Painting brick can be a little more complicated than painting a regular wall or surface you’re accustomed to painting.

Before even considering painting on brick, you’ll need to make sure the brick is in good shape and free from structural problems, such as crumbling mortar. Contrary to crumbling brick, if your brick is new, you should wait at least a year before painting it.

How to Prep

It’s extremely important to thoroughly clean the brick surface before you begin painting. Use a wire brush and soapy water to scrub the brick and remove any streaky deposits or dirt. If you’re having trouble getting the surface clean, you can try to apply a mixture of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water to help (be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves when using TSP).

Once your brick has been cleaned, the brick needs to be completely dry before applying paint, so wait at least 24 hours after cleaning to break open those paint cans. It’s also important to check for any cracks or structural problems that may require repointing or some professional help.

How to Paint Brick, Correctly

Begin by applying a latex primer to the brick. If there are areas of the brick that have been affected by efflorescence or mildew, you may need to apply multiple coats.

Let the primer dry completely.

Use your roller or brushes to apply a paint formulated for masonry, or a latex paint, to the brick. (If you’re painting the interior of a fireplace, make sure you’re using heat-proof paint.) Painting pros may find that a paint sprayer is the easiest method, but brushes and rollers made for textured surfaces also work well.

Make sure to push the paint into the tiny cracks and crevices.

Apply a second coat if necessary.

Tips and Tricks

Instead of painting, you may want to consider staining your brick instead. This method works best on brick that’s in very good condition, and it allows the texture of the surface to shine because the stain absorbs into the brick rather than an exterior coating as it does with paint.

Never paint damaged or wet brick. The surface should always be clean, dry, and in good condition before painting. Otherwise, the process can cause even more damage.

When cleaning your brick before painting, never use acidic cleansers. They will affect the final paint job.

Repair any small cracks in the brick with acrylic caulk before painting. Large cracks or other damage may require a professional for caulking.

Need Help Painting Brick?

Our trained professionals at Carnival Painting DFW would be happy to take on your paint job.  Contact us today and one of our area managers will meet you at your residence for a FREE estimate and answer any questions you may have.