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Can You/Should You Paint Over Brick?

Man painting the bricks

Many buildings constructed with bricks can be aesthetically pleasing. Some homeowners have thought about painting over the brick to bring a new look to their homes. That raises the question, can you or should you paint over brick?

Like most surfaces, it is possible to paint over brick. It is a great way to give your home a fresh look without doing a lot of construction. Paint can also add a layer of protection to keep the brick from weathering. However, painting over the brick is a permanent choice because returning to the original look is not easy.

For best results, you should follow a series of steps, but before following these steps, you should answer the question, should you paint over brick? It would be best to consider the pros and cons of painting over brick before answering that question. Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of painting over brick.

Should You Paint Over Brick, Why Yes, And Why Not?

Confused man standing

Some homeowners do not like the look of the original brick, while others love the look but still consider painting it to give their home a new look. Consider the pros and cons of painting over brick to help you make the right choice.

Painting over brick is a great way to change the look and protect it from the elements. It will also be easier to clean once painted. Adding paint is like adding a layer of protection that will keep your home looking beautiful for years to come.

Although there are many benefits to painting over brick surfaces, there are also some reasons you will want to consider carefully before making this choice.

Here are the pros of painting over brick. Natural brick is limited to just a few colors. However, adding paint can give your home a new custom look. You can paint it any color imaginable and change the color as many times as you like. Painting over the old brick can also increase your home’s curb appeal.

Painting brick can add protection from the weather. The new paint can act as a sealant, not allowing water to penetrate the brick while protecting its surface.

An added benefit of painting over your existing brick is that keeping it clean is more manageable because unpainted brick is more porous and allows dirt to embed on the surface easier than if sealed by a coat or two of paint.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Here are the cons of painting over brick. First, it is often permanent once you decide to paint your surface. Removing the paint and returning to the original look can be very difficult and expensive, damaging the brick.

In addition, water can become trapped inside the brick when sealed with paint leading to texturing and chipping. This happens when moisture enters the brick from an unsealed section, perhaps from the top or bottom of the structure, but cannot escape through the surface.

Although painted brick is easier to clean, dirt can readily show up depending on the color, which would require more cleaning.

Finally, many buildings have historical significance because the original construction remains intact. If painted, the structure can lose its historical value.

Can You Paint Over a Brick Fireplace?

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A fireplace is a featured part of many homes. Family and friends often spend hours gathering around the fireplace to warm themselves. But, after a while, a fireplace can begin to appear warm, dull, aged, or dirty. So can you paint over a brick fireplace?

You can paint over a brick fireplace to change its appearance. Painting over an existing fireplace can transform the room, giving it new life. In addition, you can paint it any color that complements the current colors of the room, making it an even more beautiful feature of the home.

However, a word of caution when considering painting over a brick fireplace. Due to the difference in temperature inside and outside the chimney, moisture can enter the bricks. In addition, the paint would seal the fireplace resulting in the water becoming trapped, leading to texturing and peeling over time.

Can You Paint Over Brick Backsplash?

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A home may have brick as a backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom. Some homeowners have considered painting over their backsplashes, but is it something you should consider? Will it ruin or improve the backsplash?

You can paint over a brick backsplash to update the look and prevent food and liquids from entering the pores of unpainted brick. Unpainted brick backsplashes can become unsafe due to a build-up of bacteria. Painting it will help seal the brick, keeping the area clean and sanitary.

You may want to change the look of your kitchen or bathroom, and painting over your brick backsplash may be a part of the new look. Again, you can choose a color that will complement the rest of the room.

The backsplash is often the victim of cooked or raw foods splashing against it in a kitchen. As a result, the porous brick can hold decaying food and develop a foul odor. Similarly, unpainted bricks found in bathrooms absorb water containing bacteria from washing hands or brushing teeth. The painting will seal the surface of the backsplash resulting in an area with fewer germs.

Can You Paint Over Brick Pavers?

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Home builders often use brick pavers for patios and driveways. They are installed in various patterns adding a beautiful look to the home. What if you want to change the look of your brick pavers? Can you paint over your brick pavers?

Painting over brick pavers is a great way to make old pavers look beautiful again. Since brick pavers come in relatively few colors, adding paint will significantly increase your color options.

Many people decide to paint over their brick pavers since, over time, they may not look as beautiful as they did on installation. Instead, they can appear dull, dirty, or aged because of the weather and exposure to the sun. However, you can paint them any color you want to complement your home.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Remember that since brick pavers often endure heavy foot and vehicle traffic, the paint can come off. Therefore, the more traffic, the sooner damage to the paint will occur.

An excellent alternative to painting your brick pavers is to clean them. Often, a good cleaning will rejuvenate the look of the original pavers. In addition, putting a clear seal coat over the cleaned pavers will keep them protected for longer.

Another option can be to stain your pavers. Stains for pavers can come in many different colors, and since this stain penetrates the pavers, they will give a natural look without the concern of peeling off under heavy traffic.

Can You Paint Over Brick Sealer/Sealant?

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Sealing bricks is a good idea since it reduces the amount of water penetrating the brick. Water entering the bricks can damage them and cause the weakening of the mortar joints holding them together. If the bricks in your home are sealed, you may wonder whether or not it’s a good idea to apply paint over the brick sealer.

You can apply paint over brick sealer/sealant. However, you would first use a masonry primer to adhere to the sealer. Once the masonry primer is dry, you can apply your first coat of paint.

Can You Paint Over Brick Veneer?

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You may look at a home, which may appear to be constructed of brick, but instead of brick, you may be looking at brick veneer. A brick veneer is usually a thin layer of brick installed over a wall. Removing the brick veneer to change the look can often damage the wall behind it and be labor-intensive and expensive. So can you paint over the brick veneer?

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Painting over brick veneer is an affordable and safer alternative to removing it. You can change the look of your brick veneer to any color you desire without risking damage to the walls. It is also something that most homeowners can do themselves, saving themselves a lot of money.

Can You Paint Over Brick Exterior?

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You can find bricks on the interior and exterior of the home. However, the bricks on the home’s exterior will experience more exposure to weather. Since the exposure to weather is greater on the outside, can you paint over the brick exterior?

Painting over the brick exterior is an excellent option to update the home’s look and protect it from the weather. Use waterproof exterior acrylic latex paint if you paint over your brick exterior. It provides a seal to increase waterproofing, and those rated for outdoor use can protect from sun damage.

Alternatively, you can use mineral masonry paint.

Can You Paint Over Brick Steps?

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Some homes have steps constructed with bricks. These are often beautiful and hold up well for years. However, if a homeowner wanted to change the look of the steps, is painting over them an option?

Painting over brick steps is an affordable solution to updating its look. Since the steps often endure heavy traffic, keep in mind that the paint will eventually chip and peel off. However, with proper preparation and good quality paint, your steps can look good for years to come.

Adding paint over the surface will also provide a waterproof seal that will prevent damage to the brick.

Can You Paint Over Varnished Brick?

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Varnish is often applied over brick to give it a shine or color and add protection. However, as the varnish loses its luster, the color fades, or the homeowner wants a different look, what options exist? One option is removing the existing brick and installing new brick, but that can be pretty expensive. So, most homeowners immediately think about painting over varnished brick.

Painting over varnished brick is a great way to change its appearance. You can successfully apply paint even with a layer of varnish already over the surface.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Since the brick has a layer of varnish on it, you will need to use a primer that can form a chemical bond to the varnished brick.

It is a good practice to use a wire brush to scuff the surface of the brick or a high-pressure power washer that will open the brick’s pores. Opening the pores will allow the primer to form a physical bond too. Once the primer has dried, you can apply the first coat of paint.

What Kind Of Paint Should You Use To Paint Over Brick?

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Painting over a brick surface is a popular choice for most homeowners because of the ease of installation and affordability. However, if you have decided to paint over your brick, you are now faced with another choice. What is the best paint to use over brick?

Two types of paint are best for painting over bricks, acrylic masonry paint and mineral masonry paint. Although they have different characteristics, both types provide a durable finish.

Acrylic masonry paints are plastic-based and are ideal for protection from weather and waterproofing bricks. It is the most common type of paint used to paint this surface and is widely available.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Mineral masonry paints are an excellent choice also. These paints penetrate the brick and adhere to the surface of the brick while allowing the brick to breathe still.

Water can enter and escape the brick since the pores will remain open. As a result, you will not have to worry about your paint peeling or becoming textured since moisture will never be completely trapped.

What Preparation Do You Need To Paint Over Brick?

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Now that you have decided to paint over your brick, what preparation do you need to make?

Prepare your brick for paint by making sure that the surface of your brick is clean. After thoroughly cleaning, inspect the surface to see if there are any cracked or damaged bricks that may need repairing. Once everything looks good, allow the surface to dry.

Good preparation can make the difference between a paint job lasting a short time or many years. Cleaning the brick well is an important step that you should not skip. Use a soapy solution of dish liquid or trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water to wet the surface and let it soak into the surface.

With the help of a stiff bristle brush or a high-power pressure washer, agitate the surface and rinse with clean water. You will have a clean, paintable surface.

Allow the brick to dry thoroughly. Be careful to allow enough time for the brick to dry as the surface may appear to be dry, but there may be quite a bit of water that has not dried on the inside of the brick.

Examine the surface to see if any cracks or chips need repairing or if bricks need replacing.

Use drop cloths on the floors and tape off the edges with painter’s tape. Use personal protective equipment such as safety eyewear, a mask/respirator, and gloves. Have your paintbrush, roller, or sprayer handy. You are now ready to begin painting.

How Long Does Paint Last On Brick?

As you prepare to paint over your brick, you may wonder how long does paint last on brick?

With proper care, paint can last on brick for 20 years. Of course, weather conditions and traffic will affect the life span of your painted surface, but with adequate preparation and good quality products, you can expect years of enjoyment.

How To Paint Over Brick Properly

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If you are going to paint over the brick at your home, you will likely want it to keep its beauty and last for years. For this to happen, you must do a good job of painting. So how can you paint over brick properly?

To paint brick properly, you will need to make sure the brick is clean, dry, and primed with a masonry primer. Then you can begin to apply your paint. For best results, you should apply two coats of paint.

Clean your surface thoroughly by using a soapy, degreasing solution. Then, agitate the surface with a brush or power washer and rinse clean. It would be best to allow enough time for the brick surface to dry thoroughly. Next, inspect your surface area bricks that may need repairing or replacing.

Lay out drop cloths and tape off the edges with painter’s tape. Cut the edges with masonry primer and then cover the entire surface with the primer using a brush, roller, or sprayer. Be sure to get one hundred percent coverage with the primer, applying two coats of primer if necessary.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 06/14/2022.

Allow the primer to dry, and then apply two coats of good quality acrylic paint, either interior or exterior depending on your application.

If you decide to use mineral masonry paint, you do not need to use a primer. However, you must clean your surface and then apply your paint.

So, homeowners, are you still wondering whether you should paint over your brick surfaces? What should you remember?

As a general rule, you can successfully paint over brick, giving it a new look and gaining added protection. Paint over brick if you want to seal it, giving it a waterproof coat. Attractive color options and affordability make covering your surface an attractive option.