Repointing and painting an external brick wall

8 Aug 2016
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United Kingdom

We've got a brick wall between our property and our neighbour's.

It's painted white, but I want to repaint it as it's getting a bit tired and there's some flaking and, generally low down, quite a lot of bubbling.

My intention was to scrape off the bubbling paint and repaint. Having scraped most of it off, though, there are areas of crumbling mortar beneath. So I thought I'd rake these out, repoint and then repaint.

Having raked out a small section, I had a slight crisis of confidence (I am a total amateur).

My questions:
1) Should I only rake out the crumbliest mortar and leave the rest well alone? I'm assuming that if it needs properly chipping out I should leave it be, but it's not black and white - some areas have pretty much fallen out, some will come with a little coaxing, some seem sound. It's hard to know where to draw the line.

2) When I repaint, do I need a breathable paint? I've already bought standard masonry paint (there are other non-brick walls I want to do) so will this be fine? As I say, the wall is already painted, so, I'll just be painting over that for the most part, but I have no idea what kind of paint was previously used.

3) Do I need to do a mist coat on the areas of bare brick and exposed mortar?

We're talking about quite a big wall, but the repointing area is really quite small. I just want to get it right..!

Many thanks.
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On vertical joints, I'd rake out the entire thing up the the adjoining horizontal joints. On horizontals, I'd just remove the crumbling bits and bits that come out with a bit of coaxing. An SDS drill with a mortar rake attachment will make it miles easier.

Masonry paint will be fine

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