Tips For Painting Interior Brick Walls

If you have exposed interior brickwork in your home, it can look stunning when painted to complement your interior décor scheme.  Painting brickwork can also be a good way of helping new brick to blend in and is especially effective when used to soften the look of a newly installed fireplace.  If you're new to DIY or not very 'crafty,' you might prefer to hire the services of a professional commercial painter.  However, if you enjoy decorating and have some experience, you may fancy tackling the project yourself.  Here's how to do it.

What you'll need

  • washing-up liquid
  • stiff bristle brush
  • paint brush
  • paint roller and tray
  • water-based emulsion paint
  • acrylic grout

You'll find everything that you need for this project at good DIY or decorating supplies stores.

How to do it

  1. The first thing to do is to look over the brickwork to make sure that there are no large cracks or signs of efflorescence.  You'll need to clean the brickwork to get rid of any dirt and debris, before you can paint it.  To do this, make up a mild solution of washing-up liquid and warm water and use a stiff, scrubbing brush to go over the wall. 
  2. Allow the wall to dry completely.    
  3. When the wall is dry, fill in any cracks and minor damage with acrylic grout.  Follow the manufacturer's directions carefully, smoothing over the repairs with the plastic spatula provided with the grout.  
  4. Allow the grout to dry completely.  
  5. Open the paint and stir it well.  You will need to thin the first coat of paint with water before you apply it to the wall.  This is because brickwork is porous and this first coat ensures that you have an even base coat and colour when the job is finished.  Thin the paint so that it is one part water to five parts paint and apply it using a paint brush to that you can work the paint well into the brickwork.  
  6.  Allow the first coat of paint to dry.  
  7. Now apply a second coat of undiluted paint, this time using a paint roller.  Allow the paint to dry and then finish the job by applying a final coat of undiluted paint.

In conclusion

If you have an interior brick wall in your home that doesn't quite fit with your interior décor scheme, why not paint it?  You could either choose to have a go at the job yourself, or hire a professional commercial painter if you're not confident.