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Why You Should Not Paint Exterior Brick Walls

Don’t Do It

If you watch home renovation shows on TV like Fixer Upper (Texas, USA) you will notice a trend towards painting exterior brick walls. It is amazing the difference it can make just changing the color of the exterior. Although it might make sense from a design point of view, there are good reasons why you should not paint exterior brick walls in Ontario.

Bricks Breath

Brick holds and releases moisture and heat, you might say brick breathes. When you paint brick, you seal it with a thin but effective membrane that will trap moisture inside the brick. Brick and man-made stone adjust to shield your home from rain, snow, sleet, ice, light, heat, and cold. When you paint it, you weaken its ability to adjust and adapt. Because we experience colder weather in Ontario, sealing moisture in our masonry walls has potential to freeze and crack. When this happens the structural integrity of the wall is at risk.

Its a One Way Street

Painting your brick or stone wall is a one-way street. There is no turning back as you can’t un-paint a brick wall without a lot of work. Sand blasting or power washing can remove the bricks hard surface and destroy its durable qualities. The alternative is using a chemical stripper, which requires you to get intimate with every square inch of your home’s exterior using a brush and lots of manual labor.  There is no easy way back. And sadly, in Ontario, it won’t last long either. Painted brick surfaces can wear out very quickly as the brick itself begins to degrade. Then paint will peal and flake off. Unfortunately, that is also a sign that the damage we were talking about has started to happen.

When Painting is OK?

If you buy a house that has already been painted, then the decision has been made for you. It will require re-painting. In that case, do your research and use the right paint for the job. Silicate or mineral based paint is designed to allow your brick to breath and will last longer.

Painting indoor brick is a different story. Inside masonry walls are not subject to the harsh weather of Ontario. Likely, if you’re painting an inside wall, it has been drying out for many years and doesn’t have much moisture to trap. Therefore, all you Joanna Gaines’ out there, go for it!

A Better Way

Alternatively, Masonry Nation of Ottawa can give your interior masonry walls a facelift and completely remove old masonry material. There is a plethora of new masonry products available including light weight brick and stone veneers. Visit our Portfolio to see our work.

Massonry Nation, Ottawa, Ontario

There are some rare exceptions where exterior bricks were designed to be sealed with special sealer or paint. But there are very few like that in Ontario. So, before you paint an exterior wall, contact Masonry Nation about repairs, restoration, and repointing. They can restore your brick or stone to look like new again. Get a free no obligation quote today! You might be surprised at how inexpensive it is, especially when you consider how long it will last.