Step-by-step instructions for painting a brick surface.

By Real Simple
Updated July 19, 2016
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If classic red brick doesn’t go with your design style or your space just needs a change, why not paint over it to give it a new look? Whether you’re painting the exterior of your brick house, your fireplace, or an exposed wall, keep these tips in mind.

  1. If the brick surface is outside, spray with a hose or power washer. If painting an inside surface, wash the brick with a mixture of soap and water and a bristled brush. Let it dry completely. Look for any cracks or damaged areas in the brick before you paint, so you can make any necessary repairs.
  2. Rub your hand over the surface. If white or red dust comes off, seal with a penetrating primer made for brick before painting. Let dry.
  3. Apply two coats of latex paint using a low-nap roller to get a smooth finish, and cover the brick and mortar with the same color. Let the paint dry in between coat applications.