painted brickMost experts aren’t fans of painted brick is because it’s a porous material that tends to hold moisture. Once you make a decision to go with painted brick, there is no going back. It is difficult to remove paint from brick.  However, proper prep work you can ensure that the paint that goes on, stays on.

Keep in mind that if brick and mortar joints are loose and in disrepair before the brick goes on, the paint won’t adhere. If your bricks are dirty, the paint won’t adhere. If your brick isn’t sealed, it won’t adhere.  A professional tuckpointer is your best source to evaluate the condition of your brick and prep work needed before you paint.

Step 1:  Determine if your brick has a sealer

A sealer keeps water from penetrating. Spray brick with water and observe if the water is beading on the surface.  If it doesn’t bead, you will need to purchase a primer to put on before the brick. You can also perform an adhesion test. Apply a small amount of paint to the brick and allow it to cure for three or four hours. If you can rub the paint off, after that time, you need to use a masonry primer.


Step 2: Get rid of the grime.

Power washing cleans dirt and grime off of brick. Allow unsealed brick to dry for at least four days.

Step 3: Remove loose or deteriorated mortar.

A professional tuckpointer will remove clean loose or deteriorated mortar from the joints and replace it with new mortar.

Step 4: Remove mildew.

A special solution is used to remove mildew that sometimes appears on north facing falls, near the ground or where rainwater accumulates.  Allow the brick surface too dry completely before applying  paint or primer.

Step 5: Apply a primer.

A masonry primer improves adhesion, resulting in less chipping, peeling and cracking of paint over time.

Proper preparation for painted brick  will pay for itself time and again with fewer maintenance issues down the road.

Brick is one of the defining elements of the classic Chicago bungalow. But over the years, dirt and mildew can build up on the surface of the brick, reducing its appeal. Brick cleaning can return your Chicago bungalow to its original glory while protecting the bricks from invasive growths like moss and ivy. Brick cleaning is not a job for a handyman or homeowner. Brick cleaning or brick power washing is far more involved than cleaning houses with traditional wood or vinyl siding. High pressure and professional strength pressure cleaners for brick and mortar are required in order to remove dirt and stains embedded into the pores, joints and cavities of the brick. You can avoid risking potential damage to the brick, or yourself, when you hire Shamrock Tuckpointing to power wash your brick. Call or email us for a free estimate.

Brick Maintenance and Repair Blog

Find useful information and tips for maintaining the value of your brick buildings.
About the Owner


John Gallagher

John Gallagher learned the craft of tuckpointing while in his late teens. His father, a first generation Irish immigrant and construction worker, encouraged his son’s entrepreneurial spirit. John earned a business degree from Loras College, and soon afterward he founded Shamrock Tuckpointing.

Copyright 2012 Builder - Company. Design by OrangeIdea