How to apply masonry paint

How to Apply Masonry Paint + Exterior Paint Tips from Pros

When you decide to paint masonry surfaces, it’s not always clear where to start. I have put together this helpful guide to help you through painting your masonry surfaces. Also, I have some pro tips to help you achieve a flawless finish when you paint exterior surfaces.

What is exterior masonry paint?

Masonry paint is acrylic-based paint used to paint different types of exterior surfaces. Masonry paint differs from exterior paint because it can withstand severe weather conditions and general wear and tear.

How to apply masonry paint

Guide to painting masonry walls

What you will need when applying exterior paint

You will need to make sure that you have the following tools and materials before you begin painting your masonry:

  • Fungicidal Wash
  • Filler
  • Sealer
  • Primer 
  • Masonry Paint or Concrete Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paint Roller

Step-by-step guide

Clean the masonry

For the best results, cleaning the surfaces is a must! Begin by washing the surface with a hose set to low to medium-power in order to remove old flaking paint from the brickwork. If mould or algae is present on the wall, mix some mildewcide to the water cleaning solution and clean the walls.

After you have removed the old paint and allowed the exterior walls to dry, you can start to apply a fungicidal wash to clean the surfaces before the application of exterior masonry paint. 

Repair the masonry

Once you have cleaned the exterior, use a masonry filler to repair any surface defects and ensure you achieve a smooth finish. You’ll be able to find recommended drying times on the packaging of the product used. Once the filler has dried, sand down the surface to ensure the masonry surfaces are properly prepared and ready for painting.

How to seal masonry paint before painting

Masonry is more porous than other materials, such as wood or plasterboard. Therefore, before applying primer or paint to your masonry wall, you must use a sealer to protect your house against water damage. You can purchase masonry sealer at local DIY stores or from well-known paint shops online.

Masonry sealer is often a latex-based solution that you can apply to a wall using a brush or a roller. But, some brick is less porous, and an oil-based primer would be most suitable to seal the surface.

A paint roller with a longer nap is suited to rougher surfaces. As a result, a roller with a nap that is 1 inch/25mm is ideal for sealing brick. Use the roller to apply a single coat of sealer to the exterior walls. If you need to cut in around the edges of the brick wall, use an angled-sash paintbrush for more control.

Before you move on to apply the primer, you must allow the sealer to completely dry. It’s worth noting that if you are painting over already painted brick, you will not need to seal the surfaces.

Prime the masonry

Apply a coat of primer to the masonry surfaces using the paint brush and roller. Priming the exterior surfaces acts as a protective coat against harsh weather and an additional binding agent for your masonry paint.

Paint the masonry

Once the masonry has been sealed and primed – and left to dry, you can begin painting the masonry. You can use a roller (with a 1-inch nap) for the walls but be sure to use a smaller brush when cutting in around the windows, adjacent walls, and floor. Begin by applying one thin coat of paint and allowing it to dry completely. Once dried, you can put additional coats of masonry paint on the surfaces until the walls are covered.

Painting over existing masonry paint

Painting over existing masonry paint

Planning to paint over masonry that is already painted but not sure where to start? Follow these tips for the best results:

  1. Remove loose debris, dust, and paint from the surface of the wall using a soft-bristled brush.
  2. Clean the exterior surfaces using a hose to remove old paint and mortar – set the hose to a low to mid-pressure to avoid damaging good mortar.
  3. Fill any missing mortar between the bricks with fresh mortar and allow it to cure for one week.
  4. Cover the concrete floor with dust sheets to protect it from primer or paint splatter.
  5. Apply a coat of primer as per the guide provided earlier. 
  6. Apply your first coat of paint to the exterior masonry walls. Start by using a thick-pile roller before using a cut-in brush for the adjacent walls. 
  7. Allow each coat of paint to completely dry before applying additional coats of masonry paint to the walls. Continue this process until the surface is completely covered.

Best primer to use when painting outside

 When applying masonry paint to exterior surfaces, you must prime the surface before painting to ensure smooth and lasting results. I’ve painted hundreds of homes and used countless primers – here are my 4 favourites:

  • Tikkurila Hydrosol Masonry Primer – best overall
  • Farrow & Ball Masonry & Plaster Stabilising Primer – best for eco-friendly finish
  • Dulux Weathershield Quick Dry Undercoat – best for product guarantee
  • Crown Contract Quick Dry Primer – best for drying times

Our favourite masonry paints to use

There are countless paint brands and types to choose from – many are great, but there are some you should avoid. Here are our top paint picks:

  • Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint
  • Zinsser All Weather Exterior Masonry Paint
  • Leyland Granocryl Smooth Masonry Paint
  • Rustins Masonry Paint

You can pick up any of these masonry paints from a local paint shop or online via the website of the paint brands.

Sandtex Ultra Smooth Masonry Paint

When painting exterior surfaces, having a masonry paint that dries rapidly is a real bonus. Sandtex Ultra Smooth masonry paint offers just this. After applying the first coat of paint, the surface will be dry and ready for another coat within 3 – 4 hours of application – so it’s a great choice when you want to finish painting your masonry within a day or less. 

You can apply Sandtex masory paint on most exterior masonry surfaces, including rendering, pebbledash, concrete, building blocks and brickwork.  

Smooth paint finishNeeds two coats of paint
Rainproof in 1 hour
Peel, dirt and mould resistant

Zinsser All Weather Exterior Masonry Paint

Zinsser All Weather exterior masonry paint offers an excellent long-lasting coat with easy application. Also, Zinsser masonry paint provides fantastic colour retention, winning our seal of approval. However, quality comes at a price, and Zinnser masonry paint costs approximately 3x the price of everyday exterior masonry paints.

Despite the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck, and the paint has recieved outstanding feedback from buyers. For example, Zinsser’s masonry paint is self-priming, so there is no need to purchase a primer. Also, you can apply the paint to surfaces at temperatures as low as -5°C, so provides a lot of flexibility in terms of exterior painting. Finally, it offers great surface resistance against cracking, blistering and flaking, so you can expect amazing results.

Self-priming 3X as expensive as standard paint
Showerproof in 20 minutes
Use in temperatures as low as -5C

Leyland Granocryl Smooth Masonry Paint

If you want value for money with your exterior paint, Leyland Granocryl smooth masonry paint is a great choice. Leyland offers a no-noncese masony paint that is easy to apply on surfaces (including wood, stucco, pebbledash, concrete, and render) using a brush, roller, or spray.

You’ll need at least two coats of paint to get a good result on your surface, however Leyland Granocryl smooth masonry paint provides a durable, weatherproof finish. Whats more, this paint comes in a variety of different colours, giving you great choice.

Good value for moneyHas long drying times
Available in lots of colours

Rustins Masonry Paint

Rustins masonry paint provides easy paint application with excellent surface cover. Also, it is a quickest drying paints, so it is fantastic when you have not got time on your side but still want a quality finish.

However, this exterior masonry paint is only available in 250ml or 500ml paint tin sizes, making it better suited to a small exterior paint project.

Quick-dryingOnly available in small tins
Good coverageOnly available in 4 colours
Only one coat needed
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