Painting Interior Brick

The idea of painting brick can get some folks hot under the collar. There is an ongoing debate about whether brick (like natural woods) should be painted and, truth told, the decision is totally up to the person who owns the brick. Once the decision is made to paint the brick, then the next most important step is to prepare it properly before painting. The secret to successful painting of brick is in the preparation.

The Secret Is In The Preparation

Preparation is dependent upon where the brick is located. If you are painting a fireplace in your living room, you don't want to use a pressure washer with 2000psi to clean the bricks, as you would for the exterior of the house. Likewise, if the job is outdoors, then a bucket and wire brush just won't cut it. In this article, we will talk about putting new life into an interior brick wall or a fireplace that has lost its luster. With the right paint, appropriate tools and some patience, you can transform your interior brick in a few hours.

Make Sure The Bricks And Mortar Are Clean

The first thing you must consider is the cleanliness and condition of the brick and mortar in your project. Usually, interior brick just needs a good vacuuming to remove dust. However, if there is a white, chalky, powder stuck to the surface of the bricks, called efflorescence, then it should be removed with a wire brush without using water. If there is a need to wash the bricks, then a recommended product is TSP. The drawback with TSP is that is needs to be rinsed very well and then the brick has to dry for at least 12 hours before it can be primed. Clean soot the same way, using TSP or a mild soap and water. If the soot deposits are very light, they can be covered with primer.

Repair Mortar Cracks and Holes

After the bricks are clean, then they need to be checked for repairs. Holes and cracks in the mortar can be filled with lightweight spackle for smaller holes, and smaller to medium sized cracks can be filled with regular caulking. For larger repairs, textured caulking is a great filler because it looks like mortar. Be sure all of the repairs are made and they are fully dry before proceeding to the next step.

Choose A Good Primer And Quality Paint

Priming the bricks with a good primer makes painting much easier. A good choice is 100 percent acrylic universal primer. A primer that. is fast drying allows you to paint within a short period of priming. Many primers dry within an hour of application in good conditions. Since brick is not the easiest surface to cover, you will need some extra patience and a painting mask is probably a good idea. It takes more time to paint brick and your face is close to the fumes for a longer period than if you were painting a flat wall. Quality interior 100 percent acrylic paint is the best choice under these circumstances. It is easy to use and has low odor. Oil based paint does not provide any advantages over acrylic in this type of setting.

Use a fluffy lamb's wool roller and a paintbrush to get the paint on. Start from the top and work down in sections, using the roller first and painting in all directions to be sure you get the paint into all the cracks and crevices. The brush is used to fill in the mortar and pick up any paint runs that occur. It is an easy job, but it can take a long time to complete.