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Don't Be Afraid To Paint Brick Walls With A Spray Bottle

We have been in our house for 4 years now...and would you like to know the first thing I did on my own to the house (not including tearing down a wall)? I painted the red brick wall that was a total eyesore to me!
I was scared when I did this because it is not a "reversible" process. Once it's done, that's it. You're stuck with painted brick. So, luckily I didn't have to go into this alone...I have a friend who has many cool tricks up her sleeve (wish she had a blog!) and she shared this one with me.

Use a cheap spray bottle you can find at any hardware store. Use paint you already have. Mix it with water. Those are the rules.

So here's the story of how I painted my brick wall:

We moved to a new house a few years ago, from California to Missouri. It was a culture shock of course. But the worst part was the dark and gloomy house, full of paneling and bricks from 1970. Some people say you should never paint brick...but when two walls in two rooms of your main living space are real bricks, you kind of have NO CHOICE.
I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind brush the paint on or roll it on...but then a friend suggested something else. Spray it on?
Luckily I had purchased several gallons of a beautiful cream colored paint (BEHR - Cottage Stone in Semi-Gloss Latex), and when my friend was visiting, she said "Let's paint that brick!" I was a bit nervous what my husband would say, since men don't like painted wood or bricks very much. He is learning quickly that I paint it ALL!

Some awesome things about this method include: no priming, no rolling, quick dry time, easy clean up (if you cover everything), affordable and uses very little paint.

Read through to the end and get a sneak peek at my latest kitchen project.

Here's what you have to do to paint your brick:

1. In an empty gallon milk jug, pour 1/4 paint to 3/4 water. Shake well till mixed thoroughly. Will look like milk!

2. Then, using a funnel (or not) pour carefully into a spray bottle. I got the spray bottles from Lowes in the cleaning section for about $3, sort of the industrial kind. Some of them work great and some stop working right away, so you may want to buy more than one.

3. If your brick is clean you can start. If not, make sure it is dust and cobweb free.

4. Prep - Cover your floors with waterproof tarps. Have lots of paper towels on hand. You can either cover your windows with plastic or just be ready to clean up the paint drips immediately after spraying.

5. Now you're ready to start spraying your bricks! There's a technique to it...swoosh your wrist across the area you are painting at the same time as pulling the trigger on the sprayer. You are trying to get an even coat of thin paint. With this method you will still have some color variations showing through and it won't be completely "white". It brightens the brick. You can even do more coats if you want it to be brighter and whiter.

But really, you can do the spraying in any way that is easy for you!

While you've sprayed till your hand aches, you will need to dab at the drippy areas with a wad of paper towels. You don't want drips drying and looking ugly all over. You can also use a paint brush to squish more of the drips into the crevices and grout lines. You might even start feeling artsy and creative!

You will notice with spraying the paint on that you are saving tons of time not having to paint into the "grout" areas...they get covered nicely with the spray.

We were able to complete one wall in the breakfast room in about 1/2 an hour. Clean up took about another 1/2 an hour (including drips, the floor and the windows) since I had not covered things well enough. We got done right as my husband walked in the door. He was speechless...but liked it! Yay for painted brick and clever friends!

I totally suggest painting boring red brick if it's on the interior of your home. It's quick and easy and you'll love how bright it is. After I finished the fireplace and painting the paneling I almost feel like it's light in there!

The friend who helped me with this has also painted the exterior of her home's chimney which is made of stone...her neighbors were jealous!

Make sure to wash out all your brushes and you can keep the unused watered down paint for about a month. After that is starts going funky and chunky and the chemicals can eat through the plastic of the bottle.

Check out the Before shots:

Closer To The "After":
3 years ago

Last Year - in transition again

January 2014
I will be revealing my kitchen remodel in the next few weeks so stay's a sneak peek:

NOTE: I used latex semi-gloss indoor paint for this project (Behr), but exterior works too. You may also use this for outdoor brick or stone re-facing. It really works! The paint effect has not faded or chipped in the past four years since I did it. Seriously!
Feel free to email me with any questions about this project.
I party with Remodelaholic


  1. Wow, it looks fabulous! I've always loved the look of white painted brick. We have a huge brick hearth that I'd love to paint but I know my husband would be horrified! Thanks for the tips.

  2. The results are really good! I really like how the room looks now. Looking forward to your kitchen remodel post!

  3. what a great idea, I love the way the brick now looks so lofty now and not so dark and gloomy, icky red it now...

  4. Me again, forgot to tell you I am a new follower of yours and I should have invited you to come over for a visit....

  5. Genius, beautiful and creative! I've been painting since I was old enough to paint. My mother's first husband was a painter and she always says that it's funny I'm not his daughter, because I paint like a painter. I'll remember this for in the future.

  6. Nifty idea and it sure made a difference. But I bet your hand got tired.


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