Painting Your Bricks In 9 Steps

Like with painting varnished wood, people ask if brick can be painted over too. Good news is, it can and here is where you can learn how. Painting brick can refresh the look and boost curb appeal, lighten the atmosphere in a room, or match the brick to the walls if you decide to change the look.

Painting brick only gets difficult if the bricks are damaged, need repointing, or your home is higher than one story. In these cases, it may be best to call a professional for advice.

Speaking of advice, here are a few tips and a quick overview of painting brick in or around your home:

If the brick is newer, allow the mortar at least one year to dry and adjust before painting. On the other hand, if the installation has been in place for years, check for signs of damage and use acrylic caulk to repair small cracks.

Here is a quick run-through of how to paint brick:

  • Clean brick of dust, mold, dirt, etc
  • Wait for it to completely dry
  • Put down drop cloths
  • Apply latex primer
  • Let latex primer dry
  • Apply your choice of paint (we recommend waterproof paint)

Using a paint sprayer is the easiest method, but if you choose to use a roller use a thick nap to get paint in the nooks and crannies of the brick.

Tools & Materials

  • Wire scrub brush
  • Soap
  • Water
  • TSP aka trisodium phosphate (if needed)
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint sprayer OR Paintbrush/roller
  • Latex primer
  • Masonry or latex paint

The Best Process For Painting Brick

You don’t want to trap any dust and dirt underneath the paint because it will keep the paint from sticking to the brick as well. Otherwise, your walls will be peeling instead of appealing.

  1. Use the wire scrub brush with soapy water to remove any foreign substances from the brick
    • you can use the TSP if you need a stronger solution, about half a cup in a gallon of water should work
    • For mildew, use a solution of 1-part bleach to 3-parts water and let it soak for 30 minutes
  2. Scrub with the wire brush
    • pressure washing is also an option, but be careful not to start chipping the brick off
  3. Wait for 24-hours or until the brick is completely dry before moving forward
  4. Tape off any parts or areas you don’t want to paint
  5. Use drop cloths to keep paint off the ground
  6. Put the primer on using the painting tool of your choice
    • put extra coats on those areas affected by mildew and such
  7. Use weatherproof paint and apply it
    • semi-gloss or gloss paint better accents details and is easier to clean
  8. Wait for the paint to dry
  9. Apply a second coat for best results

Never use acid cleaning solutions, they can strip the paint completely away.

Freshly Painted Bricks

The bricks that make up your home can be like new again with a new paint job if you can find the time. Large-scale projects can be more difficult to complete due to the amount of time it takes, and not many people have that kind of time. Also, DIY projects don’t always turn out looking as great as homeowners would like them too.

You can learn how to fix a bad paint job >>