Can You Change the Color of Brick?

We will tell you how you can change the color of your brick exterior walls

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Do you have a brick house? Then you probably had an idea of repainting or painting it to refresh the exterior a bit. Besides, painting a brick facade means you can boost your brick home’s curb appeal should you decide to sell it one day. However, homeowners often face certain complications when it comes to actually painting the brick walls.

Today we will tell you more about painting brick homes. You will learn whether you can change brick color and how to do that. Also, we will explain what to do to prepare your exterior walls for being painted and how to change their color step by step. With these curb appeal ideas for brick homes, you will turn your brick house into a lovely construction no matter how old it really is!

Change brick color to green

How to Change the Color of Brick House

If you wonder how to change the brick color on the exterior house walls, we have some good news for you. First of all, it is possible to paint/repaint your brick exterior walls! Moreover, there are several alternative methods you can use. Below, we have described each way of changing the exterior brick color in detail. Read carefully and pick the one that sounds more suitable for your home.

Use Paint to Change the Color of Your Brick House

Painting your brick exterior walls come with both pros and cons. On the one hand, the paint will give the walls a solid, opaque color. Besides, you can choose almost any paint color you like! 

On the other hand, note that you will have to repaint your house every 3-5 years to maintain the color. In addition, painting brick walls is an irreversible process. Once you paint them to change the color of your brick house exterior, you won’t be able to get the walls back to the original brick!

But if you are absolutely sure that painting brick walls is exactly what you need to refresh the look of your house, get all the materials ready. You will need 

  1. a pressure washer
  2. a cleaning solution suitable for your brick
  3. latex primer
  4. elastodynamic paint
  5. painter’s tape and tarp to cover any areas that should not be painted.

As for the paint application process, this is what you will need to do:

  1. Check for any repairs needed. If there are any gaps in the joints, fill them in.
  2. Clean your brick walls with the pressure washer thoroughly and let them dry for 24 hours.
  3. Apply latex primer, and let it dry for 24 hours.
  4. Pick the paint. We recommend using elastodynamic paint as it is highly elastic and fills in cracks perfectly. It can also withstand any kind of weather.
  5. Paint your walls.

Use Whitewash for Changing Exterior Brick Color

If you don’t want a dramatic color change for your brick exterior walls, whitewashing might be a more suitable option. It will tone down the brick’s color and add a translucent layer of color on top. Whitewashing brick walls will require the following materials and instruments:

  1. a cleaning solution suitable for your brick
  2. a mask
  3. goggles
  4. putty knife
  5. wire brush
  6. paint scraper
  7. drop cloth
  8. painter’s tape
  9. water
  10. latex paint
  11. a bucket
  12. a brush or a spray bottle
  13. a cotton cloth or paper towels

To whitewash your home’s exterior brick walls, you will need to do the following:

  1. Clean the walls to free the brick from debris and dust.
  2. Check for any chipped bricks or loose joints, and repair them.
  3. Remove any old paint from the brick to allow the whitewash to adhere appropriately.
  4. Cover any areas you don’t want to be whitewashed (e.g., window frames, shutters, windowsills, etc.).
  5. Prepare your whitewash solution by mixing 50% white latex paint with 50% water.
  6. Paint a small area of the brick wall to see if the color is ok. If not, mix in a bit more water for a lighter effect or a little more paint if you need a more opaque look.
  7. Now you can apply the whitewash! Do it with either a brush or a spray bottle.

And please remember: brick is very porous! This is why the whitewash might look dark after application. But don’t worry, after the walls have enough time to dry, they will lighten up. 

Also, make sure you remove all the old paint from the bricks, if there is any. Your whitewashing will crack if there are any traces of previous paint jobs. If you’re not sure when the brick was previously painted, and the paint might contain toxic lead, call in a professional in that case!

How to Change Exterior Brick Color With the Stain

If you are looking for a method that is more permanent than painting, staining is your choice. Since staining allows the color to bond with the brick instead of just being applied on top of the surface, the brick can breathe while creating a new color.

To stain your home, you’ll need the following materials and tools:

  1. water
  2. goggles
  3. gloves
  4. a mild detergent
  5. a pressure washer
  6. a bucket
  7. a paintbrush
  8. brick stain
  9. a rag
  10. painter’s tape and tarp

Once you get all the tools and materials ready, proceed with the brick staining. The procedure for stain application is the following:

  1. Check whether your brick absorbs water. Simply splash some water on your brick. If it rolls off in beads, there is likely a layer of sealant on top of your walls, and you cannot stain them.
  2. If the brick is covered in a sealant, you might want to remove it. For that, use a lacquer thinner. But note that this could lead to discoloration of your brick!
  3. Clean the brick with a gentle pressure washer and mild detergent.
  4. Wait until your brick dries entirely before proceeding to stain.
  5. Choose your stain. We recommend water-based stains since they allow the brick to breathe better, preventing damage from moisture.
  6. Get a bucket you won’t need after the project and mix the stain according to the instructions.
  7. Paint a small patch of brick with the stain to see how it looks when dry. It will help you understand whether the color is ok.
  8. If everything is ok with the color, stain each brick from left to right or right to left with the brush.
  9. As you work, remember to clean up any drips immediately with a damp rag!
  10. Let your stain dry for 24-48 hours.

Now you know what methods you can use to change the color of your exterior brick walls. As you can see, these methods use distinct products and have different effects. You will get your brick walls colored anyway, but the intensity of color and its durability will vary depending on the coloring approach you opt for.

Things to Consider Before Your Change the Color of a Brick House 

Can you change the brick wall color? Yes, you can do that! And that’s good news, right? 

However, it doesn’t mean you can simply grab a can of wall paint and a brush and paint your exterior walls. 

To make the paint adhere properly and last long on your house’s exterior walls, you need to follow precise painting instructions. It will allow you to get the walls ready for paint application, as well as help the paint to grip tighter to the surface of the bricks. This is what you should do before applying paint over the brick walls.

Make Sure There Are No Damaged Bricks

Before you start painting your brick walls, ensure there are no damaged bricks that should be repaired or replaced. Should you find any, remove and replace them with the help of a masonry specialist. If possible, those bricks can be repaired as an option. The masonry specialist will tell you exactly what to do.

Why is it essential to fix or replace the damaged bricks? Because cracked bricks may lead to various house safety issues. Bricks often start cracking and crumbling due to high moisture levels that could be caused by a frequently watered lawn or a leaky roof. If it happens, brick absorbs water like a sponge and expands. Over time, as one wall expands, the others will crack from the pressure! This is why to determine the issue, you should call in a structural engineer or repair mason to check it out.

Clean the Bricks

It may seem to be an obvious thing to do, but many owners forget to clean up their brick walls. However, make sure you choose the cleaning solution carefully! Keep in mind that not all bricks are made from the same materials. Burnt clay is still one of the most common materials to use. However, concrete is also very popular! This is why we suggest you talk to a professional and pick the right cleaning solution.

If you want a quick cleaning method that is safe for all brick types, consider using a water-based power washing with a pressure washer. You only need to select the one with a pressure of fewer than 3,000 pounds per inch. Otherwise, you might damage the brick. 

Before pressure washing, ensure you cover all light fixtures and electrical outlets to protect them from water. Also, place a tarp over the flowers and shrubs, and protect the trim around your windows and doors using painter’s tape. Finally, close and lock the windows, and you can start power-washing! 

Remember that proper preparations ensure that the paint will adhere to your brick walls tightly and last longer. So don’t neglect these pre-painting tips, and you will have no issues with painting or staining your brick exterior walls.

How to Make Your Brick House More Attractive. Additional Tips and Ideas

Painting your brick walls is an excellent way to add curb appeal to your house and refresh its appearance. However, painting the walls is not the only method you can use to make your home stand out! Below, you can find a few other tricks to help your house look fabulous! They are affordable and easy to use, so you can do everything yourself.

Paint Your Front Door

Brick walls provide an excellent neutral “base,” which means you can make your home look more personalized by painting the front door with a bold paint color, for example.

When choosing a door color, remember to take note of other colors present in your home’s architecture. For instance, consider the color of the roof and shutters. Note that your door should complement them as well! To help you out, we have prepared a few color combination ideas:

  1. Black door with red brick
  2. Red door with red brick
  3. A white or cool-toned door and whitewashed brick
  4. A yellow door with brown or tan brick

Consider Painting the Shutters

To paint your shutters, you can go two different ways. You can either match your shutter color to your door color or choose a brighter color for your shutters if you have chosen a more neutral hue for the door. For example, the following color combinations will look gorgeous:

  1. Dark red shutters with a white door.
  2. Red shutters with a door of the same color.
  3. Hunter green shutters with a white door.
  4. Leave the window trim and shutters white to make the window look larger.
  5. Stick to classic with the black door and black shutters.

Add More Greenery!

You might not be aware of this, but good-looking and properly maintained landscaping can boost your home’s value by as much as 15% should you decide to sell your property! 

What can you do to improve your landscaping? Well, you might want to add striking flowers that complement your freshly-painted door and shutters, as well as walls. However, ensure the plants don’t hide any key elements of the house, such as the door or windows! So keep them trimmed and tamed.

You can also play with the height of the plants. For instance, try planting lower shrubs near the front of the lawn, and place mid-size flora in the middle. We would not recommend you be tempted by the ivy and other climbing plants, though! See, they can cause damage to your house by crumbling the brick. Besides, climbing plants tend to keep moisture way too close to the brick walls, which can lead to wall destruction.

Now you know that changing the color of your brick exterior walls is not a problem at all. Besides, there are different ways of doing this! We described each of these methods to help you define which one might be more suitable for your home. Also, we told you how else you could highlight your home’s beauty, e.g., by painting your shutters and doors. Finally, now you know how to use plants to make your house look beautiful and attractive!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Normal If Brick Walls Look Darker After Whitewashing?

Yes, it’s ok. Give them time to dry, and they will get lighter.

How Do I Define Whether There’s Lead In The Old Wall Paint?

You should ask a professional to do that since lead is toxic!

Does Any Wall Paint Work Well On The Front Door?

If it’s exterior paint, then you can use any brand.

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