Exterior house painting is a big decision but it certainly makes a huge impact. This is especially true when painting the exterior of a brick home. Painted brick creates a classic look even when it is on a modern or contemporary house. Sometimes natural brick can look great, and other times the color of the brick may give your house an outdated appearance. The decision to paint the brick or not to paint the brick can be a tough one. Most of the time it comes down to personal preference. 

When painting the brick exterior of your home, there are some important considerations. Osborne Painting has expertise in painting brick and can assist you if you are trying to make a decision. We thought it would be helpful to point out in this article some of the things you need to consider when painting a brick house.

Benefits of Painting an Exterior Brick Home

If your brick home has an outdated appearance because the natural color of the brick is red, orange, or yellow, a fresh coat of paint in another color has benefits.

Improves Curb Appeal

THings to know when painting a brick homeThere is no doubt that painting an outdated brick house is a great way to improve the curb appeal as well as increase the value of the home. Colors such as slate gray, sage green, soft whites, or classic white make a beautiful visual impact.

Protects from the Elements

When the house is painted properly, the paint provides a seal that protects the exterior of the house from the elements and weather changes. Paint may also reduce deterioration and fading.

Cleans Easily

The porous nature of brick makes it prone to collect and trap dirt, which can be difficult to remove. Painted brick has a smooth surface that is easier to clean with power washing.

What to Consider

These are some important considerations when painting exterior brick.

Quality of the Brick

Brick that is chipping, deteriorating, or molding, and in an overall bad condition, is not a candidate for paint, even though you think the paint will hide those. Because paint blocks the natural pores of the brick’s surface, these issues can worsen over time. 

Moisture and Water Damage

It’s extremely important to look for signs of water damage before you paint over brick. When you see damp spots, mold, and peeling paint, you will need to fix the underlying causes and then let the brick dry completely. If paint is applied to damp masonry, the water can get trapped inside the wall and cause the new coat of paint to peel off or develop hairline cracks. This will let in more moisture and water and can cause extensive damage inside the wall. A painting professional like Osborne Painting can prevent these potential problems by using specialty products that allow water to evaporate outside while preventing moisture from getting in.


Paint is relatively permanent. It can fade over time but typically paint is long-lasting. If at some point in the future you or another homeowner wants to remove the paint and return the brick to its natural state, you are facing an involved, complex, and expensive restoration process. Only professionals with expert knowledge and specialized skills should be trusted with such a project.

Excessive Alkalinity

Bricks are usually neutral but the mortar in which they are set contains certain soluble mineral salts, called alkalis. Alkalis affect oil-based paint products and will lead to the disintegration of the paint film. An experienced painter knows to apply an alkali-resistant primer to prevent alkali-based paint failure.

Ongoing Maintenance

After painting the exterior brick on your house, you will need to repaint regularly. When you keep painted surfaces in good condition, the walls will have the protection they need against the weather and elements. The quality of the paint and the color will direct how often you will need to repaint. Here’s a tip: Using a top-quality primer and paint as well as a light color such as white, off-white, cream, or ivory will avoid frequent repainting.

The Importance of Prepping

The importance of proper prepping can’t be emphasized enough. The project can be compromised when the prepping process is rushed. Make sure that the brick is cleaned with a hose, stiff-bristled brush, and a cleaning mixture like soapy water first. If the brick is really dirty, a stronger cleaning agent may be needed. Afterward, allow the brick to dry for at least 24 hours. Then, seal cracks and renew the external mortar joints if needed. If there is efflorescence (a milky white residue that can be found on older brick walls caused by salt in water), remove it with water and a stiff brush. Wait for a while to see if it returns and, if it does, this may indicate that you have a serious water issue.

Best Type of Paint

Use high-quality paint that is porous and allows the brick to breathe. An acrylic latex paint that is breathable and specific masonry paint products such as a conditioner and primer are the best in order to achieve a long-lasting, beautiful result.

Contact Osborne Painting to Paint Your Brick House

Painting a brick house is a huge project that has many factors to consider, as you can see. Our experienced and professional team of exterior house painters will ensure that your home is painted properly and looks great for years to come. We use only the best materials and paint to give you a flawless paint job that you will love. To get a free estimate, contact us at (919) 878-6611 or complete the easy-to-use form below.

Get a Free Estimate on Your Home Painting Project

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get back to you shortly.