Back of brick house before paint
Credit: Moondom

The back of the brick house before it gets a new look.

Ugh! Painting. Where do I start? That was my thought when I looked at the exterior of my 1946 brick rambler home last spring. The paint was cracking and chipping off and the colors never appealed to me when I first bought the house several year’s back. I didn’t know where to start. I had never selected paint for the exterior of a house before, let alone a brick house. Should I paint the brick, which was the body of the house? Or leave it bare? I thought a creamy green would look nice, but friends advised against painting the brick. Once you paint the brick it would be one more item to keep maintained. They suggested I paint everything else, the fascia, trim, window frames, concrete base and the steps and keep the brick bare red. I agreed.

My next step was to scour the Internet for photos of colors for home exteriors. But not any exterior, it had to be what looked good with red, because after all, that was the non-negotiable. I also drove neighborhoods looking for brick houses; many of the homes had the brick painted. Not what I was looking for. I finally found a picture in an ad in the back of a magazine for window replacements and liked the dark brown trim against the red brick. I knew I wanted to go darker, because I felt the house needed anchoring, and the best way to do that is to go with a darker color. After many hours of research at Home Depot and several rounds of painting swatches, I had found my new palette. 

Brick house window frame
Credit: Moondom

This is the picture of brick house window paint color I liked that I found in the back of a magazine.

Here’s the final selection. I started with the doors and went with dark brown. I don’t have a picture to show you here, but the front door was a hideous teal. I went with Behr’s Dark Cavern for the front and back doors and garage door. The fascia, window frame and door trim became a darkish-blackish-brown called Stealth Jet. For the concrete base, steps and back patio wall I chose Muddy Waters, a greenish brownish hue. In the back patio area, there was a red and white candy-cane metal awning that I thought about tearing down and replacing the very first day I took ownership of the house. I had even shopped for awnings but had never pulled the trigger. They were quite pricy and I am glad I didn’t because as you can see, a little paint goes a long way! I painted it Cracked Pepper and it looks brand new. I went ahead and painted the old picket-like fence the Stealth Jet as well. Finally, I bought some Rust-Oleum Black Satin paint and repainted the metal gate and the railings. Wow! I was amazed at what a little bit of paint can do! 

I know all these dark colors may sound a little ghoulish but it really works well with the red bare brick and it helps ground the house. It makes the house look a little more substantial.

Painting a house’s exterior may seem daunting at first but it’s one of the best ways to change the whole look of a house. And because I chose not to paint the brick I was able to save some money on the project. I love the new look!

Brick House with Fresh Paint
Credit: Moondom

Voila! The brick house after the paint job.

Here’s a list of the paint I used:

Front, Back and Garage Doors:  Behr Plus – Dark Cavern (semi-gloss)
Trim, Fascia, Window Frames & Fence:  Behr Ultra – Stealth Jet (satin)
Concrete Base, Steps, Patio Wall:  Behr Ultra – Custom Match UL203 (satin)
Black Metal Awning:  Behr Plus – Cracked Pepper (semi-gloss)