Brick Paint Washington DC
Takoma Park, MD
Falls Church, VA
Unlike wood, fiber cement, and some types of masonry, a brick wall doesn't need the surface protection afforded by paint. But move into a house with brickwork you hate and paint may seem like the best thing to do. Brick can be painted successfully, but count on repainting exterior surfaces every five years or less. Surface preparation is important. Although brick is in most cases chemically neutral, the mortar is probably alkaline. That calls for an alkaline-resistant primer when a paint product based on drying oils will be used. Efflorescence - the deposit of water-soluble salts on the surface - should be removed before painting, and surfaces should be dry. Moisture may enter a wall through missing or incomplete mortar joints or find its way around missing flashing. Those problems must be repaired before the surface is painted. Prep tips from the Brick Industry Association:
Remove efflorescence with a brush and clear water. Treat moss on shaded walls with weed killer. Wet the wall down thoroughly before applying the solution and scrub with a brush and clear water after treatment.
Mildew, more common on previously painted surfaces, should also be removed before any new paint is applied. If not, it will continue to grow. Try a mixture of 3 ounces of trisodium phosphate (TSP), 1 ounce of dry laundry detergent, 1 quart of sodium hyperchlorite (bleach) and 3 quarts of warm water. Scrub with a brush and rinse thoroughly.
Scrape, wire-brush or sandblast all peeling or flaking paint. Paint that has alligatored must be removed completely.
Brush light chalking away with a brush. Heavy deposits can be tackled with a stiff brush and a solution of TSP and water. Latex paints perform well on brick, according to the BIA. They dry quickly, can be applied to damp surfaces and are alkali-resistant. As important, latex paints are permeable to the passage of water vapor, allowing exterior walls to breathe. Acrylic paints have good color retention and a high resistance to water spotting. Unless specially formulated, latex paint may not bond well with chalky surfaces. Oil-based and alkyd paints should not be used outside, the association says, because they create non-porous films that can trap water. On inside surfaces, oil paints are fine. Although they take longer to dry, they bind well to masonry surfaces.