Looking to DIY painted brick steps for your front porch? Here’s a DIY project where we completely transformed this brick porch with brick paint. DIY instructions included.
disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams®.
I wasn’t sure whether I should start with the before or the after when discussing how to paint brick steps. Or how we transformed our front porch by working on a simple project of painted brick steps by painting our brick floor and metal railing.
The before won.
Have you ever in your life seen a more pitiful front porch?
I’ve been walking on this front porch since my bangs went all Flock of Seagulls and my pants went all stirupped. It’s always looked like this for as long as I can remember. The bricks are kind of a reddish-brown and the grout is dirty and stained and broken in places and there are specks of paint on the brick from different times the house has been painted.
And the worst part?
Are you ready?
Look at this.
Here’s where the front porch meets the front steps.
THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT COLORS.
This is real life.
This is EXACTLY what the bricks look like when you walk up the front and head toward the front door. On top of the brick situation, the railing is also in bad shape – chipping and rusting. I mean, I try to distract people with wreaths and planters and Christmas decorations during the holidays, but the truth is—no matter how hard it tries this brick is just not cute.
Maybe the color has aged over time?
Maybe it was a thing to have two completely different brick colors? But the challenge is that the brick colors fight with each other.
And fight with the paint color on the house, Rushing River SW 7746.
At first, I planned on replacing the brick. Maybe just the brick on the top? That wouldn’t be too expensive? Right?
Ummm. Have you ever priced replacing brick?
IT IS A FORTUNE.
And I don’t have a fortune.
I have kids going to college.
It was even more expensive because the brick isn’t exactly level and between the cost of ripping the existing brick out and leveling the surface and installing new brick? I could have taken all of us on a cruise to the Bahamas.
Good thing I found an inexpensive solution.
Good thing I researched how to paint brick steps.
Good thing I found something that literally transformed my house in a weekend.
How to DIY painted brick steps
Meet my wonderful superhero that transformed my painted brick steps.
Sherwin-Williams Porch & Floor Enamel.
I have never met a paint I loved more.
Can you see how thick it is?
Look at that beautiful paint.
And the best part?
It covered our porch and front steps and the brick foundation around the exterior of our house in one coat. We let the first coat dry and touched it up a little here and there, but it really didn’t need it in most places. I’ve been dreading painting the front porch and steps because I thought it would take so many steps. When learning how to paint brick steps and the porch, I thought we’d have to prime it and paint a zillion coats and put up caution signs so no one would walk on it. But in the end, all we needed was this paint to take the front porch from this….
….to this painted brick porch and painted brick steps.
Can you even believe the transformation?
Isn’t it AMAZING?
Doesn’t it look so classic and clean and like a completely different porch? And it didn’t cost a college education—just a couple cans of Sherwin-Williams Porch & Floor Enamel.
Here are the details and some of my best front porch brick painting tips.
What color paint did you use?
When painting the brick floor outside, we used Cityscape SW 7067. I actually love that entire paint strip. I also looked at Grizzle Gray SW 7069 and Peppercorn SW 7674, but Cityscape was the perfect light gray to go with the paint color on the house, Rushing River SW 7746, which you may recall we painted a couple years ago with Sherwin-Williams Emerald Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint.
Did you use a primer?
No. We just applied the paint directly to the brick.
What paint sheen did you use?
The Porch & Floor enamel comes in a Satin sheen and is tintable to many colors. I love the Satin because wanted to create the appearance of brick which isn’t glossy.
What prep did you do to get ready to paint brick steps?
We thoroughly cleaned the brick and swept it to make sure there was a clean surface for the paint to adhere to. We also made sure to remove any loose debris or mortar so we had a smooth surface to paint.
Can you paint brick steps?
Yes. With the proper prep and the right paint, you can paint brick steps. It’s been a year since we painted this porch and these steps and the paint has really held up.
How long did the painted brick steps take to dry?
It was a sunny day, so the paint dried to the touch within one hour. It’s recommended to wait for four hours before you recoat. We didn’t walk on it for 24 hours to make sure it set up properly. We didn’t move the benches and planters back onto the porch for several days.
How did you apply the paint to paint brick steps?
We started brushing the grout lines first to make sure they were covered. We took a medium-sized paintbrush and painted the grout lines and around the bottom of the fence on the front porch. We then used a roller or a paintbrush for painting the brick floor outside and the rest of the flat surfaces. On the vertical surfaces, like the front of the steps and the brick foundation, we used a brush.
We also worked on painting the railing that surrounds the porch. Here’s a before picture.
It was pretty rough. It has been painted and repainted and then painted again through the years. The paint was chipping off in spots and it needed a makeover of its own. First, the entire railing was power-washed to remove any loose paint or debris. Next, we lightly sanded any super rough areas to make sure that the paint had a smooth surface to adhere to. Then we primed the railing. This is the primer that we used, All Surface Enamel Oil Primer. Its primary function is to give the top coat something to adhere to. It works well on projects like this with rust and corrosion, and it’s designed to work with metal, like our porch railings.
Quick tip: you can have the store tint your primer if you are working with a darker paint so you won’t need as many top coats. We had the primer tinted to gray.
Here’s the primer coat going on the railing.
Can you almost hear the metal giving a sigh of relief? It’s an amazing primer. It’s an enamel product that’s a little thicker than latex primer and designed to coat the metal railings and disguise imperfections.
After all the prep work, we were ready for the final coat.
Tricorn Black SW 6258 is one of my favorite blacks. The front door of the house is painted with this color and I wanted to continue the color onto the porch railings. The paint was the perfect paint for this task. It’s chip-resistant and designed to work with metal, like our front porch railings.
The front porch railing next to the painted brick steps looks like this.
The amazing thing? It doesn’t look tired and worn and exhausted anymore.
It’s freshened up and it looks like new again.
Here’s a close-up of the railings so you can see the difference that a coat of paint and primer makes.
The gloss of the paint accentuates every detail on the vintage railings.
And now our makeover is complete.
Here’s the view of the painted brick steps from the front door.
It makes me sigh every time I get the mail.
I cannot recommend this paint or saving a fortune on installing brick enough.
We have a beautiful front porch….
….and a college fund for our kids.
PS I have an entire Pinterest board with some other fun paint projects here.
PPS Want to see how the porch held up two years later after a snowstorm? I wrote about it here.
*WARNING! Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause
brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the
use of proper protective equipment, such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the
National Lead Information Center at 1-800- 424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.
Disclosure: this post was written in collaboration with Sherwin-Williams®.
All opinions are my own.
Please see my disclosure page for more information.