Are you keen to paint a tired or out-of-place brick wall?
Whether the brick is located inside or outside your home, giving the walls a a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive and quick way to create an updated and cleaner look.
However, the process isn’t as simple as picking up a brush and charging ahead to paint. For well-painted brick walls, you’ll need to do some prep work.
That’s where we come in to help. Here are our best tips on how to paint brick.
Don’t Paint Brand New Brick
While you may be eager to decorate a just-built brick wall, you’ll need to wait.
A fresh brick wall isn’t a good canvas and it can exude a powdery substance which, of course, isn’t great for painting over.
Leave a new brick wall at least a month to cure before painting on it.
Otherwise, it will be too chalky, and the paint won’t hold on well.
Also – if the brick has never been painted before consider staining the brick instead. This will help the longevity of the paint job and will allow the brick to breath because it isn’t sealed.
Start With a Clean Slate
Before painting brick, you’ll need to make sure that the surface is completely clean of any loose debris or greasy stains.
If you don’t clean the brick first, you’re essentially just painting over sand and dust and it won’t bind efficiently.
For exterior brick, give it a light power wash. For interior brick, a good wash with soap and water should suffice.
Give the brick plenty of time to dry. If there are any missing mortar or cracks, patch them up before painting.
Priming the Brick
No matter what kind of brick you’re painting, using a primer is key. That’s whether the brick is old or new, or interior or exterior.
Look for a primer that will ‘bite’ into the brick and can reach into all the nooks and crannies off the wall.
Primers designed for brick and masonry are the best option. They’re usually slightly thinner which allows the primer to sink into the brick’s porous façade and binds any chalky or loose materials.
They also have more alkaline resistance, which prevents the top coat of paint from gaining alkali burn.
If you’re planning on using latex paint opt for a water-based primer, or for oil paints search for an oil-based option.
Choose the Right Painting Tools
Depending on the area of brick that you want to paint, use a brush, roller, or paint sprayer to add a coat of primer.
As you’re working with a material that’s a lot rougher and more porous than your usual drywall, you’re going to need an applicator that’s strong enough to stand up to wear and tear.
Opt for a synthetic bristle brush, and don’t go for the cheapest option. A Chinex brush is a great shout as it’s crafted to take a beating without becoming bent and ruined.
If you’re painting large surface areas and want to use a roller, select one with a large nap of at least half an inch.
This allows the primer to reach all the crevices.
And if you go for an airless paint sprayer, follow up with a damp roller when you’re finished to work the primer deeper into the brick.
If there are any parts that have been affected by efflorescence or mildew, apply additional coats of primer to those sections.
Whether you add just one coat or several, always let the primer dry completely before going any further in the process.
Pick Your Paint
Once the all-important prep work is finished, you can go ahead and pick your brick paint in a color and type of your choice.
If you’ve primed, any sheen or formula will work well. Usually, painters choose higher-sheen paint on brick because it’s more resistant to marring and staining. However, you can also opt for a satin or flat finish if you prefer those looks as well.
Latex paint will dry more quickly, plus it will be easier to clean up. Acrylic latex paint is a great choice for exterior brickwork, as it works to prevent mildew and quickly evaporates any moisture absorbed from precipitation.
An oil-based paint, on the other hand, will dry to a harder finish.
Many people also like using elastodynamic paint for bricks. As you may guess, it features a high level of elasticity which makes it ideal for filling unsightly cracks, as well as preventing them.
Plus, elastodynamic paint works well for walls that are exposed to different weather conditions. That’s whether there’s high precipitation or high humidity.
Many experts also suggest using semi-gloss or gloss paint for both interior and exterior brickwork, as either option accentuates detail and is easier to clean in comparison to other paints.
Don’t worry about a sealer. Just be sure to select a wear-resistant exterior paint if the outdoor brick is exposed to the elements.
When you’re ready to paint with your chosen hue and paint style, grab a paint sprayer and get started.
If you’re painting a relatively small surface area – such as the surround of a brick fireplace – you can instead use a brush or roller. If you plan to use the latter, be sure to choose one with a thick nap for the best results, as mentioned earlier. This is necessary when painting brick which is often full of surface irregularities and tiny nooks and crannies.
Now You Know How to Paint Brick
Now you know how to paint brick, with our advice you can transform any tired or worn-out looking wall, creating a cleaner and more attractive look.
Sounds difficult? If you’re based in Colorado and require some professional help painting interiors or exteriors, we’re here to help.
Check out our range of painting services here.