Old House Design The Scenery House

Choosing Our Exterior Trim Color

June 24, 2019

brick tudor exterior 1929

I love our brick home but I don’t love the color of the trim. It matches the mortar almost exactly and that’s just not the exterior element I want to emphasize the most. I heard from our neighbor that the trim was last painted 2 owners ago. She watched as the owner hung out of the windows to paint the trim and said she thought it looked very dangerous. I also learned that the color is called peanut butter and I’ve never heard a more accurate color name.

In addition to switching up the color, we also want to have the trim painted as a chance to repair some very crackled and weathered paint and wood. The trim and paint at the front of the house are actually in very good condition but the back and right side are the “weather” sides and have not fared nearly as well. We decided to hire painters as this project is beyond our abilities and I get nervous about either of us that high up on a ladder.

Paint colors for brick exterior trim.

We scheduled the painting to begin the first week of June but they have yet to show up. We’ve had a very rainy spring in Pittsburgh, so I’m sure their schedule has been thrown off. And we didn’t have to give a deposit (probably for this very reason) BUT I can’t say I’m not salty that my check-in phone calls and voice mails have not been returned. The bright side here is that means I get to spend more time agonizing over my color choice.

Sherwin Williams exterior paint swatches with brick.

Red brick homes with black trim are my favorite kind of homes. But more often than not, the roofs on those houses are slate or gray asphalt. Our home has a medium brown roof, which no doubt was chosen to go with the peanut butter trim. I’ve been worried that going super dark or super black on the trim would look out of place with the roof.

Sherwin Williams paint swatches for exterior trim.

Our painters are going to use Sherwin Williams exterior paint, so I grabbed the darkest brown paints I could find. And then on a second trip, grabbed even darker colors. I made Andy display the swatches against the trim in different spots around the house as well as holding them up high near the roof over the front door.

Black magic swatch with brown roof.

Sherwin Williams black magic and black fox.

Our two favorite colors quickly became Sherwin Williams Black Magic and Black Fox.

And because visualizing paint on something as big as a house is tough, I mocked up some options in photoshop.

Exterior Trim Paint Option 1 : Black Magic

Brick house exterior with SW Black Magic trim.

The first Sherwin Williams black paint option we gravitated toward was Tricorn Black, though it felt a little too intense to me. SW’s Black Magic is a slightly softer black, but still has that boldness we’re looking for. This option says, OUR TRIM IS GREAT, and brings out the darker notes in the brick.

Exterior Trim Paint Option 2: Black Fox

Brick house exterior with SW Black Fox trim.

When I first posted that we were thinking about the perfect Sherwin Williams color to go with our brick exterior, SO MANY people DMed me to say how highly they recommend Black Fox. And they were right. It looks so good with brick and goes well with our brown roof. This is a super subtle option, one that lets the brick speak a little louder than the rest.

Which is your favorite, which one would you choose: Black Magic or Black Fox?

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  • Reply mockginger June 24, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Black magic!

  • Reply lspingle June 24, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    black magic

  • Reply Kate Sawyer June 24, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Have you tried Photoshopping examples? That’s how I’d do it. I feel your pain, though. Until we re-roofed our house last year, we had a rather bright reddish-orange roof color that interfered with every color choice I wanted to make for the exterior. It was such a pain!

  • Reply DLA June 24, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Black Fox!

  • Reply Emily June 24, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Black Fox for sure!!!

  • Reply Lori June 24, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    I love the Black Magic! Hands down winner! There’s nothing wrong with Black Fox, but to me it’s lacking that pop that really makes the trim stand out in an interesting way. To me, there’s just not enough contrast with the brick to really notice it at all– it makes the facade feel really monochromatic. Which I know is kind of the trend right now, but…

    • Reply Audrey Chagnon March 18, 2021 at 2:48 pm

      I agree with you! The Black Fox just disappeared in my eye’s against the brick. We are preparing to do a big change right now to our entire home. It’s a one level, 60’s L-shaped ranch. We’re putting on an ‘Onyx Black’, Owens Corning shingle roof, then, for color’s, we’ve chosen SW ‘Iron Ore’, for all of the aluminum siding, then for our wooden shake’s up on the peak and on one back wall of the house, ‘SW Gauntlet Gray’, then all of the shutter’s and the front door SW ‘Tricon Black’, and finally all of the trim and woodwork SW ‘Extra White’ to bring it all together. I really think it’s going to be beautiful! We wanted dark but needed the correct accent’s and color’s to bring the dark to life. Can’t wait!

  • Reply Missy June 24, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Black fox :)

  • Reply Abbey June 24, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Black fox for sure!

  • Reply Candace June 24, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Black magic!

  • Reply caroline l bedard June 24, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    Blsck Magic, for sure! Black Fox sort of fades away.

  • Reply Chrissy Shea June 24, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Black magic for sure.

  • Reply Victoria Johnson June 24, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    I prefer the contrast of black magic

  • Reply Kirsten June 24, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Black Magic, 100%

  • Reply nancy June 24, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Black magic. You have interesting detail at the front door that I feel gets lost with Black Fox.

  • Reply Hannah June 24, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    I vote black fox!

  • Reply Katie June 24, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    At first I thought “go dark, for sure.”, but after seeing the mock-ups I love option 2 and would pick Black Fox if it were my home. I feel like it’s more timeless but just as sophisticated as the darker trim which may feel more in vogue. Either way you go it’ll be beautiful though.

  • Reply Ryan June 24, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Love black fox! For whatever reason, black magic feels like your house is wearing too much eyeliner or something, ha!

    • Reply Halle September 17, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      That is EXACTLY what I thought too!

  • Reply kelly June 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    black magic!!!!

  • Reply Sara June 24, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Black Magic! I feel like your home’s details all become the same color if you go with Black Fox. Where the color Black Magic highlights all the details of your home.

  • Reply Anna June 24, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Black fox everywhere except the door and portico – black magic could go there for more emphasis on the entrance area :D

    • Reply DLA June 24, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      Oh!!! I’ll update my response to what Anna suggests. Black Fox for the majority, with Black Magic on the door area. I love that idea

  • Reply Alicia Gibson June 24, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    It will be interesting to see the black fox trim, black magic doorway, but between the two here, I say black magic for a classy bit of drama.

  • Reply Danielle June 25, 2019 at 9:12 am

    black magic

  • Reply Robin June 27, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Black Magic

  • Reply Emily July 2, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Oh, Black Magic all the way. I’m surprised public opinion so split on this, actually! Your windows are stunning and I think the black magic both highlights them as an architectural feature, while not fighting against the brown elsewhere. It makes the house pop! I mean, how fresh does the Black Magic make the house look from the street?!

  • Reply Vanessa July 2, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Nothing but the foxy color. It’s perfect.

  • Reply gigi July 3, 2019 at 10:14 am

    black fox for sure

  • Reply Hanna July 8, 2019 at 10:28 am

    Black Magic provides more contrast and looks much sharper to my eye.

  • Reply Melissa July 9, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    Black fox with black magic front door would be perfect.

  • Reply Betsy July 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Black Magic for the win. Not even a question! Cannot wait to see it finished.

  • Reply KarenJ July 22, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Both great choices but Black Fox all the way

  • Reply Cecelia July 30, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Those gorgeous leaded-glass windows cry out for Black Magic. So glad you p’shopped both options! I just really love the way the trim pops with the darker color. Either way, best of luck!

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