The Problem with Painting a Brick House
Thinking about painting your brick house? Think again ... and even a third time. While coating brick walls with a shade of sunny yellow or crisp white will certainly brighten the appearance of your property, you may be dismayed to find that it's not easy to paint brickwork with a professional touch,Posted — Updated
Unpainted brick is surprisingly low maintenance. It is durable and doesn't peel or bubble, even in harsh weather conditions; in fact, its "built-in" color actually develops an attractive patina as it ages. Once you put that paintbrush to the surface, however, you are committing yourself to repainting on a regular basis. Even if the idea doesn't faze you, think of its impact on curb appeal. When you eventually put your home on the market, many potential buyers will be turned off by the prospect of all that upkeep.
Are your brick walls looking unbearably dingy and drab? Why not try one of these alternatives to painting? It will be a lot less problematic in the long run than painting.
- Refresh the appearance of your exterior brick by pressure washing to remove dust and grime buildup.
- Do brighten up your home with paint ... the trick is, just don't use it on the brick itself, but rather have the trim, doors, and shutters painted. Opt for traditional snowy white, match the mortar, or pick up one of the subtle shades in the brick. To achieve a unique effect, experiment with a contrasting pastel, for example a soft aqua or primrose.
- Choose richly hued fabrics for awnings or outdoor furniture upholstery. Make sure they coordinate with your exterior decorating scheme. (Fortunately, brick goes with a wide variety of colors.)
- Add attractive and practical exterior fixtures, either electrical or solar powered, to light up your property.
- Plant shrubs and flower beds adjacent to your home. They will soften the effect of a brick color you really do not care for. Or hang window boxes overflowing with lush green foliage.
- Repoint the mortar. This is important not only for good looks but also to block moisture and critters from getting into your house.
- Apply a special finish such as lime wash or stain that will subtly change the color of your brick, while still allowing it to breathe.