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Can I Paint My Exterior Brick Chimney?

If you’re not happy with the look of your brick chimney, you may be tempted to paint it. That’s a simple way to update the appearance and boost your curb appeal…right? Before you start shopping for brick paint, check out the info below. You may find that brick chimney painting is not a great investment.

Why You Shouldn’t Paint Your Exterior Brick Chimney

While it is possible to paint any exterior brick, it’s not recommended. Paint creates a sealant over the brick, which can trap unwanted moisture.

Natural bricks are able to breathe, expand and contract with the seasons because they are porous. Painted bricks are trapped in a set position, which means they don’t have a way to release pressure during the freeze/thaw cycle. This ultimately leads to cracking and crumbling, and it could hurt the structural integrity of your bricks.

Brick chimneys are more exposed to the elements than brick siding because there is no roofing or overhang to shield them. These bricks need to breathe even more than the rest of the bricks around your property. If you want to upgrade your chimney without painting it, skip to the bottom section of this guide for ideas.

Painting an Interior Brick Fireplace Is Perfectly Fine

If you want to paint your interior bricks, that’s fine. These bricks don’t go through the temperature and moisture changes that exterior bricks do. You’ll need a specialty paint to fill the pores in the bricks for the first coat, but after that, you can change the color whenever you like.

How to Update an Exterior Brick Chimney without Painting It

Painting bricks isn’t the only way to update them. You can safely upgrade your chimney without impacting its structural integrity. Here are some options to consider:

  • Get repointing to make the mortar look new. This process removes the outer layer of mortar and replaces it with fresh, sturdy mortar. The mortar surrounding your bricks is more prone to damage than the bricks themselves because it is more porous. Replacing it will protect your bricks and remove the look of wear on the chimney. You can either get color-matched mortar that blends with your existing mortar, or you can get a new color that brings out a different hue in your bricks.
  • Replace damaged bricks with strategic matches. Once again, this will help the chimney look like new, and it will protect its function for years to come.
  • Get a new brick chimney with chimney rebuilding. This is a more drastic approach, but it may be worth it if your current chimney is in disrepair. You can select the exact materials that you want for your new chimney and customize it to your aesthetic. Chimney rebuilding is one of the many services we provide here at N&M Restoration.
  • Add hardscaping that corresponds to the bricks. With thoughtful hardscaping design, you can create a more cohesive look for your property that makes the chimney fit in. Instead of being a standalone feature, the chimney soon becomes part of a grander design. Our professional brick pavers can help you make this dream a reality.

Whether you’re trying to boost curb appeal or you just don’t like the way your chimney looks, there is a solution for you. Contact N&M Restoration at (586) 350-5824 to schedule a quote for brick chimney remodeling and repair. Our licensed masons and bricklayers serve most communities in Southeast Michigan.