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  • Writer's pictureNTR

More about painting brick

I've had several people ask about what has to be done to paint brick. I've also had people tell me that brick needs a special primer and paint that's specifically made for brick. Let's cut to the chase real quick.

Painting brick really isn't that hard. It doesn't take special primer or paint to do the job. The tedious part of painting brick is preparation and touch up. Most homes have shrubs, etc. around them (holly - ugh!!!) that can make it difficult to navigate through. You may encounter a few trying times getting a ladder situated where you need it in order to get close to your work. You have to cut back any greenery that gets close to the house so that you can prep and paint. Watch out for those delicate flowers and bedding plants that can be trampled when you're walking through the bedding.

Next is cleaning the brick. I always use a pressure washer with an adjustable spray tip. The most common tip setting for me is 15 or 25 degrees. These patterns allow enough pressure to wash away the dirt without damaging the surface. Always follow the guidelines in how to use a pressure washer. Note that a pressure washer is not a toy. You should NEVER EVER point it at someone or yourself. It can literally kill someone. Wash all surface that needs painting. Allow overnight to dry.

If you are not aware of how substrate temperature effects paint then take this part to heart. The warmer the surface of the material is the quicker the primer/paint dries. You do not want the primer and paint to dry quickly. I recommend painting brick when temps are below 80 degrees. I prefer the temp to be between 60 - 70 degrees. This allows the paint to dry slowly and to absorb into the pores of the brick creating a stronger bond. But here's the tricky part - just because the outside temp is 70 degrees doesn't mean the surface of the substrate (which in this blog is brick) is 70 degrees. If the sun is shining directly on the brick then the brick will be much warmer than the outside temp. I use an IR gun to check substrate temperature. This gun records the temperature of the actual surface. I showed this to one of my clients. His house had aluminum siding on it. The outside temp was 76 degrees at the time. I showed him how the IR gun read the temp of a surface. We first went to the shady side of the house and the gun read 76 degrees. We then walked around to the where the sun was hitting the surface of the siding. The IR gun read 127 degrees! What a difference. Moving on. As for the primer and paint: If your brick has never been painted you will need to prime it first. You can use an latex interior or exterior primer. Use latex exterior paint for the finish coats. You can brush, roll or spray the paint. If you are spraying I would suggest you purchase a paint shield (around $20) which will help you guard against overspray where you don't want it, help you "cut in" around areas such as the soffit and fascia and will save you a lot of time touching up. You will need to apply one coat of primer and two coats of finish paint. Follow the recommended re-coat times on the manufactures label. Remember that air and surface temp along with humidity effects drying and re-coat time.

Hope this helps you.

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