How to Paint Exterior Masonry Walls

Nothing dresses up the outside of your home, improves property value, and boosts curb appeal more than updating the exterior with fresh paint. Whether you change the colors to match the shifting trends or simply want to get back the clean, fresh look of a new coat, painting your home’s exterior is a great investment in the appearance of your home as well as its resilience to the elements. It’s not uncommon these days to paint over brick or masonry, but it’s important that you and the exterior painters in Queen Creek that you hire to perform the job understand the tactics involved in painting masonry.

Painting masonry isn’t that different from painting any other exterior surface on your home. However, there are a few tips that you can use to get better, longer-lasting results. As is the case with any exterior surface, preparation is key to getting the results you want. Keep reading below to learn how to paint exterior masonry walls properly.

Step 1: Removing Old Paint

Just as if you were painting a wood surface, if the masonry has previously been painted, it’s important that you first remove any old paint that’s loose, flaking, or otherwise compromised. Painting over any degraded paint will produce subpar results, so it’s best to be aggressive with this step. You can use a pressure washer, but professionals will often use a sandblaster to scour the walls of the old paint before applying a new coat. In spots where pressure washing or sandblasting may not be feasible, you may need to use a metal wire brush or a paint scraper.

Step 2: Clean the Masonry

One of the quirks of masonry in the exterior environment is that it provides an excellent growth medium for algae and mold. The rough surface provides a perfect anchor point, and because of the porous nature of masonry, wet conditions can persist for longer than on other surfaces. New paint won’t adhere properly over mold or algae, so it’s critical that you clean the surface thoroughly before attempting to paint. Brick can be efficiently cleaned with a substance known as trisodium phosphate, or TSP. It’s a powder available at any home improvement or hardware store. You mix it with water, brush it on, and then hose it off after the prescribed time.

Step 3: Seal the Masonry

Even though brick and concrete are quite rigid and hard, that doesn’t mean they aren’t permeable. In fact, masonry is more porous than many other exterior building materials, so it’s critical that you seal the brick or concrete before painting over it. The latex-based sealer goes on the surface before primer is applied. For dense brick that is less porous, you may need to apply an oil-based primer that will seep into the brick and effectively seal it. Use a long-nap roller to apply the sealer in a single thorough coat. Allow the sealer to dry before attempting to prime.

Step 4: Priming the Masonry

Once your sealer has dried sufficiently, you should apply a layer of primer to ensure that the paint adheres properly to the surface. Use a long-nap roller to apply the primer, making sure that you coat all the seams between bricks. Once the primer has dried, it’s a good idea to scuff the surface slightly with medium-grit sandpaper; doing so will improve paint adhesion.

Step 5: Paint the Masonry

Painting is simple if you’ve been diligent in your surface prep. You can use either latex-based or oil-based paints, but it’s important that you apply them consistently and thoroughly. Use a long-nap roller and smooth, long strokes to get a seamless look. Try not to paint over partially dried paint because that will lead to flaking. For best results, make sure to scuff up the paint between coats to help the paint better adhere.

By taking the time to perform proper surface preparation while sealing and priming the masonry, you can get beautiful results that will last for years to come. If you’re looking to hire an exterior painting contractor in Queen Creek, AZ, contact Life in Color Painting Services at (480) 229-7615.

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