After all that we collectively weathered in 2020, the Sherwin Williams exterior paint colors trending this year reflect a renewed interest in our homes as both a place of respite and a way to express ourselves.
Many of the popular paint colors we’re seeing for home exteriors fall into the “natural” realm. This can mean everything from light, bright, and airy colors to warm neutrals. These home colors evoke soothing, peaceful, harmonious vibes.
The other big trend we’re noticing is eye-catching contrast. High-contrast paint color pairings are popular, as is incorporating a mixture of materials and textures into home designs. Plus, bringing modern appeal to classic home styles by using unexpected dark color palettes – especially in the warm color family – is a trend with staying power.
Comfort and stability, a balance of form and function, and homes with personality are what we’re cherishing now that the concept of home has taken on even greater importance.
Whether you’re trying to decide between two specific paint colors for your home’s exterior or all you know is you want to use Sherwin Williams paint, our expert designers are here to help. We create customized design plans for home exteriors based on your answers to a simple questionnaire. Give us as much information as you want.
Based on these trends, here are the best Sherwin Williams exterior paint colors to use in 2021.
Light Exterior Paint Colors
#1 // Alabaster
Not to be confused with the Benjamin Moore color by the same name, Alabaster by Sherwin Williams is a soft, warm off-white that’s adaptable in its uses. This popular neutral tone can be used on all sorts of home styles, from Spanish modern to traditional brick. Alabaster is soothing and understated. It’s the perfect complement to a variety of materials, including natural wood, stone, copper, and earthy bronze.
#2 // Snowbound
Want a white that’s just a touch lighter? Snowbound is a great option. Its LRV of 83 is just one point higher, or closer to pure white, than Alabaster. This is also a soft off-white, but its undertones are more cream-pink than the beige undertones of Alabaster. You won’t want to use it alongside anything that’s too tan, beige, or taupe. It pairs well with navy accents, darker charcoal grays, and clay roofs.
#3 // Shoji White
Heading further away from pure white brings us to our next top Sherwin Williams paint color of the year: Shoji White. This is another warm off-white. Its LRV of 74 helps you avoid the harsh brightness of a more pure white; however, it can come across close to bright white in a sunny environment. The photo above shows it against the bright cool white of snow, which helps bring out its neutral beige and gray undertones. It’s on the edge of the off-white category, but it is noticeably lighter than greige. Shoji White is one of our designers’ favorite colors to use alongside Urbane Bronze (which may or may not have also made this list…).
#4 // Extra White
Let’s take things the other way now. The bright modern farmhouse design has become a mainstay, and Extra White is as clean as it gets. This paint color’s name is accurate based on its relatively high LRV of 86.
We love when Extra White is used on a variety of textures, and paired with contrasting accents, as with the roof, windows, and light fixtures in the design above. Doesn’t it look fantastic with the copper gutters, too? The door and dormer siding above are in Sherwin Williams’ Passive, a nice neutral gray.
#5 // Accessible Beige
We called this late last year and our cofounder was ahead of the curve back in late 2019: We are seeing a beige comeback. Accessible Beige is warm but not yellow… it actually leans a bit more gray than gold. It’s warm, earthy, and beautiful with natural wood. It also looks great on brick!
#6 // Repose Gray
Another lighter color for those who don’t want a white or off-white is this bright neutral gray. Repose Gray is a dreamy foundation color to build upon using dark charcoal accents, deep brown materials like dark walnut, and bronze metal.
Dark Exterior Paint Colors
#7 // Iron Ore
This dark gray paint color is a bold choice to use in painting your entire home, as in the first example above, or can make for a fantastic contrasting color for a single design element, as with the siding on the porch immediately above. Iron Ore falls in between Kendall Charcoal and Soot (both by Benjamin Moore) in terms of darkness. It has an LRV of 6, so it’s clearly quite dark. Its warm tones help it coordinate with materials that have a lot of brown to them: stone, mulch, bronze, copper, and, of course, wood.
#8 // Tricorn Black
Our next dark exterior home paint color recommendation, Tricorn Black, is a gray that’s quite a bit darker than Iron Ore. It’s also darker than Onyx by Benjamin Moore, another of our favorites. Its LRV is a low 3. This deep color makes a statement on siding and is a great accent color for garage doors, front doors, and shutters.
We always recommend sampling and testing paint colors before committing. Factors such as natural lighting, undertones, and your property’s fixed elements will have a significant impact on how a color will appear on your exterior. Our friends at Samplize offer extra-large 9 x 14.75 inch peel-and-stick paint samples of the colors we love for exteriors. Order your ‘Real Paint, No Mess’ samples from Samplize here.
#9 // Urbane Bronze
Urbane Bronze is Sherwin Williams’ 2021 color of the year, and with good reason. This rich gray with brown undertones is a favorite in a wide variety of settings. Its look can vary depending on the time of day – it can either be more charcoal or more brown. It’s beautiful on an entire home and is an accent paint color that our designers love.
Urbane Bronze is an earthly neutral that ties in well with anything and everything nature-inspired. Think cedar wood or lighter walnut accents and natural stone. Take it industrial with black metal finishes or go full earthy with teak outdoor furniture. When paired with an off-white trim, it’s a high-contrast yet harmonious palette. However, our designers also like marrying it to an even darker trim like Benjamin Moore’s Black.
#10 // Black Magic
We love when clients want something bold, and painting your house in Sherwin Williams’ Black Magic delivers on the dramatic. This is a good option for clients in the sunny southwest and for mid-century modern homes. It needs some warmth to keep it from feeling too stark, so be sure to pair it with warm woods or metals and potentially a pop of color if you live in a part of the country that doesn’t have greenery year-round. (Hello, Midwestern winters.)
#11 // Cascades
Neutrals are nice but sometimes our clients want something more, well, colorful. Cascades by Sherwin Williams is a beautiful, rich bluish green that comes across as timeless and lush. Because it’s such a deep color, we recommend pairing it with a more subdued accent rather than something too bright, which can make the color palette feel dated. In the design above, the trim is painted in Sherwin Williams’ Alpaca. Dark light fixtures, warm woods, and a natural stone that coordinates with the trim complete this home’s inviting curb appeal. It looks perfect in this Pacific Northwest setting but could also be used to bring those vibes to other parts of the world.
#12 // Needlepoint Navy
Needlepoint Navy is another dark color option that can actually play well as a neutral. It’s a lighter navy, so it has some contrast against black trim and windows. As in the design pictured above, it looks great with light to medium natural wood materials.
If you’re finding that your definition of home has changed over the past year, you’re not alone. These Sherwin Williams exterior paint colors that are on-trend for 2021 highlight a renewed focus on warm tranquility and the home’s exterior as a mode of expressing personal style. Warm neutrals that run the spectrum from bright nearly-whites to deep grays and statement dark tones are popular colors that our designers are loving.
Learn more about 2021 exterior home paint color trends by checking out our list of the best overall colors for the year and our counterpart article featuring Benjamin Moore’s popular recommended offerings.
Daydreaming about painting your home a new color is step one. Our expert exterior designers can help you get from there to finished product. Use the brick&batten’s exterior design service to receive a custom design of your home with a realistic rendering so you know exactly what your home will look like before you begin any work. Get started today!
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