Interior decoration is a pleasing thing, of course; but when you think of it, only you and your guests ever really get to enjoy it. The exterior of your home, on the other hand – that’s something that’s going to be noticed by guests, neighbors, and anyone who happens to glance at your place as they drive by.
In other words, making your home look good is just as much a matter of taking care of the exterior as the interior. Moreover, that’s why many homeowners nowadays are seeking out reliable means and methods of giving the exterior bricks of their homes a fresh coat of paint.
Of course, painting exterior brick has always been a topic of controversy among home décor and architectural enthusiasts – some more purist folks out there feel that it’s defacing. So, painting your brick exterior is the sort of job that might well get you even more unsolicited advice than other household maintenance jobs. However, if you have your heart set on giving your home’s brick exterior a fresh coat of paint, we’ve gathered below a few tips for doing so.
- Be Sure About Your Choice
When it comes to painting exterior brick, you ought to be positive that you want it done – and, ideally, also sure about your choice of color. Painting over previous paint jobs is much trickier on brick than on flat interior walls – and, needless to say, if you’re painting over a bare brick wall, you’ll never be able to get that look back, as scraping the paint off is next to impossible to do neatly.
Yes, home paint jobs usually are pretty big commitments; but exterior jobs ought to be treated as more significant commitments than ever, as undoing what’s been done is even less feasible than usual. Give considerable thought to whether you don’t ever want to see that bare-brick look again; and when that’s done, give even more thought to precisely what color you want to go for (we’ll have some tips for that further down the list).
The chances are that, if you’ve spent any time maintaining your own home, you’ve done a bit of wall-painting. Heck, perhaps you’ve even painted or papered entire rooms. That’s no small achievement; but still, it’s best not to allow yourself to be tempted to try painting the whole brick exterior yourself, to save a few bucks.
Why? Well, because the business of painting bricks is much more complicated than that of painting flat interior walls. You can’t simply slap the paint down on the bricks. Most painters, instead, will begin the process by washing the entire exterior of your house, likely with a pressure washer, to remove any mold or dirt, which could significantly compromise the integrity of the paint job if painted over. After this, the painter will go over the wall end to end, repairing and priming all of the brick and mortar with high-quality primer, as well as possibly caulking shut any parts that might let water through.
Only after all this will they begin applying the paint – and even then, they’ll likely apply at least two coats to maintain integrity.
As you can see, painting the exterior is a lengthy, rigorous process that requires a great deal more equipment than just paint and a roller. Besides, since it’s often much cheaper than you’d think for all the extra labor it entails, you are, in general, better off in every way hiring pros to paint your walls.
As mentioned earlier, painting over old coats is especially tricky when they’re on brick; and thus, picking the right color for your outer walls is especially important.
There’s a great deal to consider – for instance, the surroundings. While interior paint jobs need to be paired with your décor and furniture; exterior paint jobs need to be paired with many things – your yard, your fence, the street, the general look of the neighborhood, and the like. Remember, more so than ever, a color that looks great on the sample sheet might not look so great when contrasted with your house’s backdrop.
Then, of course, there’s the question of just what sort of general look you want. A classic, but still widely favorite color for house exteriors is, of course, white, cream, and other paler colors. Not only do these give the house a crisp and clean look (albeit while making dirt a bit more visible), but they can also be paired with a lot of secondary colors on the trim. For instance, matching the primary white color with turquoise or some other pastel on the trims (or the other way around) maintains the crisp and clean look, while also giving it some vibrancy. By contrast, brighter colors on the trims offer a refreshing and striking contrast – white on the body and red on the trims, for instance, gives the house an almost candy-like color scheme, while black trims might call to mind a mock-Tudor look.
However, if you’re looking to give your home a bolder look – to draw the eye of passers-by, and stick in their mind long after they’ve left – a brighter or louder color can get the job done. Think of the last time you drove past a home painted orange or purple – chances are, you can remember it a fair bit more than most. A darker color, like maroon or deep green, can also make a home memorable, while being slightly less loud in overall tone. In brief, though, a bolder and brighter color can often be an ideal first step in maintaining the sort of home that everyone – guests and passers-by alike – will remember for a fair while.
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