How to Paint the Exterior of Your Brick Home
If you’ve ever renovated a house, then you can relate to me when I tell you I used all of my budget…So with that being said we’ve added a few DIY projects to our list to complete the house. One of them being painting the brick exterior. Something you need to know about us is that we are not DIYers. My husband is not handy like Chip Gaines and unfortunately neither is my dad. So just know if we can do this, YOU can do this.
In the before you can see we definitely did some exterior work before we painted the brick. We converted the garage, removed the gingerbread molding, installed new windows and opened up the porch. We included this in our construction budget that we got a loan for when we bought the house. We found that DIYing the paint on the exterior saved us over $6000.
In this post we share all our best tips, supplies and commonly asked questions on Instagram when we shared that we took on this project. Scroll to the bottom to see our tips in a little less detail, but in video format.
WHAT PAINT PRODUCT & WHY
I started with a Pinterest search, then YouTube, then Google. I felt like there are resources lacking for this process so I went to the professionals at Romabio. The reason I wanted to use their paint was because I knew they specialize in exteriors. Traditionally, experts have not recommended painting brick because water and moisture can cause damage. But, if you use a breathable, mineral paint that does NOT seal the brick and allows the moisture to release, then you won’t have these issues.
Brick is a made from clay, sand, lime, and/or other mineral based materials. Romabio paints are also made from mineral based materials with potassium silicate as the main binder. This means when you put the mineral based paints on brick and masonry, it allows the brick to breath, and the natural ingredients calcify to it creating a long-lasting paint surface that is extremely durable, and won’t peel, chip or flake off. Acrylic paint, which is petroleum based, is more like plastic. It will not bond to the surface in the same way, and it will eventually begin to chip and peel off. It looks shiny, as it is not a natural, mineral product.
OTHER APPEALING PERKS:
It can be power washed off within 5 days leaving no stress when deciding the color or look that you want. It can also easily be touched up because of its flat finish.
It lasts! Typical paint has to be touched up year after year and takes a ton of maintenance to look top notch. Because Classico Limewash is highly permeable and breathable, it calcifies to the brick for maximum durability and will continue to patina over time, lasting decades without having to repaint or maintain the finish. Due to the high pH of the paint, it is naturally mold-resistant and has a high UV and fade resistance allowing the color to keep its depth and quality over time.
Natural product. In the video you’ll see we had pups and a pregnant friend with us while we were painting. It’s a natural safe product. It’s also environmentally friendly.
The supply list for this project is pretty simple. The most challenging part about purchasing supplies is knowing how much paint to get. Measure the height and the width of your home to get the square footage.
1 QT. size covers 120 SQ/FT
0.67 GAL. size covers 300 SQ/FT
4 GAL. size covers 1800 SQ/FT
We used two 4 gallon containers of paint for our entire home. They cost about $250 each which sounds expensive until you realize how much you save by DIYing and not having the maintenance that standard paint gives you. More on that below. You can find the paint at Home Depot or use the store locator on their website.
We let you guys vote on the color that we painted the house and you chose Bianco White which was exactly what I was hoping for. That’s what’s so fun about our community. We’re all on the same page 😉 The one thing that scared me was that Bianco is the most white of their choices, but it just made sense for that modern ranch look we were going for.
The process to using Romabio Limewash is simple.
STEP 1: Sample Colors
While I put all for samples on my home you could probably guess between two. The smaller containers are 1 qt and cost $32. You could easily paint a fireplace with this container, but I wish they had a smaller container just for samples. If you’re deciding between a white I’d test Avorio and Bianco.
STEP 2: Purchase Supplies.
See notes above about knowing how much paint to purchase.
STEP 3: Prep House.
Prep includes power washing the house and taping off what you don’t want painted. We used boxes to lay on the concrete porch that we didn’t want to get paint drips. The consistency is pretty watery so you want to make sure you take your time on this step. The paint does power wash within five days, but I’d rather prep my space than have a long clean up. One tip that we found handy: having a wet towel nearby to wipe up any rogue drips.
Note: The limewash will not harm your plants. I just trimmed my little tree away from the brick.
STEP 4: Recruit Friends Paint
Whether it’s painting the exterior of your home or taking on a patio project, buy some beer and pizza and recruit your friends. It makes the projects so much more fun and you get it done so much quicker.
STEP 5: Dilute the Limewash and Paint
Romabio Limewash comes in a concentrate, so you must dilute it. When diluting, remember that it’s easier to add water later, so start with less water and mix your way to your ideal consistency. Our first coat was diluted 50% and the second 100% to make it thinner and easier to get in the grout lines. Color pigments don’t dissolve in water, so when the paint is applied, and water evaporates, the color of the paint remains the same.
As shared above, Romabio Limewash comes in a concentrate, so you must dilute it. We recommend using a mixer to mix the paint. The website recommends a painters paddle, but I used a baking mixer because I had one. Simply using a paint stick was not effective for us. It also mixes so much better with warm water.
Protect Your Skin
This is a great product, but oh man did it dry out my hands. We really regretted not wearing gloves. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, the paint will drip on your hands and gloves would have really helped us there.
Smooth is Fast
Don’t let yourself get sloppy. I caught us doing this when we were trying to speed up, but honestly we went a lot faster when we stayed smooth and steady. Consistent strokes with full coverage are what we’re going for.
Keep in mind temperature has a significant effect on the process. More heat = faster drying. The heat also helps the paint mix well. Spring and Fall are more temperate and therefore better suited times of the year to tackle this project. We took it on early spring, but we’re in Texas and well it’s always warm lol
COMMON QUESTIONS I RECEIVED ON INSTAGRAM
1. How long does it take?
Our home is a smaller ranch. It took us two days starting around 11am and ending around 6pm with snack breaks. We put two coats on the house and had four of us total helping. Two of us used the Romabio brushes and the other two used smaller brushes for around the windows, doors and lights.
2. If my home was two story would I hire a professional?
Short answer, yes. It was definitely a great DIY for a single story ranch home, but a bigger two story would be a challenge unless you’re an avid DIYer. That is just not us, but I will tell you if I hired a professional I would make sure they used Romabio Limewash whether we did the classic European look with original brick showing through or full coverage.
3. Why did you use Limewash rather than Romabio’s Masonry Paint?
In my specific situation I used limewash rather than masonry paint because my brick was textured. Up close it almost looks like stone specially after it’s painted. Classico Limewash is a beautiful whitewash finish that allows you to wash off and expose some of the brick. However you can achieve a solid finish with Classico Limewash if you skip the water wash-off process. I love the way it turned out and I’m so glad I chose this product.
4. What if I hate the color after I paint it?
One of the added benefits of using our authentic slaked-lime product is that, unlike traditional latex paint, Classico Limewash can be wiped or washed off immediately after application for a no-stress, no commitment purchase. With use of a high force pressure washer, the entire application on the exterior of a home can be removed up to 5 days following the initial application. This allows you to test the product on your brick or masonry surface first.
5. How many coats do I need?
You can totally get away with 1 if you’re going for the European look. We did a second coat but it was much more diluted than the first coat which helped get in the groat lines a little easier and gave us a solid color. I’ll tell you it’s also gotten better with time.
6. Is the Romabio the best for application? Should I rent a paint sprayer?
I’m surprised to say this but I LOVE this brush. Not only does it make limewashing large spaces a breeze, but it’s also so soft! Romabio has them handmade with care, allowing you to save time with a more efficient application, and money by not wasting product. Plus the handy dandy hook allows you to set your brush on the rim of your bucket.
Do you have any questions about painting the exterior of your home? Leave them in the comments below. I’d love to make this post a resource for others wanted to take on such a rewarding project!
Want more Home Exterior Inspiration? Follow this link to see the inspiration I found when deciding what color to paint the house or here to see our Home Exterior Pinterest board where I’m constantly pinning new favorites.
We love when our readers take on projects from the blog. Emily sent us over her before and after on Instagram and we are so in love!
“I’m OBSESSED! The process was just as easy as you explained it. Your blog truly convinced us to do it and I can NOT thank you enough!!” - @Em_kalousek
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