Guide to Exterior Home Paint Colors and Styles

Exterior blue paint on home

Guide to Exterior Home Paint Colors and Styles

Your exterior house color is one of your home’s most important design elements. Depending on what kind of color scheme you go with, you can create all kinds of different looks, ranging from craftsman to cottage or contemporary.

No matter what kind of style or feel you’re going for, you can count on a fresh coat of paint to boost curb appeal. Your home will be the highlight of the neighborhood — whether you plan to list it or stay in it with your family for years to come.

Based on the style of your home and your design preferences, there are a few different things to keep in mind. Check out our guide to help you choose the right exterior paint color for your home renovation project.

How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

Knowing how to put together an exterior color scheme involves careful consideration. From the trim color to the siding and your front door, there are a lot of different elements and features to think about.

One way to get some ideas is to drive around your community to see what color schemes stand out. You can also Google or browse social media sites, like Pinterest, for inspiration.

Need some help getting started? Here are a few tips for choosing an exterior house paint color.

Look to Your Architecture

Based on your home’s architectural style, certain color palettes will better suit the house. Before you start looking at different colors, be sure to take a good look at your home’s size and architecture.

If your home is on the smaller side, choosing lighter shades can help it appear larger. If your home is midsize or on the larger side, some darker palettes could make it appear dramatic.

Other than size, there are many architectural elements that will also impact how a color palette will look. These include your roofing, which is one of the most noticeable fixed elements, as well as any brick or stonework. Be sure to consider smaller elements, too, like your windows and gutters.

These elements can have different colors and undertones that can affect the finished result. You want to incorporate those shades into the color scheme so your home has a cohesive look when complete. So, if your home has red bricks with flecks of tan, a brown paint color could pull out those warmer shades.

Your home’s architecture also plays a part in the overall style. In other words, you could have more of a Victorian-style home, a mid-century ranch or a cottage bungalow. Each of these styles would work best with certain exterior paint colors. For example, Victorian homes often feature bright, fun and unique color palettes.

Consider Your Environment and Neighborhood

Even though you want your home to be unique, you also need to look to your environment and other homes in your neighborhood when deciding on your exterior paint combinations. If you live in a hot, sunny climate, dark colors could make your home look a little out of place. Opting for lighter colors or terra cottas that will blend in more with the natural landscape and not absorb as much heat could be a better choice.

Just like the climate you live in, you’ll also want to consider the surrounding landscape. Does your neighborhood or community have a lot of natural elements like woods or a lake? Choosing a more subdued color scheme will help your home fit in. Keep in mind that a lot of trees will cause more shade, making whatever color you choose appear darker on your home.

Spend some time thinking about whether or not you want your house to blend in with the neighborhood or stand out. While you don’t necessarily want to create a cookie-cutter effect by too closely mimicking surrounding homes, choosing a color scheme that’s really different could make it clash with your surroundings.

Some neighborhoods may also have rules and regulations, so check with your homeowners association to see if the colors you are considering will be approved. If you have a historical home, you’ll have to check with any local historical societies to see if you’re limited on color palette choices.

Determine Your Goals

Before you begin any painting project, determine what your goals are for choosing a new exterior house color palette. Do you want to transform your home into a cozy space where friends and family will enjoy gathering and making memories for years to come? Or do you need to sell your home?

Your goals will help guide you through the decision-making process. If it’s your forever home, go with whatever color scheme makes you the happiest. Look for colors that suit your home’s architecture and your own personal style. As long as you love it, that’s what is most important!

If you plan on selling soon, you’ll want to focus on elevating your curb appeal for potential buyers. This means that you might end up choosing a color scheme that’s not something you would have personally gone with. Going with a popular palette or neutrals can increase the chances that your home gets noticed — and gets more offers.

Maybe your goal is not to completely change up your home’s design but to simply add a pop of color. Choosing a vibrant shade for your front door could be the way to go. You can also add a splash of color to your exterior by painting your shutters, window grilles or even flower boxes in a new shade.

Test Paint Swatches

While paint chips can help you visualize how a specific paint shade looks, you might be surprised at how different it can appear when it’s on your home. By testing your paint color, you can make sure it fits the style you’re going for. If you want light and airy, you don’t want a color that looks dramatic and dark on cloudy days, for instance.

Once you start to narrow down your color choices, you’ll want to do a couple of paint swatches on your home to get an accurate idea of how the color will look. You want to make sure each swatch is a couple of square feet wide so you get an accurate representation.

Also, make sure that the area you paint your swatches will get both sun and shade throughout the day so you can see how the color can change depending on the lighting. You may find that when the sun hits the swatches, the color appears much more bright and vibrant whereas it deepens considerably in the shade. You could even paint a swatch on each side of your home if they get drastically different lighting.

Usually, an area that’s either in between two windows or next to your trim is the best place to test out your swatches. If you don’t want to paint your home, you can always paint some big foam core boards instead and place them in the same kinds of areas.

Give yourself a couple of days to decide. Check your swatches at different times of day, like dawn, midday and dusk, to get a sense of how different lighting impacts your paint color choice. You can also check the swatches on a sunny day versus an overcast one. Depending on how your swatches look in different lighting and at different times of the day, you may want to adjust the shade.

Exterior House Color Schemes

Choosing the perfect exterior house paint color can do more than just refresh your home’s look. Your color palette can also help set a specific mood. Perhaps you want to create a cozy environment that makes even your guests feel right at home once they pull into your driveway. Maybe creating an elegant exterior is more your desired style.

No matter what kind of mood you want to create, your paint color choices can help you achieve it. Check out how to create exterior paint color schemes that will evoke the right mood.


If you want to make your home a calming escape from the world, consider using some shade of blue. Blue is widely considered to be the most calming color, helping create a serene effect that’s also stylish.

Depending on how you use it, darker or vivid shades may not have as much of a relaxing effect. Going with hues like a light baby blue can transform your home and help you achieve the desired results.

To balance out the light shades of blue, consider using some warmer accent colors, like cream, in your palette to provide some depth and balance.


If you want your home’s exterior to be an extension of nature, go with a green color scheme. Just like blue, green is also considered a calming color, which makes it the perfect choice for homeowners that want to recreate the same kind of peace that spending time in nature brings.

Shades of green can work well with many different home styles. A craftsman style can look warm and inviting with an olive shade of green with some neutral accents. If you have more of a bungalow or cottage-style home, a lighter hue or one that has a hint of blue can create a refreshing finish.

Sleek and Pure

White is an adaptable color that can work well with all kinds of home styles. Depending on how you use it, you can create looks ranging from a sleek contemporary style to a homey farmhouse look.

A white exterior also lets you add your choice of accent colors. For a classic yet contemporary style, you can go with black accents. Painting your front door and shutters in black is a timeless choice that you’ll be able to keep enjoying for years to come.

You can also switch it up and add a fun pop of color, like a turquoise front door, to make your home stand out from the rest.

Neutral With a Twist

Gray is the perfect option when you want to go with a neutral shade that offers a little extra color and warmth. Just like white and cream colors, gray can pair well with many other shades on the color wheel. You can go with a darker gray to enhance the look of stonework, or you can choose a lighter shade to create more of a clean, crisp finish.

Consider the different undertones in the gray when choosing your accent and trim colors. Some gray paint will have a warmer undertone while others will have more of a cool, almost blue hue.


When elegance is your goal, it’s best to stick to tried and true color schemes. A cream or light gray can add a refined touch to your siding. These colors, especially if you have traditional accents like brick, will transform your home and give it an elevated look.

Instead of going with bold pops of color, stick with more muted or warm colors so the effect is subdued and elegant.


Nothing conveys a sense of cheerfulness like yellow. It infuses homes with a sense of energy and can help brighten your mood on those chilly winter days.

Especially if you have more of a cottage or beach-style home, you can even use yellow as the main color. A light yellow shade will add a little fun to your exterior. For more of a toned-down look, choose a yellow that has more of a warm, creamy undertone.

Another cheerful hue to consider is orange. This shade can be a little harder to pull off, but it works just as well at conveying a bright, happy look on beachy homes — even ones that are nowhere near the water.


When you want to raise the energy level of your home, red is a great color to use. Red is considered a passionate color, adding boldness that passersby will find hard to ignore. A deep, dark red would work well with homes that have more of a bungalow-type look, while a rusty red would pair well with farmhouses or craftsman-style homes with natural accents like stonework.

If you think that painting your entire exterior in red will be a little too bold, you can always use it as an accent color. A bright red front door or even red garage doors can add the burst of energy and vitality you are looking for.

Get Professional Help and Discover the Best Exterior House Color Combinations

Here at Neighborhood Painting & Restoration, we’ve been proudly serving homeowners throughout the Kansas City Metro area since 2002. As a full-service painting and remodeling contractor, our expert team can handle everything from exterior to interior painting projects and home restoration projects.

When you choose Neighborhood Painting & Restoration, you’ll get to experience our unique, two-step painting process. The first team will come in and prepare your home for painting. They’ll perform any necessary renovations or wood rot repairs and clean up the area. Then, once you’ve had the chance to inspect your home, the painting team will come in and complete the process.

Your fresh and beautifully restored coat of paint will last for many years to come. To back up the quality of our work, we even offer a 5-year warranty.

Trust your home to industry-leading professionals. With our color consultants, we can help you reach your goals and bring your vision to life. Reach out today to receive a free color consultation!

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