2024 January 18 Landing Page Blog Post Vista Painters painting contractors comparison of painted vs stained bricks

Brick Painting Or Brick Staining For Your Home? The Best 4 Advantages Of Each!

The brick surfaces of your home offer a timeless beauty and classic appearance that improve curb appeal and home value. But this isn’t where the benefits end. Brick siding, walls, and even fireplaces are incredibly effective at blocking out external elements and protecting the home from things that could harm it, from moisture to pests. These things struggle to get past the thick brick barrier, giving you peace of mind.

However, because your brick protects your home from so many things, it’s only natural that you’ll eventually need to update it. Initially bright and beautiful, brick can eventually wear away with the elements, which robs it of its vibrant colors and dulls the overall appearance of the home. You might eventually find your brick needs a refresh to make it something you’re proud of again. Read on for best practices on making your brick walls feel brand new.

An Overview

Here’s a brief overview of what brick painting entails. The brick painting method involves layering a water-based coating — which will have binders, pigments, and additives mixed in to give it color — over the brick surface. This method has a straightforward application and considerable effects on the appearance of your bricks. No matter what color you use next on your brick walls, we highly recommended hiring painting and remodeling professionals to get the job done right.

Brick Painting Or Brick Staining For Your Home? The Best 4 Advantages Of Each!

Brick Painting

Brick painting is the process of layering a quality paint product over the top of your brick surfaces. This method creates a solid, protective barrier between the brick and the elements while giving the wall a new opaque color scheme. The flat finish the paint provides creates a more modern look. People often use paint to update and refresh older homes and give them a remodeled appearance.

The Benefits Of Brick Painting

Brick painting can breathe life into a brick surface , leading toa massive improvement in curb appeal. Go on and be the talk of your community by coating some fresh paint over your brick siding.

There are many other benefits waiting for your discovery — here is an overview of the advantages of painting your brick walls.

Better Protection From The Elements

The worst thing to happen to brick is damage from temperatures, moisture, and the weather. With a new slab of paint on your walls, you can prevent further damage from impacting your job. New paint jobs can limit the chance of fading and creating issues on your home’s foundation.

Simpler To Clean

Brick is made from many of earth’s finest materials, and its pores, which have a spongy look, allow air to slip through. The best way to prevent air and unwanted germs from coming in is to clean the area often, which is easier when painted.

After repainting your brick, ensure you have the right tools to properly clean your siding, especially if there’s brick inside of your home. Use a sponge and water to gently dab at the material to wipe away dirt and debris. Then, use a brush to scrub between the brick’s lines.

Brick Painting Is A Permanent Fix

Whether you categorize this as a con is up to you, but know that brick painting is a permanent solution that creates a lasting paint job. However, if you happen to change your mind down the road, you might be out of luck.Repainting brick is difficult and requires more time to redo.

Don’t select a brick painting service until you’ve found the color you like the most and want to use. If you are looking for a fair idea of what you’re looking for, our expert exterior painters are here to ensure your brick is painted precisely with the color you want.

Get An Estimate To Paint Or Stain Your Bricks

Ready To Make A Change?

Schedule a virtual estimate with Vista Painters and get your personalized estimate today!

Paint sits directly on top of the brick, acting as a barrier that protects the old, weathering surface from the elements. Certain types of paint can block out moisture and sunlight, which could further damage your brick walls. Paint also comes in a wide range of unique colors that the natural pigments in stains can’t produce. If you want your wall to be a specific color, you’ll have a better selection if you go with paint. This method is also a favorite DIY trend for its ease of application and overall speed in completing the job.


Since paint doesn’t sink into the brick itself, it’s also subject to quick decay. This means the elements can damage the paint a lot faster than with a stain, and you’ll need to perform regular maintenance to keep it looking fresh. For this reason, it’s recommended that you repaint your brick every three to five years. Paint also doesn’t allow the brick to breathe once it’s applied, trapping moisture within that can hinder the product’s ability to stick to the surface.

Brick Staining

Brick staining, on the other hand, sinks into the porous brick as it’s applied. This not only allows you to keep the original texture of the surface, but also maintains airflow, which in turn releases moisture. Essentially, unlike paint—which simply covers the wall and all its blemishes—stains act as dyes that keep the original appearance of the brick and only change the color.


The main advantage of using stains is easy maintenance. Since it sinks into the brick to change its appearance, it’s not prone to chip away or peel like paint. This keeps the color from fading and significantly extends the time between touch ups. In addition to this, you also won’t overshadow the beloved textures and appearance of your older brick when you use stain. It allows you to  create a more modern color scheme while holding onto the characteristics that attracted you to the home in the first place. You can also better customize the tone of your stain by testing it on a section of brick and adding more pigment to darken it as you go.

Let’s take a closer look at 4 advantages of staining over painting: 

1. Painting brick requires maintenance. Staining is permanent.

The day you paint your brick is the day that paint degradation and maintenance begins. Not what you expected, right? According to the Brick Industry Association, you should expect to paint your brick every 3-5 years. This is mainly due to common adhesion failures associated with painting brick, like efflorescence.

Efflorescence occurs when soluble salt deposits migrate to the surface during the evaporation of water. These stubborn white deposits essentially sit under the coat of paint, causing the paint to eventually lift and peel. As opposed to covering the surface like a paint, a brick stain is absorbed by the brick and ultimately acts like a dye. Silicate minerals travel deep into the masonry and form a chemical bond with the brick (which we’ll talk about later), tinting the brick for a permanent color transformation that doesn’t require any maintenance.

2. Painting brick traps moisture. Staining lets the brick breathe.

As a porous surface, brick must be able to breathe. Painting brick saturates the brick’s pores with paint, preventing the brick from effectively releasing water and moisture. Since the moisture cannot evaporate, it stays trapped within the surface and results in blistering and chipping. As more water can potentially enter the brick through these cracks and chips, more water stays trapped within the surface and can lead to water damage over time.

Vista Painter’s brick stain is formulated with silicate minerals and maintains the brick’s physical properties intact, as if it were practically untreated, allowing it to successfully release water and moisture. When brick can properly perform its job of releasing moisture, you’re left with a superior, long-lasting finish without unsightly blistering, chipping and peeling.

3. Painting brick creates a film over the brick. Staining forms a chemical bond with it.

As previously mentioned, painting covers and coats the brick in a non-breathable film. On the other hand, our brick stain forms a chemical bond with the masonry and actually becomes a component of the brick itself due to a process of petrification. As opposed to a surface treatment, the stain penetrates deep into the brick and once dry, forms a durable bond with the masonry to permanently lock in color. The result is a permanent finish that looks just like brand-new brick.

4. Painting brick results in flat finish. Staining keeps its natural look intact.

Painting completely fills the nooks and crannies of the brick. As paint simply sits on the surface, it creates a noticeably painted, thick, flat finish which causes the brick to lose its natural look and feel. The opaque, slightly translucent finish of our stain in particular highlights and enhances the brick’s natural texture. If you touch the brick after our stain has dried, you’ll notice that you’ll feel brick and not paint. Available in a variety of different colors, you can lighten, darken or completely change the color of your brick to refresh and modernize the look of your home.


Unfortunately, the actual application process of brick stain can be a deterrent for many homeowners. You may need to apply many layers of this product to get the desired effect, and you’ll need to thoroughly clean the brick beforehand. This method also doesn’t work as well on damaged or decaying brick, as you’ll still be able to see those areas through the stain. Plus, take note that you can’t stain all types of brick. Certain types are more porous and better at absorbing the stain than other types. Brick that isn’t as penetrable can’t contain the stain as effectively, and the product will more easily wash off and transfer its color.

Choosing A Method

Knowing the benefits of brick painting can help set you up for success as you search for the right painting service that meets your expectations and desires. For instance, some people who want to update their home may appear indecisive when picking between brighter or darker colors to paint with. When deciding on your paint color, it’s most important to remember that you should always choose what’s best for your home and style. By doing so, you can create a space that’s unique to your needs as well as an eye-catching home to complement the rest of the neighborhood.

Regardless of what new look you want to bring to your brick surfaces, we at Bear Mountain Custom Painting will work hard to achieve your vision. Our experienced professionals know what it takes to provide quality, unique, and beautiful paint and stain jobs on various surfaces. In addition to these services, we also offer other home improvement tasks that will further improve the appearance of your property, such as siding, gutter, window, and door installation.

Q & A

There are many options when it comes to brick paints, stains, and treatments for the brick walls of your home. At Vista Painters, there are a handful of proven and time-tested coatings and materials we prefer more than the rest, though.

The masonry paints and treatments we offer include:

  • Classic Italian limewashing
  • Trendy whitewashing
  • Brick staining and tinting
  • Classic Italian mineral paint
  • Prime/seal brick and top coat with latex
  • Elastomeric coatings—several product choices available
  • German schmear, also called sacking

Limewashing and mineral paints in particular are industry favorites. Lime naturally discourages algae, mold, and mildew growth. Using it in brick paints and treatments helps protect the brick from the elements, greatly reducing the need for regular upkeep.

Limewash or Whitewash? While both treatments look amazing at the end, it’s important to know the difference.

Limewash treatments involve using limestone particles that have been crushed into a putty-like substance. Either tinted or white, the end product gives a matte, chalky look and feel.

Whitewash treatments apply a water-based paint-and-water solution to the brick. The result is a thin layer of paint, allowing for some brick to show through. This trendy treatment tones down the color of your natural brick with the paint color you’re looking for.

Get An Estimate To Paint Or Stain Your Bricks

Ready To Make A Change?

Schedule a virtual estimate with Vista Painters and get your personalized estimate today!

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