How to Choose Paint Color for Your Home’s Exterior

Are you trying to choose a paint color for your home’s exterior? The dreaded stone… paired with brick…. Then add a little siding or stucco, with any kind of textured roof, phew, there’s just a lot going on. Now, try to find a paint color that creates a cohesive design. Yes. It’s a disaster! 

I have a friend that moved out east recently to build a home with her husband. Her builder began playing with colors after messing up on a couple window placements, which impacted her ability to do real shutters, which changed the color scheme.  That’s when I received the frantic phone call and that’s when we jumped in to help get these colors right! That’s also when it occurred to me that she’s not alone… finding paint color for your home’s exterior is tough.

When you’re choosing color for your home’s exterior there is a whole process:


1st Step:

What are your GOALS? 

Obviously greater curb appeal is a goal but dig deep.  What do you really want to realistically accomplish? Paint can do a lot of amazing things; however, it can’t turn a colonial into a modern farmhouse or turn your McMansion into a mid-century ranch. Do you want to lighten the look or are you looking for a trendier dark color? 

2nd Step:


What would you like to stay and what do you plan on replacing? Make an organized list so you have a plan to follow. Outdoor paint is directly influenced by the environment it’s around.  That means you may think your paint is white or gray; however if your windows are also white it may change the color of the paint to look creamy or even taupe. 

3rd Step:

Stick to a BUDGET.

Everything always takes longer and costs more than you anticipate. That said, get quotes before you start your project.  Surprises are the worst! 

4th Step:

Find your COLORS.

You’ve gotten organized and decided what you want to replace and what stays.  Then, you went through your budget to be sure the changes are feasible. Now, using your organized list, find the colors in those elements.  Really diagnose your house and list the colors you see. For example, your brick has several colors, so you may list: red, orange, white, gray, charcoal, and black. Don’t just say red.  

5th Step:


Take your color list and break it down even further.  Which colors are neutral and blend with anything? What are your tricky whites? And finally, what are your accent or crazy colors? 

6th Step:


I’m not talking about the style you wish you purchased. I’m talking about the true architectural style of your home. The style of your home plays a role in the design and color choices that work best. These are a few styles; however there are so many more. Identify your style!

house styles

7th Step:

It’s TIME. Create the PALETTE. 

You have a detailed list of everything that’s not changing (fixed elements). Next, you have really diagnosed every color and detail. Now, it’s time to create the color palette for your home’s exterior! The colors you have listed are the ones you need to use! Don’t stray and add different shades. You don’t need to recreate the wheel! 

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.

Tips for Which Colors to Choose:

♦  Different style architecture may require different color selections. For example, usually a Victorian requires a muted or “dirty” color selection, where as a beach house can get away with more vibrant or “clean” colors. 

♦  If your fixed elements are dirty colors, then you must stick with dirty. Also, if your fixed elements are clean shades then you must stay with clean.  For the best design don’t mix clean and dirty colors

♦  Some houses are wayyy overdone with far too many colors. If you’ve got busy brick or stone, or a multidimensional roof, your house already has a lot going on.  Keep it simple. Choose 2-3 colors max. You have a base color, a trim color, and an accent color. 

♦  Stucco surface absorbs paint differently because of rock and texture in the surface. Because of this, paint usually appears darker on stucco surfaces. 


Overall, choosing paint colors is a science that can be learned. That said, there is no absolute right or wrong when it comes to paint.  You don’t need to pull your hair out in the aisle of your local paint store. Our designers at brick&batten are trained color experts and know the ins and outs of undertones that seep from fixed elements. Let us take the pressure off and help with color selection