Our Brick House Exterior Makeover (White Trim & Black Shutters)

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After 1 and a half years in our house, we finally have the outside of our home looking like we want! It’s crazy how much a learning curve there can be when starting out with a new yard and home. But we finally have everything looking the way we like!

And probably much to the surprise of many, we did not paint our red brick house.

I have decided I really like the red brick look. And while I think the white painted brick homes are beautiful, we’ll be keeping this one as-is!

When we moved in almost 18 months ago, our red brick cape cod style home had yellow trim and hunter green shutters. A sure throwback to the 90’s era in which it was built. But as much as I love green, I was ready to get rid of it on the shutters. And yellow has never been a favorite color of mine.

Brick House Exterior Before

Other than the trim and shutter colors, I really loved the outside of our home. I love the grand steps and the real shutters and the two dormers upstairs. It’s a classic, beautiful home, in my opinion. The grass was nice and lush, too. The landscape was a little overgrown, but you’ll see here in a minute how it looks now.

Then last summer (our first summer in the house), we hired a lawn company to keep the weeds at bay. And instead of simply eliminating the weeds, they killed a lot of our grass in the front yard. It was a mess. If you remember, the house looked like this for a while…

Exterior Brick Home in need of sod
Our sad house with burned up grass and still green and yellow paint.

Every time I pulled into the driveway, it made me sad to see the brown yard. (That’s not just dormant grass. It was dead as a doorknob.) So, we made plans to fix everything this spring.

And I shared my plans in my Home Goals 2021, Part 1 post back in January. My goal was to get a quote for painting the yellow trim and green shutters by the end of April. But lo and behold, the painting was FINISHED by the end of April. Kudos to me! 😜

In that home goals post, I shared, “I’m thinking about painting the white trim my favorite white: Simply White (Benjamin Moore). And I’m considering Graphite (Benjamin Moore) for the shutters and front door. It’s a soft black or charcoal and looks really good on the exterior of a home.”

And that’s (almost) exactly what I did! Keep reading to see which paint color I ended up choosing for the front door and shutters.

We hired the painters in February, which meant we got put on their schedule and then had to wait for their schedule and the weather to line up. They started in mid-late April. And it took them about 3 1/2 days to get it all done. In the end I was so pleased with how well they did and how quickly it was.

What Type of Paint to Use

My painter asks the homeowner to get the paint for his projects. This saves him a step and makes sure I am getting exactly what I want. I think it helps him cover himself from disputes, too, because if I’m picking the paint, I can’t complain. You know?

I did not want to skimp on the type of paint I got for this job. If I’m paying someone to paint for me, then I want to make sure the paint quality is top notch. The painters told me over and over again about how good this paint was and that they have painted homes before that took 4+ coats because the owner bought cheap paint. And in the long run it cost them more money and wasn’t a good product on their home.

OK, so I did my research and for the white trim, I bought Valspar Duramax Exterior Paint in a Satin Finish from Lowe’s. It went on great!

Then for the front door and shutters, I bought it from my local decorating store that carries Benjamin Moore paints. I didn’t want to get a wrong color match. And I so I used the Benjamin Moore Exterior Regal Select Paint in Soft Gloss finish for the front door paint and shutters. The soft gloss is a somewhere between a satin and a high gloss finish.

Learn more about how to select the right paint finish here.

Is there any Prep Before Painting the Exterior the Trim and Shutters?

I’ve never had anything on the exterior of a house painted before, so I was nervous that all would go well. I asked my painter about pressure washing the exterior of the house before painting and he said it wasn’t necessary. They would wipe off any dirt or cobwebs with a clean paint brush as they went.

I was nervous about this, and decided to pressure wash as much as I could before they started painting. I bought this pressure washer and did as much as I could. We’ll see how it holds up over the years, but so far, so good!

The After

Are you ready to see it?

I’m in love …

Brick Home Exterior Makeover (white trim and black shutters)

As you can see, we not only have white trim and black shutters, we also have grass! My husband put down sod around the same time everything got painted. And it all looks a thousand times better.

So that you don’t have to scroll back, here’s the before again …

Exterior Brick Home in need of sod

The sod is still growing in, greening up and we haven’t been able to cut it yet. So, it’ll continue to look better with time. But I’m beyond thrilled with how it’s all going!

Close up of exterior brick home makeover

We also hired a landscaper to come in and give all of the greenery a major trim. It was getting out of hand and we don’t have the time or expertise to get it under control. That large loropetalum bush was overtaking the sidewalk, so we had it cut back a LOT and it will grow back with time.

White Painted Porch and Brick House

Our brick stairs with the black iron railing is one of my favorite parts of the front of our home. Now that I pressure washed them, they look so much better! And I love the black front door. I might change it out for a wood door someday, but for now the black door is perfect.

You may remember that I shared a mini front door makeover in a recent home goals post, and I’ve ordered several of those items. They are slowly coming in, and I hope to share soon! You can see I already got the American flag out there in time for Memorial Day and July 4th. I love it!

American Flag, Black Door - Front Porch Makeover Ideas

New Orleans style lanternclassic plantersfaux boxwood topiaries | American flag | monogrammed front door mat

The Paint Colors I Used

Now that you’ve seen the transformation, let’s talk about paint colors! In my opinion, it’s harder to choose paint colors for the outside of the home than the inside. Everything looks brighter outside because it’s in direct sunlight. I remember painting Revere Pewter on my concrete patio floor at our old house, and it nearly looked white. So crazy!

But when it came to choosing the white color for our trim, I tried my default white color, Simply White by Benjamin Moore, and it worked great! I love that color so much and I think it looks good with anything. Since it reads a creamy white, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too stark on the outside. But it’s perfection!

Then for the black/dark gray trim it took me a bit longer to find the right color. Originally I was planning to paint the shutters and front door with Graphite from Benjamin Moore. I had the sample color matched at Lowe’s. And when I tried it on the front door it was way too light. I wanted a very dark gray and it was more medium gray.

I honestly think the color match wasn’t right. So, then I went to the decorating store and had them color match Black, Black Beauty and Onyx. And in the end, I chose Onyx by Benjamin Moore because it was the one I liked the best, so I just went with it!

Black Paint Colors for Front Door

And truthfully now that it’s on the shutters and door, it looks black, not dark gray. But I like it, so that’s all that I care about! If I ever repaint the front door and shutters someday, I might revisit the paint color, but probably not. ☺️

Red Brick House with White Trim and Black Shutters

It makes me smile every time I pull into the driveway now. It’s never not a good idea to make a home look the way you love.

Red Brick House Trim Makeover

What do you think? Would you have painted the brick white? Or do you like red brick houses?

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!

Brick House Exterior Makeover REVEAL!


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  1. Its beautiful, as a lover of brick its even more beautiful to me.
    You always get it right. I have black shutters and door also, I’ve had barn red forever, but loving the black, happy I did it. Keep on Laura!!

  2. I’m sorry, but I am confused. Yor house looks beautiful and the brick color great. It dies not look like painted brick though. You don’t detail any paint color for the body of the house only the colors used fir doors, shutters and trims Did you paint the brick as well? If so what was the brand and color of the paint? To me even the fillings between bricks are a much lighter color. Was it just the pressure wash? Thanks for your answers.

    1. Hi Seni,

      The brick was not painted. Only trim, shutters and door. The brick steps were pressure washed , so maybe that’s why the grout looks lighter.

  3. It looks wonderful! We’re thinking about doing something similar to our home but we have lots of vinyl siding rather than wood. Did you guys paint any vinyl and did you just paint all the gutters or replace with new? Concerned about the paint sticking/peeling form those areas.

    1. Hi Kim! They painted the gutters, downspouts and garage door with the same paint and it stuck great! So far, so good!

  4. Excellent choices to enhance the beauty of the red brick exterior. I can see where comparing paint colors on the front door makes sense. The black onyx is a sure fire winner compared to the other two shades of black. Once the landscaping fills in your house and yard will really stand-out.

    1. Looks lovely! I wish you kept the door green or another color … character and distinction. So glad you kept the red brick… beautiful!

  5. Looks great! I am a fan of painted brick, on the right house. Ours is painted a cream color, which I’m not crazy about. I would love to give it a whitewashed brick look, but that’s a job for a pro who knows what they are doing. A few brick houses in our 1950’s-60’s era neighborhood have been painted and I think it looks nice and makes the house look clean and updated.

    Most importantly, YOU love it, so congrats!

  6. Beautiful job! The only thing that bothers me are the steps. They blend in with the house and it’s difficult to see them. Have you considered replacing or covering them in some way so they would stand out? Just a thought.

  7. Your home looks beautiful! I am not a fan of painted brick, although I know it is popular. Red brick, white trim, and black shutters/door will always be classic! My home is a cream brick (not painted). We had the windows a doors painted black and added black shutters. Black window flower boxes are going up this summer. I love the final product!

  8. What an amazing transformation! The red brick with the onyx and simply white paint is stunning. I also love the peek of turquoise in the upper window! So glad you have your lush, green lawn back too!

  9. I think the classic red brick with white trim and black shutters and door looks amazing! It’s such a timeless look. So glad you finally got it done and also have grass, it’s looking great!

  10. Glad you kept it red. Although like you, I am a fan of painted brick. But you are totally brick and it might have just been too much stark white. I love how your white columns pop against the brick and the side of the house would not have read with as much dimension if you had gone white.

  11. Love the updates, so fresh. I am a fan of white brick but I do like that you kept yours red. Enjoy!

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