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Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: clay
Date: March 23, 2008 06:31PM
My wife and I just signed the contract on our first home (yay!). It was built in the 70's and aside from some cosmetic updates inside, there's not a lot that needs to be done with the house at this point. The one exception is the exterior brick. It's a collection of ugly 70s colors (light red, brown, white) that we'd like to cover up somehow.

We had initially thought we'd just paint it. It's not a huge house, and it's something we could tackle with the help of family and friends. I was just talking with a friend who suggested we look into some sort of mortar/stucco coating instead as a more permanent (i.e. not needing to re-apply every 5 years like we'd have to do with paint) solution.

I've just started doing some initial searching on the topic, and haven't found anything conclusive--wondering if you folks have any thoughts or ideas.

Thanks!
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: March 23, 2008 06:40PM
Brick needs to breathe-- painting is a bad idea.

Got a picture of the house? If it's something that's part of the original character and captures the zeitgeist of the period it was built, I'd preserve it-- even though that was far from my favorite period as well.

I don't have any experience with stucco, apart from noticing it needed to be redone on any building I've looked at that had it; but there's a particular period of home architecture that it fits (mid-late crafstsman, up to late 20s) and it might be an expensive un-improvement when all is said and done.

Have fun fantasizing-- but I think you'll find cosmetic considerations will quickly fade into the background as you get busy tackling more pressing problems.

Congratulations!
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Chupa Chupa
Date: March 23, 2008 06:54PM
You are fooling yourself if you thing stucco is maint. free. If anything it requires more maint. than painting. Your best option is to stain the brick to a shade you like.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: clay
Date: March 23, 2008 07:02PM
Quote
Black Landlord
Have fun fantasizing-- but I think you'll find cosmetic considerations will quickly fade into the background as you get busy tackling more pressing problems.
Congratulations!

Excellent point, BL! We're still in the very early stages of this process, so there's still a lot of excitement about possibilities.... We will certainly become more realistic about our "must-do's" once we start seeing pricetags for everything. Right now it's all kind of nebulous.

Thanks for your input--I'll certainly be asking lots more questions here in the next months.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: March 23, 2008 07:19PM
Photo? I'd be wary of covering it too. What else could you do to work with the brick as-is?





[picasaweb.google.com] [www.flickr.com]
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: spearmint
Date: March 23, 2008 07:21PM
Painting over exterior brick will result in peeling. Concentrate your energies on the world's most fabulous patio. Then you can throw us all a big party.




Da Good Life
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: artie67
Date: March 23, 2008 07:22PM
What kind of brick? Concrete, "red", cinderblock etc. I have lived concrete block (8"x16") houses almost all of my 68 years. Good paint, properly prepped, and color coordinated looks great. Trim color on windows will make it "pop". As far as "brick needs to breathe" news to me. Discover "Tapcon" screws. They are made to anchor things to brick. Basically you need a "hammer drill" (necessary tool) and screws of the proper length. The drills are included if you buy a larger box at Depot or Lowes. These are great for bookcases, lower cabs(kitchen) and not "super heavy fall in an earthquake" installations. Expansion bolts for the heavy duty for that. Hope this helps.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: March 23, 2008 07:33PM
?????
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: karsen
Date: March 23, 2008 07:34PM
[www.permatint.com]
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: March 23, 2008 07:55PM
I hate to be blunt but if I thought it was ugly I wouldn't bought the darn thing to begin with.
How about a picture? If it's like what Black Landlord has shown, have it sandblasted if you
must, those colors are usually only skin deep and red underneath.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: March 23, 2008 07:56PM
Great site, Karsen.
I like the before and after shots, although I'd be interested to see a "much much after" to see if the coloring holds.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: S.Taylor
Date: March 23, 2008 08:53PM
Trends come and go--the color you choose can just as easily seem as horrible in 30 years as what you have now.

In my neighborhood, there are many brick houses that have been painted over the years. Mine is still unpainted, thank goodness. It's 130 years old, and at this point it's too old to be subject much to trends. It's a shame that the nearby houses that are almost as old are painted, and subsequently look much more dated and much less classic.



This remote controlled tree is a must for the person who wants to be on the cutting edge of Christmas technology.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: sunfalcon
Date: March 23, 2008 08:53PM
We had a brick house that was built in 1863. It was painted white. I'm sure in its original condition it was a nice red brick house. However, the white looks nice too. Yes, it peeled in places, but get some good paint, prep it, and it will be nice for quite a while.

Our current house was also built in the early 70s. The interior fireplace was all brick and has been painted white. It's been that way for years and looks nice. You can tell it was put on thick and should hold up a while.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: wurm
Date: March 23, 2008 09:47PM
Oh, she's a...

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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: March 23, 2008 10:13PM
It is expensive to prep and paint brick. Once you start it ...


It might be the right brick for the architecture and you "don't get it".


Pictures?
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: March 23, 2008 10:18PM
Interesting site Karsen...but I like some of the before shots better.

I like it for the repairs.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: spearmint
Date: March 24, 2008 10:27AM
Do not sandblast. It will take surface off from baking and make it porous.




Da Good Life
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: billb
Date: March 24, 2008 12:36PM
Just cover it all up with some cheap vinyl siding and sit inside and look out the windows rather than outside looking at the bricks.


Could you paint just the faces of the white brick ?
Are they painted white and maybe remove the paint from just those?


The vinyl siding was sarcasm.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Black Landlord
Date: March 24, 2008 05:13PM
Quote
billb
Just cover it all up with some cheap vinyl siding and sit inside and look out the windows rather than outside looking at the bricks.


Could you paint just the faces of the white brick ?
Are they painted white and maybe remove the paint from just those?


The vinyl siding was sarcasm.

Sarcasm is a backhanded expression of anger.
I believe you were being "ironic". Unless you're really angry at clay deep down inside.
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: artie67
Date: March 24, 2008 07:12PM
OK, Easter is over and the roasted lamb was great. I would leave the exterior as is and spend time on the interior, if needed. If that's what you want to do in the present or future ,the forum can help you out.I will have a west coast slant, but hey, those that gone through a remodel, can give you some help. Small things like, where to buy hinges, slides, stains that match, shelf pins, etc. Enjoy your new home....d
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Re: Ugly exterior brick - Should we paint or mortar it?
Posted by: Mike V
Date: March 24, 2008 08:42PM
I hate exposed brick.

Ugly with a capital "U."


I'd use "Render Paint."


It's this two step process stuff that goes on almost like paint, but looks like render.

Way, way quicker, cheaper and easier than traditional render, but looks very similar, if not better.



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