Choosing an exterior paint color for your house can be really tough, right? You want your home exterior to be so many things: smart, clean, current, eye-catching, welcoming, to name just a few. It can be hard to balance these things: if you go too clean or smart, it leaves the home feeling cold, but if you go too bold the colors can make the home look like a theme park ride. All my tips and these views are my own but this post is sponsored by my friends at DURA. I love DURA paint because their colors are well curated. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of choice but not too many colors that make you feel overwhelmed. Plus, I love their color quiz — it’s a great starting point as it’s not really a quiz per se, it’s more clicking on pictures you like, A.K.A my type of quiz!

Later in the post I’ll share my go-to color combination for home exteriors but first I’m going to dive into three nuggets of advice to help you discover your own exterior paint color palette.

  1. Take a lot of photos of homes you like in your neighborhood or anywhere you go

Don’t overthink it: if you see a house that you like, take a snap and add it to a folder on your phone, or do the same on social media; save the photo on Instagram or pin the photo on Pinterest. Do this for a few weeks and then see what themes appear as you scroll through your saves. Consider what makes you stop the scroll and then delete anything that you don’t like or you pass over quickly. Then, with the shortlist of inspo saves you know you still like, take some time to look at them and consider:

  1. How many different colors are used?
  2. What are the types of colors used (contrasting, tonal, bold)?
  3. What texture does the house have (brick, cedar shingles, wood); does yours have the same?
  4. What landscaping and planting surround the house?

This should help you narrow down your favorite colors and contrasting colors.

  1. Try multiple samples of real paint 

Narrow down your color choices to two or three favorites and get a piece of board to paint samples on. Then, place the board around your home exterior on different days and times of days to see how it looks. I have so often done this and found a color that I thought was, say, blue, was actually more purple in another light. Once I fell in love with a neutral off-white but when I painted it, due to the reflection of other materials and the light I had, it came across as more of a pink. Painting a whole house is a big decision so spending a little bit of money on some samples and taking the time to see how they look in different lights and environments does pay off in the long run. DURA has a bunch of sample options, including peel and stick, chips, and even sample pots with integrated brushes.

  1. Don’t forgot about landscaping and plants

Finally, don’t forget about other materials around your house. Hardscaping and landscaping are so important to round out an exterior color palette; they complete the whole curb appeal package. I think getting samples of your exterior materials, such as clippings of plants and other hardscaping like tiles, is really useful for seeing how your color palette will work alongside the rest of the exterior environment. Below is the moodboard I made using samples of the materials I pulled together for the Living by Design showhouse exterior and yard that I designed. This really helps give you a feeling for how the colors, textures, patterns, and materials all fit together.

My go to serene and classic combination:

If you are looking for something calming and classic then here are my go-tos:

Main color: Whisper. This is a soft neutral that adds warmth and depth, rather than being cold and harsh. It works especially well with darker neutrals so I would pair it with the Shaggy Barked Dec 771 for accent pieces such as the shutters and doors.

Visualization by YouSee Studio


Will Taylor

Will is a self-confessed gentleman hooked-on-hue and his motto is: beige is boring! He works as a freelance author, creative consultant and lifestyle blogger. Will has been blogging about his love of colourful design, fashion and travel since 2009, engaging an army of colour lovers across the world with his quintessential make-you-smile style.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.