Painting is a complicated process. You have to do it right from the first step to the last for you to achieve satisfactory or desired results. There exist numerous reasons as to why homeowners choose to paint or repaint bricks at their homes. For instance,
- In case one or two bricks at the fireplace are uncoordinated with the décor applied into the room, it is best to repaint than replace the whole block.
- A layer of bright-color paint has the ability alleviate the feeling of heaviness imparted by the brick wall.
- If a brick of a home exterior needs some level of a makeover, staining it gives the property a rejuvenated look, boosting its appeal and to some extent resale the value back to its original.
- Even though any DIY homeowner can paint bricks, there are procedures and precautions to look out for to ensure color success.
Before you begin painting bricks, clean it vigorously so that your paint adheres well during application. Remove efflorescence and dirt with detergent and soapy water, scrubbing with a bristled brush. If this is not satisfactory, and you are thinking of something much stronger, Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) would do the trick by mixing half a cup with one-gallon water. Larger brick spaces are best rinsed with the use of a pressure washer.
When you encounter mildew, apply a mixture of bleach and water in the ratio 3:1, allowed to soak for half an hour then move on to scrubbing the surface with a wire brush. However, do not use acid cleaning solutions, as these may compromise your paint job.
If the brick was recently installed, give it the time of up to a year to dry and acclimate before you paint it. However, if the installation has been in place for years, observe the mortar for any signs of damage. Repair any minor cracks with acrylic seal. For issues more pronounced, repainting the brick would also be ideal. Whether you do any repairs or not, keep in mind that block must be dry completely for the paint to adhere well. After cleaning, take a break of more than 24 hours.
Based on the surface you wish to paint, use a roller, brush or paint sprayer to apply a layer of latex primer. Add extra coats on those areas affected by either mildew or efflorescence. Regardless of the number of coating layers added, let the primer dry entirely before proceeding any further.
For paint, many prefer using an elastodynamic paint for brick, probably because it features a high level of elasticity, making it perfect for filling and preventing cracks. In addition to this, elastodynamic paint applies well in all weather.
In case you cannot use elastodynamic paint for any particular reason, you can opt to go with regular acrylic latex exterior paint. Acrylic latex is, in fact, the better choice for exterior brickworks because it is made to withstand mildew and quickly evaporate any moisture absorbed.
The simplest way of staining large bricks areas is with a paint sprayer, but if covering only a small area, such as a fireplace, rollers or brushes are sufficient. More so, for those without experience in operating a sprayer, rollers and brushes are recommended for you. If you consider using a roller, choose one that has a thick nap for best results on the brick. For exterior and interior bricks, professionals recommend the use of semi-gloss or gloss paint.
As long as the brick is in good condition, there are other finishing options to choose.
Staining. Much easier and quicker than painting. Staining highlights the block’s unique texture. Preparing for staining bricks is not in any way different from preparing it for painting. For both cases, clean the surface vigorously and allow it to dry before moving forward. Seal off the mortar with painter’s tape if you do not intend to paint or stain it.
Using the brush that’s accompanied with the staining kit, try the stain on a hidden area of the brick. Lighten or darken the shade by adding water or pigment respectively. Once you attain a mixture that portrays a color you like, move the brush in a uniform manner to spread on the stain. Alternatively, wipe the stain using a clean rag for a more even application. Cover the stain as thinly possible and wait for at least 24 hours before adding the second layer.
Finally, always remember to use protective gear at all times.