Did you know you could paint almost anything? Here's some tips for painting unusual surfaces.
Masonry, such as brick or stone:
Prep: scour unpainted surface with a sponge or nylon brush and warm, soapy water. Let dry overnight. On previously painted surfaces, use a wire brush to remove chips or flakes, then smooth uneven surfaces with 100-grit sandpaper. Clean as above.
Coat: seal pores with a water-based primer designed for masonry, and coat with latex paint. Use a thick-nap roller, and use a brush to cut in along the edges or to get paint into deep crevices.