Exterior acrylic latex and elastodynamic paints are suitable for outdoor brick surfaces, while gloss and semi-gloss sheen selections provide the advantages of easy cleaning and texture highlighting. Stain is a non-paint option that colors the brick without the issue of peeling that occurs with painted surfaces.
Exterior acrylic latex paint is a good option due to its breathability and its ability to prevent mildew, peeling and blistering. A high percentage of acrylic in the product extends its color and sheen life, increases its durability and prevents cracking.
Elastodynamic and elastomeric paints stretch without cracking, forming a smooth surface over the textured surface of brick. They provide impermeable barriers against moisture; however, if moisture seeps into the brick from unpainted materials, mildew can develop behind the paint.
Stain tints brick without altering its inherent nature. Stain tends to be easier to apply, requires less preparation and lasts longer than paint. Unlike paints, it does not cover flaws in the brick.
All brick painting requires preparation. If coloring the mortar, an alkaline-tolerant colorant is required. Alkalinity in the mortar creates a soapy residue that lifts the color and breaks the bond between paint and brick. Painter's tape protects the mortar from paint or stain if it's not being colored.