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sarahc7

Need Help - Exterior Trim and Door Color on Red Brick House

sarahc7
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

We are repainting our exterior and I would love your input. Our house is mostly brick with just trim and a tiny bit of siding on the back patio. Our front door is stained wood with nice detail but hard to see in the shadows of our porch and behind the storm door (which we want to keep). Whatever trim color we choose we will also paint our garage door to be more cohesive. Our windows are white vinyl so can't be painted. Right now I am leaning towards Sherwin Williams Softer Tan for the trim and either painting the door a light to medium sage or restaining it a lighter tone, but would love any suggestions! (Oh and just fixed the mailbox so will paint it the same color as our trim). Thank you!


Comments (39)

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Here it is with a mockup of SW Softer Tan trim and SW Svelte Sage door. Thoughts?


  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Oh, one more thing - the house faces west, so the door needs to be a light to medium color. Any dark color would fade quickly and get hot to the touch.

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  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Anyone? Would really appreciate ideas! :)

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I don't know why a person would paint the garage door a different color from everything else. Unless, of course, the person wants the garage door to be a featured object of the house. The garage door pictured doesn't appear to be anything special to warrant the attention.

    I might buy a fancy door with pretty windows. Like this.


    Just my opinion, of course.

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Littlebug, thank you. I agree. The garage pictured is a slightly different color because that is how it was when we bought the house. When we paint the trim, we will have the garage painted to match it so it won't stand out so much. My question is really about what color we should paint the trim (and garage door - all one color) and then what color we should paint the front door, or possibly just stain it a lighter color so it doesn't get lost in shadows so much. I am currently leaning towards SW Softer Tan or possibly Canvas Tan for the trim and garage. For the front door, I thought either a light sage or a lighter tone wood. But nothing is settled and I would love input on the forum!

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Once all is done I may put some hardware on the garage door to make it look more interesting but first I need to figure out paint colors! :)

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago


    Wheaton Whole House Renovation · More Info

    For trim, I would stick with white, as the window trim is white. This house looks fabulous, IMO. Just stick with white for all paintable surfaces. What makes it all special is the outdoor lighting.


  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you, JudyG! I worried white would look too stark since there's just a little bit of trim and not much siding. You don't think so? That example is gorgeous! Something else to consider is that we are adding gutters once everything is painted. Now I want copper gutter like that picture, ha.

  • cat_ky
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would paint the trim white or if you dont want stark white, at least a creamy white. As to your door, you will need to paint, to change the color, since you can not restain an already finished door a lighter color. I will let the others put out ideas for paint color on the door, since I really dont like the color green. You have a very nice house. It should look great. I will say, that your dark door in that dark surround looksl a bit like the door is in a cave. Whatever you finally decide about your trim, try to do the same where the door is, so that your entrance stands out, and the trim around the door matches the rest of your trim.

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thanks, cat_ky! I went back to Sherwin Williams today and got a few more samples. I will try a creamy white and thought about beefing up the trim around the door to bring it out, too. Here's an inspiration picture for the door color, but still exploring.


  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Okay, since I’m going this direction now, does anyone have any suggestions for a nice warm white or off white for exterior trim? Our painter will use anything but gets a hefty discount at Sherwin Williams so that would be best. Our interior is all Benjamin Moore so that would be my second choice. We face west and get a lot of sun on the house, other than our garage which is fairly shaded. Thanks!!

  • cat_ky
    2 years ago

    My suggestion would be to go to sherwin williams, and get some small paint samples. Buy some poster paper and cut it in strips, and paint it and tape it up over window frames and door frame, and on garage door. Put different paint on the strips. Look at it on all sides of the house, in all sorts of lighting, and eliminate those you do not like, until you see the one that looks the best on your house. Do not get the whites or off whites that are too yellow. Do not pick ones that are muddy looking. Look for a nice clear cream, or a nice clear white. Same thing for the sagey color on your door. Muddy toned paints very seldom look good once they are on, and most people will not be happy with them. paints will look different on different houses, in different settings etc, so its hard to suggest an exact color that will go with your pretty brick house. A white that would go with my tanish yellow stone, may look entirely different with your more reddish brick. The color you have now, looks nice on there. Your biggest problem is your entry. It looks dark and cave like and really doesnt blend in with the rest of your house at all. It needs whitening up. I agree to keep a storm door there, but, yours looks very dark. I would consider either painting the existing storm door the same color as the trim, or replacing it with one that is the same color as the trim you choose. Right now, it appears like the entry, is part of something else rather than your house. My personal choice for your house would be a nice bright white, for the trim and garage doors, and a nice white storm door, and then paint the main exterior door, the sagey green you like. The color on the picture you posted above would look good with your house.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    2 years ago

    IMO storm doors are really not needed with all the choices for new doorswith factory finishes in almost any color I only ever used a storm door for the screen and now have phantom screens on all my exterior doors .As for color I love that one in the pic above.Some new landscaping would also help

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    cat_ky, thank you! I agree there are so many factors that affect how a paint looks in different environments. I've been doing poster board samples and will get a few more. So far I've tried Softer Tan (I do like it if I go that direction, but am excited to explore white), Antique White and Canvas Tan. I am going back today to get Aged White, Neutral Ground, Creamy and possibly Dover White samples. I really want something warm but will explore warm whites vs creams. It's funny how your thinking evolves throughout the process.


    PCC, we like having a storm door because we have kids and pets and enjoy letting the light in while being able to keep things locked up. But once I decide on the paint colors, I may exchange the storm door for one with white trim. Also, I don't think this picture does my landscaping justice. It was a cloudy day and I just pruned things back for the fall so most of the colors are gone, plus if we panned out you would see crepe myrtles, chinese pistache trees, a redbud and a chaste tree. :)


    I continue to welcome ideas (always appreciated!) but will run with the white/cream idea and update here soon. Once I select the trim, I will find a color to brighten the door and possibly beef up the trim there so it is even brighter!

  • cat_ky
    2 years ago

    I agree on storm doors for security. My interior doors are open all day long until I go to bed at night, and I use the security lock on the storm door. I dont like the closed in feeling when I cant open my door. I also have pets, and great grand kids here all the time, so a door that is secure and locks is important.

  • grapefruit1_ar
    2 years ago

    I have never lived without a stormdoor. They are fabulous. You might opt for an all glass version and paint the trim to match your door color ( if you decide to paint).

  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)
    2 years ago

    Patricia, how well does the screen door housing “disappear” for the front entry? We’re adding a porch and I want to get rid of the storm door but the cats LOVE the sun and air offerrd by the our storm/screen door now. I’m teying to avoid having a bulky rectangular box by my front door.

  • housegal200
    2 years ago

    Once you have your colors settled, and after you win the lottery :) extended new landscaping would greatly enhance your beautiful house.

    The Green House · More Info

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    I agree with JudyG's input. Go white. Use SW base white color, it is clean white. Test a sample to make sure it works with your windows so that you don't throw off the white of windows. Landscaping and exterior lighting would be super. You need to uplight that chimney. Garage door white as well. Try it. I like the white with red brick and you have a lovely home to work with so you have a leg up there. Even though the home faces west, I would consider a glossy black door. A possible addition to the chimney would be some scrolled black iron metal detail.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago
    Curved iron piece
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago
    Get someone to paint the pipes showing on roof color of your roof so the visually disappear more.
  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you all for your input. Flo, thank you for your time and suggestions. I will get samples and update here. After we paint, we are adding gutters. I know gutters should match the trim - at least the horizontal part, although I guess there is debate about the downspout color. If we paint the house white and get white gutters, would they be distracting? Should the downspouts also be white? I would imagine they will look dirty fast.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    I like the downspouts the color of siding or brick. I just want them to disappear. But if you go white, you have to coordinate the "whites". Windows, paint and gutters all need to work together. Get samples of all. I might start with gutters since they have the fewest choices, then take that sample and compare to your window white and then pick paint. Paints can bed "matched" as well if Sherwin Williams calibrates their tint machines every day! Just ask, and they will look at your like your crazy and say, "oh yes, we calibrate frequently". Ask them to show you the "log". Now if you just want to be loved, don't do this. I have developed a good relationship with my store and they know when I come what I expect so they make it happen! haha! Hate to force these things, but hey, I'm and my clients are paying good money!

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Ha! Yes, much to my husband’s chagrin, I have no problem asking awkward questions. Thanks for the input!!

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Resurrecting this thread. We were delayed and now finally ready to paint again. Flo, you said " Use SW base white color, it is clean white." Did you mean use the base paint with no colorant or SW Pure White 7005? I understand I need to coordinate whites and that I will need to test things first, but in general I want a warm white that won't look stark or harsh in the bright sun we get (midwest). Should I try out something like SW Alabaster or even Greek Villa, Shoji White, White Duck or Creamy? I REALLY appreciate your direction!!

  • chloebud
    2 years ago

    Sarah, I'm sure Flo will answer your question regarding color. The photo from Judy is lovely.
    Do think about a garage door with windows. Just wanted to say white is always classic with brick...most brick...IMO. White would also help pull your front door out of the shadows, but the glossy black Flo mentioned is another classic with brick.

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you, Chloebud! I love the look of windows on garage doors but our budget is stretched with this and a few other projects right now. But it's a great idea for down the line! I've also thought some black hardware added to the garage door (or on a new one) would be nice at some point. I welcome ALL ideas!!!

  • chloebud
    2 years ago

    Right...just down the line at some point. Yes, black hardware would be great for the garage.

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    If anyone can help I would be grateful! I really need to make a decision this weekend if possible. I know I need to do samples but would appreciate any direction on which SW whites to look at. I want it to be soft and warm/inviting and wouldn't even mind a cream if I can find on that still looks like a creamy white rather than yellow. Thoughts?


    Would SW Creamy work or go too yellow?

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I keep going back and forth between Alabaster and Creamy but don’t know if I’m going too yellow. Of course to be warm it has to have some colorant and I don’t want it to be pink or green either so maybe these are good?


    And to throw a wrench in things... what about SW Canvas Tan?

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Alabaster and Creamy are both in the Yellow Hue family so they can go yellow. Have you ever thought about staining the brick white? Then you could give the house a whole new attitude!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    2 years ago

    Here is look you could get.

    sarahc7 thanked Flo Mangan
  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you, Flo! I don’t think that’s an option for us. And really I like the brick. If I want a warm white for the trim, what direction or possible colors would you recommend I sample?

  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Since I’m worried about going too stark white or too yellow (cream), what about something different? Like SW Sandbar and/or SB Natural Tan?


    or Canvas Tan?

  • Anna (6B/7A in MD)
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I would think a taupe or a cream would look nice? SW is having a 40% sale from today through the 10th. Good time to buy their sample jars.

    Also, paint the storm door the same color as the door.

    sarahc7 thanked Anna (6B/7A in MD)
  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Thank you, Anna!!

  • Debbie Downer
    2 years ago

    If you have any leftover shingles look at those closely and pick out colors from there - guessing it probably has a variety of beiges/greiges. Take it lighter for your trim, darker for garage It might sound weird to be matching your shingles but in a house where the roof is so visible, its worth at least considering trim color in relation to roof as well as the walls.

    sarahc7 thanked Debbie Downer
  • sarahc7
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    That’s a good idea. Our roof is mostly gray, but might have some beige flecks. I’ll take a look. :)

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