Brick pavers are a classic and beautiful choice to use in patios, walkways, driveways, pool surrounds and more outdoor living spaces. Over time though, the original color of brick pavers can fade or look worn and dated. Painting brick pavers allows you to transform the look of your outdoor space by giving the bricks a fresh, updated color.
Painting pavers opens up many exciting design options. You can paint them all one solid color for a cohesive look or get creative with patterns, designs and contrasting colors.
This complete guide will cover everything you need to know about painting outdoor brick pavers. We’ll discuss:
- Can You Paint Brick Pavers?
- Prep Work for Painting Pavers
- Choosing the Right Paint
- Painting Techniques and Application
- Paint Color and Pattern Ideas
- Painting Pool Deck Pavers
- Longevity and Maintenance of Painted Pavers
Let’s start by answering the most common question:
Can You Paint Brick Pavers?
The short answer is yes, it is possible to paint brick pavers whether they are in a patio, walkway, pool deck or other area. Brick is a type of masonry and therefore can be painted using specialty exterior masonry paints.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when painting brick pavers:
- Paint may interfere with the brick’s ability to absorb moisture. Unpainted brick can better handle rain, snow and other weather conditions.
- Masonry paints must be used, not regular indoor paints which will not properly adhere and withstand the elements.
- Paint may crack, peel or wear quicker than desired and require frequent touch ups or reapplication.
- For better longevity, consider re-sealing instead of painting if wanting to preserve the natural brick color. Clear sealers protect bricks without changing their look.
In summary, painting brick pavers is possible with the right masonry specific paints, but may require more frequent maintenance than other options. With proper preparation and application, painted brick pavers can be beautiful, but don’t expect the paint to last forever.
Prep Work for Painting Brick Pavers
Proper prep work before painting brick pavers is crucial for the paint to adhere correctly and achieve the most durable, long lasting finish. Here are the key steps for prepping pavers:
Clean the Surface
Use a stiff broom to remove any dirt, debris, leaves or other material from the surface of the bricks. A pressure washer on a low setting can help blast away grime that normal sweeping misses.
Any oil, grease or existing sealers must be completely removed for paint to properly bond. Use a degreasing cleaner if needed. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning.
Allow the pavers to fully dry for 1-2 days after washing before applying primer or paint.
Efflorescence is a white powdery deposit that can develop on masonry surfaces over time. Use an efflorescence remover to thoroughly clean off this substance so it does not prevent proper paint adhesion.
Repair Cracks and Gaps
Inspect the pavers for any cracks, chips or gaps that may need patching and repairing before painting. Use a paver joint compound, mortar or epoxy filler depending on the size of cracks and severity of damage.
Vacuum and Sweep Again
Do a final thorough vacuuming and sweeping over every inch of the surface after cleaning, efflorescence removal and repairs. This gets rid of any last bits of dirt or debris for the smoothest painting surface.
Apply Primer or Sealer Base Coat
It is highly recommended to apply a primer or sealer base coat to the brick pavers before painting the actual color. This helps the paint better adhere and protects the masonry. Use a primer specifically made for masonry and concrete.
Let the primer dry fully as directed before applying your top paint coats. The pavers are now prepped and ready for painting!
Choosing the Right Paint for Brick Pavers
Choosing the right type of paint is one of the most important steps to ensure painted brick pavers look beautiful and last a long time. The key is to use specialty exterior masonry paints instead of regular house paints. Here’s what to look for when selecting paver paint:
Look for paints specifically formulated for use on concrete, masonry and outdoor walkways. These paints are designed to flex as the bricks expand and contract with temperature changes. Brands like Behr, Rustoleum, Valspar and Krylon make masonry and paver paints.
Urethane or Epoxy Formulas
For best adhesion and durability, choose a urethane or epoxy-based masonry paint. The resins in these formulas offer better bonding and flexibility compared to acrylic paints.
UV and Fade Resistant
Outdoor paints that are UV resistant and fade resistant ensure the colors stay more vibrant over time instead of quickly fading in the sun. Look for labels that state “UV resistant”, “anti-fade” or “colorfast”.
Slip Resistant Additives
Since pavers are walked on, opt for masonry paints containing slip resistant additives, such as sharkgrip or textured sand. This creates traction to avoid slippery surfaces from the paint.
Tile and Concrete Paints
In addition to regular masonry paints, some exterior tile and concrete paints are also safe to use on brick pavers for added options.
By using the right type of durable, flexible paint formulated specifically for outdoor masonry, you can help ensure painted pavers maintain their beauty for years before needing a refresh.
Painting Techniques and Application
Once you have prepped the surface and selected the paint, it’s time to start applying color to those pavers! Here are some tips for the painting process:
Paint Small Sections
It’s best to paint pavers in smaller sections of about 10-20 square feet at a time. This allows you to maintain a wet edge and prevents lap marks as you move across the area.
Use Painter’s Tape
Use painter’s tape to tape off areas you don’t want to get paint on, like walls or planted beds next to the pavers. Remove the tape immediately after painting before the paint dries.
Apply With Sprayer, Roller or Brush
- A paint sprayer, preferably HVLP, provides the most efficient application and smooth finish. Move spray head steadily back and forth.
- Rollers with a 1/4″ nap are ideal for pushing paint into the paver grooves. Use a small foam roller for cutting in edges.
- Angled sash brush also works for cutting in edges and smaller areas.
Two Coats Minimum
Apply a minimum of two coats of the masonry paint, allowing proper drying time between coats according to manufacturer directions. This ensures adequate coverage and protection.
Optional Top Coat
For added protection, apply a clear sealer or non-slip top coat after painting. This helps block UV rays to prevent fading and makes the surface less slippery when wet.
Take your time with the painting application for beautiful long lasting results on your brick pavers!
Paint Color and Pattern Ideas for Pavers
One of the best parts about painting pavers is choosing fun colors and designs! Here are some ideas:
Painting all pavers the same color is a simple yet classic look. Try brighter colors like navy blue, cherry red or lime green for a punch of color. Softer tones like tan, gray and taupe are subtle.
Using two colors in a pattern adds great visual interest. Some ideas:
- Every other paver different colors
- Border in a contrasting color
- Central “rug” shape painted in secondary color
Get creative with painted shapes, stripes, stencils, brands and more:
- Paint curves, loops or zigzags
- Thick stripes in various directions
- Names, initials or words
- Choose a fun stencil like stars or animals
- Collegiate or sports team logos and colors
Gradual Color Changes
Blend colors beautifully by slowly shifting between hues. For example, paint one end of the area dark blue and the other end a bright sky blue using transitional tones in between.
The possibilities are endless when painting pavers! Consider making patterns easy to touch up by sticking with solid colors in geometric shapes.
Painting Pool Deck Pavers
Brick pavers are a classic material often used to surround in-ground swimming pools. Painting pool deck pavers allows you to update the color and style without removing and replacing the existing pavers. This saves major time and money.
Painting pool deck pavers is a very similar process to painting pavers in other areas. However, there are a few additional considerations due to the pool environment:
Use Pool-Rated Paint
It’s crucial to only use paints rated for pool decks and wet areas when painting pool deck pavers. The paint needs to be able to withstand constant water exposure, wet feet, pool chemicals and more. Look for labels that indicate the paint is safe for submerged surfaces.
Incorporate Texture Additives
Since the deck will be wet quite often, add slip-resistant texture additives to the paint. Specialty mixes like Behr Premium Wet-Grip Porch and Floor Paint have textures already added to create grip. Or you can mix in sharkgrip additive yourself. This prevents slips and falls.
Opt for Light Colors
Choosing lighter color paints for pool decks will help the finish not show as much wear and tear over time compared to darker colors. Light blues, greens, tans and whites hide scuffs better.
Use a Clear Top Coat
Applying a clear non-slip acrylic top coat over the painted pavers is highly recommended for pool decks. This adds a protective barrier that repels water, blocks UV rays to prevent fading and creates traction.
Allow Paint to Fully Cure
It’s important to let the paint fully cure for at least 3-5 days before allowing any water or traffic on the newly painted pool deck. This ensures paint has hardened completely and bonded correctly.
Consider Alternative Pool Deck Surfaces
If your existing brick pool deck pavers are very worn, cracked or pitted, it may be better to pursue replacing them or installing a new surface instead of trying to paint imperfect pavers. Fresh pavers, aggregate, poured concrete or tile may be better options.
Painting pavers around the pool takes a little extra care, but seals in the beauty of your poolscape when done properly. Be sure to use high-quality pool deck paints and add slip resistance.
Longevity and Maintenance of Painted Brick Pavers
Painting brick pavers completely transforms the look of your patio, walkway or other area into any color you desire. However, how long will the painted finish last before needing maintenance? Here are some things to expect:
Durability Depends on Quality of Paint
The expected lifespan of painted pavers depends most importantly on the type and quality of masonry paint used. Top-tier epoxy or urethane paints will last 5-7 years or more before needing renewal. Lower budget acrylic paints may only last 2-3 years.
Expect Signs of Wear Fairly Quickly
Though quality paint will last years before fully peeling or washing away, expect to see signs of wear much sooner. Scuff marks, fading, and loss of traction can start showing in high traffic areas after just 1-2 years.
Plan to Reapply Every 2-4 Years
To keep painted pavers looking like new, plan on reapplying fresh paint every 2-4 years. This maintains the color and protects the integrity of the pavers. Spot touch ups can help problem areas last longer.
Weather Plays a Role
How quickly painted pavers show wear depends partially on weather and use. Hot sunny climates, snowy winters, and frequent use will lead to more rapid deterioration than ideal mild conditions with minimal traffic.
Consider Long-Term Viability vs. Other Options
If having to frequently reapply paint to maintain appearance is undesirable, you may want to consider alternative options like paver resurfacing, staining, or seamlessly replacing sections instead.
Proper Prep Work is Key
Taking time to thoroughly clean, repair, and prime pavers before painting will always help the paint last longer by promoting proper adhesion. Rushing this step can reduce lifespan.
Though painted pavers will require periodic maintenance, proper application and high quality paints can keep them looking great for years before needing a refresh. Be sure to use exterior masonry paints and prep the surface for best durability.
Painting brick pavers opens up exciting possibilities for updating the look of patios, walkways pool decks and more without the cost of full replacement. Transforming the color and pattern of existing pavers using masonry paints can give outdoor living spaces a whole new life.
With the right preparatory steps and materials, painting brick pavers can be a relatively simple, affordable DIY project that makes a dramatic impact on the aesthetic of your home. Just be sure to use the specialized products designed for exterior masonry rather than trying to cut corners with indoor paints.