The Power of Exterior House Paint Colors

As the leaders in virtual exterior design, we believe that the power of exterior house paint colors is pretty much unrivaled in reinventing your curb appeal. Many of our clients — and casual blog readers — find us when searching for paint colors for their property. After all, picking paint colors is always a big design decision. And it’s a decision that takes on more weight when you’re painting the entire exterior of your home.

First, it’s an expensive undertaking. Exterior walls have tons of surface area, and most of us tap professionals when it comes time to paint them. Second, painting exterior walls is an entirely different beast from painting interior walls. It all comes down to natural light. As homeowners, we have a bit of control over our interior lighting. We can use overhead lights, table and floor lamps, and/or sconces. We can select light bulbs with different warmth/coolness. That kind of thing. But when you buy a west-facing home without much shade coverage, you’re guaranteed to get lots of direct evening sunlight. That matters when you’re picking paint colors!

Regardless, we’re major fans of what a fresh color scheme and a coat of paint or two, can do to update your façade. Read on for some of our favorite client examples that demonstrate the power of new exterior house paint colors.

Just changing paint can completely update the look of your home or building. Let our team of exterior design experts ensure you get the greatest return on your investment when you commit to new paint colors with our paint visualizer service.

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Before and after of a home with natural brick and new exterior house paint colors on accents

Natural brick, drawing from roof

In coming up with new exterior house paint colors for this client, we leaned heavily on two existing elements: the natural brick and the slate roof. Sherwin Williams’ Worldly Gray on the dormer’s stucco is a subtle neutral that plays off of the stone surrounding the front door. Next, Felted Wool on the windows and gutters bridges the gap between Wordly Gray and the pronounced impact of Anonymous on the trim, fascia, and soffits. Finally, Benjamin Moore’s Raccoon Fur on the front door brings a touch of drama and connects to the blue-grays found in the roof as well as on the front steps.

Working with tan windows and roof

The biggest challenge in developing a new color palette for this home was working with the existing tan windows and metal roof. A rich, neutral navy house colorBenjamin Moore’s Westcott Navy — on the siding balances the warmth of these fixed elements. On the flip side, Sherwin Williams’ Dorian Gray on the trim, fascia, soffit, decking, and lattice is a slightly cooler tone that coordinates nicely with the tan. Lastly, Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn Black provides richness and depth on the front door, gutters, and shutters.

Before and after of a brick home with new exterior house paint colors alongside the natural red brick

Traditional brick home three ways

This homeowner came to us looking for new exterior house paint colors that reflected her preference for a ‘modern cottage’ style. We gave her three options, all with different hues and brick treatments.

First, above, we kept the red brick unpainted and suggested painting the siding around the front door and the shutters in Sherwin Williams’ Urbane Bronze. Shoji White on the trim, fascia, soffits, gutters, and downspouts is a lovely warm shade that links the rich red brick, the cooler gray roof, and the white windows.

Before and after of a brick home with limewashed brick

Our second design treatment has a more dramatic before and after because of the limewash on the brick. Benjamin Moore’s Nimbus on the siding, trim, and downspouts and Sherwin Williams’ Snowbound on the windows, shutters, and garage door are warm, light neutrals that certainly feel cottage-y. However, Benjamin Moore’s Onyx plays the important role of ‘outlining’ the home on the fascia, soffits, and gutters as well as drawing the eye to the front door.

Before and after of a brick home with white-painted brick color scheme

Last, we gave this home a white-brick-look without feeling too bright by using a warm gray: Benjamin Moore’s Barren Plain. Here, Sherwin William’s Iron Ore is used on the fascia, soffits, and gutters plus as an accent on the shutters and garage door. Benjamin Moore’s Galápagos Turquoise on the front door gives the façade a pop of color.

Before and after of a stucco home with new exterior house colors

Lose the yellow, keep the unique

This client liked that their home was unique, but they didn’t love the yellow hue that came with the place. They turned to us for an exterior color palette that would blend more seamlessly with their stone cladding and shingle and copper roofs. We gave them two options.

Above, we suggested warm neutrals, all by Benjamin Moore. We began with a lighter greige — Nimbus — on the stucco and used Cinder as a darker, anchoring gray on the accents. Wrought Iron offers contrast on the front and garage doors.

Before and after of a stucco home with new exterior house colors

This Benjamin Moore color palette is similar; however, instead of using dark shades as accents, we used lighter tones. Baltic Gray is a slightly cooler option for the stucco, which plays nicely with the brightness of Classic Gray on all of the accents, from the trim to the garage door. (Note that ‘Classic Gray‘ is something of a misnomer as we consider Classic Gray to be more of an off-white than a gray.)

Before and after of a large home rendered with a new neutral exterior paint color palette

Elegant European aesthetic

These homeowners had recently installed new garage doors and a double front door and wanted a fresh color scheme that would give them a European or French country look. Our designers suggested Benjamin Moore’s Bruton White on the stucco with La Paloma Gray on the fascia, soffits, and trim. The subdued tone-on-tone result is gorgeous and sophisticated. Furthermore, we recommended painting the gutters and downspouts in a dark copper to coordinate with the existing warm wood doors.


Before and after of a Tudor-style home with painted brick

Tudor-style, two ways

If you’re looking for how to update a Tudor-style home using just paint, look no further than this example. First, we provided an option with painted brick, rendered in Benjamin Moore’s London Fog, a cozy neutral with soft gray undertones. The trim, half-timbering, fascia, and soffits are all in London Fog, as well. White Dove makes the stucco pop, while Onyx brings modernity to the curb appeal. The overall effect is soft and fresh, with a definite transitional lean.

Before and after of a Tudor-style home with natural brick and updated accent paint colors

Another option we provided keeps the brick unpainted. Here, our designers pulled out tones naturally found in the brick with their paint color selections. Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl on the stucco is a light and cool gray that plays on the lighter bricks. Alternately, Raccoon Fur on the front and garage doors, trim, half-timbering, fascia, and soffits connects with some of the deepest and darkest bricks on the façade. The resulting curb appeal in this design is updated but still fairly traditional.

Before and after of a two-story stucco home with three-stall garage on lower level and warm neutral color palette

Classic California stucco home

Classic California stucco homes are wonderfully nostalgic, but sometimes a bit of paint can be helpful in giving them new life. In this example, a few choice exterior house paint colors, all by Benjamin Moore, made a massive difference in improving curb appeal. Jockey Hollow Gray is a warm, nature-inspired greige hue that we used on the stucco and brick. For a bright contrasting shade, we used White Dove on the trim, eaves, gutters, and garage doors.

Before and after of a traditional two-story home with a front-loader garage rendered with new exterior house paint colors alongside its natural red brick

Three ways to colorblock

Last but not least, we gave the owners of this traditional brick-and-siding home three ideas for a colorblocked color palette, all with a noticeably different feel.

First, we left the brick unpainted and used Benjamin Moore’s Graphite on the siding, soffits, fascia, garage door, and porch columns and Tricorn Black on the shutters and front door. Similar to the Tudor example above, some of the bricks are naturally similar to the charcoal gray of Graphite.

Before and after of a traditional two-story home with a front-loader garage rendered with new exterior house paint colors, included painted brick in a colorblocked style

Second, we painted the brick white — specifically, Sherwin Williams’ Reserved White. Benjamin Moore’s Gray is a lighter accent on the siding, fascia, soffits, garage door, and columns, and we stuck with Tricorn Black on the front door and shutters. We find this to be the most modern-leaning design of the three.

Before and after of a traditional two-story home with a front-loader garage rendered with new exterior house paint colors, included painted brick in a colorblocked style

The final paint color option is softer, with a less dramatic contrast between the color blocks and with light trim as opposed to dark. Baltic Gray is a more saturated paint color for the brick (as opposed to the white above). Sherwin Williams’ Zurich White is a crisp, cool, bright white on the soffits, fascia, garage door, and shutters. Lastly, Urbane Bronze brings some warmth to the palette on the upper level siding and the porch columns. And, yes, we used Tricorn Black for the door even with this design. The overall aesthetic feels more cozy cottage than the other two options.

Exterior design of a home with dark exterior house paint colors

The power of exterior house paint colors

Brick&batten is the leader in home exterior visualization, and we take particular pride in our ability to recommend paint colors for homeowners. Don’t settle when it comes to one of your most important assets. See it first with our new paint visualizer service!