Painting Brick Wall

For some, a brick home is a timeless look with its natural textures and colours. For others, it’s an aged style that dates their home. If you’re in the latter camp and wondering if it’s possible to paint a brick house, we have good news for you. You can! With a fresh coat of paint over the brickwork, you can refresh the appearance of your home instantly, giving it a sleek and modern look.

However, painting a brick house isn’t as simple as buying some exterior paint from your local hardware store and painting it on. Painting brick requires proper preparation, technique and skill to get it right and to ensure it lasts for years to come. Read on where our experts discuss the basics of painting brick.

Some things you should know first

It may be exciting to get underway and throw on some fresh house paint yourself. However, painting brick is more involved than painting typical surfaces like wood and plasterboard. If you’re going to learn how to paint a brick wall, it’s important to know these crucial elements. 

Give it a good clean

Before beginning it’s best to give your brick a well-done and thorough clean. If you have dirt and grime trapped beneath the paint, not only will the paint job look poorly done, the paint won’t have a good surface to adhere to. Without proper adherence, paint will most likely become loose and flake away. Make sure to get into every crease and crevice with a wire brush or pressure washer. Note; if you do use water, ensure to give it a full 24 hours to dry before painting.

Choose the right paint

Paints For Brick Wall

Due to its porous properties, brick needs to soak in and expel water as if it’s breathing. This is a natural cycle which keeps the brick’s structural integrity.

Without water, brick becomes dry and crumbly, too much water, it can soften and collapse. So, by that nature, if you paint on a sealed paint, moisture will trap underneath it, negatively impacting the brick’s structural integrity.

If you use a type of paint which seals itself, water will try and force its way out through the paint causing peeling and splitting. On the other hand, if the water can’t escape, it can soften the brick and potentially lead to structural damage. 

These issues can all be avoided if a breathable paint is chosen which has been designed to be used on brick surfaces. 

Can you paint both exterior and interior brick?

Painting Interior Brick Wall

Yes, indeed, you can paint both. You can leave the exterior brick exposed, and the interior painted, or vice versa, or you can paint both. It’s really up to you and your preferences. Painting exterior brick is much the same as the interior. The only notable difference can be in what kind of paint is required. For the exterior, you’ll require a paint that’s better suited to the elements, but in both instances it is crucial that the paint is breathable and designed to be applied to brick.

If the brickwork has already been painted, it’s 9 times out of 10 best to continue to paint it. We’ll explore more of why this is in the next point. A poorly executed or old paint job can easily be fixed with a fresh coat of paint.

Painting brick is permanent 

Okay, it isn’t technically permanent. However, removing paint from brick is a very challenging process, to the point that it may as well be permanent.

It isn’t feasible to sandblast the paint off, as it may actually damage the original break underneath, impacting its structural integrity. Whilst brick is very strong, it’s also porous, meaning that high-pressure sandblasting will find all the gaps and potentially tear everything away. Chemical removal is an option, but requires a lot of finicky work going between each brick, and even then there isn’t a guarantee the harsh chemicals won’t eat away the brick. 

So if you are wanting to paint brick, keep in mind that it is a process which is almost impossible to reverse, so you must be certain about your decision. If you are wanting to change up the look of your home, you can always repaint in the future using a different colour.

Benefits of painting brick

Painting your brick home is an exciting process as it can entirely change up the look of your home. If you are wanting a professional high quality result, it is always best to hire the painting professionals here at Elite Painting. 

Offers a modern look

Even older homes can look modern and fresh with a coat of paint.  Paint helps to accentuate the texture and shapes of the brick, which allows you to keep that timeless brick style, but update it with a fresh and modern colour. The choices of paint colours today are endless, so you can choose a colour which reflects your own personal design choices.

Offers protection

The right paint can actually protect your home. Paint acts as a shell and can create a barrier between elemental damage, such as from rain, dirt, and the sun’s rays. This is particularly relevant in Australia, where our weather can be harsh and go from one extreme to another. We recommend repainting every 5 to 7 years to ensure you get the best protection out of your paint.

Easier to clean

Painted brick is so much easier to clean in comparison to exposed brick. The smooth surface created by paint makes it so much easier for cleaning solutions to remove any grime build-up. 

Things to avoid when painting a brick home

Knowing how to paint a brick wall and larger brick surfaces correctly is incredibly important. Keep in mind the following considerations in the case you to attempt to DIY the job;

Don’t paint over newly laid brick

If you have some new recently installed brick walls, it’s best not to start painting immediately. The mortar between the bricks requires time to set and dry correctly, so if you attempt to paint early, you will see flaking and peeling. You should always wait at least a month before giving a coat of paint on new brick walls.

Don’t paint over deteriorating brick

Brick can deteriorate, especially if it’s in an older home. This can be due to a number of factors, not enough moisture, too much moisture, poor maintenance, low-quality brick, or even just age. So if you do notice brick that is crumbling away, it may be tempting to throw on some paint to hide it away. This really isn’t a good idea, while it may look a bit better aesthetically, the brick is going to continue to deteriorate underneath it. Call a bricklayer or professional renovator to get their professional opinion, as sometimes the best option is to get new brick lain before you attempt any paintwork.

Looking for the best results? Hire a professional

Professional Painter Painting Brick Wall

If you have the knowledge and the materials, you can potentially paint a smaller area of brick at your home, such as a brick wall. But for a large scale, more complex task like painting an entire brick home, professional residential painting services are always the best option.

Elite Painting offers both interior and exterior painting services, and our experienced team are well versed in painting brick, having completed many properties across Perth. We use the highest quality paint on the market to ensure your home gets the treatment it deserves. Get in touch with us by email: or phone 0404 681 371 for an obligation-free quote or for any queries you may have.