White painted brick is a favorite exterior trend of ours. It is a timeless look that feels both fresh and modern yet Old World historical. We love the way that it can transform an old brick house, or add character to a new build. We used painted white brick on our Villa Bonita project and paired it with black windows and wood accents. It turned out so pretty. It’s a client favorite look as well, and we get lots of questions about it. Today we are answering a few of the most common. So if you are thinking about painting your brick, today’s post is a must read!
Why Paint your Brick White instead of just using White Bricks?
Unpainted brick is essentially maintenance free and it would be amazing if you could create the white brick look using naked brick. You can always check with your brick supplier to see their white brick options. However, the homes you have been pinning with a beautiful uniform white look are all painted. White bricks do not get the same look. The ones we have seen tend to be too gray or too pink with contrast in the grout lines that makes a new home feel like a new build. On the other hand, white painted brick has an Old European vibe with uniform color that emphasizes the beautiful texture of the brick.
Love the Look, but Is White Painted Brick too much Maintenance?
Painted brick is more high maintenance than naked brick, BUT if you do it right the maintenance can be minimal. Bright whites will obviously show the most dirt and will need to pressure washed on a low setting whenever it starts to bug you, but if you pick an off white with gray undertones the dirt wont be as visible. Also, using a mineral based paint instead of latex allows your brick to better breath and cuts down on the chance of mold and mildew. Although brick experts say that painted brick should be repainted every five years or so, users of mineral paints report not needing to do anything but cleaning for more like 20! We talked more about maintenance in Pros and Cons: Painted Brick Exteriors.
What type of Brick and Paint Should I Use?
In a new build, the beauty of painting your brick is that you can save money by going with a more affordable brick. How a brick is made and fired affects the look and price. If you are painting, no need to splurge on hand-molded or hand-fired. Find a good quality but commercially made brick in an unpopular color to save money and then paint it quickly before you panic over your orange brick house!
You can paint your house with either latex or mineral based paints. Latex is a little less investment up front, but will need to be maintained more often. Mineral paints are more expensive but allow bricks to breath and so require less maintenance. Young House Love wrote a great post about their experience with Romabio Mineral Paint. Read all about why they chose mineral here.
Do you think I can DIY Paint my Exterior?
Yes! We haven’t done it, but by all accounts it is definitely DIY friendly as it takes more time than skill. Check out this article from Bob Vila. But all the experts agree you clean your old brick with a low pressure spray or by hand, prep by caulking any cracks and covering the bushes, and then prime and paint using either a sprayer or roller. A few long days of work, but in the end your exterior is transformed!
Whitewash vs. Solid White?
If you love the fresh look of a white exterior, but don’t want to loose the warmth of pretty red brick, you might think about a whitewashed look. We talked all about it in Get the Whitewash Look: Paint, Limewash, and the German Smear.
White painted brick is trending right now, but it’s a timeless look. Hope this answers some of your questions! For more white brick inspiration, read Perfect Pairs: White Brick + Cedar Shake.