Exterior paint for newly acquired brick building.

7 Replies

Closing date set for our first apartment building. Trying to plan ahead and think painting will make the building pop, create curb appeal, and a desire to live. Has anyone had any experience with this process? Rough cost associated? etc.

Painting brick turns something that is maintenance-free into something that must be maintained. The added expense drags down your annual NOI and therefore destroys value in your property. Most apartment owners I know dislike painted brick for that reason.

Is there another way to make it pop?   

Congrats on your acquisition.

Paint the doors and trim to make it, "Pop."  Only paint the brick if it has already been painted, or is so graffiti covered that it is impossible to clean.

I've painted a pretty sizable brick exterior. Are you doing it yourself, or contracting it out? I assume doing it yourself, based on the question.

Get a good exterior primer, intended for this type of surface. Zinsser Bull's Eye exterior primer. The brick soaked up a ton of the primer, so get some extra before you start. You can always return the unused portions. I used exterior grade paint as well. Make sure your primer color is somewhat close to your paint color. I primed white, then painted dark brown. I had to do 3 coats of paint to get it to look really good (I'm a bit of a perfectionist).

If you have the option to rent / borrow a professional paint sprayer, do it! All the grout lines and angles of the brick took forever to paint with a brush. Don't buy a cheapie paint sprayer either. I burned through 2 of them trying to spray latex, and it more frustrating than anything. 

It's been 5 years, and the paint has help up with out any issues what-so-ever.

Thank you @Greg Scott for your thoughts. I'm sure there are other options but I saw a couple pics online and really thought it would make us stand out. it currently has an old fabric awning that we will be replacing with metal that will dress up the front for sure.
@Johnny Hastings it's a 10,000 sq ft building so the plan was to contract it out as we do not have the time nor skillset I don't think to pull it off accurately. My main concern is how the finish lasts. You said 5 years, how many more do you think before redoing a coat? this is New England keep in mind so we see all types of weather. Thank you

At this point, I'd say it'll be at least a few more years before it needs any attention. I'm in Central WI, we get weather from crazy summer storms, 90 plus degrees with insane humidity for weeks, winter snow and ice like mad, and even a 40 plus day stretch a few years ago where it didn't get above zero degrees! I think the key for the longevity of the project was the prep (I cleaned it well with a power sprayer), followed by multiple coats of paint and primer. 

If your brick looks good, and isn't an outdated color, then I'd definitely leave it unpainted. I agree with what was said above here: why create a maintenance issue where none previously existed? If it looks out dated, you don't have many options with it. You could have it faced with a more modern look, but that's not going to be cheap. 

Why not call a contractor or two and get some quotes on the paint job? At least then you'd know what your investment would be. Perhaps it would be so expensive that it isn't even worth considering.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here