How to Update Brick Exterior Without Painting: 6 Effective Solutions

how to update brick exterior without painting

Metro Detroit is partly cloudy year-round, but summers are warm, and winters are freezing, windy, and snowy. These conditions can take a toll on bricks, leaving many homeowners worrying about how to update brick exterior without painting.

Brick exteriors have a timeless appeal, but sometimes they need a little sprucing up to bring new life to your home’s façade. While painting is a common option, it’s not the best choice.

Alternative methods exist to update your brick exterior without ever holding a paintbrush. In this blog post, we’ll dive into six effective solutions that can enhance the appearance of your brick surfaces and give your home a fresh new look!


1. Give Your Brick a Through Cleaning

The first option is to perform a thorough cleaning of your brick surfaces. Because dirt, mold, and mildew can accumulate over time, removing these contaminants is vital to restore your bricks.

With the proper cleaning solution, scrub brush, and elbow grease, you can deep-clean your bricks and make them look brand-new! Giving your bricks a good scrub involves the following:

  • Mixing the right cleaning solutions
  • Scrubbing the surface in small sections with a wire brush or scrubber
  • Washing off all cleaning solution residue with clean water
  • Allowing the brick to dry completely before applying a sealant


This simple yet effective method can reveal the natural beauty of the bricks. You’ll be surprised at how much difference a good scrubbing can make!


2. Fix Damaged Bricks

Another good answer to how to update brick exterior without painting is to fix damaged bricks. Over time, weather and age can take their toll on the condition of your brick surfaces.

Cracked, chipped, or broken bricks are unsightly and can detract from the overall appearance of your home’s exterior. Inspect your brick exterior for any damaged or deteriorated bricks.

Some common brick damages and defects include the following:

  • Damage from Damp: Moisture can penetrate the brick surface, causing damage and discoloration.
  • Frost Damage: When temperatures drop below freezing, moisture within the bricks can expand and cause the surface to crack.
  • Efflorescence: A white, salty substance can form on brick surfaces when moisture from within the bricks evaporates.
  • Stained Brickwork: Discoloration from dirt, mold, and mildew can make your bricks look old and dingy.


It’s best to rely on professional masonry services for problems with brick structures, as they can give you a permanent solution.


3. Paint Everything But the Bricks

If you’re open to adding color to your exterior without painting the bricks themselves, consider painting your front door, grouts, trim, shutters, or window frames! This can be a great way to add character and personality to a home’s exterior.

Choosing a bold or contrasting color can create a stunning visual impact and draw attention away from the bricks. Ensure the color complements the brick tones for a cohesive look.

Use high-quality exterior paint specifically formulated for the material you’re painting. You may also ask experts for advice so you get the best results!


4. Stain Your Bricks

Staining your bricks is another excellent way to update brick exterior without painting while maintaining its natural texture and character. Brick stains penetrate the surface, providing long-lasting color enhancement without hiding the brick’s texture.

Staining is better than painting in many ways:

  • It requires less maintenance
  • It offers greater flexibility in terms of color selection
  • It results in an eye-catching finish that preserves the look and feel of the original brick
  • It provides a more cost-effective solution than paint


Choose a brick stain that complements your desired aesthetic. Hire professional builders or masons and discuss the staining products and processes that work best for your particular bricks.


5. Try New Techniques

Unlike painting, there are a few techniques that are more subtle and allow the brick’s character to shine through.

A German Smear involves applying a thin layer of mortar over the bricks horizontally. After the mortar has been spread, smudge it upward to create a soft texture.

Limewashing is a more traditional technique that involves applying a mixture of lime and water to give brick walls an aged, chalky finish. It’s a great way to achieve an antique look without completely changing the color of your bricks.

The difference between these techniques and standard painting is that they don’t completely cover up the original brick. The limewash, specifically, is also eco-friendly!


6. Improve Your Landscaping

Once you’ve worked on the exterior of your home, it’s time to look around for other ways to improve your curb appeal. Yes, your green thumb can also make a big difference in the look and feel of your brick exterior.

Well-placed shrubs, flowers, and trees can add texture, color, and visual interest, diverting attention from imperfections in the brickwork. Perhaps you need more greens and pops of color to create a beautiful landscape that complements your home’s brick exterior!

Consider consulting a professional landscaper to design a cohesive outdoor space highlighting your home’s architectural features. Opt for low-maintenance plants and ensure they are properly irrigated to keep your landscaping looking its best.


Detroit Brick Co.: Masters of Masonry Restoration and Repair

At Detroit Brick Co., we specialize in masonry repair and restoration services in the metro Detroit area. Our team of experts has the knowledge and experience to update and refresh your brick exterior, ensuring it stands the test of time!

Our skilled craftsmen use high-quality materials and techniques to deliver outstanding results that exceed your expectations.

Whether your brick exterior needs a simple cleaning or a complete makeover, Detroit Brick Co. is your trusted partner for all your masonry restoration and repair needs. Contact us today for a consultation or call us at (586) 261-8272 and let us transform your brick exterior into a thing of beauty!

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Detroit Brick Co. is a leading provider of residential masonry repair and restoration services in the Metro Detroit area. Founded by Louis Pickner, a highly skilled mason with over a decade of experience, our company is dedicated to delivering top-quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service.


Detroit Brick Co. LLC
16944 Penrod Dr
Clinton Twp, MI 48035

Mon-Sat: 7:30am – 6:30pm
Sun: Closed

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