How to repaint exterior brick walls or old brick walls

Painting an old brick wall is a long-lasting solution to sprucing up the exterior of a landscape. Painting old bricks involves extensive cleaning to remove dirt and grime that clings to the porous material. Once you complete the project, the exterior brick wall will have a fresh look and be easier to maintain because dirt and plant debris will not build up.

Remove dirt and debris from the brick wall with a stiff brush. Mix a solution of 1 part bleach and 4 parts water and scrub the bricks with a scrub brush. Begin at the top of the wall and work down, rinsing the bricks with a hose. If necessary, use degreaser or a power washer on the bricks. Towel dry the wall and wait for the bricks to dry.

Apply a coat of acrylic primer with a roller paintbrush or spray pump.

Mix 1 part mineral turpentine and 3 parts brick paint in a bucket for the first coat. Diluting the first coat enables it to adhere better to the brick surface so the next coats can go on smoothly.

Pour the brick paint into a painter's tray and dip a roller brush into the paint. Apply the first coat of paint in even vertical strokes. Wait at least six hours for the paint to dry on the old bricks.

Add a generous second coat of undiluted brick paint over the wall using the same vertical strokes as used for the first coat. Roll over any drips and adjust the amount of paint on your brush if the coat is too thick. Wait for the second coat to dry before deciding if the wall needs a third coat. If necessary, apply the third coat using the same application method.

Use a fresh paint roller brush to apply a brick sealant once the paint is dry. Sealant protects the bricks from water and weather damage and preserves the paint colour longer.


Wear rubber gloves and goggles when using cleaning chemicals and mixing paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff brush
  • Hose
  • Bleach
  • Scrub brush
  • Acrylic primer
  • 3 roller paintbrushes
  • Mineral turpentine
  • Brick paint
  • Paint try
  • Brick sealant
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About the Author

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.