The Pros and Cons of Painting Bricks for Your Home

Apr 13, 2016

Brick is an elegant building material. Some of the nicest houses in the world are made from bricks. Over time, however, you might grow tired of the appearance of your home. Fortunately, you can always paint the bricks for an entirely new look.

Before jumping into this project, consider some of the pros and cons. It’s not as simple as getting out a paint brush and paint!

Pros of Painting Bricks

  • Improved home appearance: Painting the bricks can take your home from dated to modern and cool with a few (thousand) strokes of the brush. The curb appeal of your house can be significantly improved in a few days.
    Protection: Bricks are porous. When you paint them, you close the pores and protect the bricks from the elements. However, you’ll then have to maintain the paint in order to keep the bricks protected.
  • Maintenance: As mentioned above, you’ll have to maintain the paint. However, keeping paint looking great is much easier than working with the bricks alone.
  • Cleaning: If the paint is sealed properly, it’s easier to clean painted bricks than non-painted bricks. Bricks on their own are notoriously hard to clean, in large part because of their porous nature.

Cons of Painting Bricks

  • Can’t paint all bricks: Take a look at the condition of the bricks you want to paint. If they’re falling apart or otherwise deteriorating, painting isn’t an option. It won’t stop the deterioration process, and the paint will crumble away with the bricks.
  • Extensive prep work: Painting drywall might be a one-day project, but painting bricks requires strict preparation. First, you’ll have to clean the bricks. This can be as simple as power washing, but often requires power washing in conjunction with a specially-formulated cleaning chemical mix. After this washing, the bricks have to completely dry or the paint will bubble and crack. If you have any bricks that are falling apart, they’ll need to be replaced.
  • Skill-level: This isn’t the kind of project a rookie DIY guy can do. Paint will drip in the crevices and on the mortar, which has to be closely monitored. Any paint bubbles need to be taken care of quickly. If you do the job and aren’t prepared to do it, those results will show.
  • Permanence: Once you paint bricks, there is no going back. The process of removing paint from bricks is laborious and almost impossible because the paint will be absorbed into the bricks; even if you got the surface paint off, some paint would continue to emerge over time. You can change the color of the paint, but painting will lose the natural-brick look forever.
  • Upkeep: Painting bricks requires the same upkeep as other painted surfaces. Once you have painted them, plan to repaint every 7-10 years or as the paint fades from weather exposure.

Prim Painting offers exterior painting services for the Columbus, Ohio area. Contact us today at 614-620-1950 or fill out our contact form to learn more!