Staining Exterior Brick

Despite the inherently beautiful, ageless appeal of brick, homeowners sometimes wish to change the look of their brickwork to correspond with their evolving taste, changes in exterior design, or simply to give their homes a fresh, new feel.

Change can be scary. Not a lot of people want to do it, for fear of something bad happening. In most cases though, change is good because there is a possibility that something better can occur. For example: changing the color of your brick. Learning how to stain brick can be of good use to you down the road.

The process is somewhat similar to painting, although the results, by nature of the process, allow the natural texture and uniqueness of the brick to shine through.

It is important to understand, however, the difference between staining exterior brick and painting. With the proper tools and materials, you can achieve your desired results and have your home looking as fantastic as ever. Is this process right up your alley? Well, then read on for a comprehensive guide on how to stain your exterior brick.

What is Brick Staining?

Unlike painting, which conceals the surface beneath it with a thick coat of colour, brick staining modifies the colour of brick while still allowing its natural texture and characteristics to shine through. Brick stain, made up of a mixture of masonry or concrete stain, is a thin, penetrative solution that blends with the brick’s existing material to alter its colour.

Why Stain Brick?

Staining brick can revitalize a home’s curb appeal without altering the feel or look of the original brick exterior. It’s an excellent way to refresh your home’s façade whilst maintaining the brickwork’s signature properties—the unique texture and variations in tone. Additionally, staining is an environmentally friendly process and, when properly applied, is both weather-resistant and long-lasting.

How To Stain Exterior Brick

Before you do anything else, you will have to first determine what type of stain is best for the job. Then, you can purchase the necessary tools and materials before starting the staining of the exterior brick process. To get the right shade, most hardware stores will allow you to use some stain samples and mix products, so you can better determine what works well for you. There are two main types of brick stain: water-based and sealant. Water-based is what many professional painters suggest you use. It is an easy application, prevents water build-up, and allows the brick to breathe. Stains with sealants, however, can actually encourage water damage as time moves on. You should only use stains with sealants for small areas or for bricks that are already porous.

Materials to Use For Staining Exterior Brick:

  • Paintbrush
  • Rags and drop cloths
  • Painter’s tape
  • Soft brush
  • Hose
  • Power washer

Steps For Staining Exterior Brick

1. Preparation

First, clean the brick, and if you have any sealant on it, you should remove it. Throw water on the brick’s surface. Then, if it runs off, wash away the sealant quickly before staining the brick. If there is no sealant on the brick prior, you need to wash the area from the top using detergent and water.

2. Cover up the area

Step two is to put down drop cloths and wear protective gear, including safety gloves. Do this before you begin the staining process.

For the areas that you don’t want to stain, you should seal them with painter’s tape to avoid any unwanted damage. I know that sometimes we dislike reading the fine print details, but when it comes to staining brick houses, the details are very important. Measure carefully and record the amounts if you are mixing stain colours. In addition, this will allow you to keep track of making the same colour.

3. Stain Application

Now, you have reached the stage of applying the stain. Run your brush in a single, smooth motion along each brick. To cover each surface twice, run your brush in overlapping strokes. In order to produce the same colour, stir the stain every time you dip the brush. Then, use the brush to stain the bricks in a scattered pattern, rather than staining them all in a row. This will allow the brick to look natural.

Tip: Don’t allow the drips to dry; rather, wipe them away quickly with a damp rag. The drying time might be quick or long, but it is dependent on the temperature and airflow in the area.

Is Staining Brick Better Than Painting?

The process of staining brick is fairly simple, but you might be wondering if painting brick is easier. That is only dependent on whether the sealant prior to applying the stain is there or not. If it cannot be removed, painting the brick is your last option. If the brick surface does not release the sealant, it will only absorb a stain. In addition, brick staining is actually better than painting because the stain will allow your bricks to breathe better.

Painting the brick is simply for coverage purposes, but staining the brick is fully adhesive and is a permanent fixture. Longevity is really important for exterior jobs like this, so the quality of job performance is key. Not to mention that cracking and peeling can occur with brick painting. Therefore, since staining brick is easier, you should try to get professional painters to help you out. This way, they can offer you expertise and use their professional skills to remove the sealant for you, so that your brick is as natural as ever.

Choosing Brick Stain Colours

The colour of your brick stain significantly influences the overall visual appeal of your home. It’s thus essential to give careful thought to the hue you wish to introduce. Below are some popular colour options to take into consideration.

1. Traditional Reds

Red or reddish-brown tints are typical and traditional for brick exteriors. They have a timeless appeal that generally goes well with most styles and landscapes. Stain options in this palette allow for a restoration of faded or weather-worn red bricks to their classic state.

2. Warm Earth Tones

Warm earth tones, like taupe, brown, and beige, create a harmonious, natural look that blends with any surroundings. These tones give off a subtle yet sophisticated appeal, making your home appear friendly and inviting.

3. Cool Greys

Cool greys offer a modern and sleek look to your brick exterior. Varying shades of grey can make your home stand out in a chic, urban way or blend in quietly with a serene, suburban setting.

4. Soft Whites

Whites or off-whites present a modern, clean facade that pairs well with striking contrasting colours. This palette offers either a softer cottage charm or a more dramatic, crisp appearance, depending on the shade selected.

5. Bold Blacks

Black or charcoal stains offer a distinct, striking appeal that is daring yet tastefully modern. Such staining color schemes work best with architecture that includes clear lines and contemporary designs.

Remember, choosing the right colour stain will not only reflect your design preference but will also complement the existing elements of your home and its surroundings. No matter what color you choose, the versatile nature of brick ensures that the result will be a beautiful exterior with enduring charm.

Staining Exterior Brick Before and After Photos

How much does it cost to stain exterior brick?



All in all, staining exterior brick is a sustainable, durable method to refresh the look of your home while maintaining the inherent charm of brickwork. With the proper preparation, the right tools, and some patience, this DIY project can breathe new life into your home’s façade.

Remember, though, that while the process appears straightforward, it requires a keen eye and a diligent hand. Consult with a professional in case of any doubts or complexities. Your home belongs to you, so any changes made should be perfect, just like you’d want them to be!

At Home Painters Toronto, our main goal is to satisfy you, the homeowner! We will help you pick the colours you want and show you the latest painting and home renovation trends, so that you feel satisfied by the outcome. We use multiple products that everyone loves, such as Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams! With over 36 years of experience and many happy clients to show for it, call us now for the ultimate satisfaction at 416-494-9095. We would be happy to provide you with a FREE no-obligation quote and answer all your inquiries about staining exterior brick. And don’t forget to follow us on all our social channels below!