Start this project off right by choosing the best paint color for your home.
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Farrow & Ball's Pointing (No. 2003)
Credit: Hector Manuel Sanchez

There's no denying the transformative power of white paint. Before covering a brick fireplace or exterior with a fresh coat of paint, consider the upkeep of maintaining this look. Chipped paint, dirt, and mildew do not help curb appeal. If you're determined to give your brick a face-lift, try an alternative to all-over painting–whitewashing. Whitewashing adds instant character, and its perfectly imperfect patinaed look grows even more charming with age.

To master the whitewashed look, it all begins with picking the right paint color. Shades of white, cream and even grey all make suitable choices and can accentuate the room's best features. The one you choose needs to look good with the original brick and closely match the mortar's color between the bricks. 

How to Whitewash Bricks

For whitewashing projects, choose a latex (or water-based) paint. Creating the whitewashing mixture takes combining equal parts of paint and water. Bricks absorb moisture, so this helps them hold the color for longer. Your whitewashing pattern doesn't have to be uniform; the variegated look is what adds the charm. Go heavier in some spots, lighter in others, and leave some brick exposed. Remember that paint on brick is permanent, so start with a more lightweight layer of whitewash to get the desired look—you can always add more later.

Choosing the Right Paint Color

Finding the perfect whitewashing paint can be intimidating when sorting through the hundreds of options on the market. Start by looking for paint colors that match the mortar already on your house, and then choose the paint color that will highlight your brick, adding character to the space. To help with your search, we've narrowed down a few of our favorite options to whitewashing bricks.

Farrow & Ball: Pointing

This light and white shade work well on traditional brickwork. Warm undertones offset red bricks when used as a whitewash. Pair this paint with other traditional home decors for a strong yet soft look.

Sherwin-Williams: Alabaster

This cream-based hue works well on walls and bricks. Adding light coats of paint allows you to build a textured effect, adding character to any bricks. Pair it with white trim and accents to create a calming retreat.

Sherwin-Williams: Pure White

Use this on interior or exterior bricks. This classic white paint pairs well with grey-hued mortars. Try adding contrasting colors to your surroundings to accentuate the whitewashing.

Benjamin Moore: China White

Grey undertones add dimension to this delicate shade of white. Taking a more understated approach to whitewashing discourages brightening the bricks too much. Coordinate this paint color with other muted colors for an earthy or vintage style.

Valspar: Warm Milk

For an authentic and comforting shade, try this white-cream paint color. The warm hue can be used as trim as well as on brick. Try matching this color to your brick's mortar to see if it's a match. If so, it will enhance the brick's natural texture and complement the space.

Valspar: Cream In My Coffee

Like the swirl in an extra sweet cup of coffee or latte, this shade melts into a barely-there tan or creamy shade. The rich hues complement well with browns and navy. White trim and walls balance the space.

Benjamin Moore: Gray Mirage

Achieving a warmth when applied to brick, the unexpected greenish-yellow undertone in this shade of grey is a true mirage. The cloudy grey will complement a room with forest green accents, such as this Mohegan Sage from Benjamin Moore. Balance this hidden color pop with stark whites to brighten the room. 

Sherwin-Williams: Dover White

Complement this uncomplicated shade of white with golden or tan bricks. Mortar colors can range, but a darker shade balance nicely with this paint color. Try it on interior or exterior bricks.

Valspar: Canterbury Cream

This creamy hue pairs nicely with a range of paint colors. Add it to brick to soften up a dark space. Instead of coordinating with the mortar, try using it to brighten the area, making accent walls the statement.

Benjamin Moore: Antique White

Freshen up your brick by taking it back in time a bit. The off-white or cream-based paint color adds a vintage, distressed look to brick. This hue complements other shades of white and cream.