There’s something inexplicably welcoming about a brick house. It practically beckons you inside, inspiring you to enjoy the comforts of home. A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders proves that buyers love brick homes, revealing 34% of respondents ranked brick as their top choice for home exteriors.
“When people get that first impression, it’s emotional,” shares David Batty, a top-selling Philadelphia real estate agent. Based in one of our nation’s oldest cities, Batty knows the secret to mastering brick home curb appeal: the perfect door color.
Select the right door color and your brick beauty will shine; select the wrong hue and your home could fall flat among the competition. Thankfully, we’re here to help aid you in your door color quest. We’ve researched the tried and true classic pairings and exciting, contemporary color combinations for each style of brick. Our guide also includes recommended design tips to integrate the color of your choosing into the larger palette and style of your home.
Have a vision for your brick house curb appeal
To find the perfect front door color for your brick home, create a vision for the overall look of your home and explore relevant options. To start, ask yourself the basics:
- Which colors suit my home’s architecture?
- Do I want a classic or contemporary look?
- Is my vision compatible with other styles in the neighborhood?
Consider these questions from a buyer’s perspective. If a buyer shops for homes in a neighborhood of two-story colonials, they’ll expect traditional colors, whereas a buyer who looks in a neighborhood of homes of all styles and ages may be more open to unique colors that add character.
Next, find inspiration. Browse photos of front door colors on brick homes similar to yours.
We recommend Pinterest and Houzz for this since they host massive databases of user uploaded photos that are easy to navigate and fun to use. Both Pinterest and Houzz allow you to explore brick exteriors in particular and help you narrow down search results with categories such as color, style, and size so you can discover color combinations relevant to your vision.
Door color 101: complementary or analogous
The general rule for selecting a front door color for your brick home? The color should be complementary or analogous to the shade of brick.
Opposite on the color wheel, complementary colors create a dynamic contrast that our eyes find attractive. For example, pair a red brick with a dark green door color such as Benjamin Moore’s Forest Green for a visually striking yet traditional color combination.
Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors flatter one another since they are a part of the same color family. The trick to pulling off analogous colors is to add contrast in shading, meaning you should pair a light color with a dark color in the same range. If you have a light brown brick home, a fantastic analogous pairing is a rich, dark brown like Dunn-Edwards’ Black Walnut.
When selecting a color for the door, be mindful of how the color pairs not only with the brick, but also with the home’s other features such as your trimmings, shutters, fascia, and roof. For instance, a subdued teal door would suit a white brick house with a gray asphalt roof, but might clash with a white brick house that has a brown, wooden roof. In this case, a warm-toned neutral would be more harmonious.
Now that you’re up to speed with the basics of color combinations, let’s take a look at the best colors for each type of brick home.
Red brick has been a popular choice for American architects since the 18th century, when the Georgian style spread from the Southern colonies up through the Northeast.
“What’s nice about a black front door on a red brick home is it really pops, especially if you have white trim somewhere around the property whether it be the soffit, the fascia board, or the capping around the windows. That really gives it a nice look,” Batty comments.
Research reveals that black is the most popular with buyers. One study found that black doors are a common denominator in homes which sold above listing price. Whether or not this is evidence to the power of color psychology, the data shows black doors are safe bets with buyers.
For the more adventurous, teal and jade provide a less expected complement to red brick. With these colors, you’ll need the right shade to suit your brick’s unique hue, or you won’t pull off the look. For instance, a bright robin’s egg blue playfully accents a home with white-washed red brick and white trimmings. The same color will clash with a home of deep red brick with purple color variation; a darker, muddy teal is much more flattering. Be prepared to sample many paint swatches and reach out for second opinions to test your perceived match-making brilliance.
Red on red
Our final door color suggestion for red brick, is a bold one. Yes, this breaks our rule from Door Color 101, but in the words of Pablo Picasso, “learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Red doors are eye catching and symbolically welcoming. In early colonial times, red doors signified homes which welcomed travelers to stop and rest their horses. A primary red shade plays welcoming partner to darker red brick and to multi-tone brick. White trim around the door is essential to visually break up the red, frame the entrance to your home, and center the door as a focal point for admiring buyers.
Brown, clay, and tan brick
If your brick is of the brown, clay, or tan variety, opt for an analogous shade of brown or a wooden door for a warm, earthy facade. Olive and jade are other natural color combinations, easily integrated with brown brick when applying the same color to the shutters and window trimmings. Batty suggests avoiding black here as it can appear harsh next to the earth tones of bricks of this nature.
For added dimension, upgrade to a door with a glass window or install glass panels on either side of the door. A glass element will draw attention to the entryway and polish the overall aesthetic.
White painted and white wash brick
At its best, white brick is a fresh, clean look for both traditional and modern homes. Bright and neutral, this finish gives homeowners full creative liberty when it comes to door colors, as almost any shade will pair with the right styling.
But to be clear: “You need to be conscience that whatever color you go with against the white will also need to blend well with any type of trim or gutter colors or even the roof colors. You want to make sure it complements the other parts of the home,” Batty adds, reminding homeowners to keep true to the overall vision they have for their curb appeal.
If you live by the coast, a blue door will produce a calming effect on buyers, reminiscent of the sea. A black door suits prospective traditionalists with tall, french windows and manicured landscaping. And for the bold, a red or coral (Pantone’s color of the year for 2019) door makes a memorable statement.
Like white brick, brick that is fully painted in a color can be quite versatile. However, painted brick homes can also fall flat if the door and trim are painted the same color as the house. To prevent monochromatic misery, choose a door color significantly lighter or darker than that of the brick, in a color which complements the rest of the home. Black and white door colors are also easy options.
Most major brand paint companies share exterior paint palettes on their websites to aid your quest of matching flattering colors. Sherwin-Williams even categorizes their palettes by regions and decades so you explore looks which suit your home’s location and architecture.
If you inherited a painted brick home but prefer the exposed brick look, you can expose the original walls with sandblasting or a chemical peel product. It is, however, difficult to predict the condition of the brick under the paint so be prepared to embrace a rustic style and find a new door color to match.
Complete the look
When you’ve finally found the perfect door color for your brick home, complete the vision by enhancing elements from the curb to the entryway.
Lead onlookers’ eyes along a clean, well maintained pathway past beautiful landscaping. If you’re going for desert charm with tan brick and a jade door, complete the look with native plants and lush, potted succulents. Meanwhile, a white brick and red door home will pair well with a neat lawn and blooming rose bushes.
At the entry, seal the deal with custom detailing around the door. “When you see a door with nice hardware, with a nice trim and you incorporate a bit of glass—everything around it really creates the first impression, not just the door,” Batty shares.