Thinking of Painting Your Brick House? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Kristin Luna
Written by Kristin Luna
Updated March 24, 2022
White brick house exterior
Photo: Susan Vineyard / Adobe Stock


  • It’s possible to paint your bricks any color you like.

  • It costs between $3,500 and $10,500 to paint a brick home, depending on size.

  • Some benefits of painted brick include preservation and aesthetics.

  • One drawback? It’s final. Once you paint brick, you can’t go back.

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Many houses built in the late-20th century were built with a standard red brick that some homeowners love. But If you own a brick home, you may want to give it a vibrant new look with a fresh coat of paint. Before you pick up the paintbrush—or call a professional painter—here’s what to know about painting a brick home’s exterior.

What Should I Consider Before Painting My Brick House?

One of the biggest downsides to painting brick is that there’s no going back—once you paint it, you can’t ever go back to that authentic brick look. So the first thing you should consider before painting your brick house is whether you’re in it for the long haul. 

Of course, you can always swap out the paint color for something new down the road. 

Another thing to consider? If you live in a neighborhood governed by an HOA, you’ll likely need approval from the local architectural review committee before painting your exterior. A tip: You may want to take clean pictures and create a visual rendering of your painted brick home to help the review committee speed the process along; going the extra mile will also help you get a good idea of how your paint project will turn out.

The Pros of Painting Bricks

  • Provides a top-to-bottom seal to your home

  • Improves the integrity of brick by protecting it from the elements

  • Modernizes a dated exterior

The Cons of Painting Bricks

  • It’s irreversible 

  • Materials can be costly

  • HOA or neighborhood association restrictions may prevent it

How Much Does It Cost to Paint a Brick House?

The average cost to paint a brick house is $7,000, with a range from $3,500 to $10,500. Choosing a higher quality primer that is masonry specific and adding a nice finish coat will add to the total expense, as will painting eves, porches, and decks as part of the project. Whitewashed brick is slightly less expensive as it requires adding diluted material to let the brick show through, with a cost range between $2,225 and $4,000 for a 2,500-square-foot house.

How Do You Paint Your Brick House?

Paint sprayer closeup
Photo: H_Ko / Adobe Stock

The premise for painting a brick building is fairly simple: prime to seal and top coat to protect. However, it’s easy to miss a few important steps if you’re starting from a raw brick surface and don’t know the basics of how to paint brick

Make Repairs and Mind the Grout

You’ll want to fix or replace any damaged bricks first before adding paint atop them. Once you’re ready to apply paint, pay special attention to the grout lines between each brick, as they vary immensely in width and depth from project to project. If the grout is deep, put your eyes on every square inch of the paint job as you go to ensure full coverage into these cracks. 

Spray Then Roll the Paint

The typical process for painting brick is to use a commercial paint sprayer to spray the paint on and then back roll the material into the brick with a large nap roller (1 1/2” to 2”). This extra step, which is often skipped by lower-end contractors or DIY painters, is critical to the longevity of your painted brick investment. 

Work in the Primer

If there are any sections that don’t cohesively mesh with the rest of the shell (like between the bricks on the grout lines), moisture will intrude and boil off the paint within a matter of years. Working the primer into the rough surfaces with a large roller ensures that everything penetrates according to the manufacturer's specifications. Simply spraying on the layers of paint will not accomplish this. 

Use Masonry Paint on Raw Brick

A masonry paint also is necessary on raw brick to inhibit reactions from the high alkali levels found in the mortar. You’ll virtually eliminate efflorescence—or the accumulation of mineral salts that result in a white, chalky appearance—with proper preparation. 

Tools You’ll Need to Paint Your Brick House

  • Roller (1 1/2” to 2”)

  • Roller frame

  • Roller pole

  • Roller screens

  • Paintbrush

  • 5 gallon buckets

  • Paint sprayer

  • Ladder

  • Respirator


  • Masonry-specific primer

  • Exterior paint

  • Masking tape

  • Masking paper

  • Tarps

How Much Time It Will Take to Paint Your Brick House

A typical 2,500-square-foot home will require about one week to prime and paint. This includes the drying time between priming and time for manually back-rolling the entire brick surface on each coat. If you have complex dormers, porches, or surfaces that you don’t want to paint (like vinyl siding or stone features), your paint job will likely take a bit longer. Budget in a couple extra days if you live in an area that regularly gets rain, heavy fog, or thick humidity. 

How Long Does a Brick Paint Job Last?

Just like any exterior paint job, you can expect a lifespan of 10 to 12 years for painted brick with regular maintenance and cleaning. Keeping up with cleaning off dirt and mold will go a long way toward ensuring that your paint will live up to the manufacturer's specifications. 

How Do I Choose a Paint Color I Can Live With?

Choosing the right paint color for a major investment like painting the exterior brick on your house can be a daunting task. Perhaps the most important thing is to find houses already painted that you like and replicate the look by researching its colors and asking the homeowners for the paint color code. White painted brick is a timeless, classic look that is unlikely to go out of style.

Should I DIY Paint My Brick or Hire a Pro Exterior House Painter?

If you’re an experienced DIY painter and have tools like extension ladders, a paint sprayer, and masking machines, you probably can pull off a brick paint job on your own. It’s a huge project that involves transferring a lot of liquid material onto the exterior of your house, so if you don’t have much experience working with large volumes of paint or operating a spray machine and climbing ladders, you should hire a pro for the job.

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