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The contractors who built my house have used a light color of bricks for my house. I feel it is too old and dull and so I'm considering painting over it or mixing joint compound in and applying on the bricks. Is this the right way to go?

The contractors who built my house have used a light color of bricks for my house. I feel it is too old and dull and so I'm considering painting over it or mixing joint compound in and applying on the bricks. Is this the right way to go?
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Posted 2016-11-08T09:33:25+0000  by Yak Yak
 

Hello Yak and welcome to the Community.

 

There are paints available for painting bricks or masonry surfaces.  Here is a link to: How to choose an exterior paint.  Here is a link to How to paint exteriors.

      


The key to a successful paint job especial on the exterior of a home is proper preparation. Before painting bricks always clean it thoroughly so that your application of paint better adheres.  Dirt and efflorescence should come off with soapy water and some diligent scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush.  If you need something stronger try trisodium phosphate (TSP):

 

A half-cup mixed into a gallon of water.  Consider using a pressure washer, especially if you need to clean a relatively large expanse of brickwork.  Where you encounter mildew, apply a solution of one-part bleach to three parts water; after letting it soak for half an hour, proceed to scrub the area with a wire brush. Never use acid cleaning solutions, any of which might compromise your paint job.


If the brick has been installed recently, allow it to dry and acclimate for at least a year before painting it. If the installation has already been in place for years, check the mortar for signs of damage. Repair small cracks with acrylic caulk. With more pronounced issues, repointing the brick may be necessary. Whether or not you make any repairs, remember that brick must be completely dry for the paint to adhere successfully. After cleaning, delay painting for a period of at least 24 hours.


Some things you should consider before you paint your bricks.  If you paint your exterior brick, you should be repainting it every three to five years. The quality of your brick also should determine your choice. Brick that's chipping, deteriorating, molding or in overall poor condition is always a bad candidate for paint. Paint blocks the natural pores in the brick's surface, which can cause existing problems to become exaggerated over time. When water seeps in through the mortar, it also seeps into the brick through the inside, and since the bulk of the surface area is blocked, the moisture cannot evaporate off, often this causes the paint to chip off.

 

An alterative to brick paint is, a brick stain penetrates the pores of the brick, unlike paint, which simply sits on the surface.


It creates new color without some of the long-term risks that come with paint.  With the brush that comes in the staining kit, test the stain on an inconspicuous part of the brick installation. Darken or lighten the tone by adding pigment or water, respectively. Once you have a mixture that imparts a color you like, spread on the stain by moving the brush in a uniform direction. Spread the stain as thinly possible, wait 24 hours, and then add a second coat.


Remember to wear goggles and gloves.

 

Thanks for your inquiry.

 

Charlotte

Posted 2016-11-08T15:57:52+0000  by Char_HD_CHI
I would strongly suggest that you think long and hard before painting your brick.  You will turn what is a surface that requires little to no maintenance into something that will have to be maintained on a regular basis - forever.  Every printed brick surface I've seen looks like, well, painted brick and remember that you are making more or less a permanent decision.  If, a couple of years from now, you decide that you don't like the look, because of brick's porous surface it's almost impossible to get all the paint out of the brick.

If you want a smooth surface, then the process is called parging and uses a cementitious mortar, not drywall joint compound.  Again, I would suggest you think long and hard about that too.  All too often parging is used as a inexpensive way to cover a failing masonry surface and make it look better.  When you go to sell you home, many potential buyers will wonder if the parging is hiding something.  It's also really not a DIY project.
Posted 2016-11-08T18:44:16+0000  by Adam444
I agree with Adam444

Charlotte

Posted 2016-11-08T19:07:52+0000  by Char_HD_CHI

As a lifelong painting contractor with a vested interest in painting things, I strongly advise DON'T Paint IT! Adam is exactly right!
Posted 2016-11-09T06:32:00+0000  by ordjen
 
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