Advice on painting brick exterior myself.

15 Replies

Howdy folks!

Just about a week away from closing on a property I am going to rehab and sell.  

It has a sort of puke yellow paint on the outside. Sorry, not sure what other word to use.   Whoever painted it also didn't really do the job completely. At the top of the exterior walls where the brick meets the facia and all that stuff there paint is pretty patchy with a lot of the original brick showing through or not even painted.  I'd say 90% of the house has the paint on it.  

Here is the house, I promise the yellow is not as "nice" as in the picture. It's pretty bad in person.  Not sure how to describe other than puke yellow. haha

So, I have a few questions.

1. What sort of paint is best for an exterior brick wall?

2. On the spots where there was never any paint applied, do I need to prime that in some way?

3. Can I just paint over the original paint (after pressure washing, of course!) or do I need to also prime that in some way?

4. Are there any recommended/popular colors for house exteriors right now? Especially brick homes since the texture is different?

5. I am assuming I just need to repaint because it would be a nightmare, if not impossible, to get the paint off the brick house?

6.  It is coming up on Winter, do I need to get this done ASAP before cooler weather sets in?  

Thanks so much for any help!! I am sure I will have other questions, but these were the initial ones that popped into my head.

Normally you would just use a masonry paint and not need any primer.  Hard to even tell in your photo that it is brick.  It would depend on the finish that is on it now.  Take a close up photo and take it to Home Depot.  If it is a shiny paint you would need some type of bonding or primer.  I assume you are in a cold climate so I would not recommend the type of paint without seeing it up close.  I'm in south Florida so different climate.  Really depends on the quality of the job that was done initially.  Don't want it to peel off with the cold climate.  Good luck though, it looks like a nice house.  

Originally posted by @Charlie DiLisio :

Normally you would just use a masonry paint and not need any primer.  Hard to even tell in your photo that it is brick.  It would depend on the finish that is on it now.  Take a close up photo and take it to Home Depot.  If it is a shiny paint you would need some type of bonding or primer.  I assume you are in a cold climate so I would not recommend the type of paint without seeing it up close.  I'm in south Florida so different climate.  Really depends on the quality of the job that was done initially.  Don't want it to peel off with the cold climate.  Good luck though, it looks like a nice house.  

Thank you! Part of me thinks I may be better off passing this job off to a professional.

Paint loves to stick to brick. The reason you don’t see many painted brick houses is that unpainted brick is maintenance free. I have never painted brick but I would think the hardest part would be to get good coverage...you’d need a really fluffy roller to get the mortar joints. Rolling a one story isnt too hard, but if you dont know how to prep and caulk you might hire it out. You need dry weather to paint and usually above freezing (on the paint can). Behr marque can be used at lower temperatures. Your house is cute. I would consider a light gray or taupe to go nicely with the black shutters. And pick an accent color for the front door. Navy is very stylish right now, but not so dark it doesn’t “accent.” That is a look that appeals to both sexes. Of course, cream or off white is always a nice exterior color too. The yellow may be a little much unless you are in a beachy area. Good luck. Fall is also a good time to plant a tree.

Yes i believe hiring it out to a professional makes lot of sense, they might probably spray it instead of painting. Also i see more of light gray on new rehab this days and they look beautiful on bricks. Good luck 

I would get a quote to paint it. You might be surprises. My first flip I had not planned for painting the exterior. When I finally bit the bullet I had a company come out and give me a quote. For $2500 they would prep and paint the whole house, and that even included painting the wood windows. without the windows was probably going to be closer to $2000 (labor only). I ended up getting a friend to do it for way cheaper, but at the end of the day was well worth not having to do it myself. Go with a light gray, and a bright red door! Keep the window and door trim white and the shutters black.

Dorian Gray is a good color. It is a warm gray. Black Fox is a good dark accent color. Good luck. 

Originally posted by @Katie Neason :

Dorian Gray is a good color. It is a warm gray. Black Fox is a good dark accent color. Good luck. 

 Those are some really pretty colors, but are those more for exterior? I really like the idea of those colors on the interior. One of the biggest frustrations for me in all of this rehabbing is that I just don't seem to have an eye for painting or changing up the layout of a house from the inside in a way that might make it flow better or other things like that. Is very frustrating. Is that something that comes with more and more rehabs or is that something that some people just have an eye for?

We are also doing a lot of gray these days, both in and out.  We have been using Sherwin Williams Summit gray for paint, with SW Greenblack for trim.  Comes out nice.   Often, but not always,  go with a bright red door and red mulch.  Buyers seem to like the look.

341 Frosti Way, Eustis, FL 32726

I’m a fan of painting the home, but a bigger fan of curb appeal. Regardless of the color of the house it will still look plain with out landscaping. Use the cash for a good landscaper to increase the curb appeal.

Originally posted by @Brian H. :
Originally posted by @Katie Neason:

Dorian Gray is a good color. It is a warm gray. Black Fox is a good dark accent color. Good luck. 

 Those are some really pretty colors, but are those more for exterior? I really like the idea of those colors on the interior. One of the biggest frustrations for me in all of this rehabbing is that I just don't seem to have an eye for painting or changing up the layout of a house from the inside in a way that might make it flow better or other things like that. Is very frustrating. Is that something that comes with more and more rehabs or is that something that some people just have an eye for?

Dorian Gray is a good cabinet color for the interior and maybe an accent wall.  It is definitely a good exterior color.  For the most part, Black Fox is too dark for interior, we use it a lot as an exterior accent color.  

As far as "learning to pick colors", find colors you like and stick with them. No need to change them from house to house for the most part. Changing the layout, I think can be learned with practice. I would walk every rehabbed house on the market until you start to get a feel for it. 

Good luck!

I love painted brick. If you paint it yourself use a sprayer - even with a thick nap roller it will take you forever. It is easier to paint brick if it already has a good, thorough coat on top of it - but if that coat is semi, then you're going to have to etch or prime. 

Having painted a bunch of brick, two things I will say:

1. If you do this yourself you will wish you had let a professional do it in short order;

2. If you have a professional do it you will be star struck when they tell you the price.

Either way sucks, really. If you have plenty of time and energy you can save yourself a ton of money on this project, but you are going to work for it, make no mistake. 

Originally posted by @Sebby Gabre Madhin :

We are also doing a lot of gray these days, both in and out.  We have been using Sherwin Williams Summit gray for paint, with SW Greenblack for trim.  Comes out nice.   Often, but not always,  go with a bright red door and red mulch.  Buyers seem to like the look.

341 Frosti Way, Eustis, FL 32726

 I had been told by two different realtors to steer away from mulch as it attracts termites.  Is that true?  I love the look of this property though! 

@JD Martin

I have some time.... but it is about to start getting cold, so I don't know if I have THAT kind of time before then. I run a kitchen 75+ hours a week but still make sure to (usually) get my two days off a week.  I am assuming this would take a good 3 or 4 days for an unseasoned painter, such as myself?

Originally posted by @Brian H. :

@Jd Martin

I have some time.... but it is about to start getting cold, so I don't know if I have THAT kind of time before then. I run a kitchen 75+ hours a week but still make sure to (usually) get my two days off a week.  I am assuming this would take a good 3 or 4 days for an unseasoned painter, such as myself?

 Easily, and those are going to be 3-4 hard days. If you spray, you'll spend a lot of time taping off. If you roll, you'll spend a lot of time cutting in and going back over spots the roller skipped. Based on your description (some of the bricks not really painted), I would suspect you'd have at least two coats of paint. If you stay in the same shade you'll have less work to do, but since you describe it as puke yellow, I'm guessing you want to change shades. 

@JD Martin

Uggggh... I want to do what I can but I feel like that piece may be best left to the professionals at least with this house, being brick and all. 

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