Understanding What Determines the Color of Brick

The invention of bricks is almost ten thousand years old, and humanity has tried many different kinds of bricks over the years. To many people, the color of the brick wall they have can mean many things, including prestige, social status, or wealth. So, how do people change the brick colors they have available to them, and how can they update the walls they already have up?

As one reads through this article, one should think about the bricks they have in their building. It might be time to think about updating or recoloring them to give them a new, vibrant style.

How Do Bricks Get Their Color?

The material used in brickmaking is not always pure clay. On top of any natural discoloration, brickmakers can add other minerals to the clay to change its color as needed.

For example, a calcareous clay might contain more lime in it, which can lead to the brick having a yellower hue. Or, if the brick contains manganese oxide, it might end up browner in color.

Chromium, manganese, and iron are the primary colorants for bricks that have not received artificial colors.

Part of the brick creation process is to fire the unfinished brick in a kiln. During the curing process, differences in heat can have a huge impact on many aspects of the resulting brick. This includes the brick warping, its readiness to see use in a wall, or even its color.

As the brick heats up, the minerals in its clay can often start to react with the air or other parts of the clay. This leads to the clay switching from its original color to a different one.

This is because the hematite, a bright red mineral, reacts to become magnetite, a black mineral.

Natural variation in brick color is unavoidable in most kilns, so one can expect there to be a normal range in brick colors. Though, modern brickmakers have many different methods to keep all the bricks in one firing the same color.

Changing the Color of a Brick Wall

Once one builds something with bricks, that does not mean it needs to remain that shade forever. Someone might have many reasons to change the color of the bricks in their home. They might need to match a new set of decor, it might be to keep up with HOA requests, or someone might want a simple change.

Either way, here are some of the most common methods of changing the color of bricks in a home.


Painting can create a stark change to the wall in a short space of time as one applies several coats of paint. This then leads to a single-colored surface that can both protect the wall and offer a beautiful aesthetic.

When painting a brick wall, one must ensure the take several steps. First, the brick must receive cleaning to remove any debris or foreign material from its surface.

After this, the brick will need priming using a latex primer. This will ensure the brick does not soak up the paint and instead, it lays on top. Once someone does this, they can use latex paints to give the coat a durable finish.


Instead of painting the brick, one could try to stain the bricks themselves. This gives the brick a more rustic look that is closer to the brick’s original aesthetic.

The first thing one needs to do in this situation is to find out if the wall has already received any sort of sealing treatment. If this is the case, the stain will not be able to impregnate the brick and the whole process will be fruitless.

If it is not, the brick needs cleaning and repairs, as with painting, after which one can apply stain to the bricks. These can occur evenly, or to different bricks in different amounts to give a makeshift look to the brickwork. Though, it is important to remember HOAs may have opinions on how brickwork should appear in a neighborhood.

Once the stain has dried, there is the option to use a sealant on the brick to protect it, or it could remain open as before. The choice here could depend on many factors. These include the local weather and environment, as well as how long the brick wall will likely remain in place.

Either way, the brick stain is a permanent color change.

Making Bricks Look Like They Were Always That Color

It can often be very difficult to get the perfect stain on a brick. If someone completes the work wrong, it can look artificial and as though someone has taken action to change the color of the wall. Instead, it is much better to create a visual mood suggesting the bricks were always the color they end up being.

To help get the perfect stain on a surface, one should seek out a professional to apply it instead of applying it themselves. This way, each brick can receive unique colors as well as appear as though it originated with that color. For this reason, it is always good to investigate hiring someone with both a high level of experience and knowledge in the world of brick staining.

Get Bricks Stained Professionally

One should now have a better understanding of how many factors can affect the color of their brick wall. So, it might be time to apply this to your own decor. Lucky for anyone reading this, we are ready to get people started.

Our experts can talk with anyone about how we can color their walls to give them the exact look they need. All they need to do is give us a call, and we will discuss the best course of action with them.

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