How to Stain Exterior Brick

Updated February 21, 2017

Over time exterior brick can succumb to the elements and become faded, discoloured and blotchy. Restore and enliven your brickwork with brick stain. Brick stains come in a wide variety of tones and can be used to bring back the original colour of the bricks or to change the colour entirely. Brick staining kits with mixable stain solution, pigment and a fixative can be purchased from brick stain suppliers. Purchase only stains intended for brick as the stain solutions in these products are specially formulated for effective penetration into the pores of masonry.

Clean the brickwork thoroughly before staining. Use a pressure washer to effectively remove dirt, grime, salt deposits and mildew. Scrub any hard-to-remove stains with a plastic scrub brush and a solution of warm water and detergent. Allow the brickwork to completely dry.

Mask with masking tape and plastic any fixtures, sills or other items connected to the brickwork.

Mix together the stain solution, the pigment and the fixative in a plastic tub as directed in the manufacturer's instructions. Mix thoroughly with a small, round paintbrush or with a stir stick. Most kits will provide a small brush.

Test the stain in an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry for a few minutes in order to make sure the tone is to your liking. Dilute or add more pigment as needed to achieve the desired tone. Follow the instructions for manufacturer specific procedures for adjusting the tone. Typically water is added for thinning. A final fixative may also need to be added after adjusting.

Paint the stain onto the bricks with a paintbrush. Use a paintbrush that is no wider than the width of the bricks. Apply an even coat to the surface of each brick. Avoid dripping as well as staining the grout lines. Wipe any drips immediately with a wet rag. Allow the initial coat to dry to the touch and apply an additional coat if needed to smooth out or further enrich the colouration.


To create an antique look, blot the stain with a sponge.


Brick stain has toxic properties and latex gloves should be used to prevent skin contact. Most kits include a pair of gloves.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Detergent
  • Plastic bristle scrub brush
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Brick staining kit
  • Paintbrush
  • Plastic tub
  • Rags
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.