Design Decisions, New House

Painted Brick: Exterior and Interior

Our completed home painted with Sherwin Williams White Duck

Painted brick is always a controversial topic. Some people love it, and others think it is a sin to paint over brick no matter how ugly or dated the brick looks. Thoughts on the matter may vary in different parts of the country, but in our area it is a touchy subject. However, Henry and I both love the look of painted brick and are planning on using it on the exterior, and also in a few places on the interior of the new house.

Update: As you can see above, we completed our new house and did end up painting the exterior brick. We chose Sherwin Williams White Duck and absolutley love it! I think it is the perfect exterior white paint color

But what will people think?

Going into this, we are aware of all of the different comments we will hear from friends, family, and other random people throughout the building process:

“You’re going to do what to the brick?”

“Why are you going to paint perfectly good brick?”

“Once you paint that brick, there is no going back!”

Having been through the building process a few times, we are used to all kinds of unsolicited advice. There is good advice and bad advice, and some of it will cause you to doubt your decisions. But in the end, it’s important to do what makes you happy and completes your vision for your home.

For us, there aren’t many pretty brick colors, so painting just makes sense. We get the texture of the brick and the color of our choice. I think it is such a classic look.

What about extra cost?

You might think by adding extra labor and material, painted brick would cost more. But that’s not the case. We plan on using an inexpensive brick that still has good texture. And in most cases, these types of brick are better for painting than the more expensive variety.

What about extra maintenance?

Any exterior painted surface will have to eventually get a fresh coat of paint. So this is a non issue for us. If we didn’t do painted brick, we would do Hardie Plank, which would also be a painted surface.

But with brick it is important to do it right to begin with. Using a high quality brick primer and brick paint, will keep you from having to repaint as often. I’ve read that painted brick will need to be repainted every 3 years. I find that very hard to believe. There are numerous painted brick houses in our area that have not been repainted in over 10-15 years, and they look amazing.


On the exterior, the majority of the house will be brick, along with some darker Hardie Plank mixed in.  We haven’t made the decision on the exact brick paint color yet, but we are thinking some kind of off-white. Here are some inspiration images that we have been looking at for color ideas:

Photo credit: Willow Homes

Photo credit: David Anderson

Photo credit: The Fox Group

Photo credit: Dixon Kirby


As I mentioned earlier, we plan on doing some painted brick on the interior of the house as well. One place that we plan on doing this is in the kitchen.

One area of the kitchen that we always put the most thought into is the backsplash. If your not careful, it’s easy to choose a tile that will quickly become dated. So we are thinking instead of tile, we can create a timeless backsplash with painted brick. There are thin brick products that you can use for these types of applications.

We’ve been in search of inspiration images for painted brick backslashes and we found this incredible kitchen by Studio McGee. It even has a vaulted ceiling!

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  • Reply Erica Childs

    Your inspiration photos are the home style of my dreams! My husband and I have been searching for home plans with this type exterior to no avail. I’m not sure what style home to call it, but it is perfection! Any places you think I should search for this type of plan? We are planning to build in the next year. After we find the perfect plan. Thank you for so much inspiration ❤️

    February 6, 2019 at 10:15 am
    • Reply Brooke

      You’re welcome, and I feel your pain. We searched high and low. It just seems like there are no stock plans out there like this. This is why we ended up hiring an architect.

      February 6, 2019 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Kelsey

    What brand of primer/paint do you recommend for brick?? My biggest fear with updating our brick is trapping the moisture. But if there is a paint that will ensure that doesn’t happen, I can jump into the project with no fears!!

    April 3, 2019 at 11:13 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Kelsey. Romabio makes a mineral based paint that is breathable. You can learn more about it here:

      April 4, 2019 at 5:58 pm
      • Reply Ashley Hathhorn

        So you used the Romabio to paint your exterior brick, and this does not require a primer, if I read their website correctly?

        May 7, 2019 at 3:48 pm
  • Reply Jess

    What color/brand paint did you use on your house? I also would love to know that about the door color as well!☺️

    May 2, 2020 at 1:41 pm
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