Should I paint my brick house? What's better, painting or staining bricks? Is there any downside to painting brick?
There are so many incredible benefits to buying a brick home. From the durability and safety, to the sustainability and energy-efficiency, brick has it all. This can all change if you have painted brick on your home.. Because brick is porous, painted brick compromises the structure, and drastically decreases the lifespan of brick through deterioration.
Brick paint traps moisture
Brick is naturally breathable, and a natural insulator against even the most extreme temperatures. Brick slowly absorbs heat, cold, or moisture depending on the outside conditions, and then slowly releases it. On the other hand, painted brick seals the masonry, compromising brick's natural response. Painting exterior brick traps moisture within the structure, and prevents the moisture from evaporating or drying out. Leaky pipes, cold winters or humid summers are just some causes for excess moisture, and all can cause detrimental, costly damage. The repeated freeze-thaw cycle that can repeat multiple times over the course of a year will cause the masonry wall to deteriorate.
Painted brick costs more over time
When you choose a brick house, you're saving around $10,000 annually on lower maintenance costs, lower insurance premiums, and lower utility bills. Once you paint your brick, it becomes compromised and it’s no longer maintenance-free and cannot control the elements. Brick is one of the best building materials we have, and paint does not make it stronger, does not help it to last longer, and does not assist in protecting it from the elements.
Once you paint a brick wall, you change the wall and turn it into a maintenance wall that will need to be repainted repeatedly over the years to come. Metal and wood are examples of building materials that can use added protection. Paint can protect the metal from rusting and the wood from rotting, but again it will need to be repainted repeatedly over time.
Brick is also a natural insulator, which is why brick homes have lower utility costs. This is not the case for painted brick houses, however. The brick paint seals the structure, and increases utility bills from before there were painted brick.
Having a painted brick house reduces your home value
If you're painting exterior brick right before you plan on selling your house, you may get lucky and have potential buyers who find it aesthetically appealing. Or, you may have would-be buyers who see this paint as a red flag, and a camouflage for structural issues.
That's best case scenario. The next scenario is that you've painted brick on your home and 3+ years later, you decide to move. At this point, the brick paint is starting to blister and peel, and beginning to cause hideous eyesores. If moisture has built up in the painted brick (which there's a good chance it has), your brick is very likely destroyed, and will compromise the entire home structure. If you're lucky enough, maybe this hasn't happened. The only options you have are to paint the bricks again (which adds an extra layer, and in turn will cause extra maintenance issues), or to have the paint removed from brick. Paint removal from brick is very time consuming and expensive, costing thousands of dollars to have it done correctly.
The permanent alternative to painting exterior brick
Masonry Cosmetics offer the permanent solution to painted brick, which is the best brick stain on the market. Our brick staining product is all-natural and absorbent. What that means is that the stain absorbs into the pores structure and chemically bonds to the masonry. The pigments embed into the pores, sort of like a tattoo on your body. Since it’s breathable, it absorbs moisture rather than trapping it. This means it won’t ruin the brick, it won’t peel or flake, and it won’t need to be reapplied or removed. Don’t just take our word for it, we have over 400 case studies of our brick stains lasting 10, 15, 20+ years in the field. Whether it’s a repair, restoration, addition, complaint or makeover, we’re here to help permanently change the color of your brick. And remember - friends don’t let friends paint brick.