27 Dec 2012
Face brick homes has been a popular choice for many homeowners through the years. However, over time, even brick will lose some of its appeal, succumbing to the forces of nature and beginning to look worn and aged.
While the brick is still structurally sound and is a necessary part of a home, it gets stained and weathered, losing its beauty. Homeowners start to look for options on what can be done to refresh the look of their brick homes.
The most striking and economical solution to this problem is to paint brick exterior walls. This option has many advantages, and is definitely worth considering...
Perhaps the most important advantage to painting the bricks is that, when done correctly, the paint will protect the structure of your home from the elements, which can erode mortar and further damage bricks.
In addition to its effectiveness, painted brick is eye-catching. A properly applied covering of paint can restore the uniform appearance of brick that has eroded or chipped, and it effectively masks stains and imperfections. Painting a brick exterior can drastically change the look of a whole home, making it fresh and vibrant.
However, consider the fact that the decision to paint your brick is permanent. The brick can be repainted in other colours in future, but it can never be returned to its previous appearance.
It is also important to be aware of the factors that can cause premature paint failure on brick homes: high alkalinity or moisture content in the brick or mortar will prevent paint from performing as it should. In addition, improper application of the paint will lead to its untimely cracking and flaking.
How to paint a face brick home exterior
You will need a High-pressure washer or hose and scrubbing brush, a few plastic drop cloths, various sizes of paintbrush and long-pile paint rollers, paint trays, buckets, Plascon Micatex, Plascon Damp Seal, which is optional, and a stepladder.
Whether you decide to paint your house exterior yourself or hire a contractor, proper surface preparation and high-quality materials are essential.
Before any painting takes place you need to prep the surface. For relatively new brickwork it may only need a good hosing down. Older brick will need to be washed with a high-pressure washer and scrubbed down to remove efflorescence (the white powdery mineral deposits that leach to the surface), grime and dirt.
Tip: When using a high-pressure spray, stand back at least a metre from the surface of the brick wall, as the high pressure can loosen mortar.
Cracks in brickwork and crumbling mortar will need to be repaired in advance and given time to dry out. Gaps around window and door frames can be filled with an exterior acrylic sealer such as Alcolin MS37 Expansion Joint Sealer. If there is a plastered apron around the base of walls, fix up any chips or dents that are in the plasterwork.
Treat any signs of efflorescence or damp by applying Plascon Damp Seal to those areas, particularly around the base of walls or where water pipes run down walls. This will prevent future bubbling and peeling of the painted areas and ensure a longer lasting paint job.
Use Plascon Micatex for painting exterior walls. Micatex is not only UV-resistant, it also protects exterior surfaces and provides additional waterproofing against damp. As a textured paint, Micatex will also fill in hairline cracks and is excellent for use on exterior brickwork.
Apply the paint with a paintbrush around edges and behind gutters and a long-pile brush on rough brickwork. You should plan on doing two coats for the best looking and longest lasting paint job.
Tip: Make sure you have all the equipment you will need for the project. If you don't have your own stepladders, you can hire these by the day. For a double-storey home you will need some form of scaffolding to be able to work safely and it can be hired for a day or two.
Paint other elements of your house like the trim, soffits and gutters after you're finished with the concrete brick painting. Painting brick can be messy and you'll get brick paint on your trim and woodwork.
Painting face brick on the exterior of your home can be a great way to give a dated house a fresh new look, as well as raise the value on the house altogether. You don't always need to renovate, sometimes all you need is a lick of paint.
Article courtesy of www.home-dzine.co.za
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