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How Long Does Paint Last On Brick?

Brick can add a different look to your home's design. If you already have brick, you may be thinking of painting it to give your home an update. Knowing how long paint lasts on brick can impact your final decision. We researched how long paint lasts on brick and what you can do to maintain it.

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Depending on paint quality and maintenance, paint can start to chip off brick three to five years after application. But the paint itself may last a solid 20 years. You may have to repaint the brick every three to five years to address peeling. 

If you're looking forward to painting your brick or having the job professionally done, you might want to know more about the process and how to maintain it so that it lasts. Read on to find out more.

How Long Does Paint Last On Brick?

The lifespan of painted brick depends heavily on the quality of the paint. Good quality paint will be able to withstand extreme weather conditions and require little maintenance. That said, a paint job on brick can last for more than 20 years.

Blue and orange spray paint on brick

Cheaper paints may easily peel and be less cost-efficient. However, there are ways to maintain painted brick to ensure its long lifespan. We'll discuss these tips below.

How To Paint Brick

You can't just do a paint job on a brick surface. If you want the paint to last long a long time, you need to prepare the bricks first.

Find The Right Paint

Do not use cheap paint for your brick. Invest in quality paint made of durable, long-lasting materials.

Clean It

Pressure washing on brick

This is a crucial step. Make sure that the brick's surface has been cleaned properly. You can use a high-pressure hose or brush and soapy water to clean the brick. You should let the surface dry before applying paint.

You will also need to seal any holes or openings in the brick before you paint. If you're planning to paint the brick exterior of your house, it will take about a week of prepping.

Apply Primer

Painter paints primers the walls with a brush

Brick is a very porous material, and using a primer specified for brick is the key to making the paint adhere. You can use a roller or sprayer to prime the surface.

When you source your materials, it's important to include the cost of primer and not just the paint because you will need full coverage before proceeding to paint.

Paint The Brick

After applying primer to the brick, let it dry completely. Once dry, use a roller or brush to apply the first coat of paint to the brick.

Professionals find it easier to work with a paint sprayer but use whatever's best for you. Make sure to cover all areas with paint and let it dry before applying a second coat. Do not leave any crevices or holes unpainted.

Leave It To The Pros

Painting bricks cost per square foot, How Long Does Paint Last On Brick?

Unless you have ample experience working with a ladder and heavy-duty equipment, you can hire a professional to do the paint job. If you hire a professional, it'll cost around $1.70 to $3.27 per square foot.

How To Maintain Painted Brick

Exterior brick will be exposed to a lot of dirt and humidity, and if you don't maintain it properly, it can end up in bad condition and lose its visual appeal. 

Maintaining painted brick is essential. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to keeping brick clean and in good condition:

  1. Use a duster (preferably extendable) to remove dirt. Gently sweep the bricks to keep fiber from the duster from sticking. Afterward, hose the bricks to get them prepped for the next step.
  2. Prepare a cleaning mixture. Do not use anything strong, such as bleach, because the paint could end up chipping or fading. Use a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water to clean the painted brick. Adding a couple of drops of detergent to a bucket of warm water should be enough to do the job
  3. With interior brick, place rags or towels along the floor to collect any water running down from the bricks. You won't have to deal with a messy cleanup.
  4. You can clean the bricks with a sponge or a substantial cloth. Scrub the area from bottom to top in a circular motion. Afterward, rinse the painted bricks and dry them using a towel or cloth.

Check out this extendable duster on Amazon.

Things To Consider Before Painting 

Whether you're painting the entirety of your house or a small area, it's essential to understand the nature of painted brick.

You'll Need To Repaint

As mentioned, you might need to repaint every three to five years, which means that you'll have to repaint when the paint starts to peel. Consider whether you're ready to face the responsibilities of painting on brick.

Removing Paint From Brick Is Tough

Once you paint your brick, bringing it back to its original state will be difficult because the paint is pretty much permanent. There are ways to remove paint from brick, but doing so will be a tough job that takes a lot of effort and resources.

The great thing is you can always repaint it a different color. So you don't have to look at the same color forever. Read this post to find the right color for your brick: 12 Colors To Go With An Exposed Brick Wall For Your Home Decor! 

Location

Your location plays a big role in maintaining a painted brick exterior. Factors such as heat, humidity, and changing weather affect the state of your paint and can become a major concern.

Moisture

One masonry contractor mentions that paint is like a membrane over a brick. Once you add this membrane, the brick won't be able to breathe, thus trapping moisture. Moisture can create pockets that damage your brick.

Maintenance

Worker cleaning the exterior wall of building through pressure water

Over time, the paint will collect dirt and mildew, and you will need to get rid of them to maintain your painted brick. The effort required to maintain painted brick isn't a joke—it can take a lot of time and resources.

Hiring someone to do the job can save you time and money in the end. So, think through the maintenance if you want to paint your brick.

When Is It Necessary To Paint Brick?

Painting brick isn't only for visual purposes. Some paint jobs are necessary for the overall health of the brick or the building. 

Damaged Brick 

An uneven house wall with decayed old red and white bricks

Paint can help damaged brick stay intact. If the brick is old or deteriorating, a paint job could solve the problem. Read this post to learn more: Can You Cement Or Pour Concrete Over Brick?

Interior Brick

Painting interior brick is a good idea because the paint won't be exposed to harsh downpours or extreme heat.

Previously Painted Brick

If you just moved to a new home, chances are you might need to renovate some areas of the house. If you notice that the brick has already been painted and looks bad, you should consider repainting.

Alternatives To Painting Brick

If you want to add a splash of color to your brick but feel hesitant about painting because of the downsides, here are some alternatives you can try.

Whitewash

This alternative is made of white latex paint mixed with water. Whitewash provides a smooth finish and is a great way to refresh old brick. Whitewash can last for 20-30 years, and it's not hard to apply. It doesn't require as much upkeep as regular paint.

It's only available in white and sticks permanently to brick.

Check out this whitewashing kit on Amazon.

Brick Stain

Brick stain lasts much longer than paint. Although the application process takes a lot of time, the visual appeal outweighs the downside. It colors the brick deep enough without altering the texture, and you can still notice the brick.

You can pick from a variety of colors, including brown, charcoal, and orange. To achieve the desired color, you need to apply two coats. The stain will remain permanently.

Limewash

Limewash is a mixture of powdered limestone and water that has been used for centuries to protect brick from harsh outdoor conditions such as rain and heat. Limewash pairs well with brick and is highly resistant to fungus, insects, debris, and odor.

In Closing

Before painting over brick, it's important to know that the paint may only last three to five years before chipping or peeling. This will depend on the quality of the paint used and how you maintain the brick after painting.

Some types of paint can last 20 years or more on brick, which is why your commitment to maintenance is critical.

Think these things through before you splash your brick with color!