Sourcing & Planning

5 Exterior Paint Colors that Pair With Red Brick

March 16, 2023

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We’ve been making some improvements to the overall curb appeal of our exterior, and so naturally, I’ve been looking more and more at our bright white trim and wondering if we could do better. We’ve made no changes to the exterior of the house, and I find the red brick to be incredibly attractive and timeless. We DO NOT WANT TO PAINT THE BRICK, but it might be fun to update the white trim and window sashes. And SO… I recruited my talented sister Andi to “try on” some exterior paint colors that pair well with red brick!

On our 2023 project list, we talked about possibly replacing all of the windows this year, and I think it’s a go! It’s going to take some time to order the windows and have them made, but we’re starting down that path. The good news is, we had a few pros come and look at the windows and they said we could get away with just replacing the sashes (the window part and grid) instead of the entire window which would save us 10s of thousands of dollars. We went to look at window options and they had an array of colors to choose from, so we thought–let’s go down that road and explore.

One of the most useful things you can do before committing to any paint color is to digitally try it on! There are probably some paint apps that allow you to do this, but Andi usually just opens up Lightroom to tweak the colors. She has a whole tutorial here if you’re interested in learning how to do it. This is more so to get an idea of which color I might want the trim to be, and then I will try to color-match it with a paint deck. First up, we swapped the bright white for a soft ivory.

Soft Ivory

I think that this ivory looks much classic and warm. The white is a little high-contrast when I start comparing it with the other trim options.


The next option I like is on the cooler side. I’m a big fan of blue-gray paint, and I think it would really complement the red brick beautifully.

Slate Blue

Or we could go with a darker slate blue, which I’m so in love with! There’s just something about that color and tone that excites me so much and feels very on-brand Chris Loves Julia. I guess my fear is that I would be giving away all my secrets before anybody even comes inside ;).


Taupe paint colors for a while were considered outdated, but I’m here to tell you they’re back, and for good reason. Obviously, this would coordinate so well with the grout color, and I think it’s proven itself to be rather timeless. My only hesitation is, remember when we first painted the outdoor kitchen a taupe-y color? There were certain times of day that I absolutely hated it, and I’m fearful that this would be the same case.


Taking the taupe color to a darker mushroom might be just the right move. I love how the mushroom color actually goes more to the background and highlights the beautiful red brick! I can totally see myself going with this option!

The great news is that only the sashes need replacing, and the trim will be painted to match, which will save us so much money! On the inside of the house, they said that the sashes have to be either white, wood, or black. I’m deciding between wood or black… but leaning more towards black. We’ll see!

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What do you think?

  1. Darlene says:

    Hi, I love your home and you are very talented. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas. I’m wondering if you could post the five exterior colors you posted. They are all flattering and I would like to get a few samples to try on my house. I tried to see if you had posted but didn’t see anything. :)

  2. Adrienne says:

    Mushroom. All. The. Way.

  3. Marissa C says:

    I definitely like the ivory. I want to like the blue and mushroom, but I just don’t on a classic house like that. I feel like with black window sashes it will read “modern in a weird way.” I think that sort of risk can work with a house that isn’t so completely traditional, but it just looks forced and awkward on a home that is very classic.

  4. Michelle Charles says:

    There is a pretty brick house on Oberlin in Raleigh that has a gorgeous dark green as the accent. You should check that one out.

  5. Doni says:

    I’ve always been a red color fan! even if it wasn’t fashionable. Maybe it should come to my house, the one with the squirrels.

  6. REK981 says:

    I can’t decide. They all look great and any of them would look great long term too!

  7. Brandi Lang says:

    Does anyone else really notice the keystones in the window headers with the blue and dark mushroom colors? They sort of become distracting to me. I really like the mushroom with warm ivory as a runner up — the keystones don’t seem quite as eye catching with the more neutral/light colors.

  8. KDB says:

    The dark slate would look great! maybe you could put in a slate walkway to coordinate?!

  9. Debbie says:

    The Mushroom color looks so seamless, flawless, and stunning with the brick color and style of the house!! Can’t wait to see what you land on!!!

  10. Anna says:

    Soft Ivory- Very classic. Very Traditional. Very safe.
    Slate Blue-Love it now as it really makes the brick pop! However, my thought is after some time, it may come to feel too whimsical/too much of a contrast that detracts from the beautiful brick.
    Mushroom-Gorgeously moody! Traditional enough to not detract from the style of the house, and unique enough to not look like most other homes of this style. <3

  11. Boni says:

    Here our HOA has to approve paint schemes. Hope you can get approval for your new paint colors!

  12. Elisabeth says:

    DYING over the blue gray or taupe!
    I saw your comment about pollen showing on darker colors. I’m sure you already know this, but Sherwin Williams has some amazing exterior paints that only take a light spray of the hose to clean off debris.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I love the drama of the mushroom, but the soft ivory goes best with the grout and the brick work at the entry of the driveway. I think it draws your eye to the beautiful door much better. It’s timeless and classy. The main staple inside is soft white and black, having the outside repeat that would be good. Either way, excited to see what you choose.

  14. Dawn52 says:

    The white is bright and classic – definitely could stay! But the slate blue is warm and inviting and modern. I definitely lean there but know it will look beautiful regardless!

  15. Brandi says:

    I like the white trim as it is. I think its classy, traditional, and stately. I think just updating the window grids (not as many as there are currently) and maybe painting the front door a different color could be a nice update.

  16. Wanda says:

    Whatever you decide on will look great!
    Although I like the Taupe best, it’s a little more subtle. Ivory is my second choice.

  17. Of all of them I like the cream and mushroom colors.

  18. Sharon says:

    My daughter has a house like you and has the taupe trim. It is beautiful!

  19. Callie says:

    I think it looks great as-is. If I were you, I’d leave it alone and focus on a different project instead!

  20. Wendy says:

    I think the soft ivory looks best with the keystones. All of the other colors, except for the taupe, make the keystones stand out more.

  21. Toni Combs says:

    I’m torn between the ivory and the slate blue … can’t wait to see what you choose !!

  22. Sarah Hina says:

    You mentioned curb appeal but I think the blue would be beautiful from the backward pool area AND the curb.

    • Hannah says:

      Yes definitely do mock-ups from the back/ pool area as well. Also think about….. pollen. The pollen will show more on the darker colors and can obviously be blown/ washed off but it could be more obvious during those times of the year.

      • Allison says:

        Soft ivory 😍 Timeless, classic. Softens the bright white. Works with the keystones above the windows. Looks dreamy and welcoming.

  23. Diana says:

    I love the soft ivory and the mushroom!!

  24. Marcia says:

    Mushroom has been my first choice since you posted on IG, and it continues to be! I do like taupe as well, but mushroom is my first choice. They all look good though, so whatever you choose will be great!

  25. Katie says:

    REALLY love the two darker options (slate blue and mushroom). The exterior of your house is so stately and regal and I feel like those two darker ones really do that vibe justice. The lighter colors are pretty, but I think your house needs something more than just “pretty” to do it justice.

  26. Nicole Hewitt says:

    Darker Slate Blue🥰

  27. Nicole Jones says:

    I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these options! Mushroom might be my favorite or slate blue.

  28. Patricia Smolsky says:

    Soft Ivory. I love the blues/slate colors, but for some reason it doesn’t make your house look true colonial.

  29. Bre says:

    I’m loving the blue gray. Something about that one feels right. Ivory would be my second choice.

  30. Betsy says:

    I was once told that you should match trim color, to the grout color. This has worked beautifully for me so far. So, it looks like the soft ivory from your pictures would work best to bring out the beauty of your brick.

  31. jordan says:

    This is so fun to see different looks! I am wondering if you would consider a deep teal or anything in the greens? I have seen this mixed with a red brick and it was such an unexpected yet stunning look.

  32. Christina says:

    I love all these options. To my eye though the light key stones at the top of the main floor windows pop weirdly with the darker colours, and only look good with the white and ivory. Would you paint the key stones too?

    Have you digitally mocked-up the window sashes inside, too? Maria Killam has a few posts about black windows that have made me wary of them; unlike paint it’s a major commitment though I guess you could paint them if black’s not the right choice.

  33. I can’t stop staring at the ivory option! Timeless, classic, and provides great contrast with the brick, while still being warmer and less punch-you-in-the-face contrast than the white. Some of the darker options feel a little less welcoming to me, kind of like a haunted house.

  34. Julie says:

    While I can see the appeal of the other colors, ivory is the only one I would do. The others are too fun to have longevity if you know what I mean. Possibly that lighter green-beige that you’re calling taupe would turn out to be classic too, but you kinda hated it in the back yard so I think that’s a no.

  35. Rebecca says:

    The slate blue looks AMAZING

  36. kathleen says:

    In New Orleans as well as Europe they often paint the door and door casing the same color making more of a block of color instead of a separate door color/ trim color. I really like it and think its fresh.

    Would you ever consider it? I love all the colors but for some reason I don’t like a black door with red brick or any of the color options.

  37. Linda says:

    I am sure whatever you decide will be incredible like everything else you do!
    Have you considered a greige like SW Fawn Brindle? (actually that might be very similar to the mushroom color you have in the running) or maybe even a darker brownish grey like SW Urbane Bronze?

  38. Sally says:

    Beautiful choices. Look into Maria Killam’s understanding undertones system. Taupe has a violet undertone. The “taupe” you chose has a green undertone, which means it’s not actually taupe but a green grey or green beige.

  39. Mona Zabanah says:

    My vote when you first referenced this in your stories was Mushroom, but now I can’t stop drooling over the dark slate. It’s a stunner!! And second to that is Ivory. So timeless.

  40. Cassandra says:

    Mushroom is the perfect moodiness which also looks completely timeless and very complimentary to the brick. However, the blue colors are much more on brand. Still, the mushroom really makes the house look very stately.

  41. Missy says:

    I think the two colors I would never get sick of are the mushroom or the ivory!

  42. Corrie Coran says:

    I love the classic warm ivory😍 The depth of the slate blue and Mushroom draw me in and make me want to discord the beauty of what may be inside. 🤩 So many great options!

  43. Janet says:

    Admittedly I’m much older than you guys but enjoy following you. When I was looking for an assisted living residence for my parents a brand new beautiful one opened. My parents hated it. They said it reminded them of psychiatric hospitals from their childhood. Some of your moodier taupes and dark blue-grays are giving me that vibe. I see what you’re saying about the bright white. And I realize all our screens show color differently. I know you will land on a good choice.

  44. Amber Brown says:

    Soft ivory is the only option here.

  45. Sharon says:

    Taupe or mushroom. Taupe my favourite gives more contrast than mushroom I feel. Hard to tell in a photo though.

  46. Nicole says:

    I love the slate blue option. I love contrasting colored trim with brick homes. We have a brick/stone combo home, but the grout they used for the brick is super light, so I have a hard time picture contrasting window colors. I need to try Andi’s digital try on

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