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Should You Paint Your Brick?

Updated: May 22, 2021

Painting your brick is evil right?... Or is it? Before you pick up that brush we'll discuss the morality of brick painting and how to paint your brick the right way so you can approach your house project with confidence.


Why would you paint your brick?

Painting brick seems to bring out strong opinions in people—those for painting brick and those against it.

Those against painting brick tend to believe that the natural texture, earthy tones and the variation of color in brick is beautiful and should be preserved. Those in favor of painting brick tend to believe the exact opposite. So who's right?!

Answer: Neither.

My position on whether or not brick should be painted is very neutral— if you think your house would look better with painted brick, have at it! After all, there's beauty in diversity and there are some not-so-attractive bricks out there!

Truth be told though, I didn't always have that opinion. I used to believe painting brick was a cardinal sin because I believed (and still believe) that all natural materials were special and brought a level of interest to a home that is difficult to replicate with manufactured products.

My position has changed however, because I believe that beauty can be achieved many different ways, including painting brick (I just heard all the purists GASP!)— but you must do it right!

How to paint your brick the right way?

Many sources (all of the purists) claim you can't paint brick because it encapsulates the brick and keeps it from living its best life. This is certainly true if you use the wrong paint.

Your best offense when painting your home's brick is excellent prep work and a high quality paint suitable for masonry applications. Most of the major paint brands (Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, etc.) have tintable paints specifically designed for exterior brick.

These paints are made to release moisture that is absorbed by the brick, leaving you with a high quality finish for years to come.

Stain your brick!

One detractor about painting brick is that it removes most of the natural color variation of the material which tends to flatten a design. One thing you can do to avoid this is by staining your brick rather than painting it.