How to Select the Perfect Exterior Paint Colors for Your Home

Not sure what color you should paint your house? Here are some ideas to inspire.

exterior house paint
How to choose exterior house paint color | karamysh/Shutterstock

When transforming the appearance of your home's exterior, choosing the right paint colors is paramount. The perfect exterior paint colors can enhance the architectural features of your home, complement the surrounding environment, and leave a lasting impression on visitors.

In this post, we explore various factors that can impact the overall look of your home's exterior and delve into the psychology and visual impact of different color schemes.

Factors affecting the look of your home's exterior

When selecting exterior paint colors, it's crucial to consider the following factors:

Structural style

Any historical features of your home should be considered when choosing the perfect paint colors. Whether you have a Victorian-era home, a modern farmhouse, or a sleek contemporary design, the colors should align with the architectural style to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look. Take cues from the architectural details, such as trim, rooflines, and columns, to find colors that harmonize with your home's design.

Exterior materials

The materials used for your home's exterior—whether brick, wood, stucco, or stone—can influence your color choices. Consider the undertones of these materials and opt for outdoor paint colors that complement or contrast in a visually appealing way. Each material has a unique texture and color undertone that should be considered when selecting the perfect paint colors.

Natural surroundings

Your home's environment plays a crucial role in color selection. The landscape, foliage, and neighboring buildings, can influence your color choices. While a mountain retreat might benefit from earthy tones that blend with the landscape, a beachfront property could shine with airy blues and whites that reflect the sea and sky.

Now, let's dive deeper into the psychology and visual impact of different exterior color schemes. We'll explore some popular color categories and their specific applications.

Best red exterior house color combinations

Painting your house exterior red can be a bold and eye-catching decision. Whether you want to make a statement, follow local traditions or enhance your home's architectural details, choosing red for the exterior requires careful consideration. Consider the shade, surrounding environment and overall neighborhood aesthetic before settling on the final color.

Red barn house look

For a rustic and charming look, barn red is an excellent choice. This bold color adds character to any home's exterior and pairs well with natural surroundings. It goes well with siding and pairs well with cottage-style homes.

exterior color scheme
Red barn house inspo |PT Hamilton/Shutterstock

House with a red roof

If you live in a warmer climate, consider a Spanish-style red tile roof for your home. This iconic style has been popular in certain areas of the US, mainly in warmer states where the clay tiles are a perfect solution for reflecting heat and sunlight. Consider complementing it with neutral or muted colors on the walls to create a balanced and cohesive appearance.

suburban Georgia house with red roof
White and red accents | rSnapshotPhotos/Shutterstock

Red house with white trim

For a crisp and clean look, pairing a red house with white trim creates a striking contrast. Adding more white elements can also enhance architectural details and make your home stand out.

suggested paint color
Add contrast | pdesign/Shutterstock

Best yellow exterior house colors

Yellow is a cheerful and inviting color that can brighten up any home's exterior. Yellow is associated with positivity and energy. You can opt for different shades of yellow, depending on the style of your home and the look you want to achieve.

Soft yellow

A soft yellow exterior can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This color works well on siding and can complement different house styles, from Victorian to ranch and cottage.

Soft yellow house with pink rosebushes
Yellow house with white trim | Chiyacat/Shutterstock

Mustard yellow

For a most sophisticated look, consider a mustard yellow for your house exterior. This deep shade goes well with stucco and can be a great choice for luxurious homes.

mustard yellow home
Mustard yellow | Artazum/Shutterstock

Dark blue house with white trim

A dark blue house with white trim creates a classic and fresh look. It's a popular combination that works well with various architectural styles. This combination brings a sense of serenity and sophistication to your home.

Increase your curb appeal
Increase your curb appeal | BM_27/Shutterstock

Blue-gray house

For a more subdued and modern appearance, opt for a blue-gray color scheme. This combination exudes sophistication and can convey a modern yet serene ambiance. This versatile color works well with both contemporary and traditional designs.

exterior house paint
Blue exterior house paint | Artazum/Shutterstock

Bright blue house

A bright blue house can add more airy vibes, especially if paired with white trim. This color choice works well with different styles, especially if you want a beachy or cottage vibe.

Bright blue house with white accents
Bright blue house with white accents | Cisper/Shutterstock

Gray exterior house colors

Gray is a timeless and elegant color choice for exteriors. It can range from light shades to dark charcoal tones and pairs well with other colors, including trim and front door.

Gray house with white trim

Gray exteriors exude elegance. Pairing gray with white trim creates a timeless and balanced look that's appealing across architectural styles. It’s a classic choice for many due to its versatility and timeless appeal.

Gray home exterior
Gray home exterior | Artazum/Shutterstock

Dark gray house

A dark gray house can create a dramatic and striking appearance. It pairs well with modern and minimalist designs, adding a touch of sophistication to any home.

earthy gray home
Dark gray home | Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock

Gray and stone combo

Add some visual interest by pairing gray with stone. It creates a striking and sophisticated look that can elevate your home’s appearance.

Gray stone and brick combo
Gray stone and brick combo | Artazum/Shutterstock

Green color schemes for homes

Green is a versatile color that can evoke a sense of tranquility and connection with nature. Consider muted greens for a subdued look or vibrant greens for a lively and refreshing facade.

Pistachio green

This happy and vibrant shade of green can make your home pop. Pistachio green is also a great color that can provide a great backdrop for flowery gardens and patios.

front door to make your home pop
Add a statement front door | karamysh/Shutterstock

Bright green

A brighter shade of green can add playfulness to your home’s appearance. As green is the color of nature, it can make your home feel more in sync with its surroundings.

Green field color
Green field color | weston m /Unsplash

White home exterior color schemes

White is a timeless and classic choice for exteriors. It gives a clean and fresh look to any home. A white exterior can also symbolize purity and simplicity. Enhance the look by pairing it with other accents and colors.

White with dark accents

If you decide to go with a white house, consider adding a dark accent like black or gray for a classic monochromatic scheme. Enhance your white home with a dark roof, dormers and dark stone insets to make it pop.

White with dark accents
White with dark accents | ingehogenbijl/Shutterstock

Cottage white and light gray

For a less drastic look, pair your white house with a light gray roof and minimal accents. Consider painting your garage door light gray too to create a more seamless look. Small pops of color on doors and shutters will add visual interest while maintaining that cottagey vibe.

Cottage white and light gray
Cottage white and light gray | one pony/Shutterstock

Modern farmhouse white

White is the perfect choice for a modern farmhouse home. When paired with wooden beams and gray stone, it can create a welcoming and cozy vibe for your home.

modern farmhouse white
Modern farmhouse | Carla Bullock/Shutterstock

Taupe color schemes for your home

Taupe is a warm and neutral color that can create a welcoming and sophisticated appearance. It offers a warm and understated elegance. This neutral shade can be paired with various trims and accents to create a cohesive and inviting exterior.

Gray and taupe

Swap the white for a warmer taupe. When paired with gray, it creates a sophisticated yet more cozy and approachable look for your home. Taupe is softer than white, which can also create a less drastic appearance when paired with darker colors.

Taupe house paint
Taupe house paint | Artazum/Shutterstock

All-white alternative

When considering a light shade for your home’s exterior, taupe offers a more interesting alternative to white. This is a great option for modern homes with simpler lines and fewer architectural embellishments.

All-white alternative | Image Supply/Shutterstock

Different brick options for your home exterior

The combination of practical benefits, aesthetic appeal, and lasting value has contributed to the enduring popularity of brick as a choice for home exteriors. Whether used for rustic cottages, stately mansions, or contemporary designs, brick offers a reliable and visually pleasing option that stands the test of time.

Orange brick houses

Orange brick houses have a unique charm and warmth. The right color combinations can enhance their beauty and architectural features.

pop of color with black shutters
Orange brick and black pops of color | Eugene Moerman/Shutterstock

Brown brick houses

Brown colors can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Brown brick houses can be complemented with warm and earthy colors to create a harmonious and inviting look.

Brown brick home
Brown brick home | Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock

Cream brick houses

Cream brick houses exude elegance and sophistication. They can be paired with darker accents for a more contrasting look or with other neutral colors for a more monochromatic combination.

Cream brick combo
Cream brick combo | Allison J. Hahn/Shutterstock

Red brick houses

Red brick houses exude a timeless appeal and are often associated with classic elegance. When choosing the shade or red for a red brick house, consider warm and earthy tones that bring out the rich hues of the brick.

red brick Victorian
Red brick house | Horst Petzold/Shutterstock

Home exterior color combinations

Choosing the right color combinations can elevate the overall look of your home's exterior. Here are a few ideas:

A 3-color house paint combo

Using three colors for your home's exterior can add depth and visual interest. Consider a combination of a primary color, a complementary color, and a neutral or accent color to create a balanced and harmonious look.

Add some patriotic red to your exterior
Add some patriotic red to your exterior | U. J. Alexander/Shutterstock

Best exterior house paint colors with black windows

Black windows can make a bold statement on your home's exterior. Pairing them with contrasting or complementary colors can create a modern and eye-catching look and add a pop of color.

Add contrast with white windows
Add contrast with white windows | BM_27/Shutterstock 

Houses with black roofs

If your home has a black roof, consider pairing it with lighter or neutral colors on the walls to create a balanced and cohesive appearance.

Black roof
Black roof | Ground Picture/Shutterstock

Modern house colors

For a sleek and contemporary appearance, opt for dark colors such as charcoal gray, deep blues, or even black. These colors can add a touch of sophistication and make a bold statement.

Best exterior colors for a ranch-style house

Ranch-style houses often have a low and horizontal profile. To enhance their architectural features, consider earthy tones, warm neutrals, or even muted pastel shades for a cohesive and inviting look.

Ranch style home
Ranch style home | GoodFocused/Shutterstock

Exterior colors for a farmhouse

Farmhouse-style homes typically feature a combination of rustic elements with modern touches. To achieve a farmhouse look, consider using soft, muted colors such as light blues, pale grays, or creamy whites.

Best color for a farmhouse
Best color for a farmhouse | TheCreativeBrigade/Shutterstock

Cottage paint colors

Cottage-style homes have a charming and cozy appeal. Opt for pastel shades, soft yellows, or light greens to create a whimsical and inviting atmosphere.

Cottage style home in pastel green
Cottage style home in pastel green | Mark Byer/Shutterstock

Stucco house colors

Stucco exteriors offer a smooth and textured canvas for color choices. Consider earthy tones, warm neutrals, or even bold hues to enhance the texture and architectural details of your stucco home.

Gold and mustard yellow stucco home
Gold and mustard yellow stucco home | Lindasj22/Shutterstock

House trim colors

The color of your home's trim can greatly impact its overall appearance. When choosing trim colors, consider creating contrast with the main color of your home's exterior. White, off-white, or neutral shades are popular choices that provide a clean and elegant look.

Colonial house color schemes exterior

Colonial-style homes often feature symmetrical designs and traditional architectural elements. To enhance the classic appeal, consider using neutral or muted colors such as whites, grays, or soft blues.

White colonial
White Colonial home | Donald J..Price/Shutterstock

Old houses often have unique charm and architectural details that can be highlighted with the right color choices. Consider historical color palettes or period-inspired hues to maintain the authenticity and character of your old home.

Mountain house color schemes

Mountain homes blend harmoniously with their natural surroundings. Consider earthy tones, deep greens, or rich browns to create a seamless connection between your home and its environment.

A house in the mountains
A house in the mountains | Damian Lugowski/Shutterstock

Victorian house color schemes

Victorian-style homes are known for their vibrant color palettes and intricate architectural details. Consider bold and contrasting color combinations to enhance the ornate features and create a visually striking appearance.

Add a pop of color to your Victorian house
Add a pop of color to your Victorian house | Hayk_Shalunts/Shutterstock

Best lakehouse exterior colors

Lakehouses often have a relaxed and serene atmosphere. Consider using soft blues, greens, or sandy neutrals to reflect the tranquility of the surrounding water and nature.

 lakehouse exterior colors
Blue lakehouse | StefanoT/Shutterstock

Metal house color ideas

Metal exteriors offer a modern and industrial look. Consider bold and vibrant colors or sleek monochromatic schemes to create a contemporary and eye-catching appearance.

Best beach house exterior colors

Beach houses evoke a sense of relaxation and coastal living. Opt for light and airy colors such as whites, pastels, or shades of blue to capture the essence of the beach and create a calming environment.

Blue beach house
Blue beach house | Mark Winfrey/Shutterstock


As you can see, selecting the perfect exterior paint color involves considering various factors such as the structural style, exterior materials, and natural surroundings. Understanding the psychology and visual impact of different color schemes can help create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing look for your home's exterior.

Whether you prefer bold and vibrant hues or soft and muted tones, there are endless possibilities to showcase your personal style and create a welcoming atmosphere.


Neutral colors such as white, beige and gray are among the most popular choices for house exteriors. These colors offer a timeless and versatile appeal, complementing various architectural styles.

Earthy tones like warm taupes, soft greens and muted blues gained popularity for exterior house colors. These nature-inspired shades create a soothing and inviting aesthetic.

How do I choose colors for my house?

When choosing colors for your house, consider the architectural style, surroundings and your personal preferences. It's helpful to gather paint swatches, visualize how the colors will look in different lighting, and consider any homeowner association guidelines in your area.

What colors are in style for homes?

Contemporary color trends for homes often include a mix of neutrals and subtle pops of color. Soft pastels, deep charcoals, and rich navy blues are currently in style. These colors can highlight architectural features and express individuality while maintaining a cohesive look.

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