Before and after: A lesson in how to paint brick exterior

April 06, 2022

Before and after: A lesson in how to paint brick exterior

Before and after: A lesson in how to paint brick exterior

A fresh paint job can be an easy and cost effective way to modernise an old brick home. 

While certain shades of brick can put an unappealing timestamp on your home, a lick of paint can take it from retro to contemporary chic.

Want to do your own brick house paint job? Let former The Block winner Shannon Vos guide you through the steps.

1. Choose your paint

When it comes to paint selection, you’ll need to carefully select the type of paint for the job, then, your preferred colour.

Which paint is right for a brick exterior?

You need specific types of paint when painting a home’s exterior.

Firstly, you’ll need a primer. For this job, Shannon used Taubmans 3-in-1 Prep sealer, primer and undercoat to prepare the surface.

Prep the surface with Taubmans 3-in-1, then proceed with an All Weather exterior paint.

For the topcoat, you’ll need a paint that can survive weather extremes. Shannon used Taubmans All Weather paint, which is water resistant and won’t crack or flake in the sun.

When you buy your paint, to ensure you’re getting the right type and amount for your job, it’s always easiest to chat to the paint experts in store.

Home owner Mel opted for a Taubmans AllWeather white exterior paint to play up her Hamptons-coastal theme.

How to choose a paint colour?

Colour choice is all about personal preference, but sometimes we need a little help making the call.

With the Taubman’s Coloursmith app, you can narrow down your choices and focus on the colours you love in your everyday life. If you see something you like, you can snap a photo of it and then zero in on the particular shade through the app.

Don’t know where to start?

You can also select a colour online from Taubmans’ paint colours.

Home owner Mel recently bought a 90s-style brick home knowing it would need an update. After sourcing some inspiration images online, she honed in on white and light greys for a coastal feel.

“We always knew we wanted to change the colour of the house,” Mel explains. “We looked into rendering and cladding the exterior, but it was just too expensive. Paint was a more budget-friendly alternative that would give us a big transformation. We like the Hamptons-coastal look, so that’s what we were going for with our colour scheme.”

Tip: Don’t fall into the trap of not having enough paint. Bricks often require more paint than your typical surface because of the gaps and pores. Use an online paint calculator to start you off and consult an expert to help you find the right quantity.

2. What you’ll need

Before starting, it helps to gather any supplies. This can include:

  • Paint trays
  • Rollers, brushes and extension poles
  • Buckets (for water)
  • Ladders
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths and tarps

Depending on the weather you may also want to deck yourself out with sun-safe supplies. However, do not attempt a paint job when the air temperature is below 10 degrees or over 35 degrees. 

Scrub your surface with some soapy water.

3. Clean your surface

Before doing any painting, inspect and clean your brick walls.

Firstly, inspect your home to ensure your brickwork is intact and there are no signs of underlying damage, such as leaks, moisture damage or any issues with your foundations. You may also need to clean any white salt crystal residue, called efflorescence. This is the movement of salt to a porous surface when moisture gets in. It can be harmless and can be cleaned away with a solution of 5% vinegar in water.

Overall, give your brick walls a scrub down with soapy water to ensure they’re free of dust and grime. Then, wait until fully dry before commencing a paint job.

If your home is a new build, wait at least 28 days after the bricks are laid before painting to ensure everything is dry, bonded and looking good to proceed!

4.  Prepare your surface

Once it’s clean and dry, use your painter’s tape to cover up any door frames, window frames, edges and other details you don’t want painted.

Then you need to prime your surface. While surfaces require sanding, you can’t exactly do this with brickwork. So, you’ll want a good primer and sealer to make the bricks slightly less porous and to help the topcoat stick to the surface. Primer will also help prevent the colour of your original brick from showing through on your topcoat, especially if you’re going from a darker shade, like a red brick, to a light shade.

Shannon Vos admiring a DIY paint job.

5. Get painting

You’ve cleaned, you’ve prepped, you’ve primed — now it’s time to get painting.

When painting exteriors, Shannon prefers to use a roller as it helps achieve a more even finish. The surface area is quite large, so you don’t want to take a brush to the whole thing or you’ll be there forever, he warns.

When painting brickwork, use a large, good quality roller with a long nap fabric designed for painting rough surfaces. This will help you get into those cracks and crevices. Go over your largest areas first and don’t worry too much about technique — just aim for an even coverage. Then, focus on touching up edges and smaller areas that might require a brush.

If you’re really confident with DIY, you can also use a sprayer.

Shannon recommends doing at least two top coats for a good quality finish.

BEFORE: A light brick exterior in need of an update.

Before and after: 90s brick home to modern stunner

Want to see how it all comes together?

Mel’s family home on the Central Coast was taken from blonde brick to a chic coastal bungalow with the help of Shannon and Taubmans.

AFTER: Voila! A modern home.

Using the Taubmans Coloursmith app, Mel and the family created their own colours Silver Sands and Crisp White, plus a unique Pink Fizz for the front door, colour matched from Mel’s daughter’s favourite teddy bear.

“We’re so thrilled with how it’s turned out,” Mel shares. “We thought it’d be a big transformation, but I’m not sure we were prepared for just how dramatic the change is.”

The best part? A fresh lick of paint on your exterior is estimated to add an average 5% to your home’s property price according to Consumer Reports. In a market like Sydney, where the average home is nearing $1.5 million, that means you could be adding more than $50k to your sale price!

Taubmans Coloursmith app allows you to create paint colours from the items you love.

Originally published on as Before and after: A lesson in how to paint brick exterior