Some brick buildings were supposed to be painted. That said, not all
historic brick buildings that are currently painted were meant to be
Generally speaking, in the United States,
historic brick structures that needed paint were built prior to the
Bricks in the U.S. were first made by hand, with clay, sand, and water
and pressed into molds, then dried and fired.
Brick-making technology advanced from hand-power to animal-power to
water-power to steam-power, and eventually, to uniform machine-made
bricks. The mineral content of the clay and sand determined the color,
while the application of glazes affected the brick's finish.
Buildings made from the weaker, softer and more porous handmade brick of
the early periods often required the use of a protective coating for an
added layer to combat nature's elements.