10 colors that go with a red brick exterior – expert advice on those finishing touches

What are the design experts' favorite colors to go with red brick exteriors? Find out the go-to shades and the ones to avoid

red brick row houses with colorful doors and shutters
(Image credit: Craig Jack Photographic / Alamy)

Anyone lucky enough to have a red-brick home will naturally want it to look its best outside and in. But what colors go with a red brick exterior? 

If it's a historic property there may be expectations that the paint colors for the exterior are selected from a suitable selection of heritage paint colors. If it's a more recently built home there's a greater sense of freedom in your selection but either way, some colors just complement red brick to perfection. We've asked a team of color experts for their thoughts and tips. 

What colors go with a red brick exterior?

When it comes to home exteriors, red brick properties are true classics. Ever since the building boom of the 19th century we've got used to having red brick homes as part of our townscapes. Red brick is a versatile material that combines well with other materials and colors, and indeed we've seen a whole range of hues used alongside red bricks for residential properties. 

Here are our favorite color combinations, along with some great advice from color and design experts to help you make a good choice. From simple white to rosy pink, we've selected 10 of the best colors to go with a red brick exterior. 

1. Keep it traditional with white door and windows

white front door and red brick exterior with busy lizzies planted up in container

(Image credit: Stefana Silber)

This look says it all. With the beautiful depth of color that you get with a red brick exterior, there's no need to add another strong color. White paint is a classic choice for doors and windows that will complement the brick perfectly. 

Hannah Yeo, senior manager, color marketing at Benjamin Moore, agrees, and picks out her perfect shade from the many variants of white. 'A classic color combination never fails to impress,' says Hannah. 'White Dove OC-17, a soft off-white, amplifies warmth and comfort creating an inviting atmosphere. To give this timeless hue a modern twist, incorporate layers of other neutral shades like charcoal gray, beige, and light gray.'

Charcoal gray exterior lights and door furniture, with neutral basket containers for the plants, create a smart finish. 

You won't ever regret choosing classic white to go with a red brick exterior but if you're looking for other options you're in the right place. 

2. Try black, charcoal gray, or a smart combination of both

house exterior with redbrick and gray windows

(Image credit: Rebecca McAlpin)

Everything about this red brick home's exterior says 'smart'. From the white stone architrave around the front door, the marble steps and the pewter colored railing, all complement the original brick of the heritage building in Philadelphia. Architect Kevin Kaminski and designer Alexis Pew, of Kaminski + Pew recently renovated and extended the home, and explained how important it was to get the exterior colors right. 

'We always start with context,' says Kevin. 'Our goal is to find balance and harmony with the setting and the overall design. With an informed understanding of the site context we develop the material palate. Paint can enhance design elements or allow a space to be more recessive. Paint is a powerful design tool.' 

In this instance, there is a true balance between all the materials and colors used, and although the black door makes a strong contrast with the white stone surround and the dark window frames stand out against the red brick, no single element takes over. 

But perhaps you're looking for something a little more colorful? 

3. Choose not-so-mellow yellow to make a bold statement

red brick house exterior with bright yellow front door

(Image credit: Nathaniel Noir / Alamy)

This yellow front door will certainly stop passers-by in their tracks and bring the sunshine even on a cloudy day. Yellow is the color of the moment, so why not fully commit and go for a striking shade? 

And if this depth of color is taking it a little too far, there are plenty of alternative suggestions for best yellow paints in our dedicated feature. 

4. Tone it down a shade or two with a soft cream

red brick house exterior with cream front door and shutters

(Image credit: Craig Jack Photographic / Alamy)

Creams and neutral shades work well with any house exterior, but are safe choices for classic red brick homes. The soft shade of cream used for the front door and shutters is the perfect choice for this heritage property in Philadelphia, allowing the warmth of the red brick to glow. 

Hannah Yeo at Benjamin Moore recommends Moon Shadow 1516 as a good choice in this instance. 'It's a charming neutral hue that suits any styled home and features a hint of green undertone that elegantly complements red brick creating a balanced look,' she says. And if you're wondering what colors go with cream (besides red brick exteriors, that is), Hannah adds: 'Moon Shadow's soft backdrop makes it easy to incorporate other colors, such as a red front door, dark green outdoor furniture and a colorful bouquet of flowers.'

Did somebody say red front door? 

5. Stand out from the crowd with a scarlet red

red brick house with red front door

(Image credit: James Kirkikis / Alamy)

A red brick home with a red front door? This is definitely not for shrinking violets but it can be a great look if you choose the right shade of red. Make sure you use paint samples correctly, testing them in situ and assessing them in full sun and shade before making your selection. Try Benjamin Moore's Rapture CC-66 for a full-on scarlet red, but do make sure it complements the red tones in the brick rather than clashing. 

6. Create contrast with a light blue

red brick house exterior with blue door and shutters

(Image credit: P Spiro / Alamy)

Red brick and pastel blue is a classic combo that really highlights the beauty of the brick's natural terracotta shades. 'Blue is a good option for doors, window frames or shutters if you want to introduce a contrasting color with red brick,' says Jennifer Ebert, editor, homesandgardens.com. 'It's also a safe option since dark and light shades of blue all look good next to red brick exteriors.' 

Check out interior designers' best blue paints, or for a bright, light blue with gray undertones such as the one pictured in the colonial townhouse above, try Benjamin Moore's Faded Denim 795

Looking for a much darker shade of blue? Then Benjamin Moore's Hannah Yeo recommends Polo Blue 2062-10. 'An almost-black shade of navy, Polo Blue exudes both a timeless and modern quality. Whether you have a craftsman home with siding or a red-brick colonial home, this stately handsome hue can graciously elevate the exterior. The design potential with this rich blue is endless.'

7. Go back to nature with deep shades of green

pair of red brick homes with matching green front doors

(Image credit: Nathaniel Noir / Alamy)

Another perennial favorite for heritage properties, green really brings out the subtle variations of shade in old brick. In an inspiring show of good neighborliness, the owners of these historic Victorian gothic homes shared the same can of paint. 

With a bright white contrast on the cute canopy detail and arched stonework, the deep true green is the perfect fit for period details. There are so many good options for green paints but for a similar shade to the one pictured above, try Farrow & Ball's Danish Lawn

8. Introduce green and extra color with plants

red brick house with white window and colorful flowers in window box

(Image credit: Craig Jack Photographic / Alamy)

Architect Colleen Healey is a firm believer in using plants and natural greenery to enhance her building designs, so landscape architecture is an integral part of the process. 'The best complement to a red brick house is always green plantings,' she says. 'They soften and contrast against the angular and rigid brick.' And if you live in an apartment with no outdoor space there's still a solution: plant a colorful window box

9. Complement a modern brick exterior with earthy neutral tones

Front of modern brick house with dark brown window frames

(Image credit: Julie Soefer)

We've looked at lots of examples of historic red brick properties, but how about this contemporary brick-built home? Looking very much of its time, leaning into the earthy neutrals that are so popular right now, the windows and glass extension detailing are all picked out in brown shades. 

Deciding which are the best brown paints to match red brick will again be down to sampling a selection of shades to find one that works well with the ever-varying tones of red brick, but why not start with our favorite French Press from Benjamin Moore? 

10. Layer up the pinks

pink door with red brick house and roses

(Image credit: Emily Murrray @pinkhouseliving)

What if you see the world through rose-tinted spectacles and where everyone else sees red brick, you see pink brick? That's surely the case with Emily Murray of Pink House Living who loves the color so much she created her own Pink House Pink with Mylands paint, then painted her front door with it. 

'I love this shade of pink against the brick as it has just the right amounts of red and blue in it not to clash but to complement,' she says. 'Not all reds and pinks work together so it's worth spending a bit of time playing with combinations.'


What colors don't go with red brick exteriors? 

Steer clear of purple, lilac and violet shades which rarely work next to brick although closely related burgundy and maroon colors may work well. Turquoise and teal hues need careful handling (and sampling) next to red brick, so we wouldn't advise those shades for exteriors. 

Remember there are many variations in red brick shades, so this will affect how neighboring shades will read. And as with all design decisions, color is subjective and provided you've tried the color next to your particular shade of red brick and you like it, well, we're not going to argue with you! 

Karen Darlow

Karen is the houses editor for homesandgardens.com and homes editor for the brand’s sister titles, Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors, and an experienced writer on interiors and gardens. She loves visiting historic houses for Period Living and writing about rural properties for Country Homes & Interiors, and working with photographers to capture all shapes and sizes of properties. Karen began her career as a sub editor at Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. Her move to women’s magazines came soon after, in the shape of Living magazine, which covered cookery, fashion, beauty, homes and gardening. From Living Karen moved to Ideal Home magazine, where as deputy chief sub, then chief sub, she started to really take an interest in properties, architecture, interior design and gardening.