We have a house from the 1920's that someone decided to paint the brick white for whatever reason. A later owner decided to cover that up by wrapping the entire house with siding and then painting the siding. A series of mistakes indeed....

Anyhow, I want to remove the siding from the lower half of the house and leave the brick exposed. I have no plans to leave just the faded white on there and wanted to see what some people thought of painting over it, maybe with a darker brown color. I've seen a few houses in the area where this done and you can still see the natural texture of the brick but I'm not sure what type of paint they used. Is this still a possibility? How would I go about doing this? My understanding is a want to allow the brick to breathe but I'm not sure how much it is able to do that now. It seems like whatever it was painted with originally wasn't put on very thick.

Prime over the already painted brick first?
Elastomeric vs standard latex acrylic paint?

  • If the paint isn't very thick, you might experiment with trying to blast it off with a 1500-2000 PSI pressure washer. If you're careful, you won't damage the brick, an the paint may fly right off. And any paint you can blast off will expose a better surface for your new coat of paint. And who knows, you may be able to get it all off!
    – iLikeDirt
    Sep 26, 2014 at 19:09
  • be very careful if you pressure-wash though. A good friend of mine had a builder do this on his house of a similar vintage. The brickwork was fine. It took half the mortar out though.
    – SiHa
    Jul 16, 2021 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


This is a tough one that will take a bit of work. From personal experience, any time you're going to be applying paint/primer/etc. to any kind of questionable masonry and mixed surfaces, it's going to be a good idea to clean/prep in several stages, then apply a masonry grade primer.

Depending on if there was any kind of debris, mildew, moss growing on the surface, a brush and/or pressure washer could be suggested. If the surfaces are clean and evenly covered, I would use a good stiff deck brush or similar.

I would also suggest a chemical cleaner/stripper containing muriatic acid, which will have a mild etching effect and ensure good adhesion with whatever you decide to paint with.

Then proceed with a good masonry primer, following manufacturers specifications. The same would apply for your paint.

In most of my jobs and personal projects, I would say a good paint job is 90% preparation, 9% good product and 1% skill.

In short, treat all surfaces the same, clean and prep evenly and somewhat indiscriminately. I would suggest a standard latex acrylic. Elastomeric paints tends to be heavier and really suited to new construction and initial application. If the house is older, it's most likely done most of its settling.

This reference is in regards to commercial new construction, but a lot of the premise will be the same. http://www.masonrymagazine.com/5-08/cleaning.html

Good luck with the project.

  • "The make ready takes longer than the do."
    – Mazura
    Oct 26, 2014 at 23:56

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