What to Know Before Painting Brick Surface
Professional House Painters Weigh In.
When it comes to revitalising an old space, a new lick of paint is king. Even sites like 'Better Homes and Gardens' will recommend giving that old brick fireplace a fresh new coat if you've got the afternoon free. Despite seeming like a simple DIY fix, professional house painters warn that there are some unforeseen factors you need to consider before beginning to paint on any brick surface. So put away that roller and read below.
Interior vs Exterior
Professionals warn that while brightly painted brickwork looks excellent, it's not easy to achieve. Especially when it comes to exterior bricks. Always braving the elements, these bricks should be free of dirt, mould and mildew before you begin to paint, as mould will continue to grow even under your freshly applied coat. To ensure the surface is cleaned correctly first remove any efflorescence - the white powder that forms on the surface of bricks with a wire brush. Following that, use, a high-quality cleaning solution to power wash the exterior. If anything remains, it may be necessary to sandblast your bricks to guarantee a clean canvas.
After washing your bricks allow them to dry for several days as efflorescence will re-emerge on wet walls causing the paint to crack and peel. You may also need to fix any cracks or damage and apply brick conditioner based on the overall quality of your outdoor surfaces.
With a quality paint job, your home can be completely transformed, as a high-quality job can protect bricks from mould and fade from the harsh Sydney sun. However, this is a long, challenging project requiring continuous maintenance and careful preparation. It's always best to consult a professional house painter before undertaking such a substantial project.
The Pros of Interior Brick Painting
Interior brick painting is a much easier job. While you'll still need to remove any efflorescence from the surface, the rest of the cleaning is done with a milder solution, by hand. However, be sure to pay close attention to the quality of your bricks as any you'll want to caulk any cracks and remove mould or mildew.
Protection is also an added plus as a painted surface is often easier to clean. With brick being a porous surface, it benefits significantly from a proper clean, and a high-quality paint job, as it ensures soot and dirt cam no longer be trapped within.
Mostly it's the appearance and aesthetics that draws many DIYers to this project. Painting over that old fireplace can often completely reinvent your living space, providing a modern twist on a dated look. When done right, a painted fireplace can brighten up a bedroom or completely open out a living area.
The Cons of Interior Brick Painting
While less labour-intensive, there is still a lot involved in painting brick surfaces. Described by painters as a speciality skill, there's a lot of work that goes into achieving the perfect coat of paint. As you'll need to purchase the correct primer, cleaning solution and type of paint for the job. Furthermore, a paint roller won't just do the trick when it comes to bricks as the paint will drip down into crevices. A skilled painter can catch these drips and correct them with a paintbrush in time, but it's because of this attention to detail, that it's best to use a professional house painter to get the job done.
Permanence is another factor often overlooked when it comes to brick painting — changed your mind down the road? Unfortunately, once you've painted your brick surface, there's no going back to the original. As bricks are porous, the paint will remain inside staining the brick, so keep this in mind before making your final decision.
Although a quality paint job, as discussed above, will result in extra protection for your bricks, cleaning and maintenance will still be involved. As white or lighter coloured bricks will attract and show dirt easier, you'll need to clean than more regularly than you would standard bricks also keep in mind that even the best paint job will need to be redone every 3-5 years to keep it looking fresh.
Before starting your project, it's always best to consult with professional house painters as they can offer sound advice when it comes to painting your brick surfaces.