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Painted Brick Exteriors: Pros and Cons

French Country Modern

Want to update your home’s old brick exterior, or considering a new construction with some freshly painted brick? I am! It seems like Instagram and Pinterest are flooded with images of painted brick exteriors. Although painted brick has recently gained more popularity, it is a finish that has been around for a long time and will continue to be a classic look.  Today I’m talking about painted brick exteriors, the pros and cons, and some of my favorite color options.

painted brick exterior - pros and cons


Painting your brick exterior is a fairly easy way to add curb appeal to an otherwise boring home. What a perfect way to updated an old home. If you hate the orange or brown tones in your brick exterior, a coat of paint can completely transform what used to be ugly, to clean and fresh. Paint is always an affordable solution in home design whether it’s on the outside or in. With a little elbow grease and some diy passion, you can really pull off this look on a budget.  Just make sure to do your research! Whether you choose a dark hue or a crisp white, painted brick will surely bring the drama you are looking for.

If you are considering a new construction with a painted brick exterior, look for inexpensive brick with a good texture.  On our home we used a variety of brick colors, all with the same texture. Surprisingly, a painted brick exterior is no more expensive than a traditional red brick exterior.  The reason being, the kind of brick that works best with paint tends to be less expensive than the nice bricks (more uniform in color and texture) that you would leave untouched on the house. Therefore, even when you add in the labor and material cost to paint it, painted brick tends to be pretty comparable with other exterior finishes.

My new home has almost a full brick wrap.  If your new construction has just a few accent areas that you would like painted, go down to your local mason yard and ask about “paint bricks”.  These are bricks that are defective usually in color from the rest of the batch.  There is nothing wrong with these bricks structurally just in color appearance.  Sometimes the mason yards will sell these “paint bricks” at a discounted price.  This option can save you some money and once painted they look perfect!

see the variations in color??


Bare brick requires little to no maintenance, but once you paint it that changes!  A painted brick exterior will require some power washing every now and again depending on the climate. It is also very difficult to remove the paint once its on, so there is no going back unless you want to unload your pocket book and your mamas too! Basically what I’m saying is “make sure you are committed to this look before you paint your brick” because removing the paint is very costly. It is also likely that the exterior paint will need to be repainted about every five years depending on the climate you are in.

My contractor will be using a brick primer before painting.  This will ensure a proper seal preventing any mold or moisture from seeping in.  Make sure your brick is properly dried before priming.

Here is what my exterior looks like now.  I have designed several brick details to give different texture and depth to the brick once painted.  You can see on 3 different places along the exterior I have created what look like rows of brick.  I love this detail, and I know it will just add to the charm when painted.  I have some fun brick details in the gables that add some old french country charm to the architecture, and a herringbone inlay up the chimney. Creating different patterns will keep my brick exterior from looking flat once its painted.

painted brick exteriors- pros and cons

painted brick exteriors- pros and cons

painted brick exteriors- pros and cons

painted brick exteriors- pros and cons

painted brick exteriors-best paint colors

painted brick exteriors- best paint colors

painted brick exteriors- pros and cons

My roof is a composite custom color by barite.  I love how it mimics the look of a slate roof. My facia is Alside antique parchment (which is a creamy white).  I had my paint guy custom match my brick color to my facia color.  It’s Sherwin Williams Exterior Latex paint in a satin sheen.  Can you believe it’s the same house?  Such a dramatic change paint can really make right? Here is the exact formula:

cream painted brick exterior

cream painted brick exterior color

My roof is a custom blend of grays and black.  More information on the roof to come! For now I’ll leave you with my favorite exterior brick paint colors and some painted brick homes that have been a source of inspiration to me.  Click here to catch up on all the building progress of our “Modern french Country” custom home. 






painted brick exterior black- pros and cons


painted brick exterior gray- pros and cons
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painted brick exteriors - best paint colors

Simply White by Benjamin Moore | China White by Benjamin Moore

Amazing Gray by Sherwin Williams | Storm Gray by Benjamin Moore

Soot by Benjamin Moore | Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams

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    1. Hi kristen we used a masonry paint in a satin finish. I shared the exact formula on this post

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