I have to paint a brick house. The brick has several layers of old paint currently on it. At least one of them is lead-based; I don't know what the others are.

I'll scrape before I paint, but most of the paint is well attached, and I don't expect to have more than about 20 percent of the surface down to bare brick after scrapping.

Given this, I'm wondering if I should use regular, general-purpose latex paint for the new coat, or a masonry paint. The masonry paint should attach better and last longer where it is applied over bare brick, but will it under-perform in areas where it gets applied over existing paint?

I am going to spray the paint with an airless sprayer, in case that matters.


In my area, it is required to paint exterior surfaces with one oil-based layer if they may have contained lead. All lead paint chips must be carefully cleaned up after scraping to prevent groundwater contamination. Sometimes we use oil-based primer and then latex paint; if you're not considering primer, you should probably use an oil-based topcoat for lead treatment.

Your area may have different requirements.

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