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Victoria Cottle

Paint your Brick? Ah…no..unless

A lot of times we will look at something on our house that looks dull or abused and say “I’ll just put a coat of paint on it.” Well, that goes for about everything but brick, unless…

  • Although you have good intentions, painting brick will probably destroy it. Brick is designed to “breathe.” If you put a coat of paint on it, the paint acts like a membrane or water barrier and traps the moisture. Once the moisture is trapped bad things can happen.
  • Trapping the moisture can cause damage to your structure. Trapped moisture does not go through freeze-thaw cycles well at all. It can cause the brick face to erode. Once your face erodes and then your mortar, time to pay for a facelift and it puts your structural integrity at risk.
  • The curb appeal you were trying to create can disappear really fast. Once the paint starts peeling and flaking, your house starts to look nasty and neglected. Really bad.
  • Make sure you aren’t destroying history. If you live in an older home, check to see what year the brick was made. Painting over old brick can destroy its historic value. If you are looking to get your home on the historic register they have rules about authenticity.
  • It’s not easy to undo a brick paint job. It can’t be power washed or sand blasted it has to be stripped with chemicals. Do you really want to pollute your environment?
  • There are some options that make it ok to paint brick. If it has already been painted before then it is easier to paint again rather than strip it. Make sure to use a paint made for brick like KEIM Mineral paints. If your brick is severely damaged or if the brick was meant to be painted. But beware, it’s not typical latex paint. And lastly, if the brick in inside your home where you don’t have moisture issues.

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