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Painting or Staining Brick

Category Painting
man painting brick
Sometimes you want to change the color of a brick wall, fence or patio. Preparing it properly and choosing the right product will help the stain or paint adhere to the brick. This is a guide about painting or staining brick.


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By 3 found this helpful
July 15, 2011

We painted a brick house recently, and we were puzzled about how we were going to get the mortar painted short of taking a brush and painting it by hand. We took a sprayer used to fill with weed killer and thinned down the paint, then we put it in the sprayer, pumped it up, set it on spray, and sprayed the mortar in the brick. It worked beautifully and took very little time to get the job done.


We also thinned the paint to paint the brick with. What would have took a week to do the job, took only two days to get the whole house done, spraying and rolling the paint on the house. We would have been done in one day, but we took off because of the heat.

By Cassie

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By 0 found this helpful
January 22, 2011

Has anybody had good success painting an ugly brick fireplace? I still want a rustic look, just not the ugly brick. The house has a lodge feel with lots of tongue and groove wood walls.

By Amy from Oneonta, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
January 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

There's a church in town that was built with used bricks in the 1950s. It is multicolored due to old paint on the brick. It has a bit of cream, black and and rust and it's very pretty and adds character.


If you are intent on changing the brick's facade, have you thought of using a hard resolution sponge

and cut it into large pieces according to how many paint colors you use. Doing the inner brick only, dab the brick using one color and the next brick another color. Ever so often allow the original brick to be bare. Try using the colors already in the room or use earth colors only and don't allow the paint to heavily penetrate into the brick. If you're looking to get a rustic appeal, some of the original brick will need to be seen to obtain this look. Do this in an informal way keeping one color far from the next brick. Also, dab the paint on each brick some areas lighter than another area so it looks natural, but leave about a half inch around each brick the original color. If you don't like it you can always paint it a solid color. This keeps it from being boring, gives character to the original brick and will add charm to a lodge/cabin.

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January 24, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Unless you have your heart set on paint and a particular paint color I personally suggest to use concrete stain because the stain would have a more rustic look and hold up better over time.

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January 25, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had an ugly fireplace in my family room which stood out like a sore thumb. When I painted the room, I painted the fireplace the same color which helped it "disappear" somewhat. I used the same latex paint that the room was painted and used a paintbrush to get into all the uneven surfaces.

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January 25, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I personally think brick looks best left as it is, but that is just my opinion. It seems to me that if the rest of the house is natural wood, it would be a mistake to paint the fireplace. However, as I said, that is just my personal taste. And I haven't seen your fireplace.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2009

I would like to paint our existing interlocking red brick ground-level patio (approx. 20 feet x 8 feet). I have grown tired of the red, but would rather paint than replace.

Any advice on whether painting is feasible (part of the patio is protected by an upper deck; part is open to the elements) and if feasible, I'm looking for advice on the best process to follow to paint. Thanks!

By Karebear2 from Calgary, AB

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 11, 20090 found this helpful

Painting bricks that are to the weather is not a good idea. However, if that is your desire I would lift up a couple of bricks in a traveled area that is unprotected to the weather and paint them color of your choice. Then replace them and see how they stand up to the traffic and weather. If the results are poor then just turn the bricks over to the natural red side and place them back in their slots.

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

First you need to power wash the brick. You can probably rent a power-washer at your local hardware or rental store. Let the brick dry thoroughly for a couple of days, and then fill in any cracks in the mortar with caulk. Because there are many different types of bricks, it is important to get an acrylic primer and paint designed specifically for brick and masonry products, such as Drylock. Good luck!

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May 14, 20090 found this helpful

I would not paint the brick as it will become a maintenance headache, particularly because it's a horizontal surface that people will be walking on.

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September 23, 20160 found this helpful

I'm also in Calgary, Karen, and experimenting this year with whitewash (on my gound-level back deck). Given the size of mine (75 x 8), I was looking for something not only economical but also environmentally friendly. Whitewash answers both, but can also be tinted (if you don't want stark white).

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March 22, 20150 found this helpful

What products are needed before painting a brick home's exterior, for sealing, etc.?

By Kathy G.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 26, 2010

Can you stain fireplace bricks to a new color?

By Joanie from Orange County, NY

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

May 10, 20090 found this helpful

What paint do I use for basement exterior brick?

Linda from Ludington, MI


Painting Exterior Brick

I was told to "tar" it because it also will seal it and keep the moisture out. A contractor at my mom's told me this, and that it is much better than painting it. (09/23/2008)

By Sharon

Painting Exterior Brick

It likely needs cleaning first, if for no other reason that to remove loose debris prior to painting. This can be easily accomplished by renting a pressure washer. Take care not to concentrate the flow on the grout lines as that will quickly erode the mortar. Allow the surface to "completely" dry before painting.

Brick is very porous and so should be treated with an exterior acrylic masonry primer (Zinsser Bullseye 123 is one possibility) prior to painting or staining. Also, if a more smooth painting surface is desired, products such as Sherwin-Williams' PrepRite Block Filler allow the topcoat to be more uniform and unbroken.

Proper prep is everything when painting or re-painting brick or concrete block work. (09/23/2008)

By qtpuh2tme

Painting Exterior Brick

You need to be certain, sure and positive. Painting brickwork is pretty much a one-way street. You can NOT decide you don't like the "look" and go back to brick.

By BeanTownSteve

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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