Painting your brick exterior is controversial. If it’s already painted, then the controversy has been settled. However, if your brick is still in its natural state, you will read a lot of conflicting views about painting it. There are those who say that you should paint whatever you want so that you like the way it looks. Others say that painting brick is too much of a hassle and a bad idea.
Many people argue against painting brick for a handful of reasons. They argue that painting brick is permanent, that painted brick does not release moisture as easily as bare brick, you’re painting over something historical, and painted brick requires maintenance that unpainted brick does not.
All of these criticisms are true but they’re somewhat immaterial. If you don’t like the way your brick looks, you should consider painting it.
You should think long and hard before painting your brick because every paint job is fairly permanent. You’ll never be able to revert to bare brick, but you also won’t revert to any other unpainted exterior. The criticism about moisture is relevant; unpainted brick is porous, which means that it absorbs moisture and then the moisture evaporates. Moisture cannot evaporate as easily from painted brick. However, there are paints designed specifically for masonry that allow the wall to breathe.
In some cases, your brick might be part of a historical or simply a very old home. You should consider that before you paint over it, but that doesn’t mean you can never change your home. You likely change the interior and discard old things all the time. The exterior shouldn’t be inherently different.
Lastly, painted brick does require maintenance but that maintenance is simply a new coat of paint. Every ten years or so, you’ll have to hire someone to paint it again.
The issue of painting brick often comes down to what color would you paint your brick. Well, if you use masonry paints, you can likely paint it just about any color. The masonry paints are breathable but they are thick enough to cover the brick. Bright colors often look best when covering over brick. You should also consider leaving some of the brick exposed. It can serve as a stunning contrast to the paint color you choose.
You should definitely consider the arguments against painting your brick; once you paint it, it’s painted forever. However, you should not be dissuaded from painting it because of someone else’s opinion. Consult an professional painter before making the final decision. It will give you peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing for you.