Painted Brick Homes – Yay or Nay?

Painted brick allows for the same style of home to be built close together

Painted brick homes can completely transform the look of similar homes and styles, and is becoming quite popular. (photo: Pinterest)

About 10 years ago I was in a sales training class in Florida with new home sales professional from across the country.  We were talking about overcoming objections that prospective buyers would throw at us.  I brought up the question of painted brick.

Most of the stares and questioning glances I got were from those who worked in the Midwest and western part of the United States.  “You build with brick (expensive and labor intensive) and then you paint over it?  Boy, what in the hell is a matter with you?!”

Painted brick homes allow for more diversity

This home, built in early 2000s by local Fort Worth builder, would not have same impact if not for painted brick

Quick Lesson in Bricks

Using bricks to build homes goes back to the dawn of time.  Besides wood, bricks are the No. 1 material used to in the home building process. Bricks can also be made to uniform specifications. Over the centuries the sizes have varied but eventually, in today’s construction-world, the most used bricks sizes are modular, queen, and king sized.

While other exterior materials may be more common in other regions of the country, brick still remains the standard as an affordable method of façade, in Texas.

So what about painting these exteriors?  What’s that all about?

painted brick is the way to go on this project in Denmark

Painting brick exteriors can allow for diversity and interest in homes

No one quite knows when painting the exterior brick became en vogue, but it was probably around the 1920s and 1930s.  Bricks typically came in two colors: reddish and brownish.  Variation was scarce, and people would paint the exterior of their home for differentiation.

Today, painted brick homes are much more accepted and commonplace.  Thanks to shows like Fixer Upper and This Old House home owners are realizing the benefits of painting exterior brick.  But the jury is still out on painted brick.

Nay For Painted Brick

  1. More maintenance
  2. Costs too much
  3. Labor intensive

The biggest issue for the Unpainted Brick Fan Club is maintenance.  Some believe that homes will need to be re-painted on a regular basis or that value of the home will be lost if the brick is painted.

Unpainted brick typically should be modular or queen-sized brick. King-sized brick that many builders try and use today as unpainted examples don’t lay correctly

In fact, it has been seen that painting the exterior of a home actually enhances the value of the home — or at least doesn’t detract.  Also, regular re-painting is a myth as long as the color is not intended to be bright or dark — those will be bleached from sun eventually.

Also, when painting brick in new construction, a larger king-size brick is typically used (or even bigger size) which off-sets the cost of paint and labor since a larger brick means less mortar, brick and labor.

There is no such thing as a white colored brick without paint

Yay For Painted Brick

  1. Easy diversity in exteriors even with same home
  2. Has character-building attributes for newer homes
  3. Today’s brick is not as attractive as in the past

Can you imagine a world where there were only brown homes or red homes?  (We’ll pretend those yellow-brown bricks we see from time-to-time don’t exist).  As from the first photo in this award-winning blog, similar homes can be side-by-side and almost identical yet for the painted or unpainted exterior.

If people tell you it’s more maintenance and costs too much to paint the brick of a home…you tell them to come and talk to the Real Estate Sherpa and he’ll straighten them out!

Maybe not the best color combination – but painted brick certainly can make a statement

You Make The Call

In the end, the owner must decide what’s right for them and their home.  Some will never believe that a painted brick home is better than unpainted brick home and visa-versa.  It all comes down to taste, preference, and choice.

Whatever you choose, keep reading, following, and commenting on Tarrant County Tuesday!!!

Well, that’s all from Tarrant County this week Dirty Readers.  Thanks for reading and following and sharing!  As always, if you have questions, comments or great ideas for a blog … hit me up!

Seth Fowler is a licensed Real Estate Sales Professional for Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth, TX.  Statements and opinions are his and his alone.  Seth has been involved with the home sales and real estate industry in the Fort Worth area since 2004.  He and his family have lived in the area for over 15  years.  Seth also loves bowties!  You can reach Seth at: 817.980.6636 or seth.fowler@williamstrew.com

10 Comment

  • I have certainly seen some very unattractive brick homes transformed by painting. I say yay!

    • mm

      You said it! Especially since today’s builder is always trying to cut costs so they go with unpainted king sized brick and it lays up on thirds vs. half (which is how it should be to look right) and then they have bizarre melange of colors in unpainted brick. There are still some pretty unpainted bricks but not when trying to be cheap….loving that painted brick is starting to be embraced in other areas of Metroplex and not just older FW or older Dallas areas!

      Thanks for reading, following and commenting….tell your friends and neighbors! Stay Dirty!

  • I’d be wary of painted brick in DFW because it is sometimes used to cover up brick repairs due to foundation issues. I would definitely have the foundation inspected by an expert if there was painted brick

    • mm

      Thanks for your comment. You bring up a very good point. However, if a home has serious foundation issues, painting over the brick is probably not going to make that big of a difference. If there is enough damage to jar the brick and mortar on the exterior then there is probably significant damage inside the home – and while sheetrock and texture can also cover “foundation sins,” you’d HOPE that someone going through all those resolutions to hide foundation issues would also consider fixing the foundation itself.

      But very good point and something for our Dirty Readers to be aware of. Thanks for reading, following, commenting…now tell your friends! Stay Dirty

  • Aesthetically, I’m all for it if you got some ugly-ass brick going on. When done well, it looks 100% better!

    • mm

      As a semi-biased blogger I don’t think I can actually call all unpainted brick “Ugly-ass” but off the record “I approve this message!”
      Thanks for reading, following, and commenting…stay Dirty!

  • L’shanah Tovah! It would be an unforgivable sin to paint a five-bay, red brick 1920s Georgian revival house, as photographed above on the right! And may Seth and his Tarrant County Tuesday readers , who collectively receive one inch of snowfall per year, identify the small spades crowning the eaves in the top left and right photos? These are snow guards, which effectively prevent an unsuspecting pedestrian below from experiencing a most unwelcome avalanche!

    • mm

      Greetings Rabbi…happy Rosh Hashanah Week (if that is such a thing)…that photo was actually pulled off the World Wide Internet – so probably not a lot of snow guards here in the D/FW Metroplex. No, no, no…never ever paint a home from the 1920s that was designed to originally be unpainted – sinful – paint the ones made of ugly brick (you know the ones) or the over-sized brick that doesn’t lay correctly or if trying to look aged and character-filled. Thanks for reading, following, commenting…shalom…stay Dirty!

  • Look at RomaBio, they sell natural mineral based paints and lime washes that are Superior to acrylic paints, we use them in Dallas all the time. With a 20-30 year life and no fading, flaking or chalking. Plus they are breatheable and mold resistant, they mitigate most of the negatives of painting brick! And they look prettier because they are based in Mineral.