Brick House Trim, Door, and Roof Colors: What works

October 2, 2009 § 16 Comments

brickhouse_1The color scheme on this brick house started with, alas, the bricks (one of our bloggers sent this in). From the variegation in the pile of burgundy bricks, the homeowners picked a medium charcoal roof color (it’s in there), a burgundy front door color (it’s definitely in there), a bright white for trim to optimize the contrast against the brick and accentuate the beautiful architectural features, a coordinating specimen tree for the entryway (very nice touch), brass metal for the front door (it picks up the grout color and adds depth) and wrought iron for the lights (the dressy jewelry of the house).

If you have a brick house and are stumped by what colors to use for the trim, roof, front door, and any other siding around the house, start with your brick color(s). If you pull the color scheme out of the bricks, the whole house will come together.

A note of caution: Since many brick styles have a variety of colors in them, you may start with quite a large palette of colors. In that case, I suggest sticking only to that palette. But if your brick is monochromatic (for example, all the bricks are exactly the same one color), then you can introduce one or two other coordinating colors into your palette and avoid looking too busy. Click on the If I Can Help You page if you need help and we’ll work together.

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§ 16 Responses to Brick House Trim, Door, and Roof Colors: What works

  • Diane Beck says:

    Barbara,

    Please HELP. I live in Dallas Tx and I am getting ready to paint the trim on my cream (monochromatic) brick ranch style home. AT present I have a green (with a tint of blue in the green) and black roof which I have to live with. There is two large picture windows and two smaller windows in the front and all are trimed with a wooden box around each window. I am stuck on what color to go with…should I say with a lighter green around the windows or should I pick up another color.
    Also, one quick note..I have new windows in the front which will be installed this week and they are a beige aluminum clad which will match the brick. Please help since my painter is getting anoyed with me and I need to pick a color.

    Thank you
    Diane

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Diane,

      The photos really helped! Thanks for sending.

      Here are my thoughts. With all the luscious landscape greenery in your front yard, I think that your green roof is enough green. I would abandon all attempts to find another green for both the front door and the window trim.

      How about painting the window trim a medium sandy neutral like Ben Moore’s Butte Rock (AC-8). If that seems too light, you can bump it up to Nugget (AC-9). Either of those colors will pull out the various shades in both your brick and your stone walkway, which iw quite beautiful.

      Then to further warm up the house, how about painting the front door Copper Mountain (AC-12)? It will contrast with the roof as well as the landscape plantings and will make the entryway more inviting than more green.

      If you get an opportunity to replace some of the metalwork out front, you might consider replacing the lights and the fountain with bronze. That will update the house immensely. Also putting white flowers in terra cotta pots by the front steps will beef up that area and draw your eye to the plantation shutters in the windows (I’m assuming those stay).

      So what we’re doing is pulling colors from your hardscape (the bricks and stonework) and moving them to the trim and door. The roof will simply cap off the house and tie in with the rest of the yard. But I don’t think adding more green to the house is the right direction.

      See what you think. Hope that clarifies my last email. And thanks again for visiting my blog!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Michael says:

    We are struggling with the color to paint our siding and trim. We like the look of darker trim, but looking for suggestions on what colors to use.

    We also have a mahogany front door and trying to decide if we should stain it a light or darker color…

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Michael,

      Although I like the idea of dark trim, your house has many dark elements already (the roof and the brick) and I’m not sure if you plan to paint all the actual windows the same trim color ??. (Dark windows AND trim everywhere else might give the house too much of a flat look — no contrast.) So here are some colors to consider:

      For the siding color, have a look at Ben Moore’s Briarwood (Ext), Alexandria Beige (HC-77), and Cabot Trail 998. Any of those will pick up the colors in your stone work, complement the brick, and blend tone-wise with the roof so that there isn’t a stripe of roof just above the garage. Then for your trim, consider Litchfield Gray (HC-78), Annapolis Gray (Ext), or China White (if you can’t paint the gutters or existing windows and don’t want to accent them too much). The China White has gray in it so it would blend with the stone, etc, as well as the actual white windows.

      See what you think of those possibilities…

      And thank you again.
      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Rita Bouchard says:

    Hello Barbara,

    I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and I need help with selecting a door color for my brick house. We are getting ready to replace the entire front door and window. I am having trouble pasting a photo into this comment, but can e-mail a photo to you if you’d like. It is a two-story brick colonial, built in 1994. The roof is a pewter grey. Right now both door (first floor) and window (second floor) are all white. I would love to change the door color but am afraid of making a terrible mistake and having to live with it. I would appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Rita,

      You have a very stately home. Have you considered black or your roof color (pewter grey) for your front door? I assume you are replacing the more modern flat-front door you have now with a traditional raised panel door? (Make sure you get an exterior-grade paint that will avoid fading since you do have a lot of sun on the front of your house.)

      Also, have you considered black/pewter grey shutters? They would be a perfect finishing touch. One more thought: to avoid the look of so much white in the window above the door, perhaps you can open the sheers on the bottom slightly to give some contrast to the front. (I know you’re trying to avoid fading on the interior.) Opening the sheers will break up the wall of white above the door — I think you’ll love the end result. You can leave the sheer on the palladian window. That’s fine.

      One more suggestion: replace the two front lights with larger “mansion”-sized versions of the black wrought-iron carriage lanterns. The lights you have now are fine but they’re a little small for the large scale of your house. You will love larger lights!

      I think that’s it. If the black is too much for your front door, try Georgian Brick (HC-50) from Ben Moore. It’s warm and welcoming and updated (if you’d prefer to look a little less traditional).

      Hope that helps. And thank you again.

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lina says:

    Hi Barbara,

    We are looking to sell our house in the next year and I am really struggling with our brick home. It is just so blah. The houses around us are very beautiful and we need to be able to compete with them.

    Here’s a link to photos of our house. I can attach more if it helps.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/50390849@N03/

    I’d really like to know what colors we should chose for the shutters, trim, door, wall lights (black or oil rubbed bronze?), gables and garage doors.

    Also, we are thinking of added accent molding pieces to the house such as quoin, window/garage headers, detil molding around the 2nd flr roof line, wrap molding around the four brick columns to make them look like white/cream pillars with moldings on the bottom and top, and add molding all around the center 2nd flr window. We’re not stuck on doing all the molding, so if you don’t think we should from an curb appeal stand point we won’t. But if you do think that we should, what color do you think all the molding be should?

    We’re also planning on adding an 8′ wide spraying fountain in the center of our lawn.

    We’ve even considered staining the brick or selected brick if you think that would help.

    We’re also hoping to keep our roof color.

    Thank you so much for your time and help!! I LOVE your website!!

    Sincerely,
    Lina

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lina,

      I think we can perk up your house. Right now, the walkway pops out more than the trim color so how about repainting all the trim (except for the gables and other siding) a China White (Ben Moore). That’s a white with quite a little gray undertone but certainly more cheerful than the current trim color. I don’t think you need to add a whole lot of new mouldings. Here’s an idea: I suggest putting siding up in the peaks of the two gable-roofed areas of the entry. I think the house just has too much brick (and it’s quite a busy pattern). Then I really like the idea of wrapping the entry brick pillars with trim to make the portico all trim and much grander than it is now. Again the lighter trim color will help.

      Then your current porch lights will show up better, but if you need to replace them, get oil-rubbed bronze. Large — as large as will fit on that column. You might want to remove the shutters altogether and either invest in window moulding — not just brick — around all the windows or put the shutters back up in the trim color. (I don’t usually do that, but it will again tone down the brick). Either way.

      As for the landscaping, I suggest removing the white stones from along the edge of the mulch beds. Although it’s pretty, the small scale of the stones just adds to the busy look already in the brick. I think just mulch will calm the front a bit. The walkway is fine.

      You might replace the hot pink azaleas with more white, again to lighten up the house. Light pink rose bushes will work and so will a very pale peach for your annuals and other flowering shrubbery.

      Your garage doors are fine as is — the siding color.

      See what you think of those ideas. I don’t think you need to add more details in terms of dentil mouldings and other adornments. I think simplifying the whole look will make a huge difference. (I love fountains! If you’d like one, go ahead and add it, but it won’t necessarily help you sell the house. But it will look terrific!)

      Hope that helps Lina. Paint will make a huge difference — you’ll see. Good luck with your project and thank you!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Lina says:

    Thanks so much Barbara!

    I just had a couple clarifying questions… Do we paint the gutters and down spouts China White too? How about the trim around the garage door? Since the garage door itself is staying the same color as the siding, do we still paint the trim around it China White?

    We’ve decided to go with your suggestion to remove the shutters. But we’re not sure what to put in the bottom-far-left window where it’s not really a window but just decorative art niche.

    And since you suggest using oil rubbed bronze for my lights should I remove the black rails around the front porch? Or should we change the rails to stone cast balusters? Or stick with black lanterns to match the black railings?

    Thanks again!!
    Lina

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Lina,

      Even though there’s not much trim around the garage doors, I would paint it China White anyway just for consistency. But the gutters and downspouts are fine the way they are. They’ll go with the siding color and blend.

      If you add trim to the windows, you might add a little trim to that art niche. But not a huge deal. I assume there’s something in the niche to attract attention? Not a big issue.

      And oops, I missed the wrought iron railing. You do not have to change that — or change out the black lights. They’ll be fine. Black will be the accent color.

      Hope that clarifies. Let me know if you have any other questions…

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • debbie says:

    Just found your website, I need to send you a picture, we plan to sell in year or so, I am tired of the same look, and want your opinion of paint or flower ideas to give better curb appeal.

    thanks, will send a picture later.

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Debbie,

      You can attach a photo to my email account: bmeglis@yahoo.com and I will be sure to see it there. Sometimes the other email account gets bogged down with large photos.

      Look forward to seeing your house and helping you prepare to sell!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Eleanor says:

    Hi Barbara,

    We are ready to have our 1962 ranch house repainted. The brick has a lot of orange in it and we are struggling with colors. Currently, the front door and shutters are almost a dark peacock blue and the trim is a cream or almond color. These are the colors that were on the house when we bought it. My husband and I were thinking about a less yellow cream or more of a beige for the trim and possibly a green/black for the doors and shutters. I would love to send you a photo and would certainly appreciate your advice. Would you mind giving me some specific color references after you’ve seen the photo?

    Thank you!
    Eleanor

    • bmeglis says:

      Hi Eleanor,

      Have a look at either Sail Cloth (Ben Moore Exterior from the Classic Collection) or China White for your trim. Then you can certainly go with a green/black like Black Forest Green (Exterior) which is a classic look for your style of house. But you can also consider a dark Tudor Brown (Exterior) since your roof is a medium tone with lots of brown (or so it appears in the photo). The brown will give a softer look — less traditional. But either color scheme will work with your home.

      For a more updated look, you might consider removing the pediment above the front door and either leaving it glass or inserting additional mullions as you have along the sidelights. The moulding on the portico is so attractive that I think the pediment above the door distracts the eye from that architectural detail along the portico roof. Just a thought. Not a big deal.

      Thanks for posting!

      -Barbara
      Your Home & Color Coach

  • Kimberly says:

    Hi, I live in a gold brick ranch. The paint around the windows are an unflattery tan. The one-car garage door that is seen from the road is a dark reddish brown. It screams attention taking away from the classy gold brick. I need to replace the brown garage and want to paint around the windows but I am unsure about the color I should use. I definitely, living in a wooded area, will not consider white. My husband bought a white utility door (a little fancy) but that color white is horrible with the gold brick. Help me, please.

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