DIY Brick Exterior
Are you trying to decide if you should paint your brick home?
Have you been agonizing over it?
This month I’m going to go over how I decided whether or not I should paint my brick home.
Prep of the brick is the biggest reason people are unhappy with the result of painting their brick home.
Full disclosure. This was not really a “DIY” that I did. I knew that painting the brick was a huge undertaking and after many months of thinking it over I decided that I just didn’t have the knowledge and let’s be honest the time or energy to take on a project of this scale. Running my own company takes a lot of time and energy and I knew if I took on this project I would probably be painting in the middle of a snowstorm. In Colorado that could be as early as October. Yikes!
So how did I decide to paint my brick home? I had a lot of my friends and family say “NO” don’t do it but I decided that as long as I did my homework and chose the right painter and paint that I was going to go for it. As you can see in the pictures my brick was a peachy color and I HATED!
LET'S GET STARTED!
Where did I start? Well, Google and Pinterest of course!
I read a lot of articles from professional painters about the pros and cons of painting brick. The biggest thing that I got from these articles was this:
Prep of the brick is the biggest reason people are unhappy with the result of painting their brick home. If you decide to paint your brick or if you have a professional do it the prep of the brick will ultimately be the reason your paint looks great and lasts for years or it can be the downfall of your painted brick home.
So what is the prep for brick exteriors?
A really good power washing of the brick and of course the right paint for brick. You have to make sure that the paint you use is for brick/concrete. You can’t just use exterior paint. If you or your pro doesn’t take the time to make sure the grime is gone from your brick and make sure you or your pro uses the proper paint the paint will not stick and will begin to peel pretty quickly. Depending on the size of your home power washing could take hours or days (if you decide to take on the project yourself). Again I decided this was just too much of a project for me to complete this summer so I hired Imhoff Fine Residential Painting. Doug Imhoff (Owner) is part of my network group and I knew I could trust that he would make sure my home turned out the way I had envisioned in my mind.
Next, you need to make sure that the brick is allowed to dry for at least 48 hours. Brick is porous and if the brick isn’t allowed to dry properly the paint will bubble and peel. This is where your patience comes in if you decide to take on your project yourself. Do it once and do it right the first time and you’ll enjoy your painted brick for years to come. What’s the next step? The fun part? Paint!
Choosing Paint (part 1)
How did I decide on my paint color?
If you’ve read any of my other DIY posts you know I’m big on visualization and the feel of your home. Stand back and look at your project. What do you want your home to look and feel like once it’s done? Is the feel of your home farmhouse, modern farmhouse, mid-century modern, victorian? Do you want it to feel what I call soft or do you want really clean lines?
There is no wrong answer.
You will also want to consider the interior of your home at the same time. If you want a nice flow from exterior to interior you’ll want to make sure you choose a color that will have the same feel as the interior. You don’t want a farmhouse feel inside and a mid-century modern feel on the outside. It will confuse you and your guests as to what “feeling” you were going for. I’m not saying that you can’t cross the lines between different styles, you just need to make sure you’re keeping in mind how things will flow together.
If you’re feeling like you want to scream right now “I don’t know how to do this!” Hire a designer. I have a GREAT designer that happens to be one of my friends, Maria and she owns eMVY Interior designs. Yes, I know “interior” but she also helps with exteriors. Spend the money now to save the heartache later, if you just can’t visualize your project. Once a designer has it drawn for you the excitement of your project will become real again and not an overwhelming task. If you aren’t screaming right now we’ll move on to the next step.
Choosing Paint (part 2)
I knew how I wanted my home to feel and look almost as soon as we moved in 2 years ago. I have a limited yearly budget for updates so little by little my home is coming together.
Last summer we decided that the most important project that needed to be tackled was our gables. They were in disrepair. We have woodpeckers and they had literally pecked holes in all our wood gables. We replaced all our gables, soffit, and facia with James Hardie cement board but I’ll talk to you about that in another post.
So on to how I chose my paint color.
I knew when we moved in that our new home had a farmhouse feel. Not quite a farmhouse and not quite a modern farmhouse. A nice somewhere in between even though it is a brick ranch built in the late ’80s.
White was going to be the color! How did I choose when there are literally 100’s of whites? I have an insider… my friend Maria from eMVY Interiors that I mentioned above. Sherwin Williams is the paint that Maria mostly chooses for her projects so I did decide to go with a Sherwin Williams color.
From the 100’s of white paint chips I first pulled all the white’s that appealed to my eye. Then I whittled down my choices to a few. How did I whittle it down? I first looked at the LRV.
What is an LRV? It’s the Light Reflective Value. The higher LRV the brighter the color. If you choose a white that has a high LRV you’ll need sunglasses to look at your house during the day when the sun is at its highest point. My suggestion is to pick a white with an LRV that is somewhere in between but it really depends on how bright white you want your home. I wanted a softer feel and also wanted my home to look a little more cream at certain times of the day and if it was cloudy or sunny. The LRV for all paint colors is on the back of the paint chip along with other valuable information about the color.
I then took the paint chips and taped them to the brick on all 4 sides of my house.
Why? Because you want to look at the color on each side of your home and at different times of the day. Depending on how the light reflects off the white can have cream and/or even a pink undertone. I definitely did not want a pink undertone. I would have cried every night knowing my house looked pink.
It took me a month to decide on my white. All paint has an undertone. The best way to see what undertone your paint color has is to put your paint chip on a piece of white computer paper. This will bring out the undertone in your paint. For example, grey can have a green or purple undertone. Who knew?! I would then look at my paint chips at different times and different conditions every day to make sure I had the right white. I then went to Sherwin Williams and bought 4 pots (yes 4, this is what Sherwin Williams calls their samples) of the whites, I had decided on. The pots are basically a quart of paint so you could use them on another project if you want. This was a plus for me since I will use the extra paint for another project eventually. I then painted a small area of brick on all 4 sides of my house and stood and stared at them for weeks until I finally decided what white I LOVED!!!
Drum roll, please……
I chose Panda White! Panda White, which is exactly the white with the cream undertone I really wanted as you can see in the pictures.
Bring in the PRO Painter!
Now was the time to bring Doug’s crew in from Imhoff Fine Painting and get the job done. Doug’s crew used Sherwin Williams Duration in Panda White. It worked out that I was able to take a camping trip for the week while Doug’s crew came and completed the job. The anticipation was killing me and let’s be honest, I’m kind of a control freak, but my daughter was a sweetheart and sent me a couple of sneak-peek pics so I could see how the job was coming along.
Needless to say when I got home from my trip I was so happy!
Every time I come home from a trip into “town” I smile as I pull up to my house.
Little by little it is coming together and eventually, it will be just like I envisioned on the day I bought my home!
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