5 Important Things to Consider Before Painting Brick

July 22, 2020
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5 Important Things to Consider Before Painting Brick

Brick is a beautiful choice to give any interior or exterior a timeless, "earthy" feel. Brick is also considered one of the best construction materials due to its outstanding longevity, fire resistance, and insulation properties. But since brick is a porous substance that absorbs moisture and rainwater, protective coatings are needed to effectively avoid absorption of moisture and water along which may cause more serious problems.

A little-known thing is that it can be quite a daunting job to seal or paint brick. So, it is better to hire a professional painter to do this work. 

However if you choose to DIY, here are five essential tips you need to know before starting your brick painting project.

Painted brick is relatively durable

The relative permanence of coatings is a very serious issue to consider before painting brick walls. Although it is true that paint can be removed from any surface, including brick, returning brick masonry to its natural beauty usually involves a very complex process of restoration. Since restoration work requires expert knowledge, special skills, and a great deal of experience, bringing brick masonry to its original brick-and-mortar condition may be cost-prohibitive for the house owner.

Detect and prevent water damage

It is critically important to check for signs of water damage, such as humid spots, mold growth, peeling paint, etc., before painting over brick, to repair the underlying causes and allow the walls to dry out completely. The water can get stuck inside the wall system if the paint is applied to damp masonry. This can cause the new paint coat to peel off or develop cracks which will allow even more moisture and water to enter. The water will flow freely within your walls, potentially leading to significant damage. To avoid problems that may arise as a result of applying a product that prevents the ability of the masonry to breathe, our experienced residential painting contractors suggest using specialized products that allow water trapped within the walls to evaporate into the atmosphere, thus preventing moisture and rainwater from entering. Also, if you need to wash the wall surfaces before painting, be sure to let them dry for a few days before applying the primer.


Brick and mortar contain salts that can be soluble in water. The salts are left behind on the surface of the wall as the water evaporates. When paint systems are applied with traces of efflorescence and other loose matter on insufficiently prepared brick walls, they are very likely to fail due to adhesion problems. As professional paint contractors, we can say that a paint job's quality depends on how well the surface is designed, and not just how many paint coats are applied. Therefore, it is imperative that the masonry wall surfaces be thoroughly inspected and dust, dirt, efflorescence, mildew, mold, and moss removed before applying the primer.

Excessive alkalinity

Alkalinity is another critical problem that needs to be considered before brick painting. Although bricks are usually neutral, the mortar they are placed in contains some soluble mineral salts, commonly referred to as alkalis. Free alkalis influence oil-based paint materials, ultimately causing the entire paint film to disintegrate – a process scientifically referred to as saponification. To avoid alkali-based paint failure it is recommended that an alkali-resistant primer be added.

Good Maintenance

When you paint the surfaces of brick walls, you need to repaint them periodically. Although wall maintenance can be irritating, maintaining painted surfaces in good condition will provide sufficient protection against the elements and prevent your wall system from deteriorating prematurely. One way to avoid frequent repainting is to use a top-quality primer and paint and light shade, such as white, cream, eggshell, or vanilla.

To avoid unnecessary stress and guesswork in a brick painting project, hire a Professional Painting Contractor in Avon, CT

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