I just bought a small brick house that was built circa 1890. It is currently white but is in need of repainting. I'm planning to repoint a few small sections of the brick first, but overall it's in pretty good shape. Is there any specific type of paint that I should use? I don't mind paying for quality - I want to do a good job. How should I prep the surface prior to repainting? Wire brush? Power wash? Sandblast? I really don't want to damage the old, soft brick and mortar, but I don't want peeling paint in a year either. I've heard some good things about elastomeric paint, and also some nightmares about it not letting any trapped moisture evaporate out. I'm off to do some more googling, but figured I'd ask here first.
Lastly, does anyone know of a website that could tell me how much thermal gain can be had by painting the brick a dark color versus a lighter color? The house is well shaded and I live near Syracuse, New York so I'd rather make it easier to heat than to cool.