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Exploring the Costs and Considerations for Painting a Brick House: A Comprehensive Guide


The decision to paint a brick house is often driven by the desire to refresh and enhance the home's exterior appeal. But beyond the aesthetic transformation, painting a brick house involves careful planning and consideration of various factors that influence the overall cost and outcome of the project. With costs ranging widely based on several variables, understanding what affects the price and how to find reliable exterior painters near you is crucial for homeowners looking to embark on this home improvement journey.

This comprehensive blog post delves into the intricacies of how much it does cost to paint a brick house and offers insights into navigating the process, from detailed cost breakdowns, painting techniques, and labor considerations to DIY versus professional work and finding the right contractor. Whether you're considering a fresh coat of paint or a special finish, this guide provides all the information you need to make an informed decision and ensure a successful project.

Detailed Cost Breakdown for Painting a Brick House

Understanding the Average Cost

When considering painting your brick house, the first question that often comes to mind is, "How much will it cost?" The answer, however, is not straightforward. The national average cost of painting a brick house can vary significantly, typically ranging from $3,500 to $10,500. This variance is due to multiple factors, including the size of the home, the type of paint or finish desired, and local labor rates.

To grasp a better understanding, let's look at the cost per square foot. Painting, whitewashing, or limewashing your brick home can cost anywhere between $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot, depending on the complexity and specific requirements of the job. This broad range accounts for both the materials and labor involved in the process.

Chart of Costs by Home Size and Paintable Area

A visual breakdown by home size and paintable area can further elucidate the potential costs you might face:

  • 1,000 square feet: $1,500 to $4,500

  • 2,000 square feet: $3,000 to $9,000

  • 3,000 square feet: $4,500 to $13,500

It's important to note that these estimates are generalized. The actual cost can vary based on additional factors discussed in the subsequent sections.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Beyond the basic painting job, homeowners should also consider additional costs that may arise, such as:

  • Chimney and fireplace painting: This can add $500 to $1,000 to your project, depending on the size and condition.

  • Removing paint from brick: If you're looking to restore a previously painted brick to its original state before applying a new coat, the removal process can add $2 to $4 per square foot to your cost.

  • Exterior door and trim painting: Often part of a comprehensive exterior painting project, adding doors and trims can cost an additional $70 to $200 per door and $1 to $3 per linear foot for trims, respectively.

Painting Techniques and Their Costs

Standard Paint vs. Special Treatments

When painting a brick house, homeowners can choose between standard paint applications or opt for special treatments like whitewashing, limewashing, or applying a German Schmear. Each technique offers a unique aesthetic and has different associated costs:

  • Standard Paint: Applying standard exterior paint on brick typically ranges from $1.50 to $4.50 per square foot. This cost includes labor and materials. Standard paint provides a uniform and opaque finish, offering a fresh and updated look to the house.

  • Whitewashing: Whitewashing gives the brick a lighter, more translucent look compared to standard paint. It typically costs slightly less due to the diluted paint mixture used. The average cost for whitewashing is about $2 to $3 per square foot.

  • Limewashing: Similar to whitewashing but using lime instead of paint, limewashing creates a rustic, textured finish. The cost to limewash a brick house falls within the same range as whitewashing, around $2 to $3 per square foot.

  • German Schmear: This technique involves spreading mortar over the brick to create an "aged" effect. Though visually striking, it is labor-intensive and can increase the cost to $3 to $5 per square foot.

Paint Types, Prices, and Selection

Choosing the right type of paint or finish greatly affects both the cost and the longevity of the project. For brick exteriors, masonry paint is often recommended due to its breathability and durability. Here are some considerations:

  • Acrylic Latex Masonry Paint: Generally considered the best option for brick, prices range from $20 to $50 per gallon, covering approximately 250 to 400 square feet.

  • Mineral-Based Paint: For a more natural, durable finish, mineral-based paints like silicate offer excellent adhesion and longevity but at a higher cost of $50 to $80 per gallon.

When selecting colors, light neutrals or classic white are popular choices for their timeless appeal and ability to reflect heat, potentially saving on cooling costs.

Factors That Influence Painting Costs

From Preparation to Final Touches

Several factors can significantly influence the cost of painting your brick house:

  • House Size and Number of Stories: Larger homes and those with multiple levels require more time and materials, increasing the overall cost.

  • Brick Condition: Pre-existing damage or the need for extensive cleaning can add to the preparation workload, subsequently raising the cost.

  • Preparation Work: Necessary steps like pressure washing, sealing cracks, and applying primer ensure a long-lasting finish but also contribute to the total cost.

  • Permits and Other Potential Costs: In some locales, painting your home’s exterior may require a permit, adding to your project's overall expense.

Details on Labor Process, Time Frame, and Daily Rates

The labor process for painting a brick house is extensive, often involving multiple professionals. The average labor cost can range from $25 to $75 per hour, with total project time spanning several days to a week, depending on the home’s size and the project's complexity.

Labor Costs in Detail

Professional Labor Insights

When hiring professional painters, you're not just paying for their time but also their expertise, which ensures a quality outcome. Daily labor costs can vary widely based on the project scope and geographical location. On average, expect to allocate 50% to 60% of your total project budget to labor.

The Value of Professional Workmanship

Investing in professional exterior painters brings several benefits:

  • Quality Assurance: Professionals are equipped to handle unexpected challenges and ensure the paint lasts as long as possible.

  • Warranty and Reliability: Many painting companies offer guarantees on their work, offering peace of mind.

  • Safety and Efficiency: Professionals have the necessary equipment and know-how to safely complete the job, especially for multi-story houses.

Considering these factors, it becomes clear that while the upfront cost might be higher when hiring professionals, the long-term benefits often justify the investment.

DIY Painting: Costs, Process, and Considerations

Is DIY Right for You?

Opting to paint your brick house yourself can be a cost-saving measure, reducing the overall expense significantly. The cost breakdown for a DIY painting project primarily involves materials and equipment, ranging from $500 to $2,000, mainly depending on the size of your home and the quality of materials selected.

Key considerations for a DIY project include:

  • Time Commitment: Painting a house is time-intensive. Ensure you have enough time to dedicate to the project from start to finish.

  • Skills and Tools: Evaluate whether you have the necessary skills and tools. A successful paint job requires more than just painting; it includes cleaning, repairing, and priming the surface.

  • Safety: Particularly for multi-story homes, consider the safety risks associated with using ladders and other equipment.

Considerations on Time, Effort, and Safety

A thorough DIY painting project can take several weeks to complete, especially if working on weekends or in spare time. It requires significant effort, from initial preparations like pressure washing and crack sealing to the application of multiple paint coats.

Safety should be a top priority. For those not experienced with ladders or scaffolding, the risk of injury could outweigh the cost savings. Always wear protective gear and follow safety guidelines.

Best Practices for Painting a Brick House

Steps for a Successful Paint Job

To ensure a durable and visually appealing result, follow these best practices:

  1. Cleaning: Thoroughly clean the brick surface. Pressure washing is effective in removing dirt and grime but must be done with care to avoid damage.

  2. Repairs: Address any cracks or damage before painting. Seal gaps to prevent moisture penetration.

  3. Priming: Use a quality primer suitable for brick surfaces, enhancing paint adhesion and longevity.

  4. Painting: Apply paint evenly, using techniques suitable for brick. Consider two coats for a uniform finish.

  5. Maintenance: Regularly inspect the painted surface for signs of wear or damage. Promptly touch up to maintain protection.

Maintaining Your Painted Brick Exterior

Over time, even the best paint jobs will require maintenance. To extend the life of your painted brick:

  • Clean Gently: Annually clean the surface with a gentle detergent and soft brush to remove dirt accumulation.

  • Monitor and Touch Up: Watch for cracks or chips, especially after extreme weather, and touch up as needed.

  • Avoid Power Washing: High-pressure washing can degrade the paint. If necessary, use low pressure and a wide nozzle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can you paint a brick house? Yes, but proper preparation and materials are essential for longevity.

  • Pros and cons of painting brick: Painting can refresh your home's appearance but requires ongoing maintenance.

  • What is the best paint for exterior brick? Acrylic latex masonry paint is generally recommended for its durability and breathability.

  • Expected lifespan of painted brick: A well-maintained paint job can last 15 to 20 years, depending on environmental conditions and paint quality.

  • Power washing painted brick surfaces: This should be done carefully to avoid damaging the paint. Low pressure is best.

Hiring the Right Exterior Painters Near You

Finding and Vetting Professionals

Finding reputable exterior painters near you involves a combination of research, referrals, and due diligence. Use online directories, review sites, and ask for recommendations from friends and family. When vetting contractors, consider their:

  • Credentials: Are they licensed and insured?

  • Portfolio: Do they have experience with brick houses?

  • Reviews: What do previous clients say about their work?

What to Ask Potential Contractors

Before hiring, ensure clarity on several key aspects:

  1. Experience: How long have they worked on brick houses?

  2. Process: What steps will they take from preparation to finishing?

  3. Timeline: How long will the project take?

  4. Cost: Request a detailed quote outlining all costs involved.


Painting a brick house can significantly enhance your home's curb appeal and provide long-term protection. Whether you choose to DIY or hire professionals, understanding the costs, techniques, and maintenance requirements is crucial for a successful project. Remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best long-term decision. Quality work, whether from you or a hired professional, will ensure the beauty and durability of your home's new look.

Do your homework, consider all factors, and move forward with confidence, knowing you’re equipped with the information needed to make the best decision for your home.

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