The concept is by no means a new trend but for many folks the idea of painting their perfectly good brick exterior is simply ludicrous, especially if the brick is newer than styles from the 1950's. Still, some homeowners prefer painted brick even on brand new homes. Now, I will attempt to rationalize some of the Pros and Cons of painted brick for any who may have entertained this radical thought of painting your home's brick exterior.
The obvious downside to painted brick is converting an other wise maintenance free exterior to one that will be needing some attention from time to time. Then there's the costs associated with priming and painting brick not only the first time it's done, which will be the most costly, but each subsequent time it needs repainted afterwards. I can't include personal preference here because that's equally a Pro as much as a Con, whether you like it or you don't. So truly that's about the extent for the Cons.
There's little else you can do to update the exterior appearance of a 40 plus year old brick home than painting it. It's a great bang for the renovation buck. Brick homes can really show their age depending on the style of brick used during construction. Some of the most outdated styles are flat, bland, and without much character and are usually associated with the by gone era of our parents and grandparents. Not that there's anything wrong with that. There's plenty to love and reminisce over from those nostalgic times of the past, however, many of the brick styles commonly used in home construction back then is usually not a fond memory. Painting brick can be the great equalizer because you can have the option of a siding (brick) color as well as trim, shutters and doors. And painted brick holds up extremely well. Because the brick substrate does not deteriorate, a good 100% acrylic house primer and topcoat paint will last much longer than conventional wood or masonite siding materials. It bonds exceptionally well and stays put. For many years to come the only recommended maintenance is simply a good pressure washing once a year to prevent dirt and mildew buildup. In fact, you'll most likely need to paint the same trim you've already had to repaint every few years about twice as often as the brick. Plus as part of the prep, caulking all mortar joint cracks that may have opened as a result of settling can now be filled prior to painting making them disappear completely after painting. And finally, you'll have almost endless color options available. Needing a new roof? Now you can choose a different color for that too without the constraint of picking the same old roofing color based on the brick. New roof, new paint, new gutters and downspouts, maybe throw in some new shutter, trim and door colors and WOW! Now we're talking major changes to an outdated home without making any expensive structural changes if that's not in the budget.
Bottom line: While painting your homes brick exterior will still seem insane to some, for others painted brick is a very good, practical option for giving an outdated brick home a facelift whether you plan to put it on the market, looking to buy, or planning to stay in it for the rest of your days.