Exterior Paint DIY – Painting our Brick and Vinyl Siding

WHITE CREAMY BRICK has held a space in my dreams for quite some time and I am actually still in denial that I finally have it! This project was a big one, and also pretty intimidating at times. But it was so worth it! Here is a look back at where we started. This is a shot of our home in the spring of this year before doing any exterior updates.

We did a little updating by spray painting the shutters, replacing the landscaping, adding a window box, painting the garage door, and building a pergola over the garage. This made a big impact, but I still craved the white brick after! We decided to break this project up into phases. Our house is three stories tall in the back and on the sides (we have a walk out basement). And the sides of the house have a steep hill, which is pretty tricky to work with. Eventually, we will rent a lift and tackle the sides and back of the house, but for now we are just starting with the front!

Starting with some paint swatches, I narrowed down my choices to Swiss Coffee by Behr. The most perfect creamy white. Bright, but not too bright. Warm, but not too warm. I am so happy with it! Not to mention, it perfectly matches my lime-washed fireplace! Side note: I DID consider going that route (lime-wash) for the exterior, but chose not to because of availability issues from Covid.

We prepped the house by pressure washing. I found this affordable pressure washer on Amazon and it worked great! We sprayed the brick with just water to clean it. The vinyl was sprayed with a small amount of outdoor cleaner added to really loosen the grime. We worked from top to bottom and used a ladder with ladder stabilizer, making sure not to spray upward on the siding (this would cause water to run behind the siding which can be very bad). Once this was done, we let the siding completely dry before the next steps.

We started prepping the house for paint by taping off all windows/doors. I used Frog tape to cover the edges, and applied Scotch Paint + Plastic after to completely cover the surface of the window or door. I also added some tape to the ends to keep the plastic from moving while painting. In addition, we covered the pergola, light fixtures, and threw a tarp over my jasmine plant. Covering plants is a must, and we did not do that (except for the jasmine). I totally regret that, because now my plants are covered in a film of paint. It is also important to cover the ground where you do not want overspray settling directly around the house within about 15 feet. We removed our shutters and window box as well. We did not tape off any soffits or gutters. We used a paint shield to prevent paint from getting on those areas. For this entire project we rotated between multiple ladders. We had two extension ladders, one that was really heavy and David needed a lot of help moving. This helped us reach the highest peak of the front. A smaller aluminum 20 ft extension ladder. We added the stabilizer to this and used it for most of this project. We also used a 6 ft A-frame ladder and step stool.

These are the paint supplies that we used:

Behr Multi-Surface Primer (5 Gal x 1)

Behr Masonry Exterior Paint (5 Gal x 1) – Swiss Coffee by Behr in Flat/Matte

Behr Marquee Exterior Paint (5 Gal x 1) – Swiss Coffee by Behr in Satin

Graco Paint Sprayer

Ladder Stabilizer

Roller Cover for Rough Surfaces

Roller Cover for Semi-Smooth Surfaces

Extendable Roller Arm

Paint Shield

I originally planned to rent a sprayer from Home Depot for this. But while I was there, I realized that this could potentially be a multi-day project and that buying one could really save money. I was so right on this. I even took a risk by buying one of the cheaper pro sprayers and was TOTALLY BLOWN away. This is not an exaggeration. I genuinely think that this sprayer was one of my favorite purchases ever! The setup/clean up are definitely the most frustrating part about using it. But everything else was smooth sailing. We only had a small handful of clogs for the ENTIRE project. And clearing the clogs was SO simple (like you just turn the nozzle and spray it out).

We started with primer over every surface that would be painted. The paint sprayer was prepped and ready to go. We sprayed one even coat and let it completely dry. The primer that we used was approved for both surfaces. One important technique to remember while spraying is to keep the spray the same distance away from the surface the entire time and to be cautious when overlapping areas. We really liked using the paint shield for areas that we hadn’t taped off. Since our paint/primer were both white, we just careful sprayed around the soffits along the roof line. We cleaned up the paint sprayer completely after the primer was applied and left the paint to dry completely (overnight).

Next, we began spraying the brick with the masonry paint following the same steps. We had a roller handy for any back rolling that was needed (here were only a few areas where there was some dripping, so we used the roller to smooth that out). We did one generous coat over the brick! The surface was really forgiving with a heavier spray.

We learned that the best method (especially when using a ladder) is to work from top to bottom. This ensures that the ladder is not resting on wet paint while moving around. David also attempted rolling on the paint to see if this would be faster (eye roll) but it most DEFINITELY was not. The paint sprayer was SO worth it! We finished painting the brick and cleaned out the paint sprayer.

The next step was to paint the vinyl siding. We prepped the sprayer with the Behr Marquee Exterior Paint. This paint is definitely expensive. But, I felt really certain that I wanted to spend the money for the extra durability that it would give on our vinyl. I also chose a satin finish so that it would be more stain/dirt resistant and easier to clean. We painted the vinyl siding using the same method as before. But we applied two coats instead of one, making sure to spray lightly and even without overlapping. We only let the first coat fry for about ten minutes in each section before applying the second. If we had the time, it would have been smart to wait way longer, but this actually worked out great because we didn’t have to worry about resting the ladder on uncured paint. We just made SURE to back roll immediately after the second coat. We did this in every area of the vinyl siding.

We both learned a lot during this project. It was a BIG one, but every bit of if was worth it! We spent a total of about $800 for this phase of painting. We plan to to the back and sides in one phase with the help of a lift!

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