Changing color of exterior brick?

docbotanusMay 4, 2006

Our 25 year old two-story home has dutch-lap vinyl siding on the upper (that I plan to replace eventually) and brick on the entire first level that is a motlled orange color, with some bricks that are brownish, tan or black-orange. I hate the color, and would replace it someday if we have the dough.

For now, I'm trying to live with, and considered several options-

1) Have it professionally stained- we had a quote from Nawkaw-we were quoted about $5000, with each brick stained individually. My hesitation is cost, and concern that the result is too monochromatic.

2) Try to tone down the orange tone by sponging the the brick with masonry paint or stain(though I'm not sure of the durability of such a technique) to make it look more red, reddish brown, brown, or even a dirty white (with only part of the underlying color showing through the topcoat).

3) Paint the brick an opaque color(white?) or whitewash/limewash it like many older homes. Again the concern is final result and durability.

Does anybody have any experience with any of these ideas, or any materials recommendations? By the way, my wife thinks I'm insane. Please tell me I'm not.

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The notion of colouring each individual brick seems like overkill to me. Have you seen what the finished product looks like? How often would you need to redo it? If it were me -- I wouldn't go there.

I'm also not keen on painting over brick, although I have seen quite a few houses where this has been done, and the look is rather attractive, especially when done in an an earthtone like adobe or some other neutral hue -- and the paint isn't shiny. Naturally, you paint the brick and the mortar.

I do, however, like the whitewash/limewash look. Especially after it's weathered for a while. Hints of the underlying brick colour peeking through give it a comfortable old-world look that I find attractive. It's also easy to do. You just roll or brush it on. Any stray drips or spatters are easily wiped away with a damp cloth. Unless your house is overly large, it's accomplished in a weekend. I've also seen these types of washes tinted grey, which is also attractive.

Just my two cents.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 1:00AM
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Surprisingly, profesional staining brick by brick can be a very quick process (up to 50sqm per man per day) and if done properly will give a varied appearance to the brickwork. See images on for examples. Good masonry dyes nowadays are permanent and give a very effective finish... it's often impossible to tell a stained brick from a non-stained brick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Brick Image

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 10:26AM
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NO YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.. although I have been told the same thing for the same reason.. But those orange bricks kill me too!!!! I will spend a year hand staining them myself if I have to. I stumbled across this site while looking for a "how-to" stain my own home that has those God forbidden orange bricks. Have you received any good tips? I am not going to pay someone else to do any good "do-it-yourself" ideas or advise would be great. I'd really like to change my orange to grey in varying shades...too ambitious?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 4:54PM
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DId you ever find a technique to change the orange to varying shades of gray???? This is what I'm wanting as well. My house is split level, white siding, gray roof, black shutters and door, then this horrible orange shades of bricks!!! Please help! Thanks..

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 10:04PM
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UGH ORANGE BRICK - My NEMESIS! I have been searching for a year to fix this. Bought numerous books too on Masonry and no luck. I tried muric acid (DO NOT DO) and it made my house beautiful for a day ... then ORANGE BRICK EVERYWHERE!

Was told to do Muric Acid again and reseal, but then forums advised against it (brick needs to breathe in order to last). Same reason to not paint it. It will seal the pores and cause the brick to eventually fail.

So, now looking at staining or white washing. I think I will try the whitewash as there is a way to get rid of it if I don't like it. Plus it is cost effective. 50lb bag of lime with 10 pounds of table salt. Also can add hues to it to change color... so we will try this.

I am planning to try it in next few weeks. If anyone has any tips or advice, PLEASE let me know asap as any help for this amateur is needed.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 4:07PM
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@lweber22 - I have the same problem - ORANGE BRCK. how did the whitewash turn out?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 8:12PM
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I have the same orange brick exterior that I want to get rid of. Anyone tried anything effective yet? Please update your experiences I am also looking for a do-it-yourself solution

    Bookmark   March 17, 2012 at 5:16AM
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I too have those ugly orange bricks on my house. One promising product I've come across is a company called DyeBrick They are based in the UK but have free shipping to the U.S. I'm going to try a sample pot first and see where it goes. They have several different colors of stain, and one I intend to try is something called Brick Age, which darkens the brick, which I"m hoping will lessen the orange color. It's the only option I've found so far, so I guess it's worth a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dyebrick

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 4:14PM
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