Home exterior paint color ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

Exterior paint colour can mean the difference between a home that is warm, inviting and visually exciting and a home that is garish or otherwise unattractive. The exterior walls are some of the first elements that guests, neighbours and passersby notice when they look at a home, and for that reason it is important to put some time and thought into the colours you choose. If you are considering painting the exterior of your home in the near future, several ideas can help.


According to Bob Vila, neutral colours like white and beige are the safest options when it comes to painting the siding---or other main surface areas---on your home. These colours, which also include light brown, khaki, light grey and off-white shades like cream are unobtrusive and give your home a lighthearted feel. For best results, pair your neutral siding with dark-coloured exterior accents.


While a home with an entirely black exterior might appear foreboding and unwelcoming, using black paint is still a good idea when it comes to exterior elements such as trim and shutters. As This Old House notes, black accents are the perfect finishing touches for light-coloured walls and create a distinguished bow tie-like effect. Instead of using pure or jet black paint, a slightly more colourful alternative is to use a dark shade of brown or green.


Like black, red is a colour to use for supporting elements as opposed to broad surfaces. While an entirely red exterior may appear too bold or overwhelming, red accents help add warmth to otherwise drab colour schemes. As This Old House shows, a red door and red decorative trim work help spice up gloomy grey and off-white facades.


According to This Old House, blue is a risky colour to use on a home's exterior. For best results, stick with a greyish shade of blue, and complement it with white trim to help create a fresh and tranquil look for your home's exterior.

Monochromatic Scheme

Whatever colour you decide on for the main portion of your house, try sticking with it throughout the rest of your exterior colour scheme. As Bob Vila notes, while this monochromatic style employs just one colour, it makes use of several shades. For example, if you paint the siding on your house light brown, you can use a slightly darker brown for the door and trim work and an even darker shade of brown for the shutters.


An alternative to the monochromatic scheme is to use a complementary scheme wherein you choose two colours that are opposite from one another on the colour wheel. These include yellow and violet, blue and orange and red and green. Instead of using incredibly bright, flashy shades of these colours on your home's exterior, tone them down by cutting them with grey.

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About the Author

Erik Devaney is a writing professional specializing in health and science topics. His work has been featured on various websites. Devaney attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanistic studies.