Brick houses often create a dilemma for homeowners wanting to give their exterior a fresh look. Often, they seek friends’ and even Google’s advice, asking, “Should I paint my brick house?” It’s not an easily reversed decision, so you’ll want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of painting brick, among other factors. This post helps you weigh the pros and cons of choosing to paint your brick house.
Reasons people paint brick
Brick is a high-quality cladding, and for many homeowners, it seems natural and preferable to leave it bare—for aesthetic and practical reasons. But if you walk around just about any neighborhood with brick homes, you’ll find more than a few with painted brick. Hand-made bricks, typically those made before 1870, should be painted (for protection). For some homes, paint can make the addition of new bricks or room additions feel more uniform. And still, others paint over the brick just because they like the color.
- Is the brick dated? Some brick colors don’t look vintage. They just look outdated.
- What’s the norm in your neighborhood? If no one has painted their brick, you may think twice. However, if there is no HOA ban on it, you may think of it as starting a new trend.
- Are you planning on selling soon? Especially if other brick houses in your neighborhood are painted. A fresh coat of paint on your brick can raise resale value.
- Are you prepared to clean it? Painted brick will show dirt more than unpainted brick, so you’ll need to wash it from time to time.
Advantages of painting brick
- Style. In many neighborhoods, the trend is toward lighter colors, and paint on brick delivers that lightness and on-trend curb appeal.
- Protection. A coat of paint can provide another level of protection for your exterior surface and extend the good life of your brick. (NOTE: It’s essential to prep correctly and use breathable paint on brick.)
- Personal enjoyment. Your house color is an expression of your personality, and coming home to a fresh coat of paint in your color choice makes it feel even more like “home.”
- Curb appeal. If you are considering selling your home, painting the brick on the exterior can freshen up the look and feel of an older home. The brick house painted before and after can be pretty impressive!
- Easier to clean. The smooth surface of paint can make your home’s exterior easier to clean. It exposes the mildew or soiled spots that a natural brick surface might cover up for better or worse.
Disadvantages of painting brick
- It’s nearly irreversible. Removing paint from brick is challenging due to its porosity and almost always requires professionals to do significant paint removal and chemical wash work.
- Less forgiving of cosmetic flaws or grime. Light paint color can reveal dirt and other defects that natural brick masks more readily.
- Smothering may occur. This disadvantage applies primarily to DIY or inexperienced painters. Using non-breathable paint can smother your brick and trap moisture in the brick and grout, causing structural and cosmetic problems. Painting brick is definitely a job for professional painting contractors.
Best color to brick house
If you’re leaning toward painting, you may be thinking ahead to what color you want to use. It is a question of your personal taste, but there are trends that you can follow. Southern Living recommended one of our favorites, Sherwin-Williams’ Pure White SW 7005, for a Colonial transformation. Some other colors their authors suggested include Gale Force (Navy) by Sherwin-Williams and Black Magic (Modern black) by Sherwin-Williams.
To get a visual of what your brick home would look like with a new coat of paint, you can upload a picture of your home to Sherwin-Williams’ Color Snap Visualizer.
Cost to paint brick house
That depends, but a 2022 calculation from Homewyse shows a range of $2.12 to $4.08 per square foot. For a 2,000 square foot home, that range is $4,240 to $8,160. The cost of painting a brick home includes paint, labor, paint supplies and equipment, and preparation (such as power washing). That is a good bang for the buck if you compare painting a brick exterior to other major home projects, like an add-on.
Are you entertaining the idea of painting your brick home now? A painting contractor with experience can provide some guidelines and anecdotes to help you decide what’s right for you. Contact ONiT Painting for an estimate. When you schedule a project with ONiT Painting, you receive a checklist that outlines a complete list of what you can expect from us, what needs preparation, and other tips to make the process as smooth and pain-free as possible. We look forward to working with you to transform your brick home.