Should you paint your brick house | Pros & Cons

By Mandy Moss

Brick is one of the most durable building materials available. They are strong, fire-resistant, and have a long lifespan. Brick walls will stand up against all of nature’s elements: rain, snow, wind, sun, and ice, however, they can at the same time be difficult to maintain.

Over time bricks can become worn or even damaged due to weather conditions or other outside factors. Painting exterior brick could be a great way to rejuvenate a tired-looking house, add value to your home and allow you the opportunity to express yourself in a unique way.

If you’re considering painting your brick house, it’s important to weigh the pros and the cons so that you can make an informed decision. If Painting it, you will achieve fresh modern looks and raise the overall value of your home. However, it does involve additional costs and regular maintenance.

Should you paint your brick house?

Should you paint your brick house?

That’s a decision that many homeowners have to face at some point in their lives. Painting exterior brick walls may require some preparation. We will list some pros and cons below to make your decision a little easier.

Pros of painting your brick house

There are several advantages to painting your exterior brick house. Some of which are:

Modern fresh look

Painting brick can give your home a fresh modern look. It helps to lighten up the exterior of your home. This approach helps resolve the problem of the heavy, traditional feel that is common with brick homes.

Boosts curb appeal

Painting your brick is a cost-effective approach to improve curb appeal and boost the value of your home. When painted correctly, a dark color like slate grey or even a classic white can have a significant aesthetic impact.

Additional protection

With painting your brick house you add an extra layer of protection from exterior elements. Brick is very durable but it can be prone to water damage.

Paint provides great protection by keeping moisture from seeping into the brick during rain and other weather conditions. It also prevents it from fading when exposed to the sun.

Easier to clean

Because brick is porous by nature, dirt and debris can become lodged and difficult to remove if left unpainted. Paint will protect it from dirt and debris adhering.

Painted brick has a smooth surface and will be much easier to clean with a power washer on a regular basis with minimal effort.

Possible longer lifespan

Sealing and preserving the mortar between bricks can help prevent structural damage to your home and lengthen its lifespan.

Easier to sell

A fresh coat of paint (especially white) makes a house look newer and will appeal to potential buyers.

Painting your bricks will help sell your property easier as well as increase its value. Buyers will see your home needs less work and maintenance which also means a higher resale value.

Cons of painting your brick house

Although there are several benefits to painting exterior brick, it is not the right choice for every homeowner. There are also a number of cons associated so you should consider them carefully before you commit to any sort of painting project.

Possible trapped moisture

Painting brick can trap moisture behind it and cause a number of problems. The paint prevents the brick from breathing, which causes mold or mildew to accumulate on your wall.

This accumulation can damage both your bricks as well as the siding around them. In fact, this is one of the biggest issues with painting exterior brick walls.

Painting is a permanent decision

You can’t go back to your original brick exterior once you’ve painted it. Professional painters understand that once brick is painted, it must be kept that way.

Even attempting to remove paint from brick can be extremely costly. If you don’t remove your paint job immediately, it can become virtually impossible to do so in the future.

Possible damage to the brick

If done incorrectly, removing the paint can damage the brick. Paint can crack or chip more easily than other types of protective sealants.

If you do decide to paint your bricks, use only the highest quality spray paints, and be sure to research which brands are most suitable for use on exterior walls.

Repainting in a few years

Brick houses are very beautiful, but they can get dirty and damaged over time. To keep it looking beautiful, you’ll need to repaint it every 10 or so years. I mostly depend, how well was maintained on yearly basis.

Keep this in mind when planning your yearly maintaining house costs.

Cleaning exterior more frequently

Because dirt, mildew, and other debris are more visible, you’ll need to clean it more frequently. Although painted brick is easier to clean than natural brick, grime and mildew show up much more prominently on painted exteriors.

Having your brick exterior professionally power washed on a regular basis will help it look crisp and clean.

Increase chances for brick water damage

Increase chances for water damage

If you live in an area that is particularly humid or has high levels of precipitation, painting your brick exterior can increase the amount of water damage you’re likely to incur.

Paint can cause moisture to accumulate behind the brick’s protective seal. This will lead to rusting through your brick and weakening the integrity of your home’s walls.

Sealing bricks can be expensive

Most brick houses only need the mortar between the bricks to be sealed, but some homes need their bricks to be painted as well.

This will add to the cost of painting your home’s exterior. It may also require hiring a professional which can significantly increase this cost.

How to choose your brick paint?

There is not a “one size fits all” answer to the question of which type of paint is best for exterior brick walls. You will need to select the correct paint or combination of products based on your specific needs.

If you are adamant about painting exterior brick walls, the best thing to do would be to consult a contractor or materials specialist for advice on which products are best suited for exterior brick surfaces.

Selecting the right type of paint is an important part, considering that the wrong paint can cause significant damage to your brick. Porous, low-quality paints can cause your brick to crack and crumble over a short period of time.

I love Montage premium indoor/outdoor paint, which comes with a 10-year warranty.

What color should I choose?

The color you choose to paint your house makes a statement about who you are as an individual and also about what you believe in. Just because someone else has done it, doesn’t mean, you should choose the same colors.

Color selection is limited. Take the time to find the right color! There is no right or wrong. Recognizing that painting exterior bricks is a permanent decision, you will likely want to choose a color that complements the overall look of your house and neighborhood.

TIP: If planning to sell your house in near future choose neutral "safe colors" which suit most buyers.

Related Questions

When you want to achieve the natural look of your bricks and protect them against water, use a stone sealant.

This type of sealant will create an invisible barrier on the surface of the wall that protects it from moisture damage while still allowing you to repaint it when needed!

You will need to repaint your brick exterior every 10 years or so, depending on the quality of products you use and how well did you clean it on yearly basis.

In general, the average cost of painting a brick house is between $1.12 and $4.80 per square foot. The cost can vary based on labor hours and overall paint prices.

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