A lot of people love the color of natural brick on their home's exterior, but if you have a color of brick that is just unsightly and dates your home, you may have considered painting it. Painting your brick can give your home a new look and update it immediately, just as painting your siding can do. If you are thinking of painting the exterior brick on your home, read on for tips to help you get the job done.
Prep The Surface
The brick on your home can hold a lot of dirt, mold, and other debris. Brick has a lot of nooks and crannies to hide this debris, so you want to be sure it is thoroughly cleaned. Clean the brick by using a pressure washer. Start at the top and work your way down the brick area. If you don't have a pressure washer, you can rent or borrow one, but if this isn't possible, use a garden hose and a sprayer that gives you enough pressure, along with a brick cleaner to remove as much of the debris as possible. Allow your brick several days to dry out before you attempt to prime and paint your brick.
Repair any holes in the brick using mortar, and repair any missing mortar in between the bricks as well. Use a pointed trowel to get in between the joints and smooth it with your finger to make it even with the rest of the mortar joint. Allow the mortar to dry thoroughly, reading the manufacturer's instructions on how long the drying time should be.
Prime The Surface
Use a brick primer to prime the brick and mortar joints. The primer will help prevent any stains from soaking through the paint and help the paint adhere to the brick properly as well. You can find brick primer at your local hardware store. Use a paintbrush and roller to get the primer on the bricks. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny of the brick, so you have good coverage. You're going to need several days of good weather, so plan accordingly--the primer is going to need time to dry in between coats as well. You may need two coats of primer on your brick.
Paint The Brick
You can paint your brick any color you choose, just be sure you use a paint made to cover brick. You can find brick paint at your local hardware store. Test colors of paint if you aren't sure what color to choose by purchasing paint samples to test the colors on your home. Use a roller and paintbrush to get the paint onto your home. Using these rather than a paint sprayer will help give you the coverage you need and can make your paint job last much longer. Get in between the joints with the paintbrush and use the roller to get the paint onto the surface. Allow the first coat to dry, then add a second and a third if necessary. If you like the white-washed look, use just one coat of paint and wipe part of it away with a damp rag so that some of the brick shows through the paint. For more coverage, add more coats of paint.
Your old and dated brick can be painted, but it will take some work. If you aren't up for the job, hire professional exterior painting services to do the work for you.