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How to Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting

Everyone is painting their brick house these days, have you noticed? We’re all saying goodbye to the old red, pink, tan brick homes of the past and giving them a fresh makeover with a coat of paint.

How to Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting

We are sitting here just completely giddy at the thought that our brick home is being painted as we speak. Goodbye 1970’s bland tan bricks with green trim (see before pictures below). Hello modern grey with a fresh white trim. Are we painting the brick ourselves? No, we hired a painter to paint the exterior brick, that’s the fun part. Even though we’re not the ones hold the paint sprayer, we did do a few things to get the house ready to be painted. Here’s our How To Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting.

If you want to see our Curb Appeal before and after’s go here.

1. Wash the Exterior Brick

Tools needed: Fertilizer Sprayer, Simple Green

How To Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting

Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting

When the painter came over for his first consultation, he told us the main thing we needed to do to prepare to paint our brick home was to wash it. Before we got into the power washing, we had to wash it with a simple green solution. Simple Green will help lift the dirt off the brick when we power wash it. We filled the fertilizer sprayer with the simple green solution according to the directions. It took a total of an hour to completely wash the exterior brick of our 2500 square foot home.

2. Power Wash the Brick

Tools needed: Power Washer, Water

How to prepare to paint exterior paint

Now that the Simple Green solution is on the brick, it’s time to lift the dirt off with the power washer. It really is as simple as it sounds. Find a good power washer and have at it. The only “Use with Caution” we give is, the water comes out with incredible force. Stand back about 4-5 away from the exterior. If you power wash too close, you run the risk of damaging the brick.

3. Wipe Down the Trim

Our house is old enough that some of the trim is wood and some of it is vinyl. The vinyl trim was easily washed with the power washer and the simple green solution. The wood trim around the windows involved a bit more elbow grease but the solution was simple. Get a wet rag and wipe it down by hand to make sure you remove all the dirt.

4. Remove the Gutters

How to prepare to paint exterior paint

When we bought our home two years ago, the gutters were in 80% working order. They were old and beat up and we wanted to replace them anyway. So when the painter suggested we remove them so he could paint the trim it was an easy decision. Removing the gutters themselves was no easy feat. It took a solid 2.5 hours of hard labor removing all the nails and pulling the gutters out from the roof. If you want to save your gutters, you might consider taping them off if your situation allows. Otherwise, carefully remove the gutters so you can paint behind them.

That’s literally all we did to prep to paint our brick house, besides the obvious removing all flags, furniture and decorations out and away from the porch and all exterior surfaces. We are so excited to see such big progress being made on the house. What do you think? Are you considering painting your brick home?

How to Prepare Exterior Brick for Painting 1

Before Pics

Here are some before pictures (thank you Google Earth) for what our curb appeal looked like when we moved in.

Here's an "After" shot, since technically we are still waiting for the painter to come in and paint. How to improve your curb appeal quickly.


How to prep your house for exterior paint.

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