The color of your house says a lot about you. Are you willing to take risks? Do you have a flair for timeless styles? Are you creative? Are you in tune with nature? No matter what you want your house to say, there are a few ways to do so just with an updated paint job.
This collection of exterior house colors gives you a wide range of options for colors that are timeless and attractive. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an exterior paint color for a brand new home or just wanting to mix up the aesthetic of your current home. You’re sure to find an option you love from the suggestions below.
While some places have tons of brightly colored buildings, we’ll be focusing more on neutrals and more subtle looks you can achieve with the right paint color.
Exterior Elements to Consider
Before we get started with exterior color suggestions, we need to talk about what makes an exterior house color work well. While painting the siding might be the most obvious element, there are a lot of other elements to take in mind when choosing a color and painting. Here are some things to consider when deciding which paint colors are right for you.
Exterior Window and Door Trim
Does your home have a lot of extra decorations that should be painted a different exterior color? You may want to use an accent exterior color for window and door trim. If you have shutters or beams on the outside of your house, you’ll also need to decide whether or not you want to paint those a different exterior color. If you, you’ll need to make sure this second exterior color matches well with the primary exterior color.
Often neutral colors like beige or grey are a safe color choice for trim, but you can also consider a contrasting paint color, especially if you do have shutters or beams you could also paint in a more noticeable shade. For example, a cream house with green trim can work really well!
If you want to add an accent paint color to your house, painting your exterior door is a great option. If you’ve ever seen homes with bright yellow or red doors, you know that it creates a unique and inviting look. If your door can’t be painted, you could instead paint the shutters a bright paint color to create this same contrasting look.
You do want to make sure that your door matches the rest of the home. If you have a pale wooden door, you might not want to paint your home dark brown. If your door is white, it won’t look as good with a tan house.
Another element to consider is whether your house has exterior railings, balconies, or a porch. You’ll need to decide whether you want to paint these as well or leave the natural wood. If you decide to leave these natural, you’ll need to make sure the paint color of your exterior siding matches the wood. You probably don’t want tan siding if your porch is made of a light wood. Instead you’ll want to create more of a contrast between the paint and the wood.
If you do paint the exterior railings, you’ll probably want to paint them a different paint color than the rest of your house to create more texture and dimension. Make sure you have all the exterior colors chosen before you start painting.
You should also take into consideration the size of your house. It’s easier to take risks if your house is smaller. A bright paint color like yellow can brighten a small house and make it look bigger. If you paint a large house bright yellow, it can easily become too bright.
Keep in mind, too, that if you have multiple buildings on your property you’ll want to make sure they all match. If you choose two neutral colors, you could reverse which one is the accent color on the house and the workshed. You could also make all buildings the same for a more cohesive look.
You don’t get much say in the exterior color of your roof, but you want to make sure that it doesn’t clash with your exterior walls. While the typical grey roof will go well with most colors, a red tiled roof might not work as well with grey or yellow walls.
The last element to consider is the landscape. Do you live in the forest? If so, earthy colors like browns and greens will make your house blend in and look more natural in its surroundings.
If you live in the desert, warmer shades like tan or red might be a smarter choice. Grey and blue works well for mountain landscapes.
For city dwellers you don’t need to worry about the landscape. Instead, you need to decide how much you want to match the surrounding houses or stand out. You could always paint your house bright pink and be *that house* but I recommend choosing one of the more natural exterior colors below.
Best Exterior House Colors
Even if your house doesn’t have wood siding, you can still get creative with exterior paint colors.
Tan, beige, and khaki are all warm neutrals that make excellent exterior color choices. These exterior colors match just about any landscape. They can be a fantastic choice for a desert home, where they will blend flawlessly into the surrounding sand and rock.
Shades of tan are also perfect for a home in the city. This bright, warm color will draw attention in the best way. It can feel rustic, fresh, and creative. Accent tan with dark colors like brown, or brick red. Avoid mixing with cool colors like grey or blue.
Grey homes fit well in cold climates and look great with white during a snowstorm!
One of the most common house colors is grey. There are many shades of exterior paint colors that work for this; it just depends on how much you want your home to stand out. A dark grey house in a densely forested area can blend in seamlessly, making your home feel more private and secluded.
Lighter greys will still fit into their surroundings beautifully without disappearing, if you want your house to be a little more visible. You can even choose a pale grey to create a look that feels elegant and minimalist.
Grey paint goes well with cool accents. Dark grey is accented well by white, while a lighter grey can pair well with various shades of blue. Avoid bright colors like red and yellow, which will make the grey look washed out.
White homes are classy and elegant with minimal effort.
White is a go-to house color for many reasons. It’s easy and gives your home an instant feeling of elegance. White also makes your home look cleaner and brighter, though it may require more frequent paint touch-ups than some darker colors.
A white house will stand out in any landscape, though I think it looks especially beautiful against a snowy mountaintop or contrasted against bright green trees. One of the benefits of white is that it pairs well with any color, so you can have a lot of fun creating accents by painting the siding, railings, or shutters.
Green is one of the most unique exterior paint colors on this list, but it’s still neutral enough to cover a house.
Darker, more muted shades of green can be an excellent exterior color choice. Think olive green, desert green, and camo green. In order to balance out the green, you’ll want to incorporate contrasting accent colors such as red or brown for a warmer tone, or grey to create a cooler effect.
Avoid mixing two shades of green, and consider the surrounding landscape before choosing this color. An olive green might look bad against a backdrop of pines, but it can fit right in if your house is surrounded by various types of trees in different hues. This is also an excellent color for cities, deserts, and other areas with minimal foliage.
Blue exterior paint colors look great against a backdrop of trees.
Both dusty blue and dark blue can be excellent house colors as well. Dusty blue has many of the same benefits of grey. It’s a very subtle color that is more unique than white or cream. It pairs well with white and dark grey.
Dark blue is a little more tricky to master. You’ll want a cool, muted shade. Dark blue works well on smaller houses or houses with lots of accents that can be painted in another color, such as white, light grey, or light blue.
Houses near a body of water look great in blue, since blue is very summery. Dark blue especially can give your home a nautical atmosphere which you can really play up with your decorations. Avoid mixing blue with red and orange, which will make your house feel more like a sporting event than a house.
We don’t often think about brown, but it can make a great color choice.
Dark brown is a striking exterior color choice that fits into every landscape. Because the exterior paint colors are so dark, it might not be the best choice for homes that are well-shaded. However, it can be quite dramatic for homes that do get a bit more sunlight.
A brown paint-job will be hugely affected by the accent colors you choose. Pairing it with white and other browns creates a natural look which will be perfectly complemented by plenty of surrounding plants. Mixed with dark reds and oranges it can feel like a warm lodge. Mixing it with green creates a perfect forest look, and mixing it with tan will create a desert aesthetic.
Bright houses may feel risky, but the payoff is worth it.
If you want a brightly colored house, a warm yellow can be your best friend. Many bright colors, such as pink and green, will feel unnatural in most locations. However, yellow is a safer color, as it brings up thoughts of sunlight and sunflowers.
You can combine the yellow with dark accents in brown or you can brighten the look even more by combining yellow and white. Yellow can also pair well with a dark green or a dark blue. Just make sure you don’t combine yellow with other bright colors, which might look overwhelming.
Cream houses pair well with several different accent paint colors.
If you want the elegance of a white home without the starkness of bright white, you can consider painting your house a cream color. There are many tones of cream, so you can choose a soft ivory, a cream with yellow hues, a grey/white, or even a warm, light tan.
Like white, cream can be paired with just about any color for an accent. The red in the picture above creates a warm fall ambiance. A cooler shade of cream could pair with either grey or blue. You could also pair cream with tan or brown for a more natural aesthetic.
These exterior paint colors are by no means an end-all list of exterior house colors, but they are some of the most common exterior house colors, and for good reason. With one of these paint colors you can be sure that your home will look good. Your neighbors will love the new paint job and it will make your house feel like a home.
Cailey Johanna Thiessen lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Though born in Colorado, she spent most of her formative years in Morelos and Oaxaca, Mexico. She attended college in Vermont, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing and a minor in Foreign Languages from Champlain College. She writes about pest control, travel, gardening, and more. Though currently living in an apartment, she loves caring for her large selection of houseplants and is looking forward to owning her own garden. She’s an avid cook and interested in finding easy and enjoyable ways to be healthier and happier. She’s passionate about writing and creating and seeing finished projects come to life.