How To Paint Brick

Knowing how to paint brick properly is important if you wish to protect the exterior brick of your home. In addition, it is a cost-effective way to change the appearance of your home. Properly preparing the brick is essential to a successful project.

The tools you will need:

  • Pressure washer
  • Detergent
  • A tall Ladder
  • Scrub brush
  • Wire brush
  • Circular sander
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Acrylic mortar patch
  • Acrylic or latex Primer
  • Elastomeric or acrylic paint
  • Paint sprayer
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint rollers
  • Drop clothes


  1. The first step in the preparation process is to clean the brick. Set your pressure washer between 1500 to 2000 PSI. Any setting higher than that and you risk damaging the mortar. Add soap to thoroughly clean mildew deposits, and to remove all loose dirt.
  2. Armed with your scraper and wire brush remove all loose paint and repair all damaged mortar.  Once the scraping is complete use a circular saw with 80 grit sandpaper to smooth the brick. Use a premixed acrylic mortar patch to repair damaged mortar. This type of mortar dries quickly, and you can start priming as soon as the patch is dry.
  3. Applying a suitable primer to the brick is a key element of success. Use either acrylic or latex masonry type primers. Be sure to prime mildewed areas first in case a second coat is needed on problem spots. The primer needs to be completely dry before the final top coat can be applied.
  4. Any place where water can seep into is a trouble area and must be caulked and sealed. Before you begin caulking and sealing brush any loose material from the area. Caulk around the chimney, doors, windows and all trim. Only acrylic caulk should be used.
  5. It is now time to paint the top coat. Acrylic and elastomeric type paints are the best choices for painting brick. For a more durable surface two coats should be applied. Spray the first coat, and then back brush the surface. When applying the second coat no back brushing is needed. Some prefer to back roll instead of using a brush, this method is acceptable.

As has been mentioned, preparation is the key to a successful project. Failing to adhere to the methods listed can result in peeling paint, and loose mortar joints.

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