Young House Love Painted Brick

Would You Paint Exterior Brick?

Author: Lauren Coleman

I remember meeting Abigail Ahern a few years ago. When I questioned her about the commitment involved in painting with dark shades, I was reminded that a room only takes a day to decorate and therefore a day to change back if you don’t like it.
Painting seems to be a lot slower in our house but I get the idea – paint is not particularly permanent, or is it?!

Painting Exterior Brick

The 1850s part of our house is joined to a Victorian pig shed outbuilding by a bog-standard brick extension. Thankfully whoever added the roof opted for locally sourced vintage roof tiles but the walls look like they’ve just dropped off the back of a B&Q palette.

Last year I started to think about painting the new brick, but I have the fear. I am becoming increasingly cautious about all things decor and I’m not sure it’ll be something I come to regret. Once it’s done, well, it’s done. Last I heard you couldn’t get a scrubbing brush out and wipe it off.

Painted Brick Inspiration

Sherry and John from decorating bible, Young House Love have very nearly swayed me. They painted their early eighties brick house a fetching shade of soft white and I happen to think it looks utterly fabulous.

Painting Exterior Brick

I’m thinking a similar off white shade would work with my plastic windows and complement the patio. Sherry and John used Masonry Flat Paint by Romabi. The formulation is mould resistant and lets the brick breathe rather than sealing in moisture. I need to do my research to see if something similar exists over here in the UK.

A few images below knocking about on my Pinterest boards to show a mix of brickwork and painted exteriors. If only my garden could be that manicured. Just to be clear, I’d be leaving the old brick of the pig shed, just painting over the newer extension that sits in the middle.

Painted Brick Considerations

  • It’s permanent so there’s no going back once that brush hits the wall
  • Both brick and mortar will need priming and adequate time left for them to both dry
  • Mineral paints are ideal to let the brick breathe rather than a traditional latex paint

A couple of years ago I did find a tutorial for limewashing brick walls. I even purchased the lime and tried it out in an inconspicuous spot but found its runny consistency was very difficult to work with.
What do you reckon? Shall I go for it? Anyone else painted brick or done something irreversible in their own home?


Header image by Young House Love

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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18 thoughts on “Would You Paint Exterior Brick?

  1. Do it!! Those example pictures of partially painted building look fab!! You could always paint the non brick part of your main house too, to tie it all together. X

  2. Love the example pics! Whenever I’ve wanted to paint something (kitchen cupboards in particular) I’ve used photoshop to mock it up! Might be worth seeing if anyone you know can use photoshop and mock it up to see if you like the look of it! xx

  3. I have also been thinking about this because the previous owners have already partly done it! The previous owners painted the inside of the porch and an area along the patio in an awful creamy yellowy colour. They added a conservatory onto the living room which is directly opposite a brick shed. The shed is part of the building’s structure, so the kitchen doors are always in shade, almost like a little courtyard, but not as nice! Perhaps they were trying to lighten it up. I’m growing a climber up the one wall and have lots of plants on the patio, so want something which will look nice with greenery. No idea what to go for! I’m only going to go over the bits they’ve already done but want to find something which tones with the bricks a little better.

    I’ve just been looking at normal paint cards such as farrow and ball, little greene etc because they have masonry versions of their paints. And a lot of colour options!

    I think you should totally go for it, in your case it will enhance rather than spoil the look and you could style it so nicely with pots and plants.

    1. Hope you hunt down a colour you like soon Jade.
      I got some masonry paint for my old house mixed at Johnstone’s as couldn’t decide on the colour. Always worth checking them out too x

  4. Also, that comment about photoshop is great. I don’t know how to use it and nor does anyone I know, but kind strangers on the houzz discussions board have done it for me in the past.

  5. Firstly… That Young House Love transformation!!
    Secondly… Painted brickwork would look beautiful on that connecting extension of yours. I think you should go for it.
    That being said, how often do you think it would need repainting to keep looking fresh? I ask this only because our neighbour had painted some roughcast on their house and laments having to re-do it every other year. Not sure if brickwork would be the same.

    1. Eek, I hadn’t thought about that Naomi😱
      We have a little courtyard off the dining room with creamy yellow brick which we haven’t touched in three years, though it is very sheltered. Will investigate!

      1. You don’t need to paint it that often! Late to the party but felt important to add 🙂 Ours is painted (was before we moved in), and we repainted a couple of years ago but otherwise not touched it in 8 years, and I also grew up in a painted house, which I reckon my parents painted say once every 5 years? I’m sure the professionals would say more often, but that seemed to do the trick. Window sills etc need far more upkeep. Good luck!!

  6. Our house is already painted – the whole of the front, and the bottom half at the back. It’s white, and I have thought about whether to change it to a different colour – although that could be reversed as it’s already done!! A house round the corner has just been painted pink and I love it – I LOVE pastel coloured houses in seaside towns, and would love a bit of that in land locked Leicestershire!!!

  7. Lauren, this might be the most timely post EVER. We are about to paint the outside of our 80s bungalow refurb. I’ve looked at so many paint charts & sample pots I think I’ve gone colour blind. As well as boring all my friends (& strangers, including the House Talk & Farrow & Ball FB pages!). My gut instinct was to paint it pink (my eyes lit up at the last comment – endorsement!). We have a lot of blue, white & grey on the inside of the house, including a little F&B Stone Blue internal courtyard off a blue kitchen & I fear more of the same would turn the whole place into some sort of blue nightmare. Think Blue Monday EVERY DAY of the year! However, my chosen shade of pink (Little Greene Blush) has not gained the thumbs up from, well, anyone. It’s a bit like F&B Sulking Room Pink, to give you an idea. I still love it though. Also, to add to the dilemma, we have a load of gorgeous exposed external wooden beams & window frames that I’d also like to paint in a contrasting colour eg a dark grey like F&B Railings. What to do? Advice welcomed! Is blush too ‘of the moment’? I think it’s also quite 80s which is partly why I’m drawn to it. Would I be better to paint the whole thing white or dark blue/green and be done with it? Re-sale is not a consideration as we’re NEVER moving again. This stream-of-consciousness monologue may give you an idea of my inner ‘turmoil’. Ha ha. PS There’s a pic on the F&B FB page if you search for my name.

    1. Ours is blush pink (slightly peachy pinky if that makes sense). Not a colour I chose, it was that colour when we moved, but it has grown on me! I would say go for it! We went with a dark blue smokey door (I think Tempest by Fired Earth) to contrast, although the windows are white. Pale bricks and dark windows look lovely though I think!

  8. Absolutely adore Young House Love, they also have a pink beach house but it’s not painted brick I think it’s cladding. After the success of their painting of their brick they’ve actually brought out their own range of masonry paint colours! Now I sound like a superfan…

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