How to paint exterior brick

Painted brick has a unique style of its own and is being seen more and more as decorating trends shift. If you want to paint brick, be sure to patch any cracks or ruts that are usually caused by ivy breaking through when the bricks are outside.

1. Clean the Brick

Use a pressure washer at the beginning as it is the simplest way to clean exterior brick.
Set your pressure washer to somewhere between 1500 and 2000 pounds per square inch. Do not go higher than that pressure range when washing the bricks, as too much force could damage the mortar. For more difficult efflorescence and mildew deposits, add soap to the stream. The point of this wash is to clear any dirt, grime, and loose paint.
Once the washing is completed, give the brick plenty of time to fully dry. It will take a few days at least because brick is a porous material that traps moisture.

2. Remove Loose Paint and Fix Mortar

Ensure you remove all loose paint left behind on the brick face so that it won’t cause early chipping when you eventually apply your coat.

3. Sand the Brick Smooth

Use a palm or circular sander with a minimum 80 grit paper to sand the brick smooth.
Then, repair any damaged or missing mortar. You can make use of a premixed acrylic mortar patch which will enable you to prime and paint as soon as it is dry. Or alternatively, you can mix a powder mortar yourself, however, this will take a few weeks to dry before you can begin priming.

4. Prime Brick

For painting exterior brick, always use a high quality acrylic or latex masonry primer. Make sure you prime those places where efflorescence and mildew occurred first, so that you can add an extra coat if needed. It usually take 1-2 hours for the coat to dry. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to painting.

5. Caulk and Seal

Any area that can let in water should be caulked, even if it is an opening as small as a 1/16 inch. This may include windows, doors, trim, and chimney caps. Make sure you use 100-percent acrylic caulk and a foam backer rod for bigger cracks.

6. Clear the Dust

Before you begin, remove all the dust resting on the brick face with a brush or vacuum.

7. Paint the Brick

Inclusion and as inspired by http://paintingstcharles.com, Elastomeric or 100-percent acrylic latex are the two best options when choosing for exterior house. Apply two coats in order to achieve its highest durability.

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