How To Paint a Brick Wall With a Paint Sprayer

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If you have a brick wall or a textured brick wall in your home where the color of the bricks is throwing off your room’s color palette, I have an easy solution for you to get it painted in just a few hours. 

Bedroom getting ready to be paintedHow to Paint a Rough Textured Brick Wall

The time has come for the color of the two rust colored brick walls in my bedroom to become history.  They are in the area in front of the sliding glass door in my bedroom, looking out to the deck and lake. It was once a porch and they were exterior bricks.

At some time over the years, it was converted to be part of the bedroom. In this converted section, the floor is concrete and the walls are brick.

Since we moved into the house, I have wanted to paint the brick surface to go with my blue and white color scheme.

Since the new flooring hasn’t arrived yet, it was the perfect time to paint the walls. No drop cloth was needed to protect the floor. If you do need a drop cloth, the best painting drop cloth is flattened cardboard boxes. They don’t move or rip like plastic sheeting drop cloths can.

Is it Hard to Paint Over Brick?

brick wall

Most brick is not too hard to paint, but since it is a porous service, it does take a few coats to get complete coverage. The brick that I am painting in this tutorial is not classic smooth brick, but rough textured brick that is very hard to paint because of the rough surface.

I learned first hand how difficult this DIY project can be when I painted the brick fireplace hearth and fireplace surround in my living room and had to work with the same brick.

Home Right Finish Max Super paint sprayer

Should You Paint Brick with a Brush or Roller?

When painting brick, I knew that a paint brush was going to be time consuming and my arm would get sore from having to dab and brush paint into every crevices and groove on the brick wall.

I also could have used a paint roller with a thick nap. A thick nap will allow paint to get into all the nooks and crannies of the brick, but there is a downside to this method.

You have to go over the brick a with firm pressure a few times to reach all of the recessed areas, mortar, and cracks. After doing this, the painted finish can look very thick on the bricks.  I didn’t want that look.

Textured brick wall about to be painted

What is the Best Way to Paint Brick?

As mentioned above, you can paint brick with a brush or roller, but the best way is to spray the paint on. The painting process is made easy using a HomeRight Super Finish Max paint sprayer. 

I knew I could use this in the house (windows opened and surrounding areas masked off) since the high volume of air at low pressure the sprayer uses greatly reduces overspray. I wish cans of spray paint had this feature.

Spraying paint onto brick goes on thinner and faster and gets into all the grooves and crevices as you sweep across the brick with the sprayer.

I am not new to using paint sprayers. They make hard to paint surfaces, like brick and wicker – easy to paint.

I used the Finish Max Pro to paint all the bifold louvered doors in my house. I set these up outside when I painted them. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that with the brick walls, though.

White ceiling fan hanging from white bead board ceiling
BEFORE: Bead board ceiling with flat off-white paint

As I began the project to paint the rust colored brick walls white, I decided to paint the bead board ceiling that was a flat off-white. My preference was a shiny gloss paint white-white finish.

I didn’t spray it since I didn’t want to take the fan blades off or use a load of painter’s tape. I rolled the paint on with a small paint roller.

Painting a textured brick wall
AFTER – Painted ceiling using gloss white paint

You know how it is once you get one project done. Something else around it then needs an update.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Brick?

I used interior latex paint that was a primer & paint formula in one. If painting exterior brick make sure to buy an exterior formula. There are brands of masonry paint and paints made especially for brick, but they are expensive. I have never used them on any of the brick walls I have painted and they all have lasted for years.

What Sheen of Paint Should I Use to Paint a Textured Brick Wall?

You can use any sheen of paint, but for textured brick or masonry depending on how glossy you want the wall to be. I used satin. The reason is that it will be easier to clean the walls in the future. Flat paint on brick can be harder to clean.

How to Paint a Textured Brick Wall

Close up of a white painted brick wall

supplies needed:

  • Glidden – Pure White latex paint and primer in a satin finish
  • HomeRight Finish Max Super paint sprayer
  • water
  • stiff  – 1″ angled paint brush
  • rag or shop paper towels
  • bucket filled with water
  • drop cloth
  • Spray paint mask to cover mouth and nose
Rust colored textured brick wall Before being painted.

How Do You Prepare Brick Before Painting?

Your prep may need to include some combination of a wire brush or stiff-bristled brush with soapy water to clean away dirt, dust, and cobwebs. You do not have to seal the brick surface first.

1. Mask-off the areas around the textured brick wall with painter’s tape and drop cloths. This protects the surrounding area from the very small and fine overspray.  Make sure the tape is secure as the sprayer puts out a lot of air as it sprays and will move the paper mask that isn’t taped down well.

2. Before painting, make sure you thoroughly clean the brick surface. Start with a vacuum to remove loose dirt and dust. A wire brush and soapy water will remove any mildew or efflorescence (those streaky white deposits).

If you’re having trouble getting the surface clean, you can also apply a cleaning solution such as a mixture of water and trisodium phosphate (TSP). You may want to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Set Up Paint Sprayer

1. When using this brand of paint sprayer you need to thin your paint first. The instructions that come with the sprayer show you how to do it. It is as easy as adding water to the paint and mixing it well.

close up of white painted brick wall

2. Choose one of the three nozzle tips that come with the sprayer for the type of paint and object you are painting. I used the Red nozzle.

3. Before adding the thinned paint into the sprayer, fill the sprayer container with water and spray the brick with water to dampen it. The moisture will help the paint absorb into the very porous brick.

Begin to Spray the Brick

1. Once the wall is wet, you can paint. Put a mask over your face and goggles to protect your eyes.

2. Fill sprayer container with the thinned paint and starting on one top end of the wall begin to spray the paint. The best spraying technique is to use a side-to-side sweeping motion. Go from side to side in fluid strokes.

The more you use the sprayer, the better you will be able to judge how far back from the wall you need to be. I kept the nozzle about 6 – 8 inches away from the wall.

Stop and fill the container with more paint as needed.

3. Let dry. Apply a second coat if needed. After the paint is dry, if there are any area that didn’t get enough paint, I used a stiff paint brush to do touching up.

White painted brick wall

How to Clean the Paint Sprayer

Cleaning up the paint sprayer is easy:

  • Simply take the sprayer apart and place in a bucket of hot sudsy water.
  • Swish the parts around to clean.
  • The sprayer comes with a little brush to get into the tight areas of the spray tips.  You can also clean them with a hose. Once there is no more paint on the parts, let dry.

FAQ’s About How to Paint Brick Walls

Can I use any brand of paint sprayer?

Yes, you can use any brand of paint sprayer. I like HomeRight products because they are lightweight, easy to use and clean up.

If you don’t have a sprayer and are thinking of buying one, look for a brand with a model where the paint does not have to be thinned. This will be a time saver.

Also make sure the flow nozzle sprays a high volume of air at low pressure. This will lessen overspray which is especially a nice feature when spraying interior bricks.

Do I need to prime brick before painting?

If you use a paint formula that has a primer in it, then no you do not need to use a stand alone primer. If however the paint you want to use is just paint, then prime the bricks first with a regular latex primer first and let it dry before applying the paint. There are many good brand name primer products at the home improvement or paint store that are fine to use.

Can you paint straight onto brick?

You can paint right on the brick after you have cleaned it well. For interior brick use a wire brush or stiff-bristled brush with soapy water to clean away dirt, dust, and cobwebs. For exterior brick, you can use a hose or pressure washer.

Does painted brick hold up?

Painted brick holds up extremely well when the surface is cleaned, prepped, primed and the paint is applied in thin coats with dry time between each coat. Since the surface is porous the thin coats adhere well.

Applying the paint too heavy can over time make the paint easy to peel off. So for your time and effort make sure to apply the paint in thin or light coats.

How-to-paint-a-textured-brick-wall

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21 Comments

  1. What a great idea – makes the space look much brighter and more open. Well done x

  2. I need to buy a sprayer! I’m getting older and somehow I don’t stretch like I used to. Very good work, as always!

  3. The wall is beautiful. I love painted brick. I have an unrelated question. I came across your page through an email and would love to see your future posts. The only options I see for following you is Facebook, Twitter, etc. I don’t use Twitter and grew so tired of Facebook that I haven’t been on there for months and months. Is there a way to receive emails from you? I hope so!

    1. The wall is beautiful. I love painted brick. I have an unrelated question. I came across your page through an email and would love to see your future posts. The only options I see for following you is Facebook, Twitter, etc. I don’t use Twitter and grew so tired of Facebook that I haven’t been on there for months and months. Is there a way to receive emails from you? I hope so! Never mind. I looked and looked for a subscribe button and then as soon as I sent my comment I found one. I’m a subscriber now and look forward to your emails. Thanks!

      1. Hi Kim – Thanks for wanting to subscribe to my blog. You can subscribe on my blog. If you go to any post on my blog, on the right hand side in the side bar under my photo and an ad you will see a graphic that says – Become an Insider. Click on the pink bar that says Subscribe. You will be taken to a page where you can fill out your name and email. You will then get an email to confirm that you want to subscribe. Once you do this, you will get all my latest post notifications in your email. If you have any trouble let me know.

  4. I can only agree with everyone else! Wow!!
    It looks so beautiful. can’t wait to see how it looks in the end.
    Did you take the fan blades down to spray?

    1. Hi Kat – Thanks. I should have given more detail about how I painted the ceiling. I didn’t spray it, I used a small roller to apply the gloss paint to it. On the brick walls that I sprayed I used semi gloss. I will add this to the post so I don’t confuse anyone.

  5. Well Diane, aren’t you the Queen of Tease!! Ha ha ha, can hardly wait to see this new revolutionary discovery of yours. Love the paint job too. I really need to get a paint sprayer….I keep telling myself that but still don’t have one yet. Have a great weekend!

  6. An amazing difference. Once you get your room back together, you’re going to wish you had moved this project higher up on the list. Can’t wait to see it all finished. I think little quirky places like this former “porch” in a house gives it character and using it for an office area seems perfect. Anyone can have all drywall.

  7. Diane, thanks for the tutorial. Those were some great pointers. My late husband had a pneumatic paint sprayer, but I never thought I would have any use for it. You have shown me that there may be times when I will want to use it now! Great post! Oh, and the wall looks great!

  8. WOW, what a difference already. It ‘s amazing what paint can do in transforming abouy anything. Cannot wait to see the next post. Hope you didn’t get much damage from hurricane.

  9. Really like the White brick, going to be super when you finish everything. I cannot wait. Good, good job!

  10. Love the look Diane….I’m getting ready to paint my fireplace surround something like you did on your counter tops in your kitchen. We NEVER have a fire in the fireplace…we live in SW Florida after all…so I am not particularly worried about combustion as it is not inside the fireplace but under the wood and around the screen. The wood is white but the surround looks like a beige marble…I think making it look like white with grey graining, etc would look good. Thoughts?
    Oh, and I am checking out your louvered doors also….I have plantation shutters that are not real wood in my bedroom and the maker said he didn’t know if they could be painted…I’m thinking I’d like them white and I have nothing to lose as I really don’t like them in the honey maple color they are. I didn’t think I could paint travertine tile backsplash but I did and I love it. It has been painted over a year and it is holding up well.
    [email protected]

  11. Diane once again you managed to take an ugly wall of brick and make it pop. I remember when you took the louvered doors off in the hall of darkness and transformed them with your paint sprayer.

    Can’t wait for your floors and your ‘reveal!’