Color Cast of Brick or Stone

Understanding color cast, especially for homes partially or entirely covered in brick or stone, is essential when making changes to your home’s exterior. Still, not everyone knows what color cast is and how it can help you find the right colors for your color scheme.

This article will explain why I say color cast rather than simply color and explain why understanding color cast can be the key to creating a fantastic scheme.

What is Color Cast?

Color cast is a term used when describing stone, brick, roofing, or other hardscape materials. Generally, these surfaces are not a solid color but a mix of colors. To say that these materials are a single color would not do them justice since the beauty is in the depth and variations of colors. Instead, the terms color cast is better to describe the primary color that brings together all colors in these materials.

Photographers use color cast when describing an overall unwanted tint on a photographic image caused by sunlight, incandescent, or reflected light. If you have ever seen a photo that looks slightly yellowish, that is the color cast.

Now think of this same idea applied to stonework, bricks, or your roofing material. The color cast is a color that washes over all of the hues in a blend. The colors throughout are not the same, but they have a tinge of color common to the overall mix.

Repeating the Same Tones from One Feature to the Next

Identifying and repeating the color cast from one fixed feature to the next visually ties the exterior scheme together. When all of the permanent elements harmonize, it sets the stage for a bespoke exterior color scheme by opening up options for the other colors.

The Color Cast of Stone

Whether it highlights your entrance or anchors your house to the landscape, when your home exterior features stonework, you will want to show it off by choosing a color scheme that complements your stone. There are many different types of stone, each with its unique beauty. By understanding the color cast, you can select an exterior color scheme that enhances the natural color variations in the rocks. It can also add to the curb appeal of your home.

Look at any attractive home with stone, and you’ll see some repetition of the color cast. This duplication allows different materials and textures to work well together, which is especially important for a home with a full or partial stone exterior.

Stone Exterior color schemes for stone colors

Let the Stone be the Starting Point for Your Scheme

Most stones have one of the above five color casts. When choosing colors for your stone home exterior, find paint or materials that blend with or complement the stone’s predominant colors or overall color cast. All of the colors in a scheme need to harmonize with the stone to create the best look. If you are building a new home, select the stone and roof first and then create a color scheme to enhance these features.

In addition to looking at the fixed features, consider the other four FRESH steps. You can find the details of how to do that in the ebook FRESH Home Exterior Color Schemes for Brick and Stone, which is available to you with our compliments.

Continue Choosing Your Stone Exterior Scheme

For your entire stone or partial stone exterior, consider the overall color cast of your stonework and any colors that stand out in the mix. The overall tone could be gray, tan, brown, greige, cream, white, or another color. The primary color of your home needs to blend with the tone of your stone. That doesn’t mean it must be in the same color family. For example, you could select blue for your primary color with gray rocks, but a grayed blue will blend with the stones better than a bright, clear blue. If the mix of stones includes a color that truly stands out, a more robust version of that color might make an excellent choice for your shutters or front door.

Stones with a Tan Color Cast

Tan Stone Exterior Schemes with Multi-Width Slate EvergreenThe warmth of stones with a tan color cast makes them a popular choice for home exteriors. Tan can be neutral or lean towards another color such as gold, green, peach, or coral. Noticing your stone’s subtle nuances will help you find the right colors for tan stone exterior color schemes. Would one of these “Five Terrific Tan Stone Exterior Color Schemes” be suitable for your home?

Stones with a Brown Color Cast

Brown Stone Exterior Schemes with Bellaforté Shake Tahoe
Just like in the world around us, earthy brown can stand alongside all color families. Hues based on those you see in nature are perfect for the brown stonework on your exterior color schemes. Colors that are a bit toned down will look best. Find an inspired palette starting with our “Five Beautiful Brown Stone Exterior Color Schemes”

Stones with a Gray Color Cast

Gray Stone Exterior Schemes with Multi-Width Slate Slate GrayA versatile neutral, gray stone looks excellent in an all-neutral scheme or takes on many shades of color: dark, medium, or light to create a grand gray stone exterior color scheme. Here are “Five Great Gray Stone Exterior Color Schemes” to consider.

Stones with a Greige or  Cream Color Cast

Cream Stone Exterior Color Schemes with Multi-Width Slate AberdeenIt may seem odd to describe stones as “soft,” but that is exactly how the color in greige or cream feels when contrasted to darker stones. For the best results, match the softer qualities of the stone to the primary colors in the palette you create and keep the higher contrast colors for your accents. Check out these “Five Gorgeous Greige and Cream Stone Exterior Color Schemes.”

Stones with a White Color Cast

White Stone Exterior Color Schemes with Bellaforté Shake MountainWhether on its own or combined with brick or other materials, white stone makes a statement. When putting together white stone exterior color schemes, you can choose contrasting colors or let the texture take the lead with a tonal palette. Here are some ideas to get you started. Here are some ideas to get you started. “Five Wonderful White Stone Exterior Color Schemes

The Color Cast of Brick

Brick adds a distinctive element to any home. To create a look that enhances this feature, develop an exterior color scheme that begins with understanding the color cast of the brickwork.

Let the Stone be the Starting Point for Your Scheme

The color and pattern of the brickwork must set the tone for your home’s exterior scheme. When you select a palette based on the color cast of your stone and roof, you create a cohesive color scheme.

Exterior color schemes for brick colors shown

Continue Choosing Your Brick Exterior Scheme

Selecting an exterior color scheme for brick or partially brick homes begins by looking at the bricks to see their actual color. Your first thought might be that the color of your brick is merely red but look closer. Your brick can have a cast of another color or might be closer to pink or brown than red. Bricks come in a wide variety of styles, but most will have one of the six most common color casts.

Most brickwork has one of the above  — red, tan/buff, white/cream, pink, gray, brown, or black. These are the colors that you usually see on residential exteriors. Within each color group, you will see bricks predominantly in that color or has a cast of that color. The color and the color cast need to be determined to select the best color scheme.

Brickwork with a Red Color Cast

Red Brick Home Exterior Color Schemes with Bellaforté Slate Gray roof

There are many colors and types of brick, but the most popular by far is red. This classic, all-American look has a timeless appeal. Your red bricks play the lead role in the color palette, whether they have clean, straight lines to rustic uneven edges. Looking for inspiration for your brick home? See “Five of Our favorite Red Brick Home Exterior Color Schemes.

Brickwork with a Pink Color Cast

Pink Brick Home Exterior Color Schemes with Bellaforté Slate Gray roof

Don’t let preconceived thoughts of pink fool you. These bricks range from slightly lighter than red to neutral uplifted with a rosy glow. Add soft colors and an accent or two that have the same subtle radiance as your brick. If your brick is on the lighter side of red, check out “Five Fabulous Pink Brick Exterior Color Schemes.

Brickwork with a White or Cream Color Cast

Cream Brick Home Exterior Color Schemes with Multi-Width Slate European

Though not usually pure white or cream, the clean look of light bricks is attractive on home styles from historical to modern. One advantage of white and cream bricks is their ability to harmonize with many colors, making it easy to find many brick exterior color schemes that will accentuate your home. See examples in “Five Inspiring White and Cream Brick Exterior Color Schemes

Brickwork with a Gray Color Cast

Multi-Width Slate Black

Bricks with a gray cast can be either a cool gray or a warm brownish gray. Match the temperature of your bricks to the temperature of your primary color and neutrals for the best gray brick exterior color schemes, “Five Great Gray Stone Exterior Color Schemes”

Brickwork with a Black or Brown Color Cast

Black Oak Dhurrie Beige

Not purely brown or black, these bricks feature rich dark neutrals that are brought to life by contrast and color. When creating black brick exterior schemes, give contrast with a light to medium main color and then add medium to dark accent colors. Here are “Five Beautiful Black Brick Exterior Color Schemes”

Brickwork with a Tan or Buff Color Cast

Tan-Buff - Multi-Width Shake Weathered Gray

Bricks that are predominantly tan, or tan overlaying another color, have a warmth that feels welcoming. Tan bricks are a natural partner for a palette of warm colors. Cool tones can work, too, especially when used as accent colors in tan brick exterior color schemes. Find inspiration from our “Five Tantalizing Tan Brick Exterior Color Schemes”

If you’ve read this far, thank you for staying with me. You can see how understanding the color cast of brick or stone is essential when making selecting your new roof or any other materials and colors you are choosing for your full or partial brick or stone house.

More Inspiration and Your Free Ebook

The tips above can get you started. To get all of the details on how to create your best brick home exterior color schemes, download our complete guide  – FRESH Home Exterior Color Schemes for Brick and Stone.

Find even more inspiring color schemes; check out the Best Exterior Color Scheme Match for Your DaVinci Roof.

To see more amazing brick and stone products, visit these companies:

About the Author

Kate Smith is an internationally recognized color expert, consultant, and designer.  She is a skilled colorist & a color consultant who for more than a decade has lent her expertise to DaVinci Roofscapes. Kate helps YOU select colors that you will love for many years to come.