How to Paint Brick

What You'll Need
Hand wire brush
Mild detergent or power washer
Hose and nozzle
Latex masonry primer
3/4 " Nap roller
4 Latex brush
Acrylic caulk
Exterior paint or elastomeric paint
Eye protection

Painting bricks is a simple and efficient way to bring life to those tainted and discolored walls. It is important that you check the brick condition before you decide to paint. If the bricks are in good shape and undamaged you might want to rethink painting as once you paint, you need to maintain it regularly to keep up its beauty.

Painting starts with the most vital step: choosing the right color. Elastomeric paint is a preferred choice of many because of its thick coat and elasticity.

Step 1 – Cleaning the Bricks

Use eye protection throughout the process. Start by brushing the wall with a hand wire brush without water to remove the efflorescence, which is the white powder that coats the bricks. If the efflorescence is stubborn, apply diluted muriatic acid, and let it sit for about 20 minutes after which you can scrub it off. Follow safety measures while using acid.

Step 2 – Checking for Cracks and Scrubbing

Using the brush also remove any loose pieces of mortar. If there are large cracks, use acrylic caulk to seal it. Using mild detergent or Power Washer scrub the wall. Set the nozzle of the hose at highest pressure and wash the wall. Let the wall dry for about 48 hours.

If you spot moss or mildew on the bricks, remove using 3 parts water and 1 part bleach.

Step 3 – Applying Primer

If the bricks are in great shape, you need not apply primer. Using a primer will enhance the appearance of the paint job.

To apply primer, mix the primer with water at a ratio of 1:1. Using a brush start painting areas where the roller cannot reach. Start painting from bottom up since the primer is thin and it is easier to paint upwards than move downwards. Once you are done with the brush follow suit with the roller; start painting from bottom up and cover the complete wall with this thin primer. Give it around 4 hours to dry thoroughly.

Next, we will re-coat the wall with undiluted primer, i.e., we would not add any water to primer. Reapply using the brush and the roller. Apply this coat from top down. This coat holds the first coat and helps to hold the paint and give a good finish.

Step 4 – Applying Paint

Elastomeric Paint is the preferred choice for exterior paint in comparison to normal exterior paint. Elastomeric Paint is a rubberized paint with high acrylic content. It has water repellent properties. Using a roller and a brush, apply this from top down. You need to apply two coats of the paint.

Alternatively, use conventional exterior paint; check for paint with 100% acrylic latex. You get to choose from an array of finishes from satin to gloss finish. Paint two coats in the same way as for elastomeric paint.

Caution: Do not use lead-based paints; these are hazardous when used in large quantities.