Good morning, Lori,
We are getting ready to sell our 3-bedroom ranch-style brick house this spring. I think the brick makes the exterior look really, really dated and want to paint it. My husband says he hates painted brick and thinks it will be tougher to sell. What do you think?
Brick House in Houston
Hello, Brick House!
Personally, I love painted brick homes, but I agree with your husband’s point of view, as well. Some people just truly do not care for painted brick exteriors and will avoid them at all costs, assuming it means more upkeep in the future.
The beauty of a brick exterior, theoretically anyway, is that there will be less maintenance and upkeep, which is why many hesitate to paint. However, depending on the style of brick, the condition, and whether or not it’s been teamed with some off-color siding or not, all this would factor into whether I can confidently tell you to paint or not to paint.
On the upside, I do agree that paint can give a brick home an entirely updated and more modern and distinctive appeal. For instance, if the home also has siding and you paint the brick the same color as the siding, it really can give your curb appeal a boost. Another reason to paint might be due to previous repairs where the brick had to be replaced with something that didn’t quite match. Paint can make the repair far less noticeable.
On the downside, some potential homeowners might be turned off fearing they will have to repaint every few years to keep it looking attractive, and this might factor into their decision making process. But just like some buyers prefer a two-story to a single story and vice versa, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this.
You might want to compromise and consider leaving the brick as-is and simply updating the shutters if the house has shutters, or perhaps adding shutters if it doesn’t, then repainting the doors, or painting the siding to coincide with the brick a little better, which would also freshen things up, provided there is also siding on the house.
In my neighborhood here in Minnesota, there have been three painted brick homes that have been on the market over the past few months. One of them, a two-story Victorian, has been painted forever and I’ve never noticed any peeling, though it did get a fresh coat of paint in a new, updated color before it went on the market. The other two were both ranch-style homes that were just painted recently. All three homes were sold literally within weeks…if not days…of going on the market and for full price. So it did not seem to be a deterrent to buyers.
That said, I would ask your Realtor how painted brick homes fair in your area. As mentioned, I am in Minnesota. Temperatures here fluctuate from extreme hot to extreme cold. But paint might have a different effect on bricks in Houston where it’s consistently warm and sunny and humid.
While I’m not able to advise you on this with 100% clarity based on your area of the country, I can tell you that without a doubt, if I felt the brick made a house look tired and dated myself, I would not hesitate to paint.
Let me know what you decide! Would be fun to see how it turned out.
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