How to Paint Brick Paneling


Home builders in the 1970s often used brick paneling to add character to living rooms and dens. Today, this brick paneling can look dated, but you can update your home simply by painting the paneling to give it a new look. Painting brick paneling is much less expensive than remodeling and it's a simple project that can be completed in a weekend. A fresh coat of paint on old brick paneling can brighten an entire room.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Cotton rags
  • Mild detergent
  • Old toothbrush
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter's masking tape
  • Paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • Semi-gloss paint
  • Wash the paneling. Primer and paint adhere best to clean surfaces, so it's important to wash your brick paneling before doing anything else. Fill a bucket with water and a small amount of mild detergent. Use cotton rags to clean the entire surface. If there are any crevices, use an old toothbrush to clean out dust and dirt. Rinse the surface with clean water and allow it to dry completely.

  • Prepare the area for paint. Spread drop cloths on the floor. Use painter's masking tape to tape all edges. Protect painted walls and wooden trim by carefully taping off. Use your fingertips to smooth the tape onto the surfaces to be protected. This helps prevent paint seepage beneath the tape.

  • Apply a solid coat of primer onto the paneling. You may want to use a larger paintbrush for the brick face and a smaller brush in the grooves between the bricks. Be careful to avoid drips coming out of the grooves. Allow the primer to dry completely. For dark colored paneling or high-traffic areas, apply one more coat of primer.

  • Apply durable semi-gloss paint onto the primed surface. Use a smaller brush in the grooves. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat.

  • Allow the paint to dry completely. Carefully pull the tape away from the edges to avoid pulling paint off the newly painted surface.

Tips & Warnings

  • Choose a light, bright color to lighten a dark room.
  • Add shelves in front of brick paneling to add interest.

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  • Photo Credit brick bricks image by Barcabloo from
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