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Brick Repainting Transforms Downtowns

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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A faux-finish painting technique is transforming Main Street buildings, one brick at a time.

About 50 projects in Canada and the U.S. have been completed using the proprietary technique developed by Peter Woodworth, owner of The Brick Painters.

 The company says it transforms old painted brick into a natural work of art.

 Photos: The Brick Painters

The company says it transforms old painted brick into a natural work of art.

The process involves repainting previously painted brick to look like the original brick and mortar.

Starting at Home

“I worked for a brick company helping with discolored brick problems, and I recognized a possibility,” said Woodworth.

His first project was his own home. “I own a home that had been painted prior to acquiring it, and I used my home as the template to developing my finish,” he said.

 (Left) Before: The owners wanted to restore the house to its original red-brick look. (Right) After: The painters repainted the previously painted brick to achieve this look.
(Left) Before: The owners wanted to restore the house to its original red-brick look. (Right) After: The painters repainted the previously painted brick to achieve this look.

To date, The Brick Painters has three foremen and two companies—located in Carlton, GA, and Campbellford, Ontario—designated as “accredited installers.” Woodworth said the business model was organized to develop a franchise network.

The Process

While he’s mum on the specifics of the technique, Woodworth said the painters applied four or five different colors of exterior paint over a primed base, to each brick, to achieve the look.

The painters use Duration, an exterior latex acrylic manufactured by Cleveland-based Sherwin-Williams Company.

The coating is self-priming, durable, and guaranteed against peeling and blistering, according to product literature.

Avoiding ‘Pandora’s Box’

Woodworth said the finish could be achieved at a fraction of the cost and time of chemical paint stripping or abrasive blasting. The price point for the service comes in around $5 per square foot. An average storefront of three stories takes three to five days to complete, Woodworth said.

Chemical stripping and sandblasting procedures open a “Pandora’s Box” of possible issues, including lead-based paint, EPA approvals, carcinogenic containment, disposal, and damage to the original brick and mortar, the company said.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes The Brick Painters’ process as a “Proper Method of Encapsulating Lead Based Paint,” according to the company. Lead-based paint encapsulation is an accepted method of permanent lead abatement, under the 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Guidelines for the Evaluation and Control of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Housing.

“[This makes] our services a very ‘green’ approach to dealing with existing lead paint situations on previously painted brick,” the company says.

The Projects

Exterior facades of commercial and residential buildings are The Brick Painter’s bread and butter, but the painters do fireplaces, too.

The company has posted details and photos of 27 projects on its website

 The Century Building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, had old peeling white paint and was in desperate need of masonry repairs.
Before: The Century Building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, had old peeling white paint and was in desperate need of masonry repairs.

One of the projects is a bike shop in Statesville, NC, which the state’s Department of Commerce honored with an award for “Best Façade Rehabilitation Project for $10,000 or Less.” The project actually came in under $5,000, Woodworth said.

Other projects include the Century Building in downtown Toronto, Canada; a residence in Essex Fells, NJ; and a business at Niagara Falls, NY.

 The Brick Painters scraped off the loose paint, patched deteriorated masonry, and repainted the building using the company’s faux-finishing technique.
After: The Brick Painters scraped off the loose paint, patched deteriorated masonry, and repainted the building using the company’s faux-finishing technique.

   

Tagged categories: Decorative finishes; Exterior coatings; Faux finishes; Masonry; Sherwin-Williams; Stone

Comment from ELIZABETH FRENCHMAN, (10/18/2012, 10:40 AM)

Could we see a close-up? Intriguing.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/18/2012, 10:59 AM)

Looks like a nice faux-finish technique. There are some closer photos on the linked page, but it is mostly wide-angle shots. No true closeups.


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