Toronto Professional Painters & Decorators

Exploring Brick Staining, Brick Painting, and Limewashed Brick: A Comparative Guide

When it comes to revitalizing brick surfaces, homeowners have several options to consider, including staining, painting, and the trendier approach of limewash. Each method offers unique benefits and considerations, making it essential to understand the differences before making a decision.

Brick Staining

Brick stain is a permanent surface finish that penetrates the brick, altering its color while preserving its natural texture. This mineral product darkens or colors the brick, becoming a permanent part of it and ensuring it never chips, bubbles, or pulls away from the brick. It acts as a moisture barrier and allowing the brick to breathe ensuring durability and longevity.

Brick stain works best on clean, porous, and unpainted brick. Brick stain comes in a countless variety of colors, from light and transparent to bold and opaque, providing endless possibilities for enhancing the appearance of brick surfaces. It’s essential to note that heavily damaged brick may not be suitable for staining, and once applied, stain is challenging to remove.

Brick staining is a more affordable option compared to brick painting, it also helps avoiding the expense of replacing masonry. This is beneficial for homeowners who are looking to sell their home and wanting to update the exteriors.

Close-up photo of brick staining results, showcasing the rich, warm tones and enhanced texture of the stained bricks.

Painting Brick

Painting brick involves covering the entire surface, including mortar, with a uniform color. While paint can effectively hide surface flaws and provide a consistent appearance, it does seal the porous brick, preventing it from breathing. Additionally, painted brick tends to emphasize texture rather than color gradations. One advantage of painting is its ability to be applied over stained brick, offering flexibility in design choices.

Before brick painting photo of a cafe exterior in downtown Toronto, located at the intersection of Queen Street and Bathurst. The image shows the original brick facade.
After photo of a cafe exterior in downtown Toronto, located at the intersection of Queen Street and Bathurst. The brick sprayed with white paint.

What is Limewash?

Limewash, crafted from crushed limestone and water, often incorporates color pigments for added depth. Can only be applied with brushes and penetrates deeply into pores. Thus, it helps with slowing the deterioration of the brick.

Limwash on brick

Limewash, such as Romabio Limewash, offers a unique alternative to traditional brick staining and painting methods. This authentic, slaked-lime paint creates a beautiful white wash effect on absorbent brick, stone, and masonry surfaces. Applied as a one-coat process, limewash instantly transforms surfaces, providing a breathable and UV-resistant finish. Over time, limewash patinas, with a flat and chalky finish adds character and depth to the surface.

Limewash transforms brick with a semi-transparent patina that allows its natural texture to shine through, preserving the rich feel of the brick rather than masking it like traditional paint. Additionally, when made from raw ingredients, limewash also presents a cost-effective alternative to paint, offering both aesthetic appeal and budget-friendly benefits.

Close up of limewash on exterior brick
Exterior view of a farmhouse showcasing the charming texture and whitewashed appearance of limewashed brick walls

How long does brick stain last vs brick paint?

Brick stain typically has an average lifespan of 20 years with the potential to endure even longer, possibly up to 30 years, depending on factors such as climate and the type of brick being treated. Over time, it may gradually fade, signaling the conclusion of its lifespan.

In contrast, paint typically lasts between 7 to 10 years before it begins to chip and deteriorate, often requiring more frequent maintenance compared to stain. The degradation of paint is usually more noticeable, prompting homeowners to address maintenance issues sooner.

What’s the best solution to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your exterior brick surfaces?

Choosing between brick staining, brick painting, or limewash on brick  depends on factors such as desired aesthetics, surface condition, and long-term maintenance preferences. While staining emphasizes color and texture, painting offers uniformity and surface coverage. Limewash provides a trendy, European-inspired finish with unique patina development over time.

Regardless of the choice between brick staining, brick painting, or limewash on brick, preserving the personality of the brick is paramount. Ultimately, consulting with professional exterior painters and considering individual project needs will help homeowners make informed decisions for their brick surfaces.

Whether you’re considering brick staining, brick painting, or limewash on brick, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our in-house designer is ready to assist with color consultations, ensuring the perfect stain or preferred limewash finish intensity for your exterior brick. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free quotation and start upgrading your home today.

After photo of an English house exterior in Royal York, Toronto, showcasing the brick after being painted in white.

Request a free quote today and let our team bring your vision to life! Simply fill out the form or give us a call, and we’ll be delighted to discuss your project and provide you with a detailed estimate