Are You Supposed to Paint Brick?

Are You Supposed to Paint Brick?

Before taking a step like that, it’s important to make sure you understand the consequences.

Unpainted brick is largely maintenance-free. Painted brick will need to be repainted every three to five years — and painting brick, especially correctly, isn’t cheap — a 2,500 square-foot home could easily cost $10,000 to paint.

Trapping moisture

Many kinds of paint aren’t porous — which can prevent brick walls from breathing and trap moisture behind the paint. That can cause cracking, peeling and lifting of the paint, and even of the masonry behind the paint.

Trapped moisture can eventually impact the integrity of the mortar, potentially causing the wall surface to fail.

There are different types of paint that can work well with mortar, such as mineral paints that are absorbed into the surface of the brick and change its color without sealing the surface. These can be hard to find, however.

Cement-based paints adhere well to brick and allow the wall to breathe, while making a wall less likely to absorb free water. These paints are difficult to apply. Packaged in powdered form, cement-based paints should be mixed immediately before painting for the best results.

Different kinds of specialty latex paints can also do an adequate job, but some do not work well on chalky surfaces. Make sure your painters are using the appropriate kind of paint before allowing them to proceed or the end result could be very unpleasant.

Increased value?

You should think long and hard before moving forward with a decision to paint brick. Remember, bricks come in a variety of colors — and those colors will last for the life of your home.

For more information about our wide selection of bricks for your new home construction, contact us.