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Old 11-09-2015, 07:00 PM   #21
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JoeW, I hear you. I, too, don't understand why folks are so inefficient. I mean, it just so obvious. What are they thinking? Are they even thinking?
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:33 AM   #22
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Around here, everything is brick. The #1 reason to paint brick here is to hide major foundation problems in our expansive clay soil. If the problem is not fixed soon enough and gets really bad, then there are major cracks stair-stepping their way across walls, loose bricks, bricks cracked in half, etc.

So when/if it is repaired in some fashion, the new mortar does not match the existing mortar. And replaced bricks may not match well enough. So to make a sale, the brick is painted. Sometimes the mortar lines are drawn in carefully by hand with a mortar-colored paint. There is some real artistry to some of them. One would think that everyone here would be wise to the paint-the-brick-to-hide-the-problem routine. Apparently not. As PT Barnum supposedly once said...

Speaking of brick, I have no idea why someone would have a house built, and choose schoolhouse red brick. I think it looks awful, and I find it very depressing. It makes a structure a slabby overbearing monolith. No matter what the design, in my opinion, the schoolhouse red ruins it.

I have seen some houses that are sort of a pinky-brick, and with some stone accents they look fine.
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Old 11-10-2015, 05:48 AM   #23
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Ugly mixed brick from the 60s and 70s (multicolors of brick, with some darks and whitewashed ones thrown in) is the reason I have sometimes painted brick. My last home was a two unit condo in a victorian house. The developer painted it because he bricked in certain windows (with different brick) during the renovation. That is a good reason to paint, too.

My college alma mater's oldest building is early 19th century. They ran out of bricks during construction, had to make more from a different batch of clay, and it has been painted for 200 years -- red!

So there are practical as well as aesthetic reasons to paint brick once in a while.
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:57 AM   #24
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I had a neighbor with a big beautiful brick house. He painted it then put aluminum siding over the top of that. Go figure
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:45 AM   #25
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I try to not do things that are un-doable especially when considering resale value. Painting brick? hard if not impossible to remove. But I do like painting a few bricks in an accent color.
One trend I can't understand is white painted kitchen cabinets. When we bought our house the inside wasn't finished so we could choose cabinets and other items. Painted cabinets (which are frequently inferior wood or mdf) were the same price as custom cypress cabinets. Guess which we chose.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:19 AM   #26
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I'm with you on the outrage, Joe (also here in NC, same city IIRC). We have a split level with brick on the bottom and siding on top. After just dropping $6k or so last year to reside the top level with vinyl, I definitely wish it was brick. Why I would ever paint my brick to then require painting every 5-7 years in the future baffles me. As far as I know the red NC bricks aren't going out of style. Plenty of new construction with brick or brick panels that look very similar to our brick.

I haven't seen the painted brick trend in my 'hood but I'll have to take notice on my walks around the neighborhood. I might not live in a nice enough neighborhood where people have so much money they don't need to worry about painting periodically.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:56 AM   #27
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I've seen many older homes that have painted brick. I like the look in some cases, if it's done tastefully. Very clean looking. Not sure I'd ever do it myself, and certainly not on a new home where I could choose the brick color. But if there were other structural problems with the brick that required non-matching repairs, I'd certainly consider it. Also, many of the multi-color brick combinations from the 50s and 60s look very dated to me. So I could also understand someone with an older home doing it just to modernize and create their own color combinations and contrasts.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:13 PM   #28
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A former friend of mine has a company that he founded that does this professionally. Some of the results he has had are stunning. It is a great concept for otherwise worn out or tired brick that would otherwise need incredibly expensive and long restoration work..
That makes some sense. But surely, they have to re-point and do some acid wash first? I mean, *some* restoration is always required. They can't just paint over effervescing brick, right?

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I'm with you on the outrage, Joe (also here in NC, same city IIRC).
Ha ha, FUEGO, outrage I tell ya!

Yep, apparently we're finding ourselves suddenly in "Midtown" as marketeers try to expand the location of this fictional place. I think some neighbors woke up one morning and said: "Gee, that apartment building just changed names to 'Midtown Apartments', time for us to get hip and paint our bricks."

The new houses I speak of are inside the beltline. Money has been blown there for at least the last 30 years.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:58 PM   #29
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The fad around me is removing the paint or

Another old fad: brick textured mortar on top of the old brick... some are removing that now.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:59 PM   #30
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We sold a brick house in Mountain Brook, a very exclusive community over the mountain from Birmingham. The brick came from an elementary school that was torn down in 1964. It would be a crime to paint old, used brick as beautiful at that.

But in the most expensive neighborhoods, brick is not the chosen exterior finish. They're using stacked stone and many different finishes. In the really high dollar houses they might use yellow limestone imported from East Texas, slabs of granite or even imported Italian marble.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:09 PM   #31
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Yep, apparently we're finding ourselves suddenly in "Midtown" as marketeers try to expand the location of this fictional place. I think some neighbors woke up one morning and said: "Gee, that apartment building just changed names to 'Midtown Apartments', time for us to get hip and paint our bricks."

The new houses I speak of are inside the beltline. Money has been blown there for at least the last 30 years.
Ha ha, Midtown. We get the Midtown weekly (free) paper, so that makes us Midtown right? Ignore the fact that we're on the wrong side of the tracks from the "real" Midtown.

And yes, the inside the beltline market, where money is no object. $1M mini-McMansions in an old neighborhood. I guess nothing says "I have more money than I need" than building a nice brick facade then painting over it. Maybe tearing down a perfectly adequate house and putting up a million dollar mini-McMansion says it better though...
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:29 PM   #32
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Yep, painting brick bugs me, too. I do think it can look good in some cases, but to do it without a really good reason seems foolish. Brick is such a great material, and looks fine on its own. Paint on brick should be considered a "no going back" proposition--I'd think getting it off using chemical or mechanical means will be hard and will likely damage the brick/mortar.
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