Painting an Interior Brick Wall

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner or duster brush
Soap or detergent
Lightweight spackling paste
Regular caulking
Acrylic primer
Water based paint
Lamb wool roller

An old, discolored interior brick wall can be painted so that your walls become more lively and harmonious with the rest of the interior décor. Even if painting the interior brick wall is not difficult, it can be tiresome. You will need to clean and prepare the surface and buy some supplies to get the work done.

Clean the Brick Wall

It is essential to remove dust and clean the brick wall before you start painting it. Remove all pictures and nails from the wall. You may use a vacuum cleaner to eliminate the accumulated dust or use a duster brush. You will also have to use a mild soap or detergent to clean the surface, even if it looks clean. Soaps or detergents that contain trisodium phosphate are ideal. Allow 24 hours for the brick wall to dry.

Repair the Brick and Mortar

While cleaning the brick wall, you may find some cracks or holes in the brick and mortar. As these cannot be filled using primer or paint, you will need to use special materials. Use the lightweight spackling paste to fill smaller cracks and holes, and regular caulking for more visible cracks and holes. You may also opt for textured caulking, which will look like mortar when dry.

Apply the Primer

Use an acrylic primer for brick walls. Apply one coating of primer using a roller and a brush for the mortar and other smaller areas. Allow the primer to dry. You can choose a primer that dries within one or two hours so that you can go on to the painting phase on the same day.

You may notice that a brick wall absorbs more primer than regular walls do because the bricks are more porous. For the same reason, applying a second coating of primer is recommended. Some may also apply a third coating, especially if the bricks and the mortar are very porous.

Apply the Paint

A brick wall is more difficult to paint than a regular wall that has a softer surface so you should select a water-based paint. Acrylic paints will cover the brick easily and are easier to apply. Oil-based paints may be applied, but it will make your job more difficult and will dry slower. Use a roller to cover the brick wall with paint. Start from the top and move your way downwards. Use a smaller brush for corners and areas that are less accessible and those that cannot be covered with paint when using a roller.

Look for any drips and runs and use the brush to make the necessary touchups. Allow the paint to dry. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on the paint you use. You may apply a second coat of paint if needed.

You are all set to bring your brick wall back to life with a little paint. It may be more work than you anticipated, but it will be well worth it in the end.