How to Paint Brick Without Any Experience

Even a novice DIYer can paint brick. The key to perfectly executing it is the prep work. Ready for an upgrade? Keep reading!

Painting brick has many advantages. Here are a few examples:

  • It’s less expensive to paint it than it is to replace with another material.
  • A lighter colour can alleviate the feeling of heaviness that a brick wall can impart.
  • It can boost curb appeal and resale value!

Step 1: Prep!

It’s important to properly clean the surface so that the paint adheres properly. Dirt should come off with soapy water and some elbow grease with a stiff-bristled brush. Need something stronger? Try trisodium phosphate (TSP). A half cup of TSP mixed into a gallon of water ought to do the trick. (Consider a pressure washer, especially if you need to clean a relatively large expanse of brickwork.)

If you struggle with mildew stains, use a solution consisting of one part bleach to three parts water. Acid solutions should be avoided as they can compromise the paint job.

Let sit for 24 hours before painting.

Step 2: Prime!

Depending on the area of the surface you wish to paint, use a brush or roller or paint sprayer to apply a coat of latex primer. Put additional coats on those sections that have been affected either by efflorescence or mildew. Make sure it dries completely after each respective coat.

Step 3: Paint!

Elastodynamic paint is ideal for brick. As implied, it has a high level of elasticity, which is good for filling & preventing cracks. It also tolerates a lot of abuse, climate-wise. Regular acrylic latex works as well.

The best option for application is a paint sprayer. However, if you are painting a relatively modest surface area—a brick fireplace surround, for example—brushes or rollers are sufficient. In fact, for those with no experience operating a sprayer, these low-tech painting tools are recommended.

For interior and exterior brick, many experts recommend semi-gloss or gloss paint, as either type accentuates detail and, compared with other paints, is easier to clean as time goes by.


Whether you want to modernize your exterior, or open up an enclosed brick wall inside your home, a fresh paint job will certainly do the trick. Can’t find the time to do it? Mill Creek Painters can help, let us know if you need a hand!

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