Many modern homes incorporate brick in some way, whether it makes up their home’s siding or chimney, or graces an interior wall or fireplace. Of course, as with any surface, you can choose to leave your brick alone or coat it. Painted brick boasts a charm all its own, but is it right for your home? Whether or not you decide to paint your brick features is ultimately a matter of preference. That said, there are certain advantages and challenges that come with painting brick, which may help inform your choice. Here we’ll go over the major pros and cons of painting over brick.
Let’s start with the positives of brick painting. First, as is the case when painting any surface, the paint acts as a protective barrier that keeps moisture and contaminants from damaging the underlying material. While brick is naturally durable, it’s also porous and coarse, making it highly susceptible to moisture intrusion and attractive to dust, dirt, and other small particles. Exterior brick surfaces are especially vulnerable to harm, as they’re open to the whims of the weather. Exterior home painting helps you maintain your brick’s (and home’s) integrity.
The next benefit of brick painting has to do with appearances. On its own, brick is already aesthetically appealing. However, over time, that natural beauty can fade. Plus, you might decide that bare brick doesn’t match your vision for your home’s exterior or interior. Whatever the case may be, hiring a reliable painting company to paint over your brick gives you control over its looks, covering up flaws and signs of aging while introducing new colors that elevate your home overall.
Finally, painted brick surfaces are easier to clean. As mentioned earlier, bare brick is coarse, making it difficult to clean. Exterior brick can be pressure washed, but you have to be careful to not damage the surface, and interior brick can only be cleaned manually. Paint creates a smooth surface over the rough one and blocks the brick’s pores so fewer particles get stuck in the material.
There is plenty to love about painted brick, but this decision isn’t without its drawbacks. The biggest hurdle has to do with preparation. Professional interior and exterior painting companies can explain the importance of proper surface preparation before painting any surface. When it comes to brick, though, this prep work is even more involved. The surface must be thoroughly cleaned beforehand, which, as mentioned above, takes a lot of time and effort. Additionally, all cracks must be filled to ensure the surface is secure. The brick must then be sealed prior to painting. All of these steps are necessary if you want the best results.
When it’s finally time to paint your brick, understand that your brushes and/or rollers might take a hit. Even after being sealed, the rough texture can damage your painting applicators. So, be prepared to dispose of some brushes by the end. To avoid this problem, some people decide to use a sprayer instead, which is often a good choice for exterior home painting.
Another problem with painted brick is that the process is difficult to undo. In other words, once the brick is painted, there’s really no going back. If this permanence doesn’t bother you, then it’s hardly a con. But, there’s always the chance that you might wish to bring your brick back to its original state in the future. If so, you will have a hard time getting there.
Lastly, while painted brick is easier to clean than bare brick, it also requires more frequent maintenance. If you want to keep your paint job looking its best, you might have to clean and/or touch up your surfaces every two to three years.
There are plenty of reasons to paint your brick, and plenty of reasons not to. Your decision will depend on whether the pros outweigh the cons, and what matters most to you. If you decide to paint your brick surface, it’s wise to hire a painter with the knowledge and experience necessary for this challenging but worthwhile task. At All American Painting Plus, our people can expose, clean, seal, and paint your brick features, wherever they are. To learn more about us and everything we do for our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at 703-620-5563!
All American Painting Plus is thrilled to be named Best Painter in Northern Virginia Magazine's Best of Northern Virginia. Winners are chosen by their read-ers, Northern Virginia locals who pick the companies they trust most to do things right. We're proud to be recognized for excellence in residential painting. If you live or work in Northern Virginia, find out why your neighbors and colleagues named us Northern Virginia's best painter.