Wait, You Can Paint Brick?
If you’re like many people, it might be a surprise to you that painting exterior brick is even within the realm of possibility. You might think (or recall) that brushing paint onto brick can result in an uneven, porous mess. It is true that the porous and uneven nature of bricks
can make them a challenge to paint, but with proper preparation and technique, painted brick can be a beautiful addition to the exterior of your home. If you’re worried about a painted brick project lending an amateurish air to the façade of your northern NJ home, a professional residential painting service in NJ may be a better solution than a do-it-yourself attempt.
Should I Paint my Exterior Brickwork?
Homeowners know best as to what kind of look and feel they want their home to have. The subtle, textured look of painted brick can certainly be pleasing and give a home a unique, vintage essence. However, painting exterior brick should not be done on a whim and requires serious planning.
There are several considerations you must think through before deciding on painting your exterior brick. For example, you should consider that natural brick, once it is painted, will never return to its original look. Since bricks have many nooks and crannies, paint will be impossible to remove completely. Another consideration is efflorescence, a salty, white powder that will seep out of the brick. This can be difficult to clean off prior to painting and must be scrubbed away with a stiff wire brush. In a humid area such as Essex County, NJ, exterior painting must also involve the removal of mildew or mold that can accumulate in the crevices of the brick. Painting the brick may not prevent mildew or dirt from accumulating on the new surface, so lighter colors may prove very difficult to keep clean over time. Finally, you should keep in mind that painting brick will require about twice the amount of paint necessary for other materials, and that the resulting surface will not be any easier to clean than exposed brickwork.
How to Paint Exterior Brick
Many residential painting services in NJ and across the country offer services for exterior brick. There are many steps to follow in order to achieve the desired look, and painting professionals must make sure no mistakes are made that could cause bubbling, peeling, or underlying mold contamination.
First, the painters will clean the brick thoroughly, using a pressure washer and other tools to blast, scrub, and sand away dirt, efflorescence, and mildew from the existing brick. Once this is accomplished, the brick must dry completely before painting can take place. If not, moisture trapped in the brick can cause bubbling or peeling later on. Then, unpainted areas will be covered with painter’s tape and newspaper, and any cracks in the brick or mortar must be repaired to achieve an even, uniform look. Before the painting can occur, the painters must first layer on a latex primer to conceal imperfections and provide a base layer for even color. Finally, painters will use a paint sprayer to coat the brick with either acrylic (1 coat) or elastodynamics (2 coats) paint. While elastodynamics paint is dense and repels water, acrylic paint will help homeowners avoid mildew. Depending on what climate your home is in, you may find one more beneficial than the other. After an initial coat or two of paint, the painters will use paintbrushes or rollers to go over areas for more precision or coverage. Once dry, you will be able to enjoy your home’s new look.