“I bought a house I love in the suburbs. Unfortunately, the people before me decided to paint the brick. I’m now considering hiring a professional painter to paint the outside of my house, but want to know my options. Is painting brick as easy as the siding? Should I have the paint removed and return it to “brick”? What are my options?”

Exterior Painting – What You Should Know Before Painting BrickOne of the reasons people love having brick homes is the low maintenance side of owning a brick house. You don’t need to paint it. It requires little care. It looks good and protects in all seasons, in all kinds of weather.

Until you get sick of the color. Which in the case of the former owners of your home is what obviously happened. At some point they grew tired of the “brick” color and decided to paint it to make it fit in with the times. Unfortunately for you, you are now stuck with the maintenance of caring for painted brick.

Brick in itself is a durable building material with built in color. Brick was never intended to be painted. However that doesn’t stop some people from painting it to change the color of their home.

Once it has been painted, you have two options: maintaining the paint or remove the paint.

Just like wood siding, once brick has been painted, it needs to be painted on a regular basis. How often is determined by the quality of the brick. If brick is in good quality and repair, on average it will need to be repainted every three to five years. It the brick is chipping, deteriorating, molding or in overall bad condition, it will be a bad candidate for paint. And therefore show wear on a much quicker basis.

To remove paint from brick, it requires chemicals and a lot of cleaning. In some cases the paint will never entirely come off, meaning you’re stuck with a spotted look of brick and left over color chips. If you don’t like the look, you’re either stuck with it or will be required to repaint it.

While brick is a hard surface, there are many places water can enter – one area that is always a big concern for color longevity. Water can enter through brick pores, incomplete mortar joints, sills, and gaps.And once moisture gets in, the risk begins. Moisture will cause paint to not adhere, and eventually chip away from the brick itself.

If painting brick is in your future, the key is quality. Make sure your brick is clean and ready for paint. It should be completely sealed to avoid moisture problems. Seal cracks, repair mortar joings, and make sure the brick is completely dry before applying paint. And before doing anything, talk with your professional painter first. He will have all kinds of advice on how to create a color and style that works for you.