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boogeyman36 12-26-2011 09:54 AM

Can you stain brick? Should I?
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Hi Everyone,

We decided to replace our 34 year old siding with vinyl. We were very anxious to get rid of the 70's Tudor style, so we went with double 4" in a clay color. But we didn't pay enough attention to how it would look with the brick! The brick is used, unglazed, and you can see that it's multicolored. I've no experience with painting or staining brick. My biggest fear is making things worse. Can porous brick be stained with a solid color? Will it eventually peel off? I would pressure wash it first, then maybe an acid wash. Unsure how to do this. Should I only paint the faces and leave the grout with the existing charcoal color? Or should I just leave it alone?

Your criticisms are most welcome. Hope everyone is having a fine holiday season.

Al Boger NW IN

mudmixer 12-26-2011 12:13 PM

I would leave the brick as it is, as long as it is sound and there are no large cracks in the joints.

The other choice is to "bite the bullet" for high maintenance with a paint or sold color stain. You can see what to expect by looking at the coated brick over the window in the latest photo.


boogeyman36 12-28-2011 05:18 AM

Thanks mudmixer,
You can't tell by the photo, but that's actually a strip of wood above the window. But you're saying that by painting the brick, it will turn into a high maintenance job, requiring repainting later--No thanks!
Hey, when I was a kid I was a hod carrier while working my way through school. Local 81 laborer's. Thats as far as my masonry knowledge goes-that was damn hard work!

BobAristide 04-12-2012 04:16 PM

Oh no, ...vinyl. The V word :(
I would look for something that is easy to install, that it doesn't deteriorate, that actually adds a layer of insulation and with a large choice of colors and styles. Believe it or not vinyl isn't that cheap to put up.

Daddytron 04-12-2012 04:58 PM

I owned a 1920's house with a stone basement. I bought the proper kind of stain, made specially for masonry, and got it tinted black. it looked great as a feature wall, and thinking that it was safe to do this on an inside wall (I had an extension in the basement) and after a year, it started to look dull and grey. After another year, it looked terrible. I personally would not recommend stain as an option, but going with a high quality paint, you'll probably get about 5 years of maintenance-free enjoyment out of that.

BobAristide 04-12-2012 05:00 PM

I don't know... 5 years go by fast. What happens after that? I like things "more permanent" :)

mudmixer 04-12-2012 05:54 PM

Most of the cheap stains just use carbon black as "colorizer" that is not a stain, will not bond to the cementitious materials and will erode or fade with exposure. There is a big difference between dyes (cheap) and pigments (costly, but used by professionals).


boogeyman36 04-12-2012 06:07 PM

thanks everyone!

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