Home Painting Exterior Painting Tips For Metal, Stucco and Brick Houses

Exterior Painting Tips For Metal, Stucco and Brick Houses

Exterior Painting Tips For Metal, Stucco and Brick Houses

Need some more tips for exterior painting? You’ve clicked on the right article.

Given that our homes are extensions of ourselves, revamping the exterior of your home can feel like total rejuvenation. Discarding that outdated look with a fresh and fabulous coat of paint feels like a fresh start of sorts.

But you want that fresh start to be satisfying. Like, fully and truly satisfying. And nothing will take away from your satisfaction more than a frustrating painting process. Afterall, no fresh start should begin with cursing and angry forehead veins, right? 

So let’s make your fresh start sublime; follow these tips and tricks for flawless exterior painting. Keep in mind that these tips for exterior painting pertain to stucco, metal, and brick surfaces. If you are painting a wooden exterior,  refer to our first article (‘Tips For Exterior Painting’). 

Tips for Exterior Painting: Stucco

Our first tips for exterior painting focus on painting stucco. Stucco is relatively easy to paint. Moreover, painting stucco is a great way to care for it. The preparation process involves caulking, which is a great way to insulate a stucco surface. 

Stucco is easily affected by environmental conditions, such as extreme heat and extreme moisture. Therefore, you should apply the paint in dry and mild weather. Check the forecast before you begin working; you will want a few “dry days” in a row so that the paint cures properly.

Stucco Tips for Exterior Painting #1: Cleaning and Caulking

tips for exterior painting metal stucco and brick

When it comes to tips for exterior painting, cleaning the surface is always one of the first tips you will receive. This is no different when it comes to cleaning stucco.
Stucco’s rough surface can make it a little tricky to clean. To really clean inside the creases and crevices, we recommend using a bristled push-broom and/or a power washer (such as the highly-recommended Sun Joe Max).

Once the surface is clean, you will need to inspect for cracks in the stucco. Stucco is especially susceptible to cracking if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather changes.

For small cracks, use the masonry-compatible GE Sealant for All Surfaces. 

However, if there are large cracks in the stucco, you will need to apply a dry stucco repair product with a putty knife. The most effective (And highly-rated) dry stucco repair on the market is Vasari Plaster Dry Mix. Moreover, Vasari offers free videos and tutorials for its use!

 If you need to apply stucco repair, you will have to wait 1-2 weeks before painting. The exact “wait time” will be specified on the packaging for the stucco repair product.

Stucco Tip #2: Priming

Much like cleaning, tips for exterior painting will always include priming. In the case of stucco, you should use a masonry primer, such as Benjamin Moore Acrylic Masonry Sealer. This primer will deeply penetrate the stucco surface (and it’s low-odor, too!)

Begin at the walls’ edges with a masonry brush before moving forward with a thick-nap roller on the rest of the surface. The thickness of your brush’s nap should reflect how deep the crevices in the stucco are. The deeper the crevices, the thicker the nap. 
As specified on our first list of tips for exterior painting, you should use a dark primer if you’re going to be painting the surface a deep color. Doing so will cut down on the number of paint coats you will have to apply.

Stucco Tip #3: Painting

stucco painting tips

The procedure for applying paint on stucco is the same as the procedure for applying primer; start at the edges with a masonry brush and then use a thick-nap brush and roller on the rest of the surface. 

Depending on the colors of the primer and paint, you will need 2-4 coats of paint. Keep in mind that stucco paint takes about a month to cure effectively.

Tips for Exterior Painting: Metal

Metal exterior painting tips

Painting metal may sound more difficult than painting wood or stucco, but it is a very doable task if you follow these three tips. 

However, painting metal does come with a safety precaution; you should never lean or walk on a metal surface (such as the roof,) if it is wet. Needless to say, wet metal is extremely slick and creates a slipping hazard.

Metal Tip #1: Cleaning

First thing’s first…you have to clean that metal up! 

Although warm water and soap will suffice for dirt removal, metal exteriors are prone to rust and mildew.

 If rust is present on your home’s exterior, you have a few options for removing it. 120-grit sandpaper or a wire brush can remove rust very effectively, but you will want to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from the debris. If you’re looking for a less labor-intensive method,  consider using a rust-converting solvent, such as Eastwood’s effective and low VOC rust encapsulator. However, keep in mind that this is a chemical. Take all precautions provided by the manufacturer. 

Removing mildew is much simpler than removing rust. To remove mildew, simply create a solution that is three parts water and one part bleach. Wipe the solution onto the mildew with a sponge, and your metal exterior will be squeaky-clean. 

Metal Tip #2: Priming and Painting

Let’s face reality, here. Regardless of how much rust you’re able to remove, there may be some that just won’t budge. Because of this, we recommend using a solvent-thinned primer on metal surfaces. This type of primer prevents existing damages from affecting the new paint. We recommend using Modern Masters’ Metal Effects Primer. It’s protection perfection!

Metal surfaces can easily be primed and painted with a spray painter. In fact, this is the ideal method for painting a metal surface. Spray painters are quick, user-friendly, and adhere to smooth surfaces with great ease. We recommend the top-rated and best-selling REXBETI, which comes with 4 nozzle sizes and 3 spraying patterns. 

When it comes time to spray the paint on to a metal surface, we recommend using an acrylic latex top coat. 

Tips for Exterior Painting: Brick

Brick painting tips

Brick may not be the easiest surface to paint, per say. Between the bricks’ rough surfaces and the smooth inlays, painting a brick exterior requires a few special tricks. But if you follow these tips, you will be a brick-painting machine!

Brick Tip #1: Cleaning

Brick can be cleaned by scrubbing or power-washing, but is best done with a mixture of water and TSP (trisodium phosphate). TSP is a heavy-duty cleaner that will reach all of the nooks and crannies. Savogran sells a reasonably-priced gallon container of TSP, which is perfect for cleaning brick. Simply add a half cup of Savogran per gallon of water.

After cleaning the surface, wait approximately 24 hours before priming. Brick retains moisture, so it will take about a day to dry completely.

Brick Tip #2: Prime and Paint

As is the case with a metal exterior, a paint sprayer is the best choice for priming and painting brick. Using a paint sprayer will cut down on the time and stress spent trying to reach every part of the bricks’ inconsistent surface. Both the primer and paint that you choose should be latex exterior paint.  

If a paint sprayer is just not an option for you, you will need a masonry brush and a high-nap roller. You will need a variety of masonry brush sized to reach all of the nooks and crannies. We recommend purchasing masonry brushes that range from 1”-3”+. 

When purchasing a high-nap roller, follow the same principle specified above (Stucco Tip #3). The thicker the nap, the more effectively it will apply paint to rough surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions: Exterior Painting Tips( Stucco, Metal and Brick)

How much primer/paint will I need? 

In order to determine how much primer and paint you will need, find the square footage (sq. ft) of your house. To do this, multiply your home’s perimeter by its height. 

1 gallon of paint will typically cover 400 sq. ft. Divide the square footage of your home by 400 to determine the number of primer/paint gallons you will need. 

Do you have any tips for ladder use and safety? 

For some awesome tips about exterior painting with a ladder and ladder stabilizer, check out our first article about exterior painting


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here