Should I paint my red brick house?

teacher_mom2(7)May 10, 2008

I have a red brick house. It's almost an orange-y red with white trim. I really want to "cottage" it up and thought of painting the brick a taupe/brown color.

Any ideas?

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happyintexas(z7 TX)

Well.....I have a similar color brick and trim and I've just planted lots of flowers and shrubs to give me that cottage look. I suppose my house has an old farmhouse style look to it (even though its modern) but I still the gardens are the best way to make a house cottagey.

I vote no. Painting the brick seems very permanant. Is it in bad shape? Are there other reasons to paint besides the desire to make your home more cottage like?

Maybe I'm missing something here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Creative Soul

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 7:25PM
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ten_steps_ahead(6 NJ)

I heartily agree with happyintexas, don't paint your brick!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 9:43PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Once brick is painted it becomes a huge maintenance issue needing repainting quite frequently or else it looks bad. One of the beauties of brick is its low maintenance.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 6:34AM
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don't paint, leave it natural and instead use the brick to your advantage. Cottage style is a mix, brick can say cottage just as much as anything else. Use its color and texture to enhance with plantings...use what you have and blend it with some pictures and maybe some can offer advice to help out. This is a great forum.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 11:39AM
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Okay, thanks for the opinions! I will not paint it. LOL!

Another question is: My front door is white and plain and I want something that will POP. I would like red, but it would clash with red brick. I have white trim. Any ideas on this? Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 3:49PM
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happyintexas(z7 TX)

My brick is a reddish-orange. The door is a bright, cheerful, golden yellow. It matches the Stella D'Oro daylilies in the spring and glows like secret sunshine in the dark days of February.

I flirt with the idea of a deep rich purple from time to time.

Here is a link that might be useful: Creative Soul

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 4:36PM
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happyintexas(z7 TX)

duh, I forgot the photo of my yellow door.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 4:42PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Your brick looks white here Happy!!

My friends had a reddish brick house and we painted the door a dark, very shiny forest green and hung bright curtains and placed white metal furniture on their porch. It was snappy!

If you feel the need to get some sort of painted look, you can always add trellises to the exterior, blocked out away from the brick and paint the trellises.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with brick, but these are some options


    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:30PM
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I have an idea. Why don't you look up color theory or color wheel on the 'net? If your brick is orangey, then your complementary color will be blue. You would have to find the right shade but nowadays you can buy little bitty paint cans and try various shades. I think a blue door would be awesome! And then maybe some large glazed blue pots near the entry or a blue birdbath or gazing ball if you like those (I do) to make a nice welcoming and bright entryway to complement the brick. I see from your info that you love roses. Maybe you could have an arbor or just a large obelisk or tuteur with a climber on it near the entry. It will be much easier if you don't have to paint the brick. If you want to paint the trim, you could find another complementary color or I think they call it a "triad" of color, maybe a buttery beige or yellow?
let us know what you decide.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 9:34PM
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fammsimm(Z8 DFW)

This is going to make a bold statement, but what about painting your door black to contrast with the red brick and white trim? Against the black background you could then add some decorative door handles, hinges, a door knocker or kick plate.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 10:58AM
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I am not going to try to advise you but just to say I think painted brick is very quaint looking. I just happen to like it. To me painted homes, furniture, accessories all add to the cottage look...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 11:52AM
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happyintexas(z7 TX)

LOL, I've got a small area of white stone in addition to the brick and more wood trim than I'd like.

No, we don't live on a hill. It was the easier photo to find. My brick looks reddish, but pink clashes with it. Yellows, dark reds, blues, and apricots all look great with it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Creative Soul

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 5:43PM
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friend(z6a NJ)

For the front door- if you have a reddish orange house- the color that woudl mosr contrast would be Blue-sih green.
Yellow would also pop :)- it woudl be very fun..
You can try Lavenders or pastel versions if you dont want somethign too loud. Red certainly woulndt work,no :(

White does work though.. maybe you can keep the white door and paint the trim? Good luck. Or if you really want to get creative and cotttagey- you can do blueish or lavendar door or with yellow trim or yellowish door with lavendar or blueish trim. then you're really getting colorful :)

I do liek painted brick too.. but if your brick isd a nice natural color- i'd say it's easier to leave it :).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:34PM
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My neighbor's brick house has a black door and it looks great!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:11AM
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I just had to add my 2 cents as I too live in a brick house but am cottage through n through otherwise. I love painted brick, and here in our old town all the old historic houses are painted. We haven't gotten to that yet as our very very old bricks are crumbling and need more pointing up and sealing first... sigh I also think painting can be a great way to soften a slightly contemporary/newish looking house... (Love the use of trellises too.) My mother, who is not a cottage type usually, became bold and painted her 50's brick house a pale yellow, with delft blue doors and trim. It's on a very shady lot and now the place really pops and looks so welcoming. She's thrilled.
I think you have to follow your heart. If every time you drive up you imagine it painted... But then I live with truly distressed surfaces in this old farmhouse, so the peeling paint look wouldn't bother me either. If it did, I'm not sure I'd paint because low maintenance is the nicest color of all to come home to after a hard day! ;-)
Thanks to all of you for sharing your fantastic creations and knowledge with us lurkers - we sure do appreciate it, even if we rarely get up the nerve to post!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 9:30PM
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libbyshome(z9a BC)

beagler1776....... even if we rarely get up the nerve to post!

Too beagler1776 and all luckers.

Please post. We'd love to hear from you. The more the merrier in the cottage garden. We're a happy, friendly, welcoming lot. We love to share with everybody. I'm sure all cottage garden posters will agree.

Libby.................(waiting to hear from you) :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 10:13PM
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angelcub(Sunset 3b)

What Libby said! Please don't ever feel intimidated about posting. I know we can sometimes sound like we've known each other forever (and sometimes it feels like it, lol!) but you'd be surprised how quickly you'll feel right at home here. So yes, post,post, post, all you lurkers! We need more pics of cottage gardens!!!


    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 4:27PM
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hello everyone...
i recently bought a small 3 bdrm house... when i bought it it, it was already a painted brick house. but it's beige (door, trim, brick and all)

i don't know if any of you have ever seen the south congress area of austin but there are all these cute colorful wooden houses and of course i couldn't afford to buy one of those woden houses that everyone is painting colorful (lavender w/ purple trim, or periwinkle blue with orange trim... or even sage with w/ purple trim)

anyway, what i'm getting at... do you think (since i already have drag painted brick) i could too have colorful painted house?

and if i did just paint the trim and the door now, what would spice up drab dark beige???

thanks a bunch!

lee ann

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:43AM
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friend(z6a NJ)

Lee ann-

let's see pics!!

And I have to agree with Libby & Diane.. lurkers are welcome.. i post on and off for soo many years now and even after a long hiatus I always feel welcome back! this group is the kindest on all of GW.. great folks here.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Another vote for black door!

If you have windows that can accomodate window boxes, you should also get wood window boxes, paint them a matching red to your brick and then paint them black. Use a fine sandpaper and lightly sand them down on the edges and maybe some other small areas to reveal the red underneath. You can plant them with big cottage type mixes which will also make the house appear more informal.

Instant character and classy. Just an idea...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:00PM
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here is a example of the colorful austin houses i speak of:

and here is my painted brick house:

the pic of my house isn't that great.. it's from google maps. my house lacks curb appeal for sure..

thank you for looking!!!

lee ann

    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 11:44PM
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michele1958(KY 6)

I bought a painted brick house 5 years ago. I doubt that it would have caught my eye had it not been painted. I like painted brick a lot. As far as painting goes it's been 5 years and still looks really good. I happen to think that a little pealing paint on brick looks good so I'm not sure that I'd be that quick to paint it if it did need it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 11:21AM
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