Your Ultimate Guide to Exterior House Paint Colors
Your Ultimate Guide to Exterior House Paint Colors
Project ideas & inspiration
Ready to choose your exterior paint colors? Natural surroundings, neighboring color schemes, exterior color trends, and your own personal preferences all play a role.
Follow these tips from our color experts to choose your exterior paint colors with confidence.
Align Exterior Paint Colors with Outdoor Hues
Did you know that homeowners typically use three to four paint colors when creating an exterior color scheme? When planning your exterior paint color palette, consider trim, windows, garage doors, shutters, and other exterior elements for the full picture.
Start building your palette using color direction from unchanging exterior elements like roofing, stone, brick and landscaping. If these exterior accents...
• Lean warmer, consider hues like browns, reds, oranges or yellows.
• Lean cooler, look to grays, blues, greens and violets.
Yes - You Can Paint Vinyl Siding
Many homeowners with vinyl siding think that they need new siding to achieve a fresh new color for their exterior. Not true!
A fresh coat of color using a high-quality exterior paint like Element Guard® or Regal® Select Exterior High Build (shown here) offers an easier, less expensive way to give vinyl siding a gorgeous makeover.
Benjamin Moore has 75 vinyl siding colors at your disposal in the Colors for Vinyl palette. Homeowner favorites include: Simply White OC-117, Hazy Skies OC-48, Amherst Gray HC-167, and Hawthorne Yellow HC-4.
Make a Design Impact with Deep, Dark Hues
What started as a trend is now a mainstay. The color and design experts at Benjamin Moore love the look of homes painted in rich, dark hues.
“Dark exteriors provide a modern-meets-classic look and deliver a dose of drama,” says color expert Molly Lynch.
Endlessly chic and surprisingly versatile, here are a few favorite dark paint colors and their associated trim pairings:
• Black HC-190 (shown here) is used on both siding and trim for a dramatic exterior envelope
• Iron Mountain 2134-30 paired with White Dove OC-17 trim
• Polo Blue 2062-10 paired with White Diamond OC-61 trim
Conversely, a white-painted house with elegant black trim always yields eye-catching results, whether on a modern farmhouse or a traditional Cape Cod cottage-style home.
Fresh, Unexpected Exterior Paint Colors
Your home should be a reflection of who you are. If that means bold and expressive hues—why not embrace them?
Create a playful and airy vibe with powdery blues and leafy greens to bring a refreshing touch to your exterior. Pair eye-catching color with subdued white paint on trim and other external accents (think mailbox and lighting fixtures) to balance the look.
Attention-getting warm colors we love include:
• Pale Petal 1178
• Marblehead Gold HC-11
• Toasted Chestnut 2174-10
Prefer cool hues? Check out:
• Jet Stream 814
• Violet Dusk 1409
• Mallard Green 2053-10
Get more refreshing exterior house paint colors: Check out our pale and pastel color palette, curated by our color experts.
Elevate Exterior Accents with Color
Small project—big impact. Painting your garage door, window shutters or front door freshens up your home’s exterior with less effort and expense.
Use the same color on all of your exterior accents, as seen here with Seashell OC-120 on garage doors, trim, and window mullions. Not only is the look clean and cohesive, paint touch-ups are easier when you use the same paint color.
Take advantage of the free Benjamin Moore Color Portfolio® app to explore more house color ideas. Use the photo and video visualizers to "virtually" apply the colors you are considering.
Lighting and Exterior Paint Colors
Colors cast differently under various lighting conditions. For example, a paint color under a shaded tree will appear in a different manner than an exterior hue in direct sunlight. The direction of your home also impacts how paint color appears.
Use paint color samples to see color options in different lighting, both inside and outside. Brush our 8 oz. paint color samples onto a white foam board, then bring it outside. Since Benjamin Moore’s liquid samples are formulated for interior use only, we don’t recommended brushing paint samples directly onto your exterior.
Consider buying a quart-size of exterior paint like Aura® Exterior or Element Guard®: A larger sample is worth the investment given how important it is for you to absolutely love the exterior paint color you ultimately choose.
Pro tip: When browsing, remember that paint colors tend to cast lighter than you think they will on your home’s exterior.
When choosing exterior colors, try using a palette based on the elements of your home, as well as your surroundings. Select colors that fit in with your neighborhood, architectural style, and natural environment. Consider the lighting of your home, and what sheen you'll be using. Now that you've been inspired to choose an informed exterior color, here are some tips on how to paint a garage door, and how to paint your front door.