Angie's List: Brick staining for your home

If you own a brick home, or at least a part of it is brick, listen up.

Whether you hate the color of your brick or you are looking to give your home a facelift, there is a new option to consider.

Harry Brax is staining the brick of Beth Cornelison's home.
Cornelison replaced her siding last year, but the color of the new siding no longer matched the brick.

"If you can see the old brick, the old brick had some variation in the color so we wanted to preserve the variation so it would still look like brick," Cornelison says.

Brax, a brick-staining contractor, says, "You can get the type of brick that you want and it's going to be unique and you're the only one that will have exactly that finished product. The reason is every brick is different."

Whether you need to match an existing brick color or want to change the entire façade, staining is an option for both exterior and interior brick.

To create the stain, most contractors layer together colors.
Unlike paint, brick stain penetrates the pores of the brick, so it does not peel.

Brick staining also costs less, and creates less mess, than brick re-surfacing.

Brax says, "I would say that the majority of our customers end up going from darker to lighter. The reason being that many of our customers have brick that dates back to the 60's. So it's outdated and it's dark.”

Because this is a relatively new technique, make sure the person you hire is experienced and knowledgeable. Ask the company to provide references of past work and ask how they charge.

Angie Hicks, from Angie's List, says, "Brick staining is a new trend so first and foremost when you are interviewing contractors be sure you have someone who has experience with brick staining because you want it to be a project that lasts. When it comes to pricing, it still varies. It depends on either by square foot or some contractors will charge by the hour or part of the day."

Either way, it appears to be a rock solid investment
Brick stain works on stone as well.

It does not have a strong odor, so there is no need to escape the house during application.

Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated masons about what homeowners should know about brick staining.

1. Brick stain works on stone as well. It's not paint, so it won't peel or chip away. The stain is absorbed into the surface.
2. It's often cost-effective and less time consuming than resurfacing.
3. Stain can match existing brick or create a new look. You can customize the color to match your home's décor.
4. Brick stain doesn't have a strong odor, so there's no need to escape the house during application.
5. Brick staining can be done on the interior or exterior.
6. You can't stain bricks covered with a non-porous sealant. Once the pores are closed, the stain can't penetrate the surface.

Angie's List Tips: Hiring a brick staining contractor
· Are you experienced? Since this is a relatively new technique, make sure the person your hire has the knowledge and experience to take on this project. Ask the company to provide references of past work and look at their portfolio.
· How much does it cost? Cost depends on the job and contractor. Some contractors charge by the square foot, while others charge by the day or half-day. Additional colors, the variance of the color change and the mortar color will increase the price.
· What prep work is involved? For interior work, the contractor should tape plastic and use drop cloths to protect walls, furniture and ceilings. For exterior work, the contractor should protect porches, patios, decks, and any nearby landscaping features.

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