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Should you paint your brick house?

Do you feel as though your traditional brick home needs an exterior refresh? You’re not alone. Painting your exterior brick can give your home’s look an overhaul, but there are important factors to consider when making such a drastic change to your abode. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of this option, as well as the steps a professional will take to paint your brick exterior.

Pros of Painting Your Brick Exterior Reviving your tired brick home with paint can be a relatively inexpensive and easy way to make a big impact on your home’s curb appeal. You can transform a red, orange or yellow brick home with a dark color like gray to create drama, or use a classic white for a crisp, clean, Scandinavian look. Tip: Dark colors that we’ve used recently include Pewter Cast or Cast Iron by Sherwin-Williams or Carbon by Behr. Pure White by Sherwin-Williams or White Dove by Benjamin Moore have been popular white paint colors.

For those who are thinking about purchasing a home and love everything about it except for the brick exterior, don’t count the home out — paint can be an easy solution to your problem.

Cons of Painting Your Exterior Brick Like getting a tattoo, painting a brick home is all but permanent, so you want to be absolutely confident in your decision to paint your home. Once completed, it’s nearly impossible to reverse. If you try to take it off, it will be costly. To get a visual of what your home would look like with a new coat of paint, you can use Sherwin-Williams’ Color Snap Visualizer or Valspar’s online painter to make sure you will love the look of your home.

You also need to consider the maintenance of painted brick homes. Dirt, debris and mildew are more visible on painted brick, so you will need to power wash your home more frequently. Moisture is also a concern with painted brick. Water can seep through brick pores, windowsills and other gaps, which can cause the bricks to deteriorate and paint to chip. To help prevent this, it is often recommended to repaint your brick every five to seven years, depending on exposure to sun and rain.

How Much It Costs to Paint a Brick House It costs an average of $3,400 to get a brick exterior painted, assuming 2,000 square feet of wall space is being painted, with prices ranging from $1,400 to $7,000. These costs are U.S. national figures from the 2019

Estimates include cleaning the brick, prep and painting. Costs can be higher depending on the locale, square footage and scope of the project.

How to Get Your Brick Exterior Painted Experts typically suggest that you hire a professional to paint the exterior of your brick home. Although it is possible to paint a home yourself, it may not be worth the investment in tools and supplies — or the risk of climbing a ladder and stretching from it to reach all your bricks. Further, a good professional painter will know how to properly prep the brick for painting. Without this important step, not only could your brick could end up looking bad, the paint job could actually be extremely detrimental to the integrity of your home.

Step 1: Cleaning the Brick

  • Your painter will likely clean your brick with a pressure washer set between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds per square inch. A stronger force may damage the brick’s mortar. The painter may even add soap to the stream in the case of more difficult spots to clean.

  • The goal of cleaning is to remove any dirt, mold, efflorescence or any other surface contaminants.

  • Once the washing is completed, the brick will need to dry for at least three days.

Step 2: Prepping the Bricks

  • Your painter may repair any missing or damaged mortar using premixed acrylic mortar patch that allows him or her to prime and paint as soon as it dries.

Step 3: Priming the Bricks

  • Using a high-quality acrylic or latex masonry primer, the painter will prime every part of the brick and mortar.

Step 4: Caulking and Sealing Bricks

  • The painter may caulk any area that can let water in, including doors, windows and trims. He or she may also caulk any hairline cracks in the brick using a flexible, paintable caulk.

  • This step will help prevent water from seeping into gaps and pores as mentioned above.

Step 5: Painting the Brick

  • After the extensive prep phase, it’s finally time to begin to paint. It’s important to choose the right paint for optimal results. Pros typically recommend a breathable paint designed for brick, such as a 100 percent acrylic latex paint.

  • Your pro may apply the paint with a sprayer or a roller, taking into consideration the amount of surface area to be painted.

  • Most painters will apply two coats to achieve the best look.

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