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The Case for Painting Exterior Brick in Denver –

Denver is a brick town, always has been. Our cup hath run over with clay, and the clay doth begot brick, and the brick begot hearth, and hearth begot home, etc. etc. And then it rained…

Let’s be frank, there’s a lot of really ugly brick in Denver! To be kind, I shall call this brick unfortunate. So, with so much unfortunate brick around the questions often arises: should we paint our brick?

For the sake of this unfortunate brick, and the neighborhoods in which it lies (lurks?) the kindest thing you could do would be to paint it. Please, please, please paint the brick! For the love of Pete, please paint the ugly brick!

Ok, it’s not all that bad, to be sure. But from about 1978 to the mid 1980s there was a lot of unfortunate brick used to build houses. Something was in the air those heady years, and people who made brick thought: if it makes a handsome appliance, why not let it make handsome brick? Hues of this aesthetically stricken brick range from golden-gold, to avocado/black to pinky-salmon. None of these outcasts play well with other colors, so…

I am an advocate of painting ugly brick.

And, in many cases, my own home included, what was good outside made its way inside too – my ugly brick was a black-hole of unfortunately impossible design gravity; that is until I painted it – then glazed it as a final punctuating statement to seal the stricken color forever under layers of silken, wispy lightness.

The trick with painting brick is the same trick as painting everything else: clean, dry & dull. Well, brick has dull in spades, so clean and dry remain. Power wash, tuck-point gaps, prime with masonry or other suitable primer.

Make sure you use the best primer – Ben Moore Fresh Start, Sherwin Williams Pro-Block. Don’t use cheap primer, this is the layer tat matters the most!

Then, topcoat with highest quality acrylic such as Sherwin Williams Duration, or Benjamin Moore’s Aura.

Technique is optional; spraying is fast, but be sure to back-roll. Rolling is fine too, but it may be difficult to get enough on with a roller. With spraying, you can better control how much material goes on before rolling it out.

Painting brick is like baking pie: it’s good, it’s American, it’s the right thing to do.

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