What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Exterior Brick?

Brick is synonymous with durability and strength, but it’s also known for its porosity and the challenge it poses when it comes to painting. Choosing the right paint and primer for your exterior brick can make all the difference and determine the longevity and look of your home.

High-quality elastomeric paint is the best choice for exterior brick. It should be applied over a primer to ensure the paint adheres properly. For primers, an acrylic-based primer is the best option. It will provide a good base for the paint to adhere to and create a durable, weatherproof finish.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing paint for exterior brick
  • What finish is best
  • What type of paint to use
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for exterior brick

The 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Exterior Brick

1. Climate and Weather Conditions

The paint you choose for the exterior of your brick home should be appropriate for the local climate conditions. For instance, if you live in an area with a lot of rain and humidity, you’ll need mold- and mildew-resistant paint.

2. Preparation

Before painting your exterior brick, surface preparation is critical. Brick is a porous material that can absorb moisture, so you’ll need to clean it well and let it dry completely before painting. You should also use a masonry patching compound to fill in cracks or damaged areas.

3. Quality and Durability

When choosing paint for exterior brick, you must prioritize quality and durability. A long-lasting and high-quality paint will save you money and time in the long run.

Look for paints that are formulated for exterior brick and are weather-resistant. The paint you buy should withstand harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, and UV rays.

4. Cost

Painting your exterior brick is an investment, and it’s important to budget accordingly. It’s also important to remember that not all expensive paints are high-quality.

5. Application

Lastly, consider the application method. If you have a larger area to paint, a roller or sprayer is the best option. However, a brush may be sufficient if you have a smaller area to paint.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Elastomeric Paint

Elastomeric paint, also known as elastodynamic paint, is a type of paint that can stretch and contract as the surface it is on moves.

This is due to the paint’s polymer base, which is much more flexible than traditional paint. Elastomeric paints are often used on surfaces prone to movement, such as wood, stucco, and concrete.


  • It is highly durable and can last up to 10 years or more before needing repainting
  • This is designed to resist harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind, and UV rays.
  • Resists cracking, peeling, and chipping due to its flexible nature.
  • Offers excellent coverage and can cover up imperfections in surfaces. It can create a smooth and consistent surface.


  • It is more expensive than traditional paint due to its specialized formula and high-quality materials.
  • It is harder to apply than traditional paint due to its thickness and viscosity.
  • While elastomeric paint is durable, it does require regular maintenance to maintain its effectiveness. This includes cleaning and inspecting the paint regularly.

Acrylic Latex Exterior Paint

Acrylic Latex Exterior Paint is a popular and reliable option for outdoor painting projects. It is a water-based paint known for its durability, flexibility, and ease of use.


  • Extremely durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and high temperatures. This makes it a great option for outdoor use.
  • It dries quickly, which means that you can finish your project faster. This is especially important if you live in an area with unpredictable weather conditions.
  • Resistant to fading and discoloration, your paint job will look new for longer.
  • It is easy to clean up with water and soap, which makes it a great option for DIY projects.


  • It is more expensive than other outdoor paint, such as oil-based paint.
  • It may not adhere well to certain surfaces, such as metal or glossy, without a primer.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

In general, the best paint finish for exposed brick are gloss finishes. These finishes offer a smooth and reflective surface that can help highlight the brick’s texture and character. Additionally, gloss finishes are more durable and resistant to wear and tear than flat or matte finishes.

When selecting a gloss finish for your exposed brick wall, it’s important to consider the level of sheen that will work best.

A high-gloss finish may be too reflective and shiny for some spaces, while a satin or semi-gloss finish can offer a more subtle but still visually appealing sheen.

It’s also worth noting that it’s crucial to use high-quality paint specifically formulated for masonry surfaces when painting exposed brick. Masonry paints are designed to adhere better to brick and other porous surfaces, reducing the risk of peeling or flaking.

The Best Paint and Primer for Exterior Brick

Best Paint

Behr Premium Elastomeric Masonry, Stucco & Brick Paint is the ultimate solution for anyone looking to paint exposed brick.

This high-build, 100% acrylic coating is designed to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors, making it a great choice for masonry surfaces.

One of the standout features of this waterproof coating is its exceptional ability to expand and contract, effectively bridging any hairline cracks in the surface of the brick.

This ensures that the brick remains protected from moisture infiltration, prolonging its life and maintaining its appearance.

Behr Premium Elastomeric Masonry Paint is also highly durable and mildew-resistant, making it perfect for use in areas prone to dampness or humidity.

Best Primer

Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Primer is the ultimate solution for priming exposed brick surfaces. It provides advanced technology suitable for all projects, making it a reliable option for any painting job.

This high-quality primer completely blocks all stains, water, tannin bleed, smoke, and more, leaving a pristine surface ready for paint.

A key feature of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Plus Primer is its ability to penetrate and seal porous surfaces. This property is particularly essential when working with exposed brick, which is known to be highly porous.

This primer ensures that the surface is adequately sealed, preventing any moisture or dust infiltration that could compromise the longevity of the painted surface.

Another impressive benefit of this primer is its quick-drying time. This acrylic-based primer dries in 30 minutes, allowing for a fast application process and less wait time between coats. This feature is particularly crucial when you have a tight deadline and need the job done quickly.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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