What is the process followed for painting exterior brick walls?

As a homeowner, you probably have given serious thought on the external appearance of your home an updated and refreshed look. This is important, as it helps you maintain the brick walls in good condition. To paint exterior walls, follow the following five simple steps for the best result.

1. Cleaning the brick

Using a pressure washer is one of the easiest ways to clean exterior brick walls. However, make sure that the pressure is in the 1500 to 4000 psi range. Pressures higher than this can damage the mortar. You can add soap to get rid of stubborn mildew deposits. After washing, give the brick walls a few days to dry as brick is porous and holds moisture. To avoid injury, point the pressure washer away from you and others.

2. Removing loose paint and fix mortar

Next, eliminate any loose paint on the face of the brick to avoid early chipping in the new coat of paint. For large areas with loose paint, use a hand scraper. The use of wire brushes is discouraged because it's easy to leave gulley in the brick, which will affect the quality of the new paintwork.

3. Smooth the brick through sanding

Use a sander with a minimum of 80% grit to smoothen the brick wall, a palm or circular sander will do. Next, use premixed acrylic mortar to patch damaged mortar. Acrylic mortar is advantageous because it dries faster than powder mortar, hence allowing you to start painting sooner.

4. Prime the brick, caulk and seal

It is essential to use a masonry primer of high quality (latex or acrylic). Start with the areas that were affected by mildew and efflorescence, which ensures that these areas get an extra coat of paint if needed. Allow enough time for the primer to dry entirely before starting to paint. Then look for and caulk areas that can let water in, including holes as small as 1/16 inches wide such as chimney covers, windows and doors. Repeat this step after 3 to 5 hours.

5. Remove the dust and paint the brick grit

Using a vacuum or brush, remove all the dirt from the brick wall. For paint, 100% acrylic latex or elastomeric paint are ideal choices. To get the highest durability, apply two coats of paint. Use a roller with at least ¾ inch thickness to ensure that the paint reaches all parts of the wall.

Reach out to a painting contractor near you to learn more.