Choosing the Right White Exterior House Paint: What You Need to Know Before Painting Your Home

So you’re planning to paint your home’s brick exterior and are thinking about painting it white. Whether your look is tudor, modern farmhouse, colonial, or contemporary, white is both classic and fresh. And while it can feel like a safe bet, it’s anything but boring. Before you finalize your decision and bring home swatches of white house paint samples, here’s everything you need to know about white exterior house paint.

Painting Brick is Hard to Undo

white brick house with red door

If your home’s brick exterior has never been painted just make sure this isn’t an impulse idea after bingeing a home makeover show. When you have regrets about the color you painted your bedroom, it’s easy enough to prime it and start over. However, removing paint from your home’s brick exterior costs a lot of time and money, not to mention it will likely have to be pressure washed off (which can damage the brick) or be removed with chemical solvent by a professional.

White Exterior House Paint Will Require More Maintenance

If you’re looking for a camouflage color, white is probably not the best choice. There’s a reason that houses are often painted in the greige family because it keeps dirt and dust on the down-low. That said, with a little bit of TLC you can keep your white paint looking brilliant and beautiful.

For white-painted brick houses, clean the brick annually using a garden hose being careful to use a gentler spray setting. If you have areas of your brick that have gotten mildewed or moldy, some bleach, water, and elbow grease may be required to restore that pearly white finish.

Prep Your Brick Before Painting

Okay, if you’re still reading we’re going to assume you’re all in for your white house! While white paint can brighten and flatter any home exterior, we’re going to speak about how to paint exterior brick a bit given that white painted brick houses are very popular right now. Before you get started you’ll need to take the following steps to prep it:

  • Scrub the brick thoroughly to remove all dirt with a wire or bristle brush or a low-pressure power washer if you are cleaning a huge brick surface.
  • Remove any mildew. (Bob Vila gives some detailed instructions on using either bleach or muriatic acid to tackle mildew on brick. Be sure to cover your plants and fixtures first.)
  • Repair any minor cracks in the brick with caulk to keep moisture out. (Depending on the age of your brick you may need to repoint the mortar. And if you spot any large, concerning cracks you may want to have your foundation inspected.)
  • Let the brick completely dry after cleaning.
  • Prime the area with an appropriate brick or masonry primer for best adhesion.

If the prep work has you a bit intimidated, a residential painting company can take care of that for you.

Buy Quality White Exterior House Paint

white house paint brush

The exterior of your home is way too important to just purchase stock cans of white paint off the shelf of your local hardware store. Stock white paint tends to be stark, and will be glaring in full sunlight. (As a general rule, the higher the LRV, or light reflectance value, the brighter that white will appear.) Vivid whites will also likely show more dirt and require more upkeep. If you’re going to do white, do it right. Start with a high-quality paint that will stand up to the elements.

White paints can skew cool gray, warm ivory and anything in-between. They can also look more blue and pink in certain lights. It’s important to consider the sun exposure your house is getting, your landscaping and as well as what color trim you plan to paint the house when you choose the perfect color.

Here are three solid choices for white exterior house paint:

  • Sherwin Williams White Heron
  • Sherwin Williams Alabaster
  • Benjamin Moore White Dove

Selecting the Trim

Now that you’ve chosen white as your primary color, it’s time to select the trim. Some designers opt for trim that matches the mortar, often in a darker gray or brown. If your goal is modern farmhouse, bold black trim is the way to go. However, some designers believe less is more and recommend a subtle gray or taupe to highlight trim in a way that’s complimentary, instead of contrasting, to white paint.

Lastly, sometimes we just need some inspiration. Check out these traffic-stopping, jaw-dropping white brick exteriors for a variety of home styles from Houzz. And for some fun ideas for door paint check out these suggestions from Southern Living.

Why a Professional Should Paint Your Home Exterior

If you’re an experienced DIYer with a lot of time on your hands, you can certainly paint your exterior brick white yourself. However, if the idea of all of the prep work and days on a ladder makes your head spin, a skilled residential painter can ensure you get a gorgeous finished product without all of the headaches.

Riggins Painting has been trusted by countless homeowners in Memphis to transform their homes with the power of paint. Regardless of what color you choose, we’ll take the stress out of the prep, help you pick the perfect color, and make sure it’s done professionally. Schedule a free estimate today.

Here are some other posts you may find helpful

Looking for a painting pro?

If you have a painting project that needs a special touch feel free to reach out to us!

Our team of professional painting craftsmen helps people just like you turn dreams into reality every week. We look forward to speaking with you about your project soon!