Color for Exterior

this house has off white brick with grey mortar, also country blue trim, and white windows. I want to refurbish the out side of the house and warm it up with color. What colors should I chooses?
I like either a french country look or a cottage look, or just some thing more homey this house always looks cold.
color for exterior, curb appeal, painting, ranch house two car attatched garage on right of window On left of door outside unit for a c and then 2 bedrooms side by side
ranch house, two car attatched garage on right of window. On left of door outside unit for a/c and then 2 bedrooms side by side
  48 answers
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 02, 2013
    The first thing I would do would be to scrub down the brick along the bottom where dirt has accumulated. Then add color in greenery in the planter (or on ledge in pots--can't tell which) and in front of it. add some maniature shrubs with some clumps of variagated border grass. Then use a cranberry or a burnt orange accents. In spring and summer, you could add pretty pots of colorful flowers on each side of door. By using different colors of green, you have a contrast in color all year.

  • Hi - Might consider visiting ProTect Painters Pinterest site at Look on the Color Selections Ideas andExteriors boards. You may find a colorcombo you like there.

  • Rosemary N Rosemary N on Jun 02, 2013
    How about a pale, buttery yellow with bright blue trim? Those colors seem to go well with country French. Also, I'd add a few shrubs along the front of the house and lots of colorful flowers. You could do spring bulbs (crocus, daffodil, tulip, etc.), daylilies in midsummer. Oriental lilies would add a lovely sent, also. You'd still have plenty of room in the planter for perennial & annual flowers. Good luck & have fun!

  • Jessie Hammond Jessie Hammond on Jun 02, 2013
    Some of the prettiest homes I have seen are light/ pale yellow with black trim. The color combination is warm & inviting. I would also do black on the porch & steps, & paint the picket fence white. By adding shrubs, blooming & non-blooming in different colors & textures along with some easy care perennials that will give all season interest. Take a drive around town & make notes or take pictures of the homes & yards that "jump" out at you. What is it about the yard or house that you like? the color? , the plants ? pathways? Whatever it may be, you can adjust it to fit your home. You can also go to & try out different color combinations . Good Luck !

  • Darlene Nieman Morris Darlene Nieman Morris on Jun 02, 2013
    Change shutters out for some deep burgundy colored ones. Get rid of that carpet on the steps and sidewalk, along with the wrought iron railings, or paint them, gray maybe, to match grout color. You could just replace them with hand rails next to steps, and nothing on the porch area? Paint wooden fence white, Then start with adding some small bushes, that have a like burgundy colors to them, in the planter box, or if it's shade, you could plant some hostas, and add some colorful annuals, each spring, for added color? Then have lawn re-seeded. I know that's a lot, but maybe a little at a time. I would also change that sidewalk lay out, to add more of that country look.

  • Not sure what is on the steps, but make it consistent with the color of the line along the flower boxes. This will give you a consistent visual line along the front of the home. Fill the planter boxes with greenery that will drape/ cascade over the front, contrast the color of the front door and add pots with a high bush/ topiary on each side. This will put all of the attention exactly where you want it. . . the entrance.

  • Nancy May Nancy May on Jun 02, 2013
    white picket fence,loose the carpet paint the trim a warm gray as well as the wrought iron

  • Helen Helen on Jun 02, 2013
    I would loose the blue shutters. Paint them a different color and get wider ones. Take off the wrought iron railing and make those steps as wide as the landing. I would make the deck wooden. You can add some modern railings also. Or better yet widen the landing to include the planter box or take that planter box out completely. Then I would widen the flower bed in front of the planter box and make a wider sidewalk with more presence. I would bring that walk out farther. I might even add an uneven walk like it is going out to the yard on the left side. You could use some reclaimed bricks on the left side. Then make a curved flower bed in front of the new walk. Have a little wider curve on the left side of the new sidewalk. And if you really felt flush you could add a little roof over the new deck, but with a peak at the front with some square boxy posts to hold up the roof.

  • Helen Helen on Jun 02, 2013
    I guess you were just wanting a new color for your house. I get carried away. I would leave the color of the brick and just change the shutter colors and make some that are bigger. I would add some window boxes under the windows. I lived in a house with the exact same color brick.

  • Carol Carol on Jun 02, 2013
    Kathy, I too would paint the picket fence white, and your step railing white. Change out your lighting fixtures by spray painting them.I would paint your shutters a cottage green,one with a gray tone. Bring home some swatches and put them on the house to see what appeals to you. I would also take off the carpet on the stairs. and I would paint the stairs and the planter box all the same green, yes you cam paint the brick!! I would look for cottage garden ideas and plant some perennials to give you color.I would also place some flower pots on your porch. Good luck! Can't wait to see the "after" photos!

  • Carol Smith Carol Smith on Jun 02, 2013
    Paint the brick a creamy yellow gold, more cream than yellow. White trim. Paint the Front door black and shutters should be wider if possible and a dark blackish burgandy. Rip out the covering on the front porch and side walk and just paint it to look like bricks deep non-orangey red, there are many tutorials around on the net. Go all the way down to the end of the sidewalk.Work on the yard a bit and green it up with some fertilizer. Fill the flower boxes with a nice shub like rosemary which droops over and is hearty and some varigated or red shubs, there are a lot of varieties to choose from. Front flower bed should have a mix of annuals and perhaps some monkey grass or ground covers. Varigated would be a nice mix for some of the grasses. If you can afford to, remove that iron railing and replace with a sturdier thicker wood, paint white like the trim. Or you can wait and make that a later project. I would try to finder some large brass lanterns and lower them just about six or 8 inches from where they are sitting right now on each side of the front door. Make them larger. Find some 8 inch or larger numbers for the house address. I would also think that putting another lantern which matched over to the right near the garage door would look fantastic as well. If you can't afford to replace the lanterns right now, then try removing the ones you have, painting them and see if they can be lowered just a bit. Redo the wreath with different matching flowers on the glass door. If you don't wish to paint the house brick then have it water blasted, and see if you can't scrub down that lower brick to get the stains off. French paint their brick a lot and it is charming. Paint the fencing to match the white trim.

  • Shari Shari on Jun 02, 2013
    Now we live in a red brick house so the only exterior paint choices I have to make these days are for the shutters and doors. However, each time we needed to paint the exterior of our old home during the 35 years we lived there, I would drive around our city's neighborhoods, looking for color inspiration. I'm very visual so seeing colors painted on real houses always helps me decide on colors better than trying to pick them from a color swatch in the paint store. When I found homes painted in colors I liked, I would make my hubby go up and ring the doorbell and ask the homeowner what colors they used. :D Once, when we couldn't catch a homeowner at home, I tracked the homeowner's name down through the local property appraiser's office, then looked him up in the phone book and called him. (I was bound, bent and determined I was painting my house THAT exact color!) Right off the top of his head, he couldn't remember the name of the color so he said he would find out and call me back, and he did! It was Behr's "Cloud Burst" with white trim. We got a ton of compliments on that color combination. Another pretty color combo we had one time was a sage green with black shutters. If you are not objectionable to painting your brick, I could see your house done in sage green with black shutters....and with the white around your windows, and the little wooden fence and porch railing painted white...gorgeous! And very cottage-y! (In fact, on the bottom of this page, under "Related Posts," I see a picture of a two story house that has a dark roof like yours, and it is painted a pretty sage-like green with black shutters and white trim. I think that is so warm and inviting, as well as eye-catching.) The bottom line is color is a matter of personal preference. If you are needing color inspiration and help making a decision, I recommend driving around your city or town to see if any particular color combos appeal to you. And, unless it's your next door neighbor (who probably won't want your house the same color as theirs), don't be hesitant to ask the home owner what colors they have used. People we asked through the years seemed flattered to hear we liked their color choices and were always happy to share the colors.

  • Vera Savage Vera Savage on Jun 02, 2013
    can I put a pic. Of my house that we're remodeling on here for suggestion.

  • Sandra Brown Sandra Brown on Jun 02, 2013
    I would paint the Brick a bright white, this would make it look cleaner and it would stand out, then I would go with a dark taupe trim, you can accent with darker beige color's, very rich.

  • Shari Shari on Jun 02, 2013
    @Vera Savage -- sure! Just click the red Post & Ask button at the top right of your screen and start a new post for your picture(s) and question, rather than putting it here on Kathy's post.

  • TAMMY WHITE TAMMY WHITE on Jun 02, 2013

  • Lorie Cotter Yancey Lorie Cotter Yancey on Jun 02, 2013
    the black on the fence is all trim on the house and shutters would tiddy it up! Paint the front door a deep maroon will update this look nicely! Need a few shrubs a bit taller...just for an added bonus!

  • Vicki Smith Culler Vicki Smith Culler on Jun 02, 2013
    I would paint it a yellow and have the shutters as black and put shrubs the height of the porch. Your fence should be painted white, always white for a picket fence..I would also fill in the part where it looks like empty space that connects to the porch..just fill it in and lengthen the porch and put a roof over it and take the rails away..

  • Patty Maurer Patty Maurer on Jun 02, 2013
    I would paint brick a sage green, shutters a sandstone, front door a barn red, widen the front steps to length of porch. Clay pots going down on the side of steps with red geraniums. take out the iron railings and carpet on steps, low shrubs under windows, white lantern lights on side of door.

  • Shawn B Shawn B on Jun 02, 2013
    I'd power-wash the brick, pull up the blue carpet and paint like stone-work in grays and charcoal colors on the porch and steps, and paint the shutters black and trim black. Leave the brick as is (or paint it with a margarine-color) and plant bright flowers (geraniums and nasturtiums would be my choice) in window boxes along the front. White alyssum in front of the irises and hanging boston fern(s) at the front porch. Paint the door black and put a brass kick plate. Voila! It's a very nice home you have there.

  • Kristine Fiddelke Kristine Fiddelke on Jun 02, 2013
    I think you should look into some curb appeal with shrubs, flowers, pavers etc. I like the colors you are using now.

  • Cindy OShea Cindy OShea on Jun 02, 2013
    Maybe a nice sage green, with a deeper green trim, a new front door and redo the porch railing, with wood an possibly add a small peeked roof over the porch, and change out the outside light fixtures. If you are wanting to go with a french country look, I would also demolish the concrete walkway, and lay out a different path with pavers and plant appropriate flowers and shrubs.

  • Jennie Brinker Jennie Brinker on Jun 02, 2013
    do not paint the brick because once you do , you have to keep doing it. It will age and peel as if it were a wood frame. Just have it cleaned. maybe freshen up the mortar and paint the trim. Clean up the concrete. remove the carpet and go with a roughened resurface if you have icing issues. Look around your neighborhood for ideas. Do you have an HOA that dictates your colors? If not have fun and choose bold. A bright front door in a contrasting color always looks good.

  • Charlene Bloodworth Charlene Bloodworth on Jun 02, 2013
    This is off subject but bear with me. I keep looking at the picture and I keep seeing the same thing every time. All of you can laugh at me all you want to but here it is. i see the perfect wheelchair ramp coming out from the landing over the stair area and then turning to the right over the sidewalk area. Even if no one there needs a ramp, not now at least, let me tell you, they are the best things to have. They are much easier than trying to get up & down steps, they can be built as a very lovely addition to the house. They add value to the house. You may have wheelchair friends who would love to come visit but can't without a ramp. If you plan on retiring in this house, there WILL come a day when a ramp will be a necessity. Ramps are wonderful for all ages. Just something to file away in your future upgrade file. :-)

  • Kristi Falcone Kristi Falcone on Jun 02, 2013
    Paint both the brick and the trim. There are many lovely combinations, maybe something fairly neutral with a brick red or forest green door.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 02, 2013
    I would paint it a sage green with black shutters and white trim around the windows, gutters, get rid of carpet on steps,and wrought iron rails, and that wood fence replace it with a more modern look in white, take out that tree on the right replace it with a japanese maple or plum tree, the along front a toss up but would have some color and texture, and take out the the flag stones, maybe a planter on the porch

  • Margaret K Margaret K on Jun 02, 2013
    You can have up to four paint colors on the exterior (before it gets way too busy). Your brick and roof each count as a color. So you can pick two other colors that compliment the house for the shutters and door and perhaps use the brick color for the trim. Brighten up the front with new landscaping that will add extra color and texture to your house.

  • Holly Decker Holly Decker on Jun 02, 2013
    if you like a French country look,or cottage appeal, go to the library,look up ideas ,colors, flowers etc then have run, remember less is most, remove carpet & rod iron

  • Revi Revi on Jun 02, 2013
    I had a similar brick to yours, which I didn't care for. I painted my brick a color called "cafe au lait" which was the color of coffee with milk. It is very neutral which has allowed me to paint the front door and French windows several times while keeping the same neutral color on my brick. I would advise choosing a neutral - either warm, such as golden beige, greenish beige or terra cotta beige, or a cool neutral such as a grey taupe or light gray with some brown in it. consider your home interior - do you use a favorite palette? Then opt to use a similar one on the exterior. Use your favorite colors - but grayed down for outside. The front door can contrast and be really bold! Shutters might go darker or lighter, but keep your house body a medium tone. That will warm things up.

  • Fay Sessions Fay Sessions on Jun 02, 2013
    I would ditch the shutter, get rid of the carpet , paint brick either biege or terracotta , on the left side of steps i would put in some rocks and add some hen and chicks and a few succulents , put flowers in flower box with colors you enjoy looking at . I would also change light fixtures on porch and maybe add a few hanging plants it would make a world of difference

  • Cheryl Moody Cheryl Moody on Jun 02, 2013
    I'd paint the shutters a maroon, paint the porch gray after bringing the steps as wide as the porch. Paint the fence white. Put some hostas, or other plants in the flower box. Get rid of the railing, and put new white railing up along the porch and new stairs. Paint door maroon or black. Maybe even paint the brick a french country cream.

  • Nancy L Nancy L on Jun 02, 2013
    I think the main reason your house is giving you the "cold shoulder" is the iron on the porch. I think any color choice for the house would be fine if change out the iron for wood. Even a dark color with light trim and fence. Definitely keep the trim light even if the house stays the same color. (Tan house, white trim) I think also adding an overhang to the porch or something that draws the eye up would be good. Kind of a trellis look, and you could foe paint the garage to look like carriage doors. Add some wild roses that you can train to climb the front of the house and I think you would have a great start to your own French country retreat! The AC unit? Get creative!

  • Troye M Troye M on Jun 02, 2013
    My home right now is the same brick We bought it as a is trimed in deep, deep blue. It is too strong!!!! My husband wants to paint it the color of carmel/peanut butter. I'm trying to imagine this myself. Would it look good year round or just in he fall ?????

  • Vickik Vickik on Jun 02, 2013
    The house across the street from my daughter painted their brick a lovely pale yellow (not lemon) and it looks wonderful. So fresh and clean.

  • Dolly Dolly on Jun 02, 2013
    We had that same brick when we moved into this house and we tried everything to clean it but nothing worked. We put larger shutters on it in white and painted the brick a lovely taupe shade. All trim done in Benjamin Moore Cloud White. We receive many compliments on our home and it looks very cottage like. People tell us it's the prettiest home on the street. It was painted 20 years ago and because we did all of the prep work before we painted it....we did it ourselves. we washed it down with TSP and then had the primer tinted the same colour as the shade we were using to paint and used only one coat of paint over the primer. I would advise that you do not use the new paints with the primer in it as it will not last as long. We have had many people come to our door asking about the colours we used and they have asked if we would mind if they used the same and of course we don't mind at all.

  • Jeulia H Jeulia H on Jun 02, 2013
    Agree with above...don't paint the brick. If you ever sell it buyers will consider that a negative due to the upkeep. Instead, pressure wash the brick and paint the door fence and shutters a bright color that falls within your French cottage look. I would replace the door and make it wood. Probably cheaper than painting the whole house anyway and updates the house. I have been told that if you think of your house as jewelry, the door is the main center stone, shutters are complimentary stones and the house and roof are your setting.

  • Kris Kris on Jun 02, 2013
    Cheery yellow with white trim, flower boxes with cascading and joyous colors, repaint black railing and change out light fixtures to white to match the trim and make them something bulbous and romantic or go all white brick with a deep pink shutter and pink flower baskets/boxes or do a warm pink on the brick and keep the blue shutters but angle your shutters forward and fill with blue flowers see: - match the flower bed rocks to the color your boxes are. Line the walkway with flowers or build a focus pergola, arbor or trellis or get something like your wrought iron to tie it in and let the climbing flowers invite your guests into your home that way. Get climbing roses next to the garage.

  • Pat Hand Pat Hand on Jun 02, 2013
    A soft dove gray. Crisp white trim. Black shutters. Door deep burgundy.

  • Maureen F Maureen F on Jun 02, 2013
    taupe...white shutters & black trm railings & fixtures for sure w/red flowers lots of grn foliage!!!!!!

  • I love the white brick! Lots of old homes in Atlanta are that beautiful white brick...I think maybe match the shutters with the roof...gray/blk and white trim...Maybe paint the porch or if you can redo it with some gorgeous slate to bring out the roof and shutter color...adding plants to soften the brick in the front and maybe (like someone else said) a lovely window box in the large front windows would help give your home a warm cottage feel...painting the picket fence in crisp white might be nice too. Google Old White Brick House and just look at all the gorgeous examples. (Pay attention to the roof colors) Look at this beautiful old home ... Love your home...can't wait to see what you do- xo

  • Tommy Roberts Tommy Roberts on Jun 02, 2013
    IF YOU PAINT THE BRICKN NO DIY!!! Have a Pro prep & paint it properly. If not done right you will be for ever fighting a scaling / flaking issue. There are many colors to choose from for accents. Try to stay around beige / tans. However an antique green with burgundy or black accents works well. For ideas I would search for Early American pictures of colour schems when it come to painting brick. By all means get rid of that carpet. Does the budget allow for expansion of the porch? If so you could have a roof on it and seating. You could also cover the concrete with texture coating again no DIY.

  • Tammy S Tammy S on Jun 03, 2013
    I've read many comments & say, do not hesitate to paint! It's no more up keep than regular stick built. Paint is cheap and with Brick, can easily power washed off. Choose main color- House & up to 2 secondary colors- trims, shutters,eaves, etc. If this were my home to refurnish (I love warm colors) I would look into Moss/Sage Greens for the body. Keep your gutter's white or 2 shades darker than house. Barn red on door, paint frame of screen door black or deep Bronze. Get rid of Black iron railing (outdated), pull outdoor/indoor carpet. Could cover with 12x12 stone tile (Home Depot) and continue it around planter edge. Consider some large pillars (White, like old colonial homes) to pull out your entry way, make a statement! The lights are way to large for the size, would replace with down lighting. Place some full urn planters on each side, also tone down under eaves. Garage doors, would keep to 2 shades darker as the gutters . Sage & white are very clean, but warm combination. Most defiantly change the picket fencing. Blues are cool colors where as your reds, greens, oranges are warmer. I think you will find if you do the stone tile around planter box below window and or darker color will really pull some foundation to the home. I might also suggest when you drive, take notice of homes, colors landscaping. Gives you more a visual. Loaded an old pic. trying to show some color combinations, that I did in my last home. Good luck- make sure you share updates of your final project. :) T~

  • Lisa R Lisa R on Jun 03, 2013
    Neutralize the color on your home. I would select power washing the brick, and picking a neutral color like clay for your trim and shutters. Paint your front door a brick red for a punch of color or deep green to keep the neutrality of the home. Add a wider front door landing with wooden railing and steps to draw your eye up to the house. Gardening and landscape will help create the cottage feel you're looking for. Add shadow boxes and fill with color and bring more color to the landscape with evergreens with height.

  • Teresa W Teresa W on Jun 03, 2013
    Only a few have said not to paint the brick. I say paint it. If I were looking for a new home, painted brick would not deter me at all, as long as it was in good shape. I do think I would get a professional to do the painting. I really like the idea of the sage green for the brick, but if you want more to work with for many years to come, the taupe color or cafe au lait is great. There is so much you can do with landscaping and changing out the railing on the porch will warm it up. I do hope you will put up pictures once you have made a decision and finished the project,

  • Carol S Carol S on Jun 03, 2013
    Many great ideas - I would like to suggest going with your favorite shade of brown - for the shudders, fencing, steps etc. Pick a lighter shade of tan for the front door - darker than your beautiful brick but much lighter than the brown use choose. I agree with widening the step and even the walk way. Move the iris up into you Built in brick plant before you do.

  • Shari Shari on Jun 03, 2013
    I truly love it when people don't get hung up on keeping less than great looking brick (or wood) when something as simple as paint could drastically improve and update the looks. I also 100% agree with @Teresa W -- painted brick would not deter me at all if I were looking to buy a new home. In fact, the red brick of our current home was a HUGE negative for me when we looked at the house. I think it's beyond ugly and dated looking but we didn't buy the house for the house...we bought it for the 30 acres it sits on. Anyway, if it wouldn't cause my husband to have a heart attack, I'd be out there painting our red brick in a New York minute and have NO regrets. We've only been here a few years now and we've been busy working on other projects but, at some point, I do plan to gently and subtly bring up the subject of painting it. :)

  • Marta Sloane Marta Sloane on Jun 03, 2013
    A slightly brighter blue, as long as you don't paint the brick, that is..Just the other things would be a big plus, though..

  • Cherie Morren-Goulet CW Cherie Morren-Goulet CW on Jun 05, 2013
    Here is a virtual painter website I use when painting. You can upload a picture of your house and begin choosing your colors.