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How to Paint Bricks

By Jim Dugan
Professional Contractor & DIY Expert

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  • Most do-it-yourselfers donít know how to paint bricks, and their efforts tend to generate ugly finishes that eventually peel. Painting brick is relatively easy as long as you follow the correct steps. Before attempting to paint brick houses or brick fireplaces, learn the proper preparation techniques, or finish failure will follow.

    Cleaning Bricks

    Before you even think about painting bricks, thoroughly wash them. Be sure to clean exterior brick, using a pressure washer. If you plan to paint brick fireplaces or some other kind of interior brick, thoroughly dust the surface with a coarse broom. Brick houses and fireplaces tend to hide dirt quite well. Be sure to wash all of the bricks even if each looks clean.

    Priming Bricks

    If you try painting bricks without priming them, first, peeling will follow. Apply the right primer based on the location of the brick. Before painting brick houses, fireplaces, fences or veneers, apply a latex primer. If you plan to paint brick porches, patios, walkways or floors, apply an acrylic primer.

    Painting Bricks

    Once the each brick is primed, it will take on a painted finish. Choose the right finish based on the location and function of the brick. There is no one right paint for brick; however, some paints prove more durable than others. Paint fireplace brick and any other vertical indoor brick surface with latex paint. Paint exterior brick surfaces, such as fences and siding with acrylic latex paint. If you need to paint brick floors, choose an acrylic floor paint. Paint brick porches, patios and walkways with a durable acrylic porch paint.

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