The Brick Industry Association touts brick for its strength, energy efficiency and low maintenance, but sometimes brick can appear dated or downright ugly. Painting your brick exterior can go a long way toward updating your home.
Whether you choose to do the work yourself or hire a professional, the same steps, particularly careful preparation, should be followed.
Clean the bricks: Use a wire brush, soap and water to clean the bricks, or use a power washer. For hard to remove stains, you can mix water with phosphate-free trisodium phosphate (TSP). Use approximately one-half cup to a gallon of water. For mold, mix one-part bleach to three parts water and scrub with a wire brush.
Repair cracks and missing mortar: If you’re painting the brick for the first time, buy a premixed mortar patch, then caulk and seal any cracks in the brick as trapped moisture can cause paint to peel.
Use masonry primer before painting: Like TSP, latex masonry primer is made for hard surfaces like brick. Allow the primer to dry before you begin to paint. Apply two coats of paint for coverage, and wait for the first coat to dry before applying the second.