So, before we get into my favorite exterior paint colors, let’s discuss the best way to narrow down the choices.
Here are some things to consider if you don’t know where to begin:
- Where is your home located?
City, country, beach, mountains, Arizona, Maine, Hawaii, Georgia…
- What style is your home?
Is your home modern, traditional, rustic, formal, or casual?
- What is it made of? Brick, siding, shingle, stucco, stone, or a combo of two or more elements?
- What are the other nearby homes like?
- What’s going on inside your home? Naturally, the exterior colors should relate to the interior colors.
- And finally, what size is your home?
I read a while back that a large house should never be white.
Well… okaaaaaaay, if you say so.
I think, if anything, it’s the opposite. Large homes look better in lighter colors, IMO. But again, if there’s a lot of architectural interest and white trim, a dark house can look terrific, too.
Before we get into some of my favorite exterior paint colors and combinations, here are a few essential things to know if you already don’t.
Exterior paint colors behave differently than interior paint colors.
Well, one of those is that the exterior paint colors almost always appear lighter outside than on interior walls.
And if the house is in bright sunlight– very much so. Of course, if it’s in shade, the color will be deeper.
So, a lovely soft off-white inside might look too bright for what you have in mind. Therefore, I would first sample a shade or two deeper, when you begin the decision process.
But ALWAYS test your colors!
However, not like this. Sorry if this is your house. Like inside the home, it’s best to look at the colors one at a time. No worries. I did this too— 30 years ago. I feel it only adds to the confusion.
For paint testing, I highly recommend Samplize, those fantastic self-sticking ready-made paint samples. You can use them over and over, too.
Okay, let’s look at some of my favorite exterior paint colors.
Love this home. But, there’s a problem. It looks like an aqua-blue, right?
However, they are saying the body of this lovely home is Lancaster Whitewash. (the color above.) That doesn’t look anything like the body color. But, just as bad is the door color. They are saying that it is Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy.
This is Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy. See what I mean? This is why when folks ask me, “What is that color?” it drives me a little coo-coo. As I always say. “Just match what you see.” I wrote more about color matching off of a photo here.
Above is another home with a Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy front door.
Benjamin Moore HERITAGE RED, a classic no-fail shade for red doors.
And one of my favorite posts are the incredibly beautiful front doors of Beacon Hill.
You often see it done for the shutters on a white home.
This reminds me of Melissa T’s gorgeous sunroom in Essex green you can see here.
Let’s continue with some of the best white and off-white exterior paint colors.
We’ll also be looking at more favorite coordinating door and shutter colors.
This Federal home near where I used to live is a long-time favorite. It is all white. And, certainly, painting a house all white or any ONE color is a valid design choice. In fact, it was commonplace to paint a house all one color in the 18th century. More about that in a bit.
Julia Berolzheimer – Gal Meets Glam – photo- Hector Manuel Sanchez – Lizzie Cullen Cox – Southern Living
The shutters are Benjamin Moore Blue Porcelain 1641
The body is Benjamin Moore Simply White oc 117
The shutters look like DUXBURY GRAY hc – 163
I just think the architecture is incredible in this lovely home. All of it. The colors and the landscaping too. It all needs to work together.
Benjamin Moore ICICLE – with TARRYTOWN GREEN hc Door
Benjamin Moore Ivory White 925 is another lovely off-white.
ACADIA WHITE ac-43 is Ivory White’s identical twin – From my client’s home in Kentucky.
WHITE DOVE – oc-17 is an enduring classic and a beautiful exterior paint color. For more homes in white dove, please check out this post.
SWISS COFFEE – oc-45
I love it when folks paint their home to match the dog. :]
CHINA WHITE – is not my favorite interior color because it can go rogue and look like a pale muddy pale gold or go gray and cool. But outside, it’s a mellow cream.
BALLET WHITE oc-9 – is a little deeper than Swiss Coffee but will look off-white outdoors.
The shutters look like STONINGTON GRAY hc-170. This is a classic gray with a slight blue undertone.
Handsome home in Florida- via Traditional Home. The trim and shutters look like REVERE PEWTER hc-172. I love this classical Florida style.
Yes, this is the same house. I know… Sick. And talk about the inside and outside connecting!
Oh, what a beauty!
LANCASTER WHITEWASH hc-174 is a classic cream.
Another nice one is MONTEREY WHITE hc-27.
White Dove goes with most of the light to medium historical colors– or any of the other white shades. But please test first.
HAWTHORNE YELLOW hc-5 looks fresh and unexpected in this charming one-and-a-half-story craftsman bungalow. The image was taken from a real estate listing, and the home is no longer for sale.
The front door looks to be Benjamin Moore COLONIAL VERDIGRIS – cw-530
Another fabulous off-black is the color Nancy Keyes used on her charming garage.
HALE NAVY hc-154 – is a classic and popular navy. I love how fabulous it looks on this home.
Although it might look a little closer to PURITAN GRAY hc-164
KENDALL CHARCOAL hc-166
I think it’s closer to Kendall Charcoal. This is a beautiful four-square by Donald Lococo.
And now, my very favorite exterior paint color
If I were a house that needed to be painted, I would want to be one of Martha Stewart’s houses in her compound in Katonah, NY. I’m quite familiar with her home as I used to drive past it on my way to clients for years.
Martha turned this 150 neglected farm into a glorious compound with several houses.
There are several buildings of various sizes, each of which is painted this ONE COLOR.
This is an accurate 17th-18th century way of painting country homes–particularly in New England and Salt Box styles. You can see more houses like this here when I visited the historic Old Deerfield village three summers ago.
The color is said to be Bedford Gray. The closest I could find is the color below.
ROCKPORT GRAY – hc-105
It’s a warm, putty color with a whisper of green, some beige, and a lot of gray. There is a lot of stone on the property, and the color looks amazing with it and lush property all around.
I found a closeup!
The shed looks terrific in Bedford Gray!
See? The color looks more pale above than below.
But no matter; it’s 150 acres of heaven!
Also, you might enjoy checking out the best paint colors to go with red brick.
Please pin for reference.
And, please pin this one, too, if you like.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of my favorite exterior paint colors.
Many of these colors are in the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Color Collection.
If you shop at Amazon, an easy way for you to help support this website is to click this link.
For any orders placed within 24 hours of that click, I will earn a small commission at no extra expense to you. I’m very grateful for your help!