Tips for painting brick surfaces

Face brick homes are great, but they can look a bit samey, especially if there are a few of them on the street. The good news is that brightly painted brickwork looks fantastic, and can totally transform your house, inside and out. The bad news? Painting brick is not the easiest job you’ll encounter.

Exterior brickwork

Bricks are brittle and collect far more dirt and dust than plastered walls would. Exterior bricks also have the disadvantage of being exposed to the elements which creates further damage.

Preparing to paint exterior brick walls

Before you paint, you’ll need to clean. The first step is to grab a wire brush and scrub off the white powder that forms on brick surfaces. This powder is called efflorescence. Next, get rid of mould, mildew and other dirt by giving the walls a good powerwash – even a sandwash may be necessary.

Give the walls a few days to dry, just to make sure no more efflorescence appears. Use the time to check for cracks and other damage. The better you prepare, the longer your fresh paintwork will last.

Brighten up your interior brick walls

Livening up an old fireplace or dull feature wall with a colourful lick of paint does wonders for a home’s aesthetics. Even better news is that the prep required for interior bricks isn’t as laborious as for external. You’ll still need to scrub the bricks clean of efflorescence, but you’ll do so by hand and using a much milder cleaning solution. And don’t forget to caulk the cracks.

Painted bricks are easier to clean and the smoother surface means they don’t collect as much dust.

Before you start

Professionals say that painting brick is a specialist skill. To get it done right, you must use the correct primer, cleaning solution and paint. It requires a high degree of attention to detail, as you can’t just run a roller over the wall in large swathes. Instead, you’ll need a smaller brush and an eagle-eye to catch the drips.

Another factor to consider is that if you’ve painted your bricks white, for example, dirt will be far more visible than before and will increase your cleaning schedule dramatically. Furthermore, even the best paint job will need to be redone every 3 to 5 years.

Painted and changed your mind?

Unfortunately, once paint has seeped into the brickwork, there’s no turning back. Bricks are porous and the paint stain will stay lock inside forever. 

Painting bricks is for the experts

Unless your skill-levels are high, it’s best to call the professionals for brick painting. At Pelham Painters, we have the experience and expertise to clean and paint your brick walls so that it lasts for the longest possible time and creates maximum visual impact.