The 17 Best Exterior House Paint Color Schemes Designers Love

cottage by the sea

Stephen Kent Johnson

As we all know, first impressions matter! That’s why it may be time to spruce up your home’s exterior with a new shade of paint. “Paint sets the tone for what you want your home to express,” says Katie Burnet, an interior designer with Rumor Designs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. “Paint reflects what you want to emphasize, as well as what era of architecture you’re trying to represent.”

But with so many options, it can be a little daunting when you’re standing in front of all those tiny samples at the hardware store or online. How do you know which one to choose? “Consider the surroundings, your climate and the color of the existing windows, roof and other elements of the exterior that will not change,” says Burnet. “Ask yourself what will the paint look like in winter when everything is white? What will it be like in summer when there’s green vegetation surrounding it?”

Before you commit to a color, it’s also smart to try out a few different shades, even in the same color family. “I recommend actually painting several sample options on your house prior to making a selection. If possible, photoshopping an image of your home is a foolproof way to visualize the effect a new paint color will have,” says Burnet. “White is always popular, but don’t be afraid to try more saturated blues, greens, and even shades of black.”

By evaluating your paint color at different times of day, you’ll get a better sense of whether or not you’ll like it in the long run. After all, it’s a big commitment, so take your time in deciding what exterior paint color combination works best for your personality and style. Here are some of our favorite exterior paint colors for your house:

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This beautiful house by Matthew Bees features a gorgeous stained door, but it’s offset by soothing grey-blue siding and cadet blue shutters.

This New Jersey home by Joe Lucas features cedar shingles, which are left to weather naturally for classic seaside charm. Mix dark and light colors with white accents for the ultimate tried-and-true New England color palette.

This house by Amanda Reynal showcases deep green trim, which contrasts beautifully with the terracotta siding. It’s a less common combination, but it’s quite striking!


Vintage Green and White

This 1920s colonial designed by Maura McEvoy in Minnesota features dark green paint on the shutters and entrance of the home for a vintage look that still feels fresh.

Caroline Rafferty chose the palest shade of pink to adorn the stucco walls of this home, accented by white trim and a splashy striped rug.

Nicola Harding gives this charming garden house a cottage-y feel with pale blue siding and white trim. It’s a winning combination that feels deliciously cozy and welcoming.


Black with White Accents

Ray Booth reverses the typical black and white look with white trim and dark siding, giving this home a modern edge. The blue door adds a splash of interest and contrast without being too bold of a statement.

Various shades of blue-grey create delightful patterns on this eye-catching design by Dave Greer. Its one-of-a-kind appeal puts this home in a class by itself.

The palest blue paint paired with white detailing will make your home blend in with the sky and clouds, as with this dreamy Lake Michigan home.

A grey monochromatic color scheme, shown here on this charming seaside cottage designed by Juan Carretero, offers a soothing welcome to family and friends. The color contrasts beautifully with the lawn and hydrangeas.


White with Blue Accents

Simple gingerbread trim makes this home by Phoebe Howard a delight. Understated pale blue shutters make it even more charming. “Lightening paint can create a whole new shade,” says Howard. “Sometimes I can’t find the exact color in the paint deck, and I just have a desire to create something else.” In this case, Howard cut Peter Fasano blue color with 50 percent Benjamin Moore Super White for a softer shade of blue.

Philip Thomas chose a pale green to adorn the trim of this cedar home. The specific shade perfectly reflects the foundation plantings.

At the 2019 Whole Home, Barclay Butera added orange accents to the patio to highlight the copper roof details.


Timeless Black and White

This elegant facade by Cuff Home features a timeless combination of black and white, which never goes out of style. A bright turquoise door adds a splash of unexpected fun.


Dark and Dramatic Trim

Mise en Scène Design chose dark colors for the shutters and trim on this handsome house. They opted for a custom blend of green, blue, and black for the trim and shutters, which is complemented by classic shingles and copper roofing. It’s an elegant combination that feels homey yet chic at the same time.

Blue trim looks incredible on this Maria Guta Louro design that picks up bright, summery colors to play off the charming swing chairs. It’s like being on vacation every day! “We wanted to keep it clean, sophisticated, and colorful,” she says of her choice in exterior paint colors. She opted for Calca Jeans on the window shutters and Banho de Espuma on the door and window frames, both from Suvinil.

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