How to paint brick loft walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Exposed brick walls add to the look of industrial-style loft apartments. Painting exposed brick can renew the look of a brick loft wall while maintaining the industrialised look of the loft, and it allows for decor alternatives to dark brick. Preparation of the brick prior to paint application will keep the painted brick looking good and remove the chances of the paint peeling from the wall. Efflorescence, mould and dust can ruin the finish of the paint overtime.

Set plastic sheeting on the floor below the brick loft wall. Make sure to tape down the sheeting to keep water off flooring.

Vacuum very dusty brick and mortar. Pour two capfuls of trisodium phosphate and 1 tsp dishwashing soap in a 5-gal. plastic bucket. Fill the bucket halfway with water.

Scrub the brick and mortar joints with a bristled cleaning brush soaked in the mixed cleaning solution. Rinse the brick wall with clean water. Wipe the surface of the wall with a rag. Allow the wall to dry for 12 hours or until dry to the touch.

Open a tube of sanded caulk with the cutter and puncture needle of a drop-in caulk gun. Slide the open tube of caulk in the drop-in caulk gun. Apply sanded caulk into any damaged mortar joints of the brick wall. Wet the bristles of a clean paint brush. Run the wet paint brush over the uncured caulk to blend it into the surrounding mortar. Allow the mortar to cure for 24 hours.

Apply acrylic primer to the mortar joints between the loft wall bricks with a 4-inch paint brush. Take time to make sure all the uneven surfaces are covered. Pour acrylic primer into a paint roller pan.

Attach a roller cover to a roller handle. Roll the roller in primer. Apply the primer to the faces of the loft wall bricks. Pour remaining primer out of the paint roller pan. Clean the pan, roller cover and 4-inch paint brush with clean water. Allow the primer to cure for 24 hours.

Apply acrylic paint to the mortar joints of the loft wall bricks with the cleaned 4-inch paint brush. Immediately paint the face of the bricks with an acrylic paint brush or loaded roller. Allow the paint to cure for 4 to 6 hours. Apply a second coat of paint to the wall if needed.

Clean the roller, paint brush and roller pan with clean water when finished painting the loft wall bricks.


Painting porous brick surfaces requires more paint than similar-size walls. Estimate coverage of about 250 square feet per gallon, less if you apply paint heavily.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Dishwashing soap
  • 5-gal. plastic bucket
  • Water
  • Bristled cleaning brush
  • Rags
  • Sanded caulk
  • Drop-in caulk gun
  • Clean paint brush
  • Acrylic primer
  • 4-inch paint brush
  • Paint roller pan
  • Foam roller cover
  • Roller handle
  • Acrylic paint
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