Are you scared to paint your brick?

The right paint can help a brick home feel more modern. Or, it can add an unexpected pop of color to draw people to a storefront. However, using a standard exterior paint can cause your exciting update to look like an arts & crafts project gone wrong. With the right type of paint, the outcome can be stunning and enduring.

Additionally, a brick exterior coated with the right type of paint allows the inherent qualities of brick to remain intact. The brick continues to be low maintenance, reduces energy costs, doesn’t burn, and can protect against severe weather like tornadoes, hail, and hurricanes.

Brick’s built-in drainage system
To explain why specially formulated brick paint is recommended, here’s a little “Brick 101.” One of the wonderful benefits of brick is brick itself doesn’t leak. However, if the mortar cracks, water can penetrate your wall. Thankfully, masons build in a moisture management system during installation. They leave a 1-inch gap between the brick and the wall and install drainage – also known as weep holes – at the bottom of the wall. This way if water gets in, it drains down the back of the brick and out of the weep hole. (The things you never knew about brick…and why it’s so important to hire a brick mason to lay brick rather than a handy generalist.) For technical resources, access our technical information here.

Painting over this marvelous material and built-in moisture management system could cause problems if you use the wrong paint. Let’s say you painted your brick wall a few days after a storm or right after you cleaned the brick exterior with a hose. While it appears dry, there may still be moisture you can’t see. If you paint over damp brick with no airflow, you trap any remaining moisture and the paint will bubble and chip.

Breathable paint for brick
The good news is there are paints and lime washes designed specifically for masonry that have breathability characteristics. One phenomenal exterior masonry product is called ROMABIO. These specially formulated mineral masonry paints are highly-durable, long-lasting paints that won’t peel or flake off. They have high-UV resistance and are naturally mold-resistant. They are available in smooth or textured variations. If you want a more textured look, you can use the textured product. However, there’s another surprising thing people can do with this product – using the textured paint on textured brick causes it to appear smoother. Additionally, ROMABIO is not only suited for exterior use. Created with people and the environment in mind, their products are free of solvents and toxic emissions.

Questions to ask about brick paint
People often want to know about brick paint durability. The answer depends on which brand and coating you choose. For example, ROMABIO offers a 20-year limited warranty when applied as a 2 coat system.
When you’re shopping for brick mineral paint or brick limewash, be sure to ask:

Is it UV-Resistant?
How long will it last?
Do I need to use a primer?
How many coats will it require?
Is there a warranty?
Does it achieve your look?

While the clean, crisp painted look is a current trend and gaining popularity, people also love the creamy, aged limewashed look too. When light farmhouse colors allow the brick to peek through, homeowners can enjoy the beauty of the brick’s natural aging over time. Before you embark on this exciting project, we have more helpful tips on how to match your personality to your painted brick project and how to properly clean the brick before you get started.

If you love the limewash or painted brick look, we want you to have the right information so you can be fearless. Visit a Meridian Brick and Masonry Supply location near you for ROMABIO and to discuss everything about your painted brick project.