Burning Question: To Paint Or Not To Paint?

This is one of those topics that we just know will stir things up. Where do you stand when it comes to brick houses. Specifically: to paint… or not to paint?

We know some people are adamantly against painting exterior brick while others love the look of a charming painted brick cottage. And what about whitewashing, liming or sandblasting for that aged effect? Is the only acceptable brick treatment to leave it au naturale? Or do you prefer the look of brick with a bit of paint on top?

Psst- This pic is from a House Crashing adventure of yore.


  1. harmony says

    This isn’t a question about brick-painting, but I’m wondering about people’s experiences with jute rug (for selfish reasons of course–I’m trying to pick one out!). I’ve been hearing people say you’ve got to buy expensive ones because cheap ones are too rough/scratchy and can have unraveling/string type issues, but I’m hoping that isn’t the case since Overstock has some amazing deals on jute right now! Anyone have personal experiences with jute rugs that they care to share? :-)

    • says

      We’ve had a cheap-o $70 version from Lowe’s in our den for years and it’s braided (which always feels softer) and lovely. It’s our favorite! We also have rougher ones in our kitchen and bedroom but we still love them (for that vacationing-in-Bali feel). Hope it helps!


  2. whistlerpotpie says

    Sarah’s House (oh, I love this show) stained the brick on the mid-century modern house they did – it looked amazing!! I would definitely consider that option, too.

    Not for my adorable red clinker brick storybook tudor…but for those less fortunate. : )

  3. Rhiannon says

    I like the look of painted brick but I don’t think I could ever bring myself to do it. Besides brick is so easy to maintain why give your self one more thing to do on your house.

  4. Madelaine says

    I like brick houses, grew up in one, and was convinced that I wanted a brick or stone house of my own. Not what I ended up with, but…. Both have less exterior work on the maintenance side. However, as much as I like painted brick houses, it does add to the work. My neighbors have a brick house, painted white. Looks great. Took them all summer last year to repaint. They did it themselves and did it right by scraping the loose paint first, but still. Major project! It does look great though.

  5. says

    I’m so glad ya’ll asked this question! We are seriously considering painting our brick house. We are a little hesitant because I’ve read how paint can trap moisture and potentially damage a house (but then again, I know that some brick structures have been painted for hundreds of years and are still being use). And add to that the increased upkeep required. Every time I research the subject I find myself more and more confused! I’m looking forward to watching your poll results and reading comments on this subject!

  6. Lore says

    While I like the look of both. I think you need to consider the advantages of brick. Like that you never have to paint it.
    Once you paint it you can never go back. I would imagine this also might depreciate the value of your house. Unless it adds MAJOR curb appeal… Then you will probably just even out. Both of those houses look gorgeous.

  7. Deb says

    Thank you for posting this question! I have almost a twin of your house and although I like the brick retro look we have going, I go back and forth on whether to paint it! It literally drives me nuts haha. I’ll definitely check back to see what the majority think!

  8. Erin T. says

    I’m usually against painting brick because people choose such ugly colors of paint! I do understand painting the brick if it’s a nasty shade (my least favorite is the mustard-yellow variety).

  9. says

    We bought a brick ranch house almost six years ago. Our entire neighborhood is brick ranch houses, some are painted and most are not. Ours is not, yet I almost always prefer the look of the painted houses. However, when we bought our house, my mom who has been a realtor for over 30 years said, “Resist the temptation to paint the brick.” She finds that a lot of people buying brick houses don’t want to deal with the maintenance of having to repaint, and once bricks are painted they’re almost impossible to get back to their natural state.

  10. Emilie says

    I love the look of painted and unpainted brick. However, one of the benefits of having a brick house is less maintenance. Painting the brick adds a little more routine work.