If your home's brick exterior is looking weathered and worn, you can bring it back to life by painting it. Painting brick is a bit more involved than painting other forms of siding because you'll need to make sure the paint is evenly distributed in the mortar joints between the bricks, and you'll also need to account for the fact that bricks need to breathe. To learn how to paint your home's brick exterior, read on.

Use Primer and Paint Made for Masonry

Exterior paint is usually waterproof, which is desirable when you're painting materials like metal and wood. Waterproof paint keeps rust and rot away. Unfortunately, waterproof paint can damage bricks. It can trap moisture inside the bricks, causing them to slowly break down and crumble.

When you're painting a brick exterior, you need to use paint and primer that's specifically made for masonry. These are permeable, so they'll let water vapor through. This allows the bricks to breathe and dry out if they get wet, preventing moisture from becoming trapped in them.

Clean the Bricks and Fill All the Cracks

You'll need to clean all of the dust and dirt off of your brick exterior before priming and painting your home. Paint doesn't adhere very well to a surface that's coated in dust. Use trisodium phosphate diluted in water and a scrub brush to thoroughly clean all of the bricks. Wait for them to completely dry out before painting them.

While cleaning your home's brick exterior, you should also take the time to fill any cracks using masonry crack sealer. Filling the cracks before painting your bricks will ensure that they don't stand out after the paint is applied.

Use a Sprayer to Apply the Primer and Paint

It's easiest to use a handheld sprayer to apply primer and paint to your bricks. A sprayer will evenly distribute the primer and paint into the mortar joints between the bricks, which gives your paint job a smooth and perfect finish.

You can use a roller brush instead of a sprayer, but it makes the job take longer. A roller brush can miss some spots in the mortar joints. You'll need to use a small paintbrush to apply paint or primer to the mortar joints to make sure they're all covered.

When you're planning to paint your home's brick exterior, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you'll need to use the right primer and paint for the job. Products designed for masonry will prevent your bricks from being damaged by trapped moisture. If you're worried about damaging your home's exterior or don't want to go through the trouble of making sure all the mortar joints are evenly covered with paint and primer, it's best to hire a professional painting contractor to handle the job. An exterior painting contractor will ensure that the correct products are used on your home and that the ensuing paint job is perfectly done.