Painting interior brick walls can give your space an updated look and a fresh feel.

A boho-style living room with white-painted brick walls, wicker furniture, a wooden ceiling, and blue accent table. A boho-style living room with white-painted brick walls, wicker furniture, a wooden ceiling, and blue accent table.
If you want to transform a brick accent wall or fireplace, we’ve got you covered with the steps you’ll need to achieve the best paint job possible. Painting a brick wall can be tricky, so you might want to consult a professional for help with this kind of project.

Step-by-Step: Painting Interior Brick Walls

Step #1: Brush and Clean your Brick

Remove any nearby furniture and place a drop cloth around your space. Use a wire brush to remove dust or any surface contaminants from the wall. Vacuum the wall dust. If you have dirt or contaminants on the brick, thoroughly clean it with a scrub brush and a high-quality surface cleaner. Let dry completely. Carefully lift the drop cloth to empty any dust and debris into the garbage.

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Helpful Tip

Don’t paint new brick and mortar immediately after it has been installed. The mortar should cure for at least one month.

Step #2: Prepare the Brick Wall for Painting

Reposition the drop cloth in your space. Tape off your brick wall borders with painter’s tape.

Step #3: Prime the Brick Wall

Use a primer with great stain-blocking qualities and strong adhesion, like Fresh Start® High-Hiding All Purpose Primer or INSL-X® Aqua Lock® Plus Primer/Sealer. Cut in edges and prime the mortar lines with a paintbrush. Switch to a roller to cover the larger surface area. Let dry.

Helpful Tip

After priming, be sure to fill any cracks or small holes in your brick wall with acrylic caulk. Flaws will be more noticeable once you paint the surface, so be sure to cover any imperfections.

Step #4: Paint the Brick Wall

Use your paintbrush to carefully paint the mortar lines and cut in your edges first so you don’t miss any spots. After using your paintbrush for the mortar lines, switch to a roller to paint the entire surface. Start from the top and work your way down to the floor. Keep your paintbrush on hand throughout the painting process to catch any paint runs or drips. Let dry.

Helpful Tips

  • Many homeowners choose a flat finish for brick, which offers a traditional look. Keep in mind, however, that semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes are easier to clean.
  • Check the paint can, as dry times and cure times can differ. In addition to dry time notes on the can, you can find drying and curing times on the Technical Data Sheet (TDS) for every Benjamin Moore® product.

Step #5: Add a Second Coat

Apply an even second coat of paint using the same method as the first. Remove the painter’s tape as soon as you’ve finished with your final coat. Allow paint to dry completely before returning any nearby furniture to the area.

Helpful Tip

Painting a brick fireplace is a similar process to painting a brick wall, with a few considerations for the mantel or trim, including priming and painting them both after painting the brick surface. To learn more, check out How to Paint a Brick Fireplace.