When you think of brick houses you probably picture the generic reddish-orange brick color. However, that’s not always the case. Incorporating bricks into your home design can mean more than just a red-bricked wall. Painted brick houses are coming back into popularity. If you’re not too fond of the typical red color, you could always paint over it with another color. The most common alternatives are grey and white. One of the many benefits of having a painted brick house is that it is easier to clean. The smooth painted surface removes the little nooks and crannies unpainted bricks would have. Painted brick houses also add “curb appeal” to the home. Aesthetics aside, painted bricks can also be a protective barrier when used on the house’s exterior.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating removing classic exposed brick walls in interior design and decor BUT … Painted brick houses just give the place a more elevated look, here are some examples.
White-painted brick houses
Photo: One Kindesign
Patrick Murphy Builders built this white-painted brick house. It is located in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The white-painted brick adds to the warm and inviting look of the house. It also makes the place look very timeless.
Black and white are timeless colors and pair very well together. A super common way to style around white-painted brick houses is to add black trims and accents to them. It makes the house look effortlessly elegant and high-end.
Preparing to Paint a Brick House
First things first, when you’re preparing to paint a brick house, make sure you have a clean canvas. That means making sure the brick’s surface is free of any debris or stains that may affect the paint job. House Beautiful suggests a light power wash for the exterior brick and dish soap for the interior brick. Give the brick about one to two full days to dry before anything is put on it.
The next step is crucial: make sure you use some kind of primer for the paint. This will provide a smoother surface for the paint to go on and it’ll help get into all the nooks and crannies. A synthetic bristle brush would suffice for this type of paint job. If you’re painting a larger area and would like to use a roller, choose one with a high nap — at least half an inch. This will ensure that the primer gets into all the crevices. Let your primer dry completely between coats and before topping with paint.
One tip given by Architectural Digest is to repair any small cracks in the brick with acrylic caulk before painting your brick surface.
The next step after your prepping is choosing what kind of paint you want for your bricks. Many suggest acrylic latex for exterior brickwork. That’s because this type of paint is designed to withstand mildew and grease and is able to quickly evaporate any moisture that the bricks absorb.
More white-painted brick houses
White-painted brick houses are commonly colonial-style homes. The colonial period used neutral colors, such as white, very liberally to paint houses. White brick colonial houses in this day and age tie back to the colonial era’s simplicity. It’s also a great way to make your home’s exterior design look timeless.
This white-painted brick house looks minimal yet effortlessly elegant. The white and black combination is super popular and a great and easy way to modernize the look of a home.
This Tudor-styled house designed by Maggie Griffin Design, is a great way to exemplify how you can spice up a painted brick house. The patchiness of the paint adds more character to the house and boosts curb appeal.
Long-Term Maintenance Tips for Painted Brick Houses
Having a painted brick house requires more upkeep and maintenance. To maintain the appearance of your painted brick, there are some things you should do:
Regular cleaning! It’s important to regularly clean your painted brick surface so dirt and grime don’t build up over time. That can result in damaging the paint as it will be harder to clean the painted brick. Cleaning your painted brick house regularly will help extend its ‘new’ look and make your house exterior look more clean. Maehunt Home Service also advises sealing the brick after cleaning it to help protect against UV rays and moisture.
To maintain the longevity and color of your paint, avoid using harsh chemical cleansers when cleaning it. You should also avoid using power washes regularly as the pressure can slowly chip away at the paint job. Sometimes the best wash job you can do for your painted bricks is just some soap and water.
Grey-painted brick house
Grey-painted bricks can add an element of elegance to the house. The soft neutral color of the brick used in this house makes the place look calm and sophisticated. One benefit of using grey bricks is that they can be used on the exterior or interior of the home.
Modern painted brick house
This black-painted brick house boosts curb appeal. Black is an excellent neutral color to paint over brick to elevate the look of the home and makes it seem more modern and sophisticated. Instead of using black only for the trims, painting the bricks black and then adding lighter colors as accents is an excellent alternative for those who prefer a darker, sleeker house design.
Frequently Asked Questions about Painting Brick Houses
Can you paint over a previously painted brick surface?
The short answer is yes, you can paint over previously painted bricks. As you’ve probably done with the first layer of paint, make sure the brick’s surface is clean and as smooth as possible. Then, apply a compatible primer, this would depend on the type of paint you’ve used in the past or are going to use.
Woodwiss Painting suggests using warm water and a mild cleaner to wipe down anything stuck to the brick and to smooth out the surface. Make sure your brick surface is completely dry before going in with the paint.
How often should a painted brick house be repainted?
Painted brick does require more maintenance in that you will need to scrape and repaint to keep it looking fresh periodically. Luke Olson, a senior associate with GTM Architects in Bethesda, MD said in The Washington Post that you will likely need to repaint your bricks every three to five years. But this also depends on the condition of the bricks.
What are the alternatives to painting brick exteriors?
If you’re worried about the paint trapping moisture in the bricks, a good alternative is to use brick stains, which provide a similar look but are still breathable to allow any moisture that makes its way into the walls to escape. Another option is German schmear, a technique where you smear mortar mixed with cement over the brick to whiten it out.
P.S. One week from now, I’ll be at the New York International Gift Fair setting up the COCOCOZY booth! This is my fourth time showing the collection in NYC. So exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time!
P.P.S. Going to dinner tonight with some fun friends…lots of couples…nice couples…need a date…any ideas…I am open to suggestions. 🙂
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Photos: Ty Larkins