Painting a Brick House (Pros, Cons, Costs & Color Ideas)

Brick houses can begin to look weathered over time because the color fades. This may have you wondering if you should paint your brick house. Painting exterior bricks are a great way to give your home a fresh makeover. What should homeowners know before painting a brick house?

There are pros and cons to painting a brick house. If it’s painted properly, it can improve the curb appeal and add a protective layer. However, if the house isn’t painted properly, paint could cause damage to the bricks. Proper prepping and priming are essential before painting a brick house for the best results.

Choosing to paint your house is a big decision. There are many factors you should consider before you decide for or against it. Read on as we cover the pros, cons, and everything else you should know about painting a brick house.

Why Should You Paint A Brick House?

There are several reasons why you should paint a brick house. The layer of paint will create a protective layer over the brick’s porous surface. It will also give the house a fresh and clean look. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons you should paint a brick house.

Painting a brick wall

Boost Curb Appeal

A fresh paint job will boost the curb appeal of your property. It’s a very easy and efficient way to increase the value of your home. This is something you should consider if you live in an older home with bricks that are beginning to look faded.

So, which colors are best to paint bricks? This depends on what look you want to go for. If you want the final results to look clean, we suggest white, pale blue, or even a nice light gray. For a more dramatic look, slate and charcoal gray are excellent choices. 

Protection From The Elements

A coat of paint can protect the bricks from nature’s elements. The UV rays from the sun can cause the bricks to fade over time. Another thing to consider is the pores of the brick. During storms, these pores are more likely to catch dirt and debris.

Paint isn’t just about appearance. A fresh coat of paint can also act as a protective layer on the bricks. It creates a seal over the bricks, so you don’t have to worry about damage from condensation or other elements. 

Increase Durability

A great way to increase the durability of your brick house is with a coat of paint. This is because you can choose exterior paints that are resistant to moisture, alkaline, sun, and other environmental factors. It’s also possible to get paint that is fireproof.

Good quality paint can extend the lifespan of your home’s bricks and prevent deterioration. However, it’s important to properly prep your house before adding a coat of paint. This is because you will need to address cracks and other defaults beforehand to ensure the paint job is durable. 

Ability To Clean

Paint can help bricks stay clean. If you take a good look at a brick’s surface, you’ll notice that it has a very porous surface. It’s easy for dirt, dust, and debris to get caught in there. On top of that, it’s also very difficult to get the porous surface clean.

The layer of paint creates a protective seal that prevents dirt and debris from getting stuck to the bricks. It’s also a lot easier to clean a painted house when it’s needed. All you need to do is pressure wash the house to get it clean.

Why You Shouldn’t Paint A Brick House

There are a lot of key reasons why you can benefit from painting a brick house. However, this decision isn’t right for all homeowners. One of the downfalls of paint is that it’s not breathable. If you live in a cold climate, this could cause damage to the house’s structure.

Are you second-guessing whether or not you should paint your brick house? Here are some reasons it might not be the best decision for you.

Traps Moisture

If you don’t have exterior painting experience, you have no business painting a brick house. This is because painting a brick house incorrectly could trap moisture in the bricks. Moisture can cause a lot of problems for the bricks.

One of the biggest problems to consider about trapping moisture is that it reduces the lifespan of the paint. You will need to retouch the paint job much sooner because the moisture will cause the paint to start chipping. 

It’s A Permanent Decision

There’s no going back once you paint the brick. While you can repaint your house if you’re not 100% happy with the shade, you can’t go back to how it looked before. The paint will forever change how your house looks.

In most cases, it’s a great change. However, you will want to put a lot of thought into whether or not you want to make the decision to paint your brick house. If you love the natural look of bricks, the paint may not be the direction you want to take your home in.

Need To Clean More Often

When it comes to cleaning, painted brick has both pros and cons. Yes, it’s much easier to clean painted bricks. However, this means that you’ll need to clean the exterior of your home more often. So, why is this?

Of course, your house still sees the same level of dirt and debris. When the brick’s painted, the dirt is much more noticeable. If you want to keep that clean-painted look, you will need to pressure wash your home more often.

Can Cause Structural Damage

This goes back to moisture getting trapped in the bricks. If your brick house isn’t painted the proper way, it could cause structural damage. This is one of the main reasons we suggest hiring a trusted professional if you do want to paint your brick house.

If the house wasn’t painted properly, moisture will get trapped in the pores of the brick. This causes damage during the winter months when that moisture freezes. When the water freezes, it expands and causes damage inside the bricks. 

Covers Up History

Bricks are the oldest building material known to humans. If you have an old home, the brick structure is part of its history. This is because older bricks were handmade in a kiln. You may want to check the history of your home before deciding to paint it.

Your home may be considered historic to the community. If that’s the case, your best option is to leave the bricks in their natural state. 

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Brick House?

If you decide to paint your brick house, you will need to work out the costs. You will have two options for how you want to paint your home, DIY or hire a professional. So, what should you expect for the cost of painting a brick house?

Doing It Yourself

If you have painting experience, DIY is a great way to save money on the cost of painting your brick house. This is because you will only have to pay for the paint and tools that you use. There are no extra fees to worry about.

So, what’s the average price to paint a brick house DIY? On average, a 2,500-foot house could cost approximately $800. Keep in mind, the cost will change based on the price of the brand of paint you choose and the size of your home.

Hiring A Professional

Hiring a professional does have a higher price associated with it. However, painting brick is very time-consuming and requires thorough practice. For these reasons, hiring a professional can be your best option.

So, what should you expect to pay for a professional to pay for your brick house? The average price to have a brick house professionally painted is $7,000. Keep in mind, the price could range anywhere from $3,500 and $10,500 based on the house size and other factors.

How To Paint A Brick House Yourself

If you’re confident in your painting skills, you can take on this project yourself. DIY brick painting can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Let’s take a look at what you need to know to paint a brick house on your own.

Step 1: Prepare The Surface

Always start by preparing the surface of your brick home. You will want to thoroughly clean it to make sure there are no traces of dirt, debris, mildew, or anything else on the surface. 

Ensure that your surface is well prepared

So, how should you prepare the surface? The best option to consider is a pressure washer. This will effectively remove any dirt or debris that’s stuck on the surface. After this is done, you will want to give the bricks at least 48 hours to dry before following the next steps.

If there are any stains or white deposits on the exterior of the house, you will need to clean them off with soapy water. You can scrub these areas clean with soapy water and a wire brush. 

Step 2: Inspect and Repair Damages

Make sure you inspect your house to find any cracks or damages that will need to be repaired. Keep an eye out for any signs of cracks, holes, or crumbling. You will want to make sure every issue is repaired before you paint the bricks.

Minor issues can be repaired with caulking. For bigger problems with the brick, you should repair them with mortar. Another issue you should keep an eye out for is mildew and mold. These should be addressed before you paint the house.

Step 3: Protect The Fixtures

Always protect the fixtures around your home before painting. Paint is hard to remove, you don’t want to take a chance by getting it on your lights or other belongings. Here are a few things we suggest doing before you paint your brick home:

  • Remove the light fixtures
  • Remove the mailbox (if it’s attached to your house)
  • Take down hanging plants
  • Keep a protective sheeting over nearby plants and flowers while painting
  • Use painter’s tape on windows, doors, and other fixtures you can’t remove

Step 4: Prime The Surface

Priming is a very important step for painting brick houses. No matter what type of brick you have, you need a primer to protect all the nooks and crannies of the bricks. This is because a good quality primer does a better job of covering the porous surface.

Without primer, paint won’t be able to stick to the bricks. While there is the option to use paint and primer in one, this isn’t always the option for brick houses. This is because the paint and primer have different roles, so the coverage won’t be as good on bricks.

So, what do you need to prime your brick house for painting? The best type of primer to use on bricks is a latex primer. You will also need a paint roller to apply the primer to your house. 

Before applying a layer of primer to your home, make sure the bricks are completely dry. The bricks will absorb the first layer of primer, so you should add a second coat. Any areas of the brick that were previously damaged or exposed to mildew may need multiple coats of primer.

Make sure the primer is fully dry before you start painting the bricks. It could take 4 to 12 hours for the primer to dry.

Step 5: Paint The Bricks

There are two ways you can paint the bricks, with a spray painter or by using brushes and rollers. A spray painter is a good option if you want to save time on painting a larger home. However, it’s difficult to get a precise paint job using this option.

Using brushes and rollers is a great way to paint small houses. We suggest using ¾ to 1-inch rollers for the surface areas. You can use the brush to paint more accurately around the roofline and windows. 

The best way to approach painting a brick house is to start at the top and work your way down. Always use a generous amount of paint because the brick pores will soak up a lot of it. 

Start by cutting in with the brush. Get the roofline and around doors and windows. Once this is complete, use the edge of the brush to get the mortar lines between the bricks. Once this is complete, you can paint the surface with the rollers.  

For the best results, use vertical strokes with your roller. If you use good-quality paint, you will likely only need 1 or 2 coats. 

What Color Should You Paint A Brick House?

One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is what color to paint your brick house. Let’s be honest, not every color looks appealing on brick houses. So, what color choices should you consider?

painted brick wall


painted white brick

White is the most popular shade to choose for painting a brick house. This is because it’s a simple yet clean color that never goes out of style. The results are always pretty and brighten up the appearance of the property.


(Source: Brick and Batten)

Over the years, gray houses have become very trendy and it doesn’t look like they are going out of style any time soon. Gray is a neutral color that is appealing to homeowners that don’t enjoy browns. Nearly any shade of gray looks great on bricks, but light grays and charcoals are the most popular choices.


Do you want more color for your property? Blue is an excellent color to consider. It’s also a great color option if you’re planning to sell your property in the near future. Some of the top shades to use include soft blues. However, smokey or deeper blues also look amazing.


(Source: Elegantsi)

Are you looking for a dramatic color that will improve the look of your brick home? Black is one of the best options for bricks. If you live in a cold climate, this is a great option to consider. This is because black absorbs the sun, which will keep your home warmer in the winter.

What Type Of Paint Is Best For A Brick House?

If you decide to paint a brick house yourself, you will need to choose the right type of paint. Only certain types of paint are suitable for bricks. Using the wrong paint will result in poor coverage and early chipping.

So, which types of paint should you use for a brick house? The only types of paint you should use are acrylic latex and elastodynamic. 

Elastodynamic Paint

Elastodynamic paint is a great choice for bricks because it provides a secure coating. This type of paint will protect the bricks from all of the elements, including moisture. It’s one of the best types to consider for masonry work.

Some of the best-selling elastodynamic paints for brick houses are Sherwin Williams Conflex Sherlastic Elastomeric Paint. Behr Premium Elastomeric Masonry Stucco & Brick Paint, and Benjamin Moore UltraSpec Masonry Elastomeric. Let’s take a look at how they compare.

PaintAverage CostFeatures
Sherwin Williams Conflex Sherlastic Elastomeric Paint$73.49Best protection against extreme weather conditions, strong protection against water damage, smooth coverage
Behr Premium Elastomeric Masonry Stucco & Brick Paint$37.98 Bridges hairline cracks, mildew and dirt resistant, more than 90 color options
Benjamin Moore UltraSpec Masonry Elastomeric$49.95Breathable finish, mildew-resistant coating, reduces porosity

Acrylic Latex Paint

Acrylic latex paint is an excellent option for bricks because it’s durable and flexible. Some professionals prefer to use it over elastodynamic paint. For the best durability, make sure you choose a paint that is 100% acrylic latex.

Some of the best acrylic latex paints for brick houses include Benjamin Moore Aura, Sherwin Williams Emerald Exterior, and Regal Select Exterior High Build. Let’s see how these paints compare.

PaintAverage CostFeatures
Benjamin Moore Aura$45.99 Long lasting finish, extreme coverage, fade resistant
Sherwin Williams Emerald Exterior$98.99Premium paint and primer in one, resistant to fading and peeling, mildew and dirt resistant
Regal Select Exterior High Build$79.99Strong adhere, mildew and stain resistant, easy application

Tips For Painting A Brick House

Before we let you go, we want to share some essential tips for painting a brick house. Since brick is more challenging than other surfaces to paint, you will want to approach this the right way. Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

Don’t Paint Damaged Brick

Don’t use paint as a disguise for damaged brick. Paint won’t hide the problem for long. Some homeowners think that paint is a great way to cover up small cracks, deposit buildup, or mold. However, this causes further problems for them later on.

One of the biggest issues with painting over damaged bricks is moisture. There is a very good chance that the damaged brick contains moisture in the cracks. When painting over it, you’re tapping the moisture inside to create more damage. 

Use The Proper Paint

Know which paint you’re using. If you use the wrong paint, you won’t be happy with the results. Even if the bricks look good when they’re freshly painted, they will peel and chip quicker than expected.

Bricks are a very rough and porous building material. For this reason, they need a very specific type of paint. Only use 100% acrylic latex or elastodynamic paint on brick houses.

Hire A Professional

If you’ve read this far and are still questioning whether or not this is the right decision, you should contact a professional. Professional painters are familiar with the correct tools and products for the job.

They will know how to properly address issues the bricks may have before they begin painting. While it will cost more for a professional paint job, the benefits are worth it. You will also save money later on because the paint job will have a longer lifespan and a warranty.


A great way to improve the curb appeal of your brick house is with a fresh coat of paint. Painting brick is more complicated because of the porous surface. For the best results, we suggest hiring a professional painter that’s familiar with painting masonry.

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