The best exterior home colors

Updated February 21, 2017

Exterior paint colour can range from dramatic to subtle and everything in between. Many factors influence the right exterior colour for each home, including the environment, the architecture and personal preference. It's important to keep all of these factors in mind when choosing the best exterior paint colour for your home.


Most experts will agree that any form of white or off-white is a safe choice for an exterior paint colour. These neutral shades will complement almost any home and can be accented with any colour trim. In fact, according to, white has been the most popular exterior colour for homes for the last 200 years. In addition, white trim on exterior windows will reflect more light indoors and give the illusion of being fresh and clean.

Earth Tones

Second to white, sedate earth tones are the most popular choice for a home's exterior. A light version of any neutral will lighten up your home and make it look more inviting. These colours, which include light browns, tans and beiges, look at home in any environment and instil a sense of peace and calm.


Yellow is an inherently cheerful colour that exudes warmth and hospitality. Yellow paint comes in a wide range of shades, from a light muted yellow to more dramatic golds. It works well with a white or light trim or contrasts nicely with more dramatic shades. A yellow exterior also complements any number of environments.


Green paint covers a wide range of shades that project very different looks with minimal effort. Muted greens are a versatile choice for any number of style homes, blending into the surrounding environment nicely. Forest green is a popular colour for trim and can be seen often on Colonials. Muted red accents can complement a green exterior nicely, but this combination works best when both the red and green shades are toned down with a little grey.


Blue shades are more daring for a home and less forgiving when it comes to finding the right shade. According to This Old House, your best bet is to find a shade of blue that incorporates a little grey to soften the effect. The combination of blue exterior paint with white trim always looks crisp, while a red door adds a little drama.

Dark Colors

Dark colours are best suited to accents, rather than the primary exterior colour. Black, dark green, deep blues and greys can really make shutters and doors pop against a lighter paint colour. However, if you choose to paint your entire house in that shade, the overall effect can be sinister and unwelcoming. To counteract this effect, add either white or very light trim to brighten the overall look.


The architecture of a home influences house colour. Certain older architecture styles look better in period colours. Grand Georgian Colonials look most appropriate in clean, crisp white, while Victorians look best when painted in a more vibrant combination of paint colours that accents the architecture and provides greater contrast. In order to find the ideal paint colour, you may have to do a little research to find what paint colours are best suited to your architectural style. If you own a relatively new home, you can use almost any exterior paint colour that suits you and your house.


It's important to look at the environment surrounding a home. Whether it's the desert, forest, mountains or suburbia, the environment around your home is filled with colours. By choosing a colour that works with the environment, you'll greatly improve a home's curb appeal.

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About the Author

Stephanie Smithken is a freelance writer and online copywriter with degrees in both English and psychology. Since 2006, she has written numerous articles about lifestyle, health, small business and marketing topics for a variety of sites and businesses.