I'm having the siding of my home painted this summer and the bottom part of the exterior (in the front) is a very dated, odd colored "faux" brick facing. Does anyone have any good references or ideas on how to go about painting this area - including the black "mortar" area? I would really like to get rid of this very dated aspect of the house, but certainly don't want to make it look worse. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you