Should I Paint Historic Exterior Brick?


Because of the damaging effects of water saturation and freeze-thaw cycles, painting historically unpainted brick can eventually destroy the brick. Additionally it requires long-term maintenance, a huge expense best avoided.


Appropriately-painted historic brick houses require the paint for protection, and there are options for responsible maintenance. While it is usually recommended to paint the painted brick with the same kind of paint it already has, even if it is modern, it is best to avoid fully waterproof coatings.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is painted brick out of style?

Natural brick or painted brick? That's the question, but not everyone agrees on the answer. Like other types of masonry, brick is a high-quality cladding that never seems to go out of style. ... Some of today's finest homes boast brick cladding, but it's not hard to find homes with painted brick if you look around.

When do you need to paint a brick house?

Though sometimes charming and lovely, paint on historic brick houses is only appropriate when the house required paint for exterior wall protection in its initial, non-machine-made brick construction.

Can you use waterproof paint on unpainted brick?

Painting historically unpainted brick – particularly with the modern waterproof paints – involves intensive long-term maintenance and the destruction of historical materials. With historically unpainted brick, let the decorative brick details and fancy glaze be the charm and the beauty – and leave the modern waterproof paint on the shelf.

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