Brick: How to Refresh Your Home Exterior

by Bonnee Proo 12/29/2019

Photo by Karsten Bergmann via Pixabay

Take a tour through the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium or Holland, and you’ll see beautiful historic homes with painted brick exteriors. Wander down streets of hundreds-of-years-old houses, and the most memorable ones are those with painted brick exteriors. But if your brick is in perfect condition, why would you paint it?

Odd-Colored Brick

Some eras produced color variations in brick that detract from the architectural details of a building. When overly pale or harsh bricks detract from a beautiful porch, craftsman detailing or outstanding woodwork, painting your brick can give your home instant curb appeal and new life. Paint your brick with a quality masonry paint for lasting European elegance. Spraying gives the most even coverage to brick surfaces.

Highly-Textured Brick

The 70s gave us bell-bottoms, embroidered shirts and ugly brick. Adding texture to bricks, while popular at that time, gave some home exteriors the appearance of crawling worms and others a rough and stark industrial uniformity. If either of these is the case with your home, you can smooth out some of the texture by using elastomeric masonry paint. Up to ten times the thickness of regular exterior paints, this watertight substance fills in cracks and smooths out some of the roughness of excessive texture. That being said, for best results and to avoid lumps and bubbles, hire a professional painting contractor with experience applying elastomeric paints.

Uneven or Colored Mortar

Another reason to paint is when the mortar used on your brick home is distractingly uneven. To smooth out some of the unevenness and give your home Old World charm, consider the German Schmear method. Also referred to as German “smear,” this method mimics the centuries-old plaster and white-wash techniques of yesteryear. To achieve the look, wet mortar is smeared or scraped over the existing brick and mortar. You can cover all the brick and mortar, or just portions of it for a historic exposed brick and limewash look. However, a similar effect is achievable using a prepared limewash specifically developed for exterior applications from your home improvement or professional paint store.

Before You Paint Your Brick

Proper preparation is necessary to achieve superior results. Follow this all-important list or you may end up redoing the outside of your home sooner than you expect.

  • Wash the brick. Use a stiff-bristled brush or pressure washer (set on low) to remove any dirt or grime buildup on the brick.
  • Scrape off any moss or mold and treat the brick with undiluted distilled white vinegar or a mold removal preparation available from your DIY retailer.
  • Repair any deep cracks, broken or chipped mortar or missing bricks.

Your paint store can advise you on what works best in your situation and your climate. Painting your home’s brick gives it appeal to a whole different segment of homebuyers, so talk to your real estate professional about plans to paint it before putting your house on the market.

About the Author
Author

Bonnee Proo

A Penn State undergrad with an MBA from University of Redlands, I specialize in the sale of new and existing homes in San Diego County. Licensed for 12 years in the Real Estate and Mortgage Banking industries, I have a strong background in Mortgage Banking and Investment property. Prior to real estate. I spent 18 years as a Corporate Accountant specializing in Healthcare and Biotechnology. I’ve always been a "numbers person.” However, my joy comes from working with and helping people make well-versed decisions with sometimes the largest investment they will ever make in their life…their home.


Leveraging my experience over the years, I am known for outstanding client service, available 7 days per week or whenever called upon to assist, execute, negotiate, guide or encourage. I strongly believe it is my duty to not only represent my clients to the best of my ability, but also to educate them throughout every step of the home buying (or selling) process, arming them with topnotch information and market insight so that they are able to make the best decisions possible. I am honest and trustworthy. I wholeheartedly believe that commitments are made to be kept. Also, I am extremely hardworking and knowledgeable about the real estate/mortgage industries and I have an EXCELLENT team of affiliates (lender, escrow, title, inspectors, etc.) with whom I work that are just as hardworking and knowledgeable in their respective lines of work, and always ready to assist.


During my spare time, you will either find me swing dancing or swinging a golf club. I also enjoy walking/hiking or spending time at the gym always working on trying to stay healthy; socializing with friends; and spending quality family time with husband, Phillip and my sassy, little fur-baby, Sadi.


 


AFFILIATIONS


National Association of Realtors (NAR)


California Association of Realtors (CAR)


Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR)


Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)


San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador)


East County Chamber of Commerce (Ambassador)


University of Redlands (Alumni Board)


Meals on Wheels (Volunteer)