Painting the exterior brick of your home is a quick solution for many homeowners wanting a change—but is it the best solution? Painted brick requires continued maintenance after just a few years so it may not be the best option for you.
Before heading to the hardware store and adding all kinds of brushes and paints to your cart, you should understand the limited pros and abundant cons of painting exterior brick as well as painting brick surfaces.
Pros of Painting Brick
Painted brick homes are having their moment. Since 2009, painted brick homes inspo’ pictures have been flooding Pinterest boards everywhere, and the trend is only growing. White has been one of the most popular colors for brick painting, its versatility makes it easy to ensure the color of your home matches its other outside elements.
Paint is usually an affordable solution in home improvement, whether you’re painting the interior or exterior of your home. However, the decision to paint your masonry may be very short-sided—the sometimes high cost of maintaining painted brick is usually a surprise to most homeowners.
Painting over brick can also hide existing damage such as chips, cracks, and discoloration. The smoother surface of painted brick can also make it easier to clean. But, again, don’t be fooled by a quick fix as painted masonry is not permanent.
Cons of Painting Brick
Most paint is not vapor-permeable, which means moisture is trapped within the brick itself. Paint creates an impenetrable membrane on the surface of masonry that leads to the paint bubbling, blistering, chipping, and peeling within just a few years.
Most brick is very porous and absorbs moisture when it is wet. Moisture can be the result of precipitation, high humidity, and even wet soil. Moisture around a foundation is soaked up through the pores of masonry until it reaches an equilibrium with the outside air. The moisture is then supposed to evaporate, but it is unable to escape if the brick surface has been painted.
The hardest part about painting your brick home is the amount of maintenance required to keep the paint looking fresh and pristine. Painted brick requires touch-ups for chipped or peeling areas since moisture easily lifts paint. Homeowners who choose to paint their brick homes should inspect areas close to the ground regularly as these are where a lot of chips and peels are found.
Additionally, regular cleaning is required for lighter-colored painted brick as dirt and mildew are more visible. It’s also recommended to apply fresh coats of paint regularly. Most experts agree that exterior brick should be repainted every 3-5 years, depending on the climate in which you live.
Once the brick of your home is painted, you can then choose to change hues or the paint color, but returning to your original brick can require tremendous amounts of effort and is usually very expensive.
Why Staining Brick is Better
While painting brick isn’t necessarily terrible, we don’t really promote doing so. The cons of painting brick far outweigh the pros of doing so.
Instead, we feel that staining brick is better. Although it may be a bit more pricey upfront, we argue that it actually 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. Staining brick has a low VOC (volatile organic compounds) count, which means there are fewer chemicals and toxic materials 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. 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 extremely flammable while brick stain is actually mineral-based, which can withstand extreme temperatures and weather. 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.
Brick Staining by BrickImaging
While paint can quickly change the color of your brick home, the maintenance efforts can be a lot of trouble for most homeowners. Through our exclusive brick staining process, we guarantee a consistent finish that is permanent, looks entirely natural and is maintenance-free.
BrickImaging has been among the top brick coloring and staining companies in the nation since its founding in 1976. Our proprietary brick stains are absorbed by and integrated with the face of masonry. With brick stain, the original surface textures and color variations remain—unlike paint. So while you weigh the pros and cons of painting exterior brick, staining brick may produce greater (and longer-lasting) results.
Whether you opt for brick painting or staining, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss details about your latest home improvement project.