Painting your home’s exterior brick is a quick solution for many homeowners wanting a change—but is it the best solution?
Painted brick requires continued maintenance after a few years, so it may not be the best option.
Before heading to the hardware store and adding all kinds of brushes and paints to your cart, you should understand the limited pros and cons of painting exterior brick and brick surfaces.
Painting a brick house is a complex task that requires the right tools, materials, and techniques to achieve a professional and long-lasting result.
Brick houses are known for their durability and natural beauty. Still, sometimes they may look tired or outdated, and a fresh coat of paint can do wonders. However, painting a brick house is more complex than applying paint to a stable wall surface. Bricks are porous and have a rough texture that can make the paint adhere unevenly or peel over time. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare the surface properly, choose the right color and primer, and follow the proper steps to ensure a good outcome.
On the other hand, staining a brick house can be a better option than painting it because it highlights the natural color and texture of the bricks while protecting against weathering and fading. Moreover, stains are designed to penetrate the surface, which means they are more resistant to peeling and flaking and require less maintenance. So if you’re considering giving your brick house a new look, consider staining it instead of painting it for a more natural, durable, and low-maintenance finish.
Pros and Cons of Painting Brick
- Aesthetic appeal: Painted brick homes are popular. White is one of the most sought-after colors, making it easy to match with other elements of the home’s exterior.
- Cost-effective: Painting brick is usually an affordable home improvement solution.
- Conceals damage: Paint can hide existing damage, such as chips, cracks, and discoloration.
- Easier to clean: The smoother surface of painted brick can make it easier to clean.
- Maintenance: Painted brick requires regular maintenance, including touch-ups for chipped or peeling areas and regular cleaning for lighter-colored painted brick.
- Limited lifespan: Paint can start to bubble, blister, chip, and peel within a few years.
- Moisture problems: Most paint is not vapor-permeable, trapping moisture within the brick, leading to potential damage.
- Difficulty in changing colors: Changing the hue or tint of painted brick can be difficult and expensive.
- Required touch-ups: Painted brick requires regular touch-ups and should be repainted every 3-5 years, depending on the climate.
Why Staining Brick is Better?
While painting brick is okay, we don’t promote doing so. This is because the cons of painting brick far outweigh the pros.
Instead, we feel that staining brick is better. Although it may be more pricey upfront, it does save you money in the long run and is well worth the cost.
Staining Brick is Environmentally Friendly
Brick, made of shale and clay, is widely available and is natural. This makes it easy to recycle and easy for other DIY projects around the house. The materials we use to stain the brick are all-natural, eco-friendly minerals that do not cause harm to the brick, people, animals, or nature. In addition, staining brick has a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) count, which means fewer chemicals and toxic materials are released into the environment.
Staining Brick is Less Maintenance
Unlike paint, which can bubble, fade and peel, Stayntech® brick stain does not require re-application as much as painting brick does. Instead, it soaks into the brick and prevents water from getting into the brick’s pores while letting the brick breathe. This helps prolong the lifespan of the brick itself, too.
Staining Brick is Fire and Weather Resistant
Painting brick doesn’t do well in extreme weather and elements, as well as fires. Paint is highly flammable, while brick stain is mineral-based, which can withstand extreme temperatures and weather. Unfortunately, Colorado’s weather wears down brick paint, causing it to peel and fade.
While painting your brick home seems like a fun DIY project, it is best to leave changing the color of your masonry to brick-staining professionals. Your weekends will then be free to work on other projects around the house instead of identifying and repairing flaws in the paint.
Stain Your Brick With Brickimaging
Remember that last step in how to repair spalling brick? The best thing you can do for your brick is give it a protectant, like a staining.
BrickImaging has been permanently staining brick homes, apartment buildings, office buildings, retail plazas, schools, banks, hotels and more since 1976.
The company is the oldest masonry staining firm in North America and its proprietary Stayntech® brick stains look natural, do not block the evaporation process of masonry, and will never bubble, chip or peel.