6 Tips for Painting Over Stucco and Brick

If your home has brick or stucco as its exterior finish, don’t assume that you are stuck with the same unchanging color for as long as you own the home. Stucco and brick can both be painted over, but there are some very important steps that need to be followed in order for that paint to properly adhere and give you a high quality finish.

painting stucco and brick

Stucco is a great look for some homes but take some precautions and use the right materials when you paint it.

We’ve combined our experience with that of Tony Domine, a coatings consultant at Miller Paint, to give you some tips that can keep you out of trouble when you’re painting brick or stucco.

  1. Clean – Any dirt or loose debris should be brushed from the surface. Use a wire brush on any areas of loose masonry to make sure the surface is free from loose masonry debris. Also, we recommend you clean the area with Krud Kutter, which not only removes stubborn stains and grime, but it contains an anti-microbial agent that will help keep mildew from bubbling up the the surface.
  2. Dry – With the rainy weather we experience in the Pacific Northwest, this cannot be stressed enough. Bricks and stucco are masonry materials, which means that they are porous. They do not totally shed the water off their surfaces. Check the moisture level of the brick or stucco with a moisture meter. It should be less than 12%.
  3. Patch and fill – Cracks, voids and holes need to be filled prior to painting. Don’t expect a layer or two of paint to fill these areas and keep moisture out. If the holes or cracks are smaller that 1/16 of an inch then caulk. If they are larger you should use some like Rapid Coat All Purpose Joint Compound. On brick, feel free to redo mortar if needed.
  4. Priming – You might be tempted by products that claim to both prime and paint at the same time. Don’t do it! These products are garbage and will wear off quickly. Instead, get a good primer sealer, like Miller Paint’s Kril, that is 100% acrylic. Make sure it’s flat.
  5. Painting – First, don’t use oil based paint for painting over masonry surfaces such as stucco and brick. You will want to use a very high-quality flat 100% acrylic paint. We recommend Miller’s Acri-Lite or Kril products. If you’ve got an especially difficult surface with a lot of stress fractures and cracks, such as those on older homes, you can use specialty paints, called elastomeric paints, that can expand and contract as much as 300%. However, you will also pay a premium price for both the product and the installation, since the paint is generally too thick to spray through the average, professional grade paint sprayer.
  6. Application – Spray on the paint and primer then back brush it to achieving the most even coating of paint on these surfaces. Back-brushing pushes the paint and primer into the surface (small holes, mortar joints, etc.) and gives an even finish.

If you like to talk to someone about painting over the stucco or brick on your home, we have established a new painting company in Vancouver WA called Salmon Creek Painting. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with a free estimate if you don’t want to do it yourself.

7 Comment(s)

  1. You must inspect and clean your stucco and bricks before painting them to ensure that your would be having a good outcome. Other tips that were mentioned should be followed to make them last long.

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  7. Great post! Been reading a lot of tips on painting like this. Thanks for the info!

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