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Exterior Bricks: To Paint or Not to Paint?

Talk to any painting professional and they'll tell you that painting exterior bricks takes a certain kind of commitment and it's not always the easiest of paint jobs.

We've taken a look at the pros and cons and if you are ready to dive right into painting your exterior bricks, we have a few tips that might just save you precious time and money.

When you're deciding whether to paint exterior bricks, consider the balance between aesthetics and long-term maintenance.


  1. Aesthetic Enhancement: Painting can transform the appearance, providing a fresh and updated look.

  2. Protection: Paint acts as a protective barrier, shielding bricks from harsh weather conditions and preventing deterioration.

  3. Colour Customisation: Allows for a wide range of colour choices, enabling you to match the exterior to your desired aesthetic.


  1. Moisture Trapping: Paint can trap moisture within bricks, leading to potential issues like mold or mildew.

  2. Maintenance: Painted surfaces may require more frequent maintenance, with the need for repainting over time.

  3. Natural Texture Concealment: Painting can hide the natural texture of bricks, which some people appreciate for its character.

So you're ready to go ahead, well here are five things to consider:

  1. For painting exterior bricks, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality masonry paint that can withstand various weather conditions. Consider using an acrylic latex or elastomeric paint specifically designed for masonry surfaces. These paints offer flexibility, durability, and breathability, allowing moisture to escape while providing a protective barrier.

  2. Look for paints with features such as UV resistance and mildew resistance to ensure long-lasting results. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding surface preparation and application techniques for the best outcome.

  3. When painting bricks, it’s advisable to use a high-quality paintbrush with natural bristles or a synthetic blend designed for latex paints. A 2 to 4-inch wide brush with flagged or tapered bristles is ideal for getting into the textured surfaces of the bricks.

  4. If you prefer using a roller, opt for a heavy-duty, 3/4-inch nap roller cover. The thicker nap helps the roller cover reach into the crevices and irregularities of the brick surface. Additionally, you may want to use a brush for detailed areas like mortar lines before using the roller for larger surfaces.

  5. Always choose tools appropriate for masonry surfaces, and ensure they are compatible with the type of paint you’re using for the best results.

Tinting your undercoat will also make the job easier. Tinting the undercoat, also known as priming or base coating, can be beneficial when painting an exterior brick wall, especially if you’re transitioning from a dark to a light colour or vice versa. Here’s why you might consider tinting the undercoat:

  1. Colour Uniformity: Tinting the primer to a shade close to the final paint colour helps achieve better colour uniformity. This is particularly important when transitioning between dark and light colours.

  2. Improved Coverage: A tinted primer can enhance the coverage of the final paint, reducing the number of coats needed for the desired colour.

  3. Adhesion Enhancement: Tinting the primer can enhance adhesion to the substrate, providing a better surface for the paint to grip.

  4. Hide Surface Imperfections: Tinted primer helps conceal surface imperfections and irregularities, creating a smoother appearance.

  5. Enhanced Durability: A tinted primer can contribute to the durability of the paint job, providing a stable base for the final paint layer.

When tinting the undercoat, work closely with your paint supplier to ensure you choose the right colour and type of primer that complements your chosen exterior paint. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and applying the tinted primer.

Painting an exterior brick wall in a public space? Anti-graffiti coatings can be a valuable addition, offering protection against unwanted graffiti and making cleanup easier. Here are key points to consider:

  1. Protective Barrier: Anti-graffiti coatings create a protective barrier on the painted brick surface, preventing graffiti materials from bonding directly to the paint.

  2. Easy Cleanup: Graffiti can be removed more easily from surfaces treated with anti-graffiti coatings. These coatings typically allow for simple cleaning with pressure washing or specialised graffiti removers.

  3. Semi-Permanent and Sacrificial Options: There are two main types of anti-graffiti coatings - semi-permanent and sacrificial. Semi-permanent coatings create a durable, long-lasting barrier, while sacrificial coatings can be easily removed with graffiti, leaving the underlying surface intact.

  4. Compatibility: Ensure that the chosen anti-graffiti coating is compatible with the type of paint used on your exterior brick. Some coatings may work better with specific paint formulations.

  5. Application Instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s application instructions carefully. Proper application is crucial for the effectiveness of the anti-graffiti coating.

  6. Multiple Layers: In some cases, applying multiple layers of anti-graffiti coating can enhance its effectiveness. This may depend on the specific product and the level of protection required.

  7. Environmental Impact: Consider the environmental impact of the anti-graffiti coating. Some formulations may be more eco-friendly than others.

  8. Maintenance: Regularly inspect the coated surface for any signs of damage or wear. Reapply the anti-graffiti coating as needed to maintain its protective qualities.

Adding an anti-graffiti coating to painted exterior brick surfaces can be a proactive measure to preserve the appearance of your property and simplify the removal of unwanted graffiti.

Choosing textured coatings for exterior walls can enhance both the aesthetic appeal and durability of your property. Take into account the following important factors:

  1. Texture Types: Different textures, such as fine, medium, or coarse, offer various visual effects. Choose a texture that complements your architectural style and personal preference.

  2. Material Compatibility: Ensure the textured coating is suitable for the material of your exterior walls, whether it’s stucco, concrete, or another substrate.

  3. Climate Considerations: Select coatings that are designed to withstand your local climate conditions, including exposure to UV rays, rain, wind, and temperature fluctuations.

  4. Durability and Resistance: Opt for coatings with high durability and resistance to cracking, peeling, and fading. This is crucial for maintaining the appearance of your exterior walls over time.

  5. Application Method: Consider the application method required. Some textured coatings are sprayed on, while others may need to be troweled or rolled. Choose one that aligns with your application preferences and skills.

  6. Colour Options: Explore the colour options available for the textured coating. Many manufacturers offer a wide range of colours to suit different styles.

  7. Maintenance Requirements: Understand the maintenance needs of the textured coating. Some may require periodic cleaning, while others may have specific maintenance recommendations.

  8. Testing Samples: Obtain samples of different textured coatings and test them on a small section of your wall to see how they look in various lighting conditions.

  9. Professional Installation: Consider hiring professionals for the installation, especially if the application method requires specific skills. This ensures a more even and professional finish.

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper application and maintenance of the chosen textured coating to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

For any further advice on painting your exterior brick walls or looking for a licenced professional, drop into your local Paint Place and see one of the team who would be more than happy to put forward their recommendations.


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