Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Want To Paint My Brick House - Need Ideas, Please

OK, so I know painting brick is a touchy subject...but I think once you see my house, you just might get on board with me.

See, my house has a Spanish them going on on the bottom, but on top it is a typical 1970's Colonial kind of look. I am thinking of painting it all one color, to tie it all together. I really think it would make this ugly duckling of a house, a beautiful least that is my hope!

I have never shown pics of the full exterior of my house, because I just am not in love with, deep breath, here goes:

Last spring we added the blue shutters and painted the front door blue (although it's still purple in this picture, lol). I was going for a Spanish Mediterranean sort of look...I failed :(

I do love the arches on the front porch...I wish they would have brought them *into* the house, too, but they didn't.

My solid as a rock wicker chairs from the Salvation Army...the could use a paint job though:

Close up of the brick. It is very nice brick, but I just don't know what else to do to give this house some curb appeal:

In this pic, you can see how the sides of our house 'fan out', it's a nice feature and I think by painting it a light color, people from the street could actually see that detail.

I took this picture from the middle of my front you can imagine how much detail that you just miss of this house from the street:

We also have 2 chimneys that are made of brick and are arched at the tops of them, like the arches on our porch. I also think paint would make them pop from the street, too.

Here is my inspiration before & after. I am sure many of you have seen this before, it is the Nester's painted brick house:

Truly stunning, isn't it?

So that is the look I am trying to achieve. I am thinking a creamy white with tan shutters. Or, if we can find a place to make them and can afford them, I would love to have decorative iron shutters, to tie in with the Spanish theme.

I welcome any and all suggestions, especially ones that back me up on painting the brick, haha! After all, it has taken me 6 years to get my husband to even consider painting it, now I just have to get him over the hump!

Thank you!!!


PS: If you know of anyone who does virtual Exterior design, please let me know! Thanks!

UPDATE: A very kind and talented reader, Ali Mae did a virtual design of my home painted! Thanks, Ali Mae!!!


Shea said...

The archways are such a nice detail. I love houses that are not the standard look. I think you should go for it. I am also a fan of the nesters house! Good Luck and show us the after pictures!

Layla said...

Mortar wash it!


Kelli@SassySouthernMom said...

I happen to live in a 4 year old home that is painted brick. It was built that way I guess...not sure...we've only been here a year and a half.
We are constantly getting compliments on our home and how beautiful it is.
It's a tan painted brick with lots of stone detail in the front porch/entryway, which is a nice detail.
Good luck with whatever you decide! I think it's a great idea!!

Robin @ My Blessed Nest said...

I think you are right on track! I love painted brick and it would work so well to make your home look more cohesive. You could also add shutters to your lower level windows to tie everything together. The cream/tan color scheme like Nester's never goes out of style either. Why is that men have such a hard time painting brick or wood?! Best wishes...can't wait to see what you do!

Renae said...

We painted our brick house to the horror of my parents, but even they think it look soo much better. We had places with siding and painting it all the same color makes our house look so much nicer.

Be sure to post pictures when you're done. ;)

Peace to you,
Life Nurturing Education

Karen said...

Painted brick would scare me. How is the rest of the neighborhood? I can't even bring myself to paint my fireplace. My house outside is light brick though. It is a commitment though, if you don't like it you are stuck. I wonder if a darker shade of siding would pull it together? Good luck!

Susie Q said...

I think the painted brick would be just stunning.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I love the inspiration photos Bella and can picture your house painted a neutral color. The archways in your house set it apart!

The Nester said...

I researched LONG and Hard before painting our brick. We actually looked for a brick house so that we could paint it. I would 100% paint it if it were me!

I used an old Martha Stewart color from Sherwin williams called Bone China--it's the perfect color not pure white but not yellowy just a friendly warm white.

The shutters we made ourselves and they are painted Restrained Gold.

I think your arches and little details will look fantastic!

Be not afraid! When you drive around the rich "old money" parts of town at least in the south SO MANY of the homes are painted brick--that alone speaks volumes!

Jacqueline said...

Here are my ideas - since you asked!
I think painting the whole house is a great idea. My first suggestion would be a warm white on the whole house, brick, siding and everything. Put black shutters up, not only on the top windows but also on the two lower ones. I would suggest adding some ironwork to really give it that Mediterranean look - maybe flowerboxes under the windows or faux balcony boxes or trellises.
My second idea is to paint the house a warm light apricot shade and then the inside of the arches a soft white for a gentle contrast. Here again, black iron accents will make it pop. Of course, when you get the chance to reroof, do it in a terracotta color to finish the effect.
Do a Google image search for Mediterranean villa for ideas.
All the best. Post pictures when you're done **smiles**
Bliss and Blessings

Mary said...

You brave, brave woman! But if you've got the hubby on board, I say do it. Your house is awesome. I love all the detail, and I'm sure painting it will bring them out. Keep us posted!

Terri and Bob said...

I love brick, both painted and regular! I love your inspiration home and that should help you convince your husband.

I had a friend who had a panted brick house and wanted to return it to its regular brick. She found someone who could do that and it didn't cost her an arm and a leg, either!

Remodeling Guy said...

Hi Bella,

You have a beautiful home! It's very clear that you work hard to keep it pristine!

On painting brick, one of the things you have to do is look for a way to add a second and/or third color. Brick homes often have no trim around windows, doors, or archways. On a painted house, you would generally see an accent color at these locations.

In looking at the full view of your house with an eye toward painting the brick, it looks to me like you need some trim.

You could use shutters, stucco bands, or wood trim. The big section in the center might look good with a garden structure like a trellis to break up that long wall.

The Nester did more than just paint! You'll notice that there is also a new porch with a curved copper roof and some very nice new doors, in addition to the shutters.

If you just paint, you'll be disappointed with the look. But if you add some features to get you more color, you'll be pleased.

Best wishes for a great project!


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Bella!

I love the idea of painting the brick to unify the bottom and top of the house. It looks disjointed the way is is presently.

The color combo in the example is fabulous! I would also put shutters on you lower windows to unify them. You could just add some iron pieces on top of the shutters that look like they are hingework that is being used on the shutters. Another thing that would add to the Spanish/Tuscany feel would be an old world look wall fountain between the 2 arches. Then perhaps add a tall skinny Cyprus evergreen to break up the long expanse near the garage. One that is a dwarf type so it doesn't take over the sidewalk LOL. Oh girl what a fun project you have ahead of you!! PLEASE keep up posted!

Have a great weekend!

Hugs, Sherry

GardenDesigner said...

I sent you an email with drawings... too long to post it here... :)


Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Here's my two cents. Paint the house a lovely shade of butter yellow and if you keep the shutters, paint them brown, tuscan red, or olive green.
Add a window box under each window and you will then have a truly yummy spanish colonial home.
This goes along with what Remodel Guy is saying and that guy knows his stuff.

Here is the link to a post I did on Spanish Colonial:

Michele said...

I think it would look gorgeous painted the color scheme you're talking about. I love those arches too!


Gretchen said...


I love your house and the brick but I would think about painting it a dark brown. Use the blue from the shutters for your accent (door, shutters, pots, etc.)

Can't wait to see what you decide.


Deb said...

Hi Bella! I think your home would look lovely painted! I've always wanted to paint mine brick house too but my husband is against it. Then I'm not to sure about the mantainance. So it crosses my mind from time to time and I do nothing. Hope your husband is on board and everything turns out great! Deb

Cynthia said...

Paint it for sure! I think your right on track with this. Cindy

Rhonda Parker said...

Hi Bella ~ I must say that I'm a woman, and I LOVE the brick (and the arches too). I would not be able to paint it myself, but maybe that's because I love brick houses, and it's hard to find them in California??? I have to agree with Remodel Guy - I think if you just paint, you'll be disappointed with the look.

Is there a way you can see what the house would look like without actually painting it? I'm thinking maybe get some of the cheap rolls of plastic for tablecloths that are a light tan color or whatever color you're wanting to paint, and wrap it around the house, especially at the side/edges where it fans out - and then look at the house from the curb to see if it truly does add curb appeal.

Best of luck to you, brave lady!

P.S. The Nester's house is beautiful; but I still like the original brick... we definitely want to know what you decide and to see pictures.

angsana said...

I just love the arches of your house! After looking at the Nester's house painted, I'd say you should Paint it to your heart's content! My only worry is that you will have to paint the bricks every few years versus not having to do it at all if you left it as if. Certainly, after painting the bricks your house will have a facelift! We want pictures!! Can't wait:)

denise said...

Paint it! Some people are opposed to it based on some general principle, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. The before/after pix you posted are stunning, def looks better painted. I am preparing to paint my red brick too, front of house, interior details and fireplaces. I like the clean look of painted brick.

Jo said...

Well? What did you do - I'm dying to know (and see pictures). I was Googling "painted brick" to get opinions myself, when I came upon this discussion and now I'm hooked! I am only considering painting a 16' long, 2.5' high "wall" that serves as the face of the raised porch, and everyone I ask says "no." My house is yellow siding, and I just painted the porch a nice springy green, and the bricks (orangy-red) really bug me. But all the walkers and runners that have watched me work all summer now feel like they have ownership:o)

Oh, by the way, I am 100% on board for you to paint the brick; it would unify the entire house while still having those great arches.

Bella Casa said...

Hi Jo,

I finally was getting my husband on board with this...with the help of the virtual pictures...but in the end we decided not to paint the brick. Not because we do not want to, but because we do not plan on staying in this house forever, in fact, we'd sell it today if someone would buy it (We are in Michigan though, so the housing market has really tanked here).

We just feel it's probably not the thing to do. But if our next house is brick and I feel the urge to paint it, I will paint it myself, lol. I love the painted brick, if you really want to do it, I say go for it!

I would love to see pics if you do:)

Good Luck!


angsana said...

Paint over the bricks and lose the blue shutters!

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