Greg Mrakich Painting Indianapolis: Painting Brick Exteriors

Lately, Greg Mrakich Painting in Indianapolis, Indiana has received multiple inquiries from homeowners interested in painting ‘raw’ (non-painted) exterior brick.

If you are thinking about painting your brick exterior, it’s important to understand that once you paint brick, you will need to maintain it. Whereas, if you leave the brick in it’s natural state, there is minimal maintenance required.

So Why Paint Brick?

There are basically two reasons for painting brick:

  1. To change the look of the home
  2. The brick is beginning to show its age

In most cases,  it is a little of both.  When brick is manufactured,  it is dried before being baked in large ovens (kilns) to harden. During the baking process, a natural protective ‘coating’ is formed that will repel water.  The coating is very durable but will not last forever.  When it does wear off, the brick is vulnerable to the elements.  Bricks without a protective coating will deteriorate quickly, especially at ground level where they are exposed to standing water and depending on your geographic area, snow. If caught early,  a clear waterproofing material can be applied (and should be repeated every three to five years.)

For do-it-your-selfers who choose to paint the brick instead of waterproofing it, make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Use a soft bristle brush to clean the surface of the brick and the mortar line.  You never want to use a pressure washer to clean the brick as it will force water deep into the brick and mortar and will take several days to dry.
  2. Any loose mortar and cracks found during cleaning should be addressed (masonry caulk  or tuck pointing) If extensive tuck pointing is required, you might want to call a masonry contractor to do the work. If you do it yourself, be sure to refer to the label on the masonry primer for cure times. It could take up to 30 days of cure time to insure proper paint bonding.
  3. Apply masonry primer (after sufficient cure time)
  4. Apply two finish coats of a high quality satin exterior paint

I am old school and only use brush and roller to apply the paint. You get a heartier coat of paint that way and it should last a minimum of ten years. If you are going to use a sprayer, the paint would need to be thinned down. If you hire a painting contractor who uses a sprayer, make sure they apply two coats and guarantee the paint job (material and labor.)

Greg Mrakich Painting is an EPA lead-safe certified firm. For more information about Greg Mrakich and Greg Mrakich Painting. Or, if you live in the metropolitan Indianapolis area and would like to contact me, click here.

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