Painting Brick & Choosing The Right Grey

This is the exterior of my house as seen in the Real Estate pictures when we purchased our home.

Crawford House

Of course the advertising photos always present a much larger and shinier perspective than what is reality.  I could see the potential online, but when we drove up curbside I refused to get out of the car.  The paintwork was in poor condition and there were tiles missing and essentially it was a very dominating red brick building.

My husband pleaded with me just to go in and take a quick look – I’m so pleased he did because the inside won me over.  Again, it was nothing tangible, but it was the potential that excited me.  That night my Hampton’s style renovation started planning itself inside my head.



I’ve always loved the grey and white combination on houses, but just like the movie – there are literally 50 shades of grey.  Getting the right shade can prove tricky.  It all comes down to the undertones in the grey, some can look very blue and others can look brown or even have a purple tinge.  I just wanted plain straight grey.  Using test pots and viewing the colour against your exterior wall at different times of the day can give you an idea of what will look best.

I had dreamed of having a lovely black front door to standout against the house, however my front doors receive direct afternoon sun and the doors would have been warped within days.  So I had to stick to a light colour.  After scouring Pinterest and chatting with my helpful local Dulux store I settled on this colour combination:

Exterior Red Brick: Dulux Weathershield Flooded Gum – Low sheen
Windows & Surrounds: Dulux Weathershield – Lexicon – Semi Gloss
Soffits: Dulux Weathershild – Lexicon – Low Sheen


We were lucky enough to be able to view the above house during an open home, which provided a wealth of inspiration.  Like our house it has a brick exterior.  In this case the owners had chosen to bag the bricks and paint.  Rendering or bagging the brick had been my initial idea too, however since the house has a distinct colonial look, I thought those options might detract from the character.  So we decided to just straight-up paint the brick.



If you ask your local paint store how to paint bricks, they will most likely point you in the direction of a longhaired roller and a paintbrush. However, before I locked in my colour scheme, I decided to paint one back facing wall with a tester pot to see a) How easy it was to paint brick, and b) If the brick looked good enough with just paint alone.

Well the answer to a) was, pretty darn hard!  Because the brick has deep grooves and the surface is textured not smooth, the roller only skimmed the top of the brick, you then had to go along with a paintbrush and intricately paint in all the gaps.  Even then the coverage was not so great unless you had a huge amount of paint on the brush.  There had to be a better way!

I’m sure many of you may have heard of or follow Three Birds Renovations.  If not, head over to their page now or follow them on Instagram, YouTube or Snapchat.  These lovely ladies have made painted brick a feature in their renovations, and you will see them detailing how their painters do it in this video. 

Here are a few pictures of their renovations with painted brick, I’m sure you will agree they look amazing.  Check their page for before pictures.


Back to my answer to b) did the paint look good on brick?  It sure did.  So paint colours chosen, we hired a high-pressure paint sprayer from our local paint shop. 

I will point out, even though they hire the sprayers out, they still tried to advise me against using it to paint the exterior of my house.  I guess with good reason, as it would appear previous hirer’s have managed to not only paint their house, but their neighbour’s car in the process – a brand new Mercedes, on one occasion (oops).  The fine paint spray can travel very easily.

When booking the sprayer the paint store was happy for us to cancel on the day if we encountered bad weather (or wind).  We also notified our neighbour's to either put their car’s away or park them further down the street as a precaution.  The prep work was what took the longest, covering and taping all the windows.

The paint went on like a dream and I can’t wait to share with you the final result, but we are still finishing off all the windows and gutters, which we are doing by roller and paintbrush.  Some days it feels like we will still be painting at Christmas due to all the small colonial windows that I found “oh so charming”.

Until then, I’m sorry but you will have to wait for my grand reveal – cripes – no pressure – I better make it good.

Helen x



About Crawford & Co

BlogHelen Crawford