Skip to Content

Can Bricks Be Painted? If So, How?

A collage of bricks wall.

Brick has traditionally been considered an object related exclusively to construction but, today, brick has also become a decorative element, being used on many occasions to give a rustic and industrial look to interior and exterior rooms .

If you want to have a brick wall for decorative purposes, you must not forget that brick is a very porous material and that is why it is prone to absorb stains and moisture.

To prevent this from happening, you must protect it correctly using suitable products that allow you to keep the surface in good condition for as long as possible and, at the same time, you can clean it easily.

Related: Types of Bricks Types of Brick Laying Tools Screws to Use for Brick Brick Kitchen Walls What is Faux Brick How to Put a Screw Into Brick What Does Bricks and Mortar Mean | Brick Patio Patterns, Designs and Ideas

Why Are Exposed Bricks Timeless?

Exposed bricks are timeless. They adapt perfectly to modern, traditional or eclectic environments and they also add a lot of personality to any room. When painting them, you have to take into account the particular characteristics of the brick, so don’t miss out on all these keys to painting a brick wall correctly.

The exposed or facing brick is a construction material that is manufactured to be placed both indoors and outdoors without any type of coating. That is to say, that as happens with the tile, it is not a material that in principle is intended to be painted.

However, it can, if you decide to do so. Due to the specific characteristics of brick, before painting a wall or fireplace covered with this material, you must take into account a series of considerations.

What Is Involved In The Cleaning Process?

A worker on gloves brushing bricks wall.

The first and most important step before doing any painting work is to make sure that the surface is completely clean and free of dust.

Using a stiff bristle brush or scouring pad, scrub the bricks. To remove the dust, use a vacuum cleaner. Then, moisten a cloth and rub it over the entire surface. Let dry for 12 hours. 

Uniform Surface

For a perfect finish, it is important that there are no holes in the bricks or in the joints. Check the surface in detail. If you find irregularities, fill them with putty. 


Brick is a porous surface that can absorb more paint than necessary. It is recommended that you apply one to two coats of Dutch Boy 6-in-1 Sealant using a long-haired roller.

This will seal the porosity and give your paint a better performance. For joints, it is best to use a brush. Make sure the entire surface is covered. Let it dry as long as necessary.

What Is Done In The Initial Preparation?

Varnishing bricks wall.

There is the initial preparation before painting or varnishing a brick wall. This includes:

1. If the surface has traces of mold, you should remove them by gently scraping the brick with a curved bristle brush . In the same way, if you have bricks with traces of varnish, you will gently pass the curved barbed brush over the brick.

2. Next, you will clean the entire surface with an absorbent sponge moistened with soap and water .

3. Let it dry until the moisture completely evaporates.

Once the surface is dry, you have several ways to protect it: varnish the bricks or paint the bricks.

Make sure that the brick wall is dry and free of moisture. Brick is a porous material through which water can filter through its pores or through mortar joints. 

If the wall that you want to paint has dampness or water leaks, it will have to be fixed, since when painting a brick wall, you will have to seal its natural pores.

The humidity will stay inside if you don’t because it will not be able to evaporate. Subsequently, this will cause the paint to strip over time, as happens when there is moisture in a plaster wall.

Should You Choose The Varnish Strategy?

Putting varnish on bricks wall.

How would you varnish bricks? You will apply a coat of  Promade brick varnish  diluted 10% with synthetic solvent. To apply it, you should use a number 21 triple plastic brush or an 18cm velor enamel roller.

Once the brick varnish is applied, you will let it dry for 24 hours so that it penetrates into the brick and you will apply a second coat of brick varnish,  also reduced to 10% with synthetic solvent.

With the Promade brick varnish, you would give hardness and resistance to humidity and ultraviolet rays,  preventing water from penetrating the brick. In the same way, you would highlight the tone of the brick giving the surface a wet finish with a satin appearance.

What About The Waterproof Strategy?

How do you waterproof bricks? Invisible waterproofing is a widely used strategy when trying to provide excellent protection to bricks without changing their appearance.

The product is usually a colorless transparent water-repellent liquid with great penetrating power that repels water and prevents the development of algae and mold without altering the color of the brick. Its use is very simple.

Using a number 21 triple plastic trowel or an 18cm velor enamel roller, apply the invisible waterproofing product until saturated. That is, you would apply as many coats as the brick is capable of absorbing.

How Would You Paint Brick Walls?

A man painting bricks wall with white.

There are two options for painting a brick wall:

a. You can paint the entire surface, both the bricks and the tiles:

Before painting the brick, you must close its pore by applying white water with the help of a number 21 triple plastic brush or an 18cm velor enamel roller.

Once dried , you will apply 2 coats of Bruguer satin acrylic paint again with the help of a number 21 triple plastic brush  or an  18cm velor enamel roller and let it dry for 5 to 10 minutes between coats.  

b. You can only paint the bricks masking all the cracks:

This is, without a doubt, the fashion trend in brick painting. First, you would mask all the noticeable cracks with masking tape.

Next, with a 5cm replacement velor roller coupled with a 6cm roller rod or with a number 12 triple plastic brush, apply 2 coats of Bruguer acrylic paint in the desired color and finish (gloss, satin or matte).

Being very porous, you would have to apply several layers, waiting 5 minutes between coats. Once the color is uniform, let it dry for 24 hours.

What Are Some of the Recommendations?

It is recommended that you use exterior paint, such as acrylic or enamel vinyl; preferably, matte type, to give it that natural finish. With the help of a long-haired roller, apply at least two layers of paint to obtain a perfect finish.

It is important not to apply more than four coats of paint. It will be necessary to check the compatibility between the paint and the wall , since although the chemical composition of most bricks is neutral, that of the mortar is usually alkaline.

There are some types of paint that can react to the alkalinity of the mortar, so it is always recommended to do a paint test or use a primer resistant to alkaline pH.

Paint like the experts with these simple tips. Use quality and durable paints. If you need guidance, ask your trusted advisor.


With these important tips, you will be able to give your home the rustic look that you have been wanting to give for years and that is so fashionable. All you need is a brick wall, the right products and the desire to unleash your most handy side.