We Painted Our Exterior Brick!

But it’s not what you think. Many people ask us if we’d ever paint our little brick ranch but the truth is that although we heavily considered it back when we got it, we’ve grown to love the look of our home’s exterior and completely appreciate the lack of maintenance. See, brick ranchers are known for their durability and ease of ownership (no siding replacement, re-stuccoing, or repainting- ever). Plus here in Richmond if you paint a brick house any medium or light tone (and you know we’d want a tan house with white trim, right?) green mold will start popping up, which requires a thorough scrub down with bleach at least once a season. Can you imagine scrubbing the entire exterior of your house? No thanks.

But back to the matter at hand. If we didn’t paint our brick house how the heck does that title make sense? Well, our sunroom was added about twenty five years after our house was built so it was tacked on in a way that it partially overlapped some of the house’s existing brick exterior (which then became interior brick in the sunroom. See, here I am (on the first day that we laid eyes on our house, incidentally) modeling in front of the sunroom:


But after a while we realized that painting the brick wall inside the sunroom to match the soft tan color on the rest of the walls would  immediately make the room feel more cohesive and balanced. So we whipped out some exterior latex paint (since our sunroom isn’t temperature controlled) and got her done. Other than using an exterior paint, we followed the exact same brick-painting tips that we outlined here, so be sure to check them out for the play by play. And here’s the result:


At first we worried whether seeing the same unpainted brick just beyond the glass door to the left of the wall would be weird, but looking back we realize it looked weird before, when the random brick wall carried over a few feet into our sunroom.


Now the days of pre-painted brick are long forgotten. But we do have another mini-update to share regarding this very spot…


…so stay tuned over the next few days to see what we did (hint: it’s not a baby).

p.s. psst, have you updated your bookmarksreader / blogroll / outgoing links / TwitterFacebook yet? If you’re still heading our way using old TYH methods, they won’t last for long so don’t forget to make the switch! We’d hate to lose a single one of you DIY-lovin’ dudes and dames.


  1. Renee says

    Wow. Awesome timing. I’m thinking of doing the same in our sunroom, too. I’ve bookmarked the tutorial, thank you so much. Also, I’m heartbroken to hear you give painting the exterior brick a “thumbs down.” We have a similar brick ranch (in Arlington) and it’s not half as cute as yours! I thought if I painted it grey (black shutters, red door) perhaps it would look more “New England” charming and less blah. LOL The washing would definitely suck though, you’re right.

    BTW, new to your blog and LOVING it. Cheers! xoxo

    • says

      Hey Renee,

      Don’t get us wrong, we love painted brick exteriors! In fact some of the most amazing homes here in Richmond are painted brick estates and they’re nothing short of amazing. It just probably wouldn’t work for two busy DIY peeps like us since we’re too cheap to hire someone to clean it for us and we’re too busy painting something to have time to scrub the house down ourselves!


  2. says

    Thank goodness you didn’t paint the outside of your house! I admit when I saw the title of your post I kind of went ‘oh no’ inside. I should have known you guys would only do awesome stylish things and this one is fantastic as usual! Love it!

  3. says

    Love it (as usual). Question: Are those cute potted plants on either side of the little bookshelf real? If so, what are they? And if they are fake, where did you get them? I’d actually like to pick up a couple fake-but-real-looking plants for certain areas of our home that don’t get much light. Thanks!

    • says

      Hey everyone,

      So glad you’re diggin’ our little brick-painting project. The clock is actually from… (wait for it)… Target! It’s something we snagged a while back from the Thomas O’ Brien collection but I bet they have something similar in the clock/art aisle. As for the bookcase, we did actually have two of ’em (and we painted one a soft green color for the living room and left this one natural since it works with the teak so well). As for how cold it gets in Virginia, it’s pretty mild compared to the New York winters of our past so the sunroom is usable three seasons of the year (spring, summer and fall) while in the winter we just count down the days til spring again so we can go read “outside” on the daybed. Winter is only a few months here (usually Nov, Dec, and Jan) so it’s not so bad. As for the little orange tree in the corner, it’s a fauxpiary (fake topary) that we made a while back with branches from Pier 1 “planted” in an Ikea planter. And the other two fauxpiaries that flank the bookcase are from Crate & Barrel (here’s that story). We’ve tried tons of real plants in the sunroom but the cold of winter always seems to do them in. Oh and we didn’t paint our dog, we just have two of them (a concrete one in our living room and the ceramic one you see above (snagged for just $29!). I’m weird, what can I say. I just can’t say no to a life sized animal facsimile. Oh and the paint color is Lyndhurst Tan from Valspar. Hope it helps!


  4. says

    I think the painted brick inside the sunroom really pulls the room together and makes it look more finished. I’ve seen colonials, cape cods and cottages with white painted brick. I think they look more charming when the paint starts to wear off and you get a bit of the brick showing through. You’re right, though. You don’t want to be turning a non-maintenance item into a maintenance item (as my husband is so fond of saying)

    Oh, I didn’t comment on the post where you detailed having to change the name/url of your blog ’cause I figured it would just get lost. I’m so glad you are keeping this blog up. When I saw the title of that post I actually said “Oh no!” out loud … at work. Heh. You’re one of my favorite DIY home sites and I really love the make-overs you do for others.

    Keep it up! Y’all are too talented not to.

  5. Kim S says

    Ha! I just cracked up at your “Hint: it’s not a baby.” I suppose it’s best to clarify that after the guessing game last week! :o)

    And I love the sunroom…you two have a great eye for projects as usual!

  6. Christina says

    I’m always very leery about painted brick, but this has got to be an exception. Definitely looks less like an afterthought addition and more of a “real” room.

  7. says

    I agree the paint makes it look more cohesive. I could even see something in the corner to divide up the exterior from the interior more. maybe a curtain that stays open or some kind of climbing vine. I guess that would incorporate the outside again…ideas are endless. So fun! I miss that about my first house.

  8. Liz says

    LOVE the brick. It was meant to be that way, most definitely! I too am becoming obsessed with white ceramic animals. (It might be the only kind of pet I ever own?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *