The Pros and Cons of Painting Brick Surfaces and How to Do it Correctly
Painting brick on the exterior or interior of your home can result in an exciting new look. When bricks no longer match décor, they can appear outdated and become a real eyesore. Painting bricks might be an excellent solution, but preparation is important. In addition, there are pros and cons to be aware of before undertaking this paint project.
Pros of Painting Brick
Experts recommend that homeowners carefully consider everything involved with painting brick before picking out the paint color. See more about risks and the cons of painting brick below. Here are the pros of painting brick:
• With careful planning, bricks can be painted in a way that you have long-term maintenance-free enjoyment of the finished result. For the exterior, you will still need to plan on applying fresh paint every three to five years.
• An unattractive fireplace surround can be transformed into a stylish centerpiece for your home.
• If dark bricks seem to be sucking the light out of the room, painting the brick a lighter color can brighten the room up beautifully.
Cons of Painting Brick
Brick is typically chosen as a durable building material with built-in color. The intention is usually never to eventually paint the brick. The masonry is extremely porous, which means it will soak paint up like a sponge, if proper prep work isn’t done.
Bricks that are in the worst shape, meaning you may be looking for a way to hide them, are also the worst candidates for painting. If bricks are molding, deteriorating, or chipping, their overall poor condition is a clear indication that the brick should not be painted. The reason for that is because damaged bricks are susceptible to moisture. Water seeps into the masonry through deteriorating mortar. When the moist bricks are painted, existing problems are eventually exaggerated. Ultimately, the paint begins to chip off because the moisture in the bricks is unable to evaporate off, being blocked by the fact that the natural pores in the bricks’ surface are filled with paint.
If the time comes that you want to remove paint from the bricks, perhaps because it has begun chipping off, it will be very difficult to achieve on even a partial basis. Removing the paint from bricks requires the use of chemicals. Even then, the paint doesn’t come off completely. You may be stuck with a look that you like less than the unpainted bricks.
If the exterior bricks have white residue or some other shade of residue, it means that moisture has gotten into the bricks, resulting in efflorescence. The fact that moisture has gotten into the bricks is an indication that it is best not to paint them.
Tips for Painting Brick
It is important that bricks be dried before being painted. They should also be cleaned and then allowed to dry afterward, just before painting. More tips for painting bricks follow:
• Repairs with acrylic caulk should be made, wherever there are small cracks.
• Exterior and interior bricks need different treatment because they are in different environments. Exterior brick should be painted with porous paint, to ensure that the bricks can still breathe.
• Using high-quality paint is essential, if brick painting is to have successful results. First apply a conditioner or primer and then a breathable latex interior or exterior paint.
Keep in mind that another option is to have bricks professionally stained, rather than painted. Staining is more expensive but a new color is created without long-term risks associated with painting the bricks.
Franklin Painting LLC – Call us Toll Free at 877-646-7774
or at our main office number 860-678-7701
160 Brickyard Road, Farmington, CT 06032