbane. But, brick isn’t always the easiest canvas to work with, and if you want a long-lasting finish you’ll need to make sure you’re using the right paints and techniques. In this article we’re going to share a few tips on how to paint your brick house.

Preparation is the Key

The secret to any good paint job lies in the preparation. Bricks are no different. Since the surface is porous and they spend their lives outside, bricks need extra attention during the preparation phase:

  1. Carefully inspect the bricks. You’re looking for defects in the bricks, like cracks, gaps or water damage. These issues need to be addressed before painting can begin. Small cracks and holes can be filled with grouting cement.

  2. Wash the bricks. Once your grout repairs have cured, you can wash the bricks down. The aim here is to remove all the dust and contaminants. You can use water and a stiff brush or broom, or a pressure washer can also be used.

  3. Allow bricks to dry. Give your home a day or two to dry properly before you apply paint.

  4. Mask off. Use quality masking tape to cover any areas you don’t want to paint, like windows, eaves and soffits. 

While checking your bricks, keep an eye out for dusty white patches. These patches are called efflorescence and are a build up of salt crystals. To remove efflorescence, wipe down the surface with a 5% mixture of white vinegar and water. Allow the bricks to dry for 24 hours after cleaning. Avoid painting fresh brickwork. Freshly laid bricks should be allowed to dry for a minimum of one month before painting.

Prime Your Surfaces

Bricks are porous and soak up fresh paint like a sponge. You can avoid having to apply lots of coats of your final colour by applying a high quality primer. Whenever you’re painting exterior walls, it’s important to use quality exterior-grade paints. These paints contain anti-UV additives and special resins that hold up for much longer in the Queensland sun. When choosing primer, look for an option that specifically says it’s compatible with brick and masonry. These primers give much better coverage and help the later coats adhere properly.

Invest in High Quality Paints

Painting an entire home isn’t a small job. With lots of preparation and lots of surface area, it’s not the sort of thing you want to be doing over and over. Especially in Queensland where homes are subject to high levels of UV radiation, houses should always be painted using the highest quality exterior-grade paints you can find. They might cost a little more up front, but the investment will be well worth it in the end. Make sure to read the product information or ask for help to choose a paint that will last a long time and hold its colour well.

Apply 2-3 Coats of Colour

To get the best results from your paintwork, you’ll need to apply 2-3 coats of your top colour. If you aren’t using a primer or are covering dark bricks with a light colour then you may need to add more colour coats.

Allow each coat of paint to dry for about two hours before applying the next one. After the first coat has dried, look at the surface and check for depth of colour and how well the paint has adhered. If you’re happy with the result, apply a second coat. If you used a quality primer then you may only need two coats.

Want to Update Your Brick Home? Contact McAuliffe Painting Today!

Painted brick is a quick and easy way to update the look of any home. While the preparation work can take a bit of elbow grease, the result is worth it. If you’re interested in painting your home but aren't sure where to start, McAuliffe Painting is happy to help! We’re experienced painters with decades of experience behind our services. We can design a paint scheme you’ll love, and we always work with the highest quality paints. Get in touch with us today for more information about our residential painting services!
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