No-Regret Paint Colors for Your Home’s Exterior

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There are some houses that simply stop you in your tracks, whether it’s a dreamy white farmhouse, a crisp green lake cottage, or a classic Colonial complete with a red front door. Color, of course, plays a huge role in that aforementioned curb appeal, but choosing an exterior paint palette can be daunting. With an interior room, if you change your mind, it’s not a massive undertaking to repaint it yourself. However, painting an exterior is a much bigger commitment—one that calls for outside labor and significant investment. The good news is that if you get it right, you can rest easy for a decade or so. “Many manufacturers today formulate paints that have a life of 8 to 10 years, depending on the home’s environment,” says Terry Pylant, senior principal with Historical Concepts, a traditional architecture firm based in Atlanta and New York. “Paint is the protective coating on a home, so choosing quality paint with proper prep-work and application will help ensure that it will last.”

If you’ve been contemplating a new color, you’re likely already swimming in a sea of samples. White? Gray? Green? Red? Then, navigating the subtle differences—warm undertones, cool undertones—can be enough to make you want to throw in the tarp. But there are a few tactics that can help simplify the selection process. First things first: Be sure to review swatches on location—ideally both in the shade and full sunlight, and at various times of day. “Selecting a paint for a farmhouse, or any other traditional home in a natural setting, requires a close study of the landscape and surroundings that it will be a part of, so it is important to study swatches there and not remotely or indoors,” says Terry.

There are also practical, not-purely-aesthetic things to consider. For example, darker houses (think black or charcoal) absorb heat from the sun, which can help you save on heating expenses during colder seasons, but can also have the reverse effect in summer. And if you’re painting over stone or brick, you’ll want to consider how the surface’s undertones will affect the end result. On a similar note, if you’re leaving any of that natural material exposed, you’ll want to make sure the color you choose is complementary. (Get more tips on painting brick!)

To help steer you in the right direction, here are 40 editor- and homeowner-vetted hues, including some of today’s most popular and beloved exterior colorways.

For more curb appeal inspiration, check out these stories:

White + Brown + Gray

You can’t go wrong with a crisp white farmhouse set against a lush green landscape, as seen in this new-build Oklahoma property. (Coordinating ducks optional but highly encouraged.)

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, try Glacier White by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: This Oklahoma Couple Ditched Their Big City Home to Build a ‘Not-So-Big House’

white farmhouse with ducks in front

Annie Schlechter

Black + Brown + Gray

Dark exteriors, like this one in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, are an especially popular choice for a modern farmhouse. A darker hue is also good for concealing dust and dirt in windier climates.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, try Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams

serenbe, georgia modern farmhouse home with black exterior and front porchserenbe, georgia modern farmhouse home with black exterior and front porch

Jean Allsopp

Barn Red + Dark Gray

In California’s wine country, a kit barn-turned-guest residence evokes classic pastoral charm courtesy of an iconic hue.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
Barn Red by Valspar

RELATED: See More of This Ultimate Mail-Order Guest House

red barn with yellow pickup truckred barn with yellow pickup truck

Audrey Hall

Blackish-Brown + White

Built in 1890, this charming 970-square-foot cottage in Redlands, California, is proof that darker houses don’t have to feel overtly modern or edgy. The trick is choosing warmer tones, like this rich brown with a hint of black.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
Black Bean Soup by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Peek Inside a Former Gardener’s Cottage

dark brown farmhousedark brown farmhouse

Roger Davies

Dark Green + White + Charcoal Gray

When Kelly Gray (@talkofthehouse) revived her 1949 lake cabin, she opted for a deep-but-not-too-dark green that complements the surrounding trees while still maintaining a lively welcome-to-the-lake spirit.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Night Watch by Glidden

RELATED: See More of This Cozy Georgia Lake Cottage That is Filled with Colorful Vintage Finds

dark green lake cottage with white trimdark green lake cottage with white trim

Brie Williams, styling by Elizabeth Demos

Golden Yellow + Brown

To give this worn-down, Depression-era cottage new life, architect Greg Dutton opted for an ochre salvaged clapboard exterior inspired by the goldenrod wildflowers that dot the surrounding pastures.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Wythe Gold by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See More of This Ohio Cottage That is What Tiny Home Dreams Are Made Of

yellow farmhouse exterioryellow farmhouse exterior

Erin Kelly

Bright White + Dark Brown + Gray

With its satisfying symmetry and classic, clean white exterior palette, this picturesque Southern farmhouse is the kind of property that makes you pump the brakes on a country backroad.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
White Dove by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Step Inside One of the Prettiest Country Farmhouses We’ve Ever Seen

white farmhouse with large front porchwhite farmhouse with large front porch

Max Kim-Bee

Gray + White + Yellow

When paired with clean white trim and a cheery yellow front door, a medium-toned gray exterior deserves all the neighborhood beautification accolades.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Grizzle Gray by Sherwin-Williams
Front Door Paint Color: For similar, Cheerful by Sherwin-Williams

grey house yellow doorgrey house yellow door

Jeff McNamara

Red + Wood + Dark Gray

If a rusty barn red farmhouse is a wee bit too country for your tastes, consider a red paint color tinged with orange undertones, which feels a tad more unexpected and contemporary.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, try Brave and Bold by Magnolia Home

red modern farmhousered modern farmhouse

Jean Allsopp

White + Brown + Gray

To give a cookie-cutter, circa-2000 suburban home a decidedly country makeover, designer Paige Thornton embarked on a farmhouse-y facelift complete with a fresh white paint.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
White Dove by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See More of How This Couple Transformed Their Suburban Cookie Cutter Home Into an Authentic Farmhouse

white farmhouse exteriorwhite farmhouse exterior

Brian Woodcock

Navy Blue + White

Does it get any more “Maine” than a shingled, bring-on-the-sandy-feet cottage that takes its color inspiration from the blueberry bushes that surround the property? We think not!

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Blueberry by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Try These 45+ Beach House Decorating Ideas

new england home by designer katie rosenfeld blue house exteriornew england home by designer katie rosenfeld blue house exterior

Read McKendree

Red + White + Dark Gray

To maintain the original red of this cozy cottage on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake, homeowners Katie and Andy Barnes had the existing red paint color-matched at the local hardware store.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Rustic Red by Sherwin-Williams

RELATED: See More of This Lakeside Cabin That Has All the Old-School Charm of Summer Camp

red lake cabin on the lakered lake cabin on the lake

Adam Albright, styling by Matthew Gleason

Light Gray + Sage Green + Dark Brown

A pairing of a light muddy gray siding and soft and earthy green shutters helps this Texas lake home meld into its tree-wrapped surroundings. “We worked to blend nature, setting, and the views,” says interior designer Shannon Bowers.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Light Gray by Farrow & Ball
Shutter Paint Color: Treron by Farrow & Ball

ivory ranch house with wraparound porchivory ranch house with wraparound porch

Par Bengtsson

Gray + White + Gray

To give her West Virginia bungalow a handsome update, DIY-er Bambi Constanzo (@number131) covered the exterior with a rich warm gray.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Evening Hush by Behr

RELATED: This Tiny Cottage in West Virginia Brims with Big Personality

gray bungalow with white trimgray bungalow with white trim

Brie Williams

Chocolate Brown + Mint Green + Dark Brown

If anyone were to obsess about an exterior paint color, it makes sense it’d be an artist. Here, painter Kelley Bentley Ash selected a warm and welcoming brown for the outside of her Alabama home, which serves up nice contrast to the vibrant artwork on display in the interior. (Be sure to peek inside!)

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
Black Bean Soup by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See Inside This Alabama Farmhouse That is One of the Most Colorful Homes You’ll Ever See

dark brown farmhousedark brown farmhouse

Brian Woodcock

White + Charleston Green + Black

Designed by Jim Strickland of Historical Concepts (with interiors by Heather Chadduck Hillegas), this Carolina river house feels right at home in the Lowcountry landscape. Dark “Charleston green” shutters add the finishing nod to the region.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, China White by Benjamin Moore
Front Door and Shutter Paint Color: Black Forest Green by Benjamin Moore

white south carolina cottage with dark green shutterswhite south carolina cottage with dark green shutters

David Hillegas

White + Black + Brown

One of the oldest Cape cottages in Provincetown, Massachusetts, this 1700s Cape (@thegroggyanchor) features warm white clapboard that feels in keeping with its historic character.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Cloud White by Benjamin Moore
Front Door and Shutter Paint Color: Black by Benjamin Moore

white cape cod house with black door and shutterswhite cape cod house with black door and shutters

DANE TASHIMA

Dark Gray + White + Dark Gray

Abigail Hoppen’s (@adventuresinabbyland) collected Michigan summer cottage welcomes visitors with dark gunmetal gray siding by Mitten.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Peppercorn by Sherwin-Williams

RELATED: See More of This Michigan Lake Cabin That Feels Like Summer Camp for Grown-Ups

gray cottage with family outsidegray cottage with family outside

Marta Xochilt Perez, styling by Jennifer Decleene

White + Pink + Gray

Bedding designer Bailey McCarthy gave her sweet Bellville, Texas, guest home an eye-catching exterior courtesy of classic white siding and a cotton-candy pink front door. A miniature pony named Soulja Boy(!) completes the pastoral picture.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore
Front Door Paint Color: Cat’s Meow by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Peek Inside This Century-Old Victorian Farmhouse

bailey mccarthy white texas farmhouse with pink front doorbailey mccarthy white texas farmhouse with pink front door

Roger Davies, styling by Becki Griffin

Brown + White

Just outside of Nashville, musician Ronnie Dunn’s high-style barn home features a rugged true brown that complements the earth-toned interiors.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Take a Peek Inside This Stunning Tennessee Barn Home of Country Superstar Ronnie Dunn

ronnie dunn's tennessee homeronnie dunn's tennessee home

Paul Costello

Deep Brown + White + Forest Green

For their 1930s fishing camp turned family retreat in Wisconsin’s North Woods, homeowners Nora and Doug O’Leary chose a bark-like brown befitting the woodsy setting. The forest green roof shingles complete the woodsy look.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, French Press by Benjamin Moore

lakeside cabinlakeside cabin

JOSH GRUBBS

White + Green + Gray

A shingled Maine cottage exudes timeless charm with a not-too-cool, not-too-warm coat of white paint and a verdant green front door.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
Front Door Paint Color: For similar, Rosemary Green by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See Inside This Tiny Maine Cottage That is the Epitome of New England Charm

white house with green doorwhite house with green door

Max Kim-Bee

Blue-Gray + Red + White + Brown

Built in 2007, this cozy post-and-beam saltbox feels like it’s been sitting on its 12 acres for generations thanks to its timeless Colonial color palette. (The gray has a pretty teal blue-ish tinge.) Bonus: Both colors really pop against the snow!

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Gentlemen’s Gray by Benjamin Moore
Front Door and Carriage House Paint Color: Maple Leaf Red by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Peek Inside This Cozy Rhode Island Saltbox Home

gray colonial home with red front door in the snowgray colonial home with red front door in the snow

Nat Rea

Black + White + Red + Dark Brown

Architectural designer Jeff Murphy situated his Minnesota cabin on a 50-foot bluff overlooking Lake Pulaski. The dark earthy exterior blends into the tree-lined landscape, while the red door lightens the overall mood

Get the Look:
Exterior Stain Color: Black by Cabot Stain
Front Door Paint Color:
For similar, Candy Apple by PPG

dark brown farmhousedark brown farmhouse

Marta Xochilt Perez, styling by Jennifer Decleene

Red-Brown + Cream + Brown

In Wisconsin’s Northwoods, Megan and Gabe Marsh stained the original half-log siding of their century-old Pine Cove Cabin a warm and cozy reddish brown.

Get the Look:
Exterior Stain Color:
New Pilgrim Red by Benjamin Moore

red wisconsin cabinred wisconsin cabin

Marta Xochilt Perez

Light Gray + Dark Gray + Dark Gray

Known as Cloverfield Farm, this 3,ooo-square-foot weekend escape was designed to host big parties. The exterior colors set the tone for the rugged-meets-refined neutral interiors.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Cityscape by Sherwin-Williams
Doors and Shutters Paint Color: Iron Ore by Sherwin-Williams

RELATED: Be Still, Our Country Hearts: This Mississippi Barn is the Stuff of Dreams

a large gray barn housea large gray barn house

Lincoln Barbour

Taupe + White + Salmon + Gray

The Ernst family of six breathed new life into a seen-better-days foreclosure with a greige-y neutral exterior and happy accent of more-peppy-than-precious pink.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
Front Door Paint Color: Coral Blush by Glidden

RELATED: This Renovated Farmhouse Is Packed With Smile Inducing—and Budget-Friendly!—Decorating Ideas

a gray house with a coral front door and family playing out in fronta gray house with a coral front door and family playing out in front

David A. Land

White + Yellow + Gray

A fresh and crisp exterior mimics the clean-lined Shaker-inspired interiors of this sophisticated-yet-understated Connecticut farmhouse.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Greek Villa by Sherwin-Williams
Front Door Paint Color: For similar, Lemon Sorbet by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See Inside This Connecticut Farmhouse That Is the Definition of Open and Airy

a white farmhouse with a yellow doora white farmhouse with a yellow door

John Gruen

Gray + Red + Gray

Inspired by the iconic red cottages in Stockholm, Sweden, the homeowners of this Michigan lake house opted to bring a bit of Scandinavia to the Mitten State, but with a twist. “Initially, we were going to paint the house red, but that didn’t fit the vernacular of [Maple] island,” says designer Steve Somogyi. The solution: incorporating a bold color for the windows and front door, then matching the gray stain to the bark of the surrounding trees.

Get the Look:
Exterior Stain Color: For similar, Corundrum by Olympic
Exterior Door and Trim Paint Color: Heritage Red by Benjamin Moore

gray lake home with red door and window trimgray lake home with red door and window trim

diana paulson

Pale Gray + White + Black

This charming family retreat, a new-build near Lake Michigan, was inspired by historic homes in the area.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Moonshine by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: Peek Inside This Cottage-Style Lake House That is the Vacation Home of Our Dreams

light gray lake houselight gray lake house

David A. Land, styling by Jennifer Berno DeCleene

Taupe + White + Blue + Gray

Designer Holly Mathis gave this Brenham, Texas, cottage an easy breezy overhaul with an open airy palette and blue jean-blue front door.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore
Front Door Paint Color: For similar, Denim by Sherwin-Williams

RELATED: How to Make Your Home Look Professionally Decorated on a Budget

ivory colored house exteriorivory colored house exterior

Buff Strickland

White + Blue + Black

It doesn’t get any more darling than this blue-and-white combo that feels plucked right out of a storybook. (And shutter cutouts to boot!)

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Glacier White by Benjamin Moore
Front Door and Shutter Paint Color: Fairview Blue by Benjamin Moore

country home with blue shutterscountry home with blue shutters

DENISE RETALLACK

White + Brown + Black

A good rule of thumb: The further from the road, the brighter you can go! For this crisp white Sulphur Springs, Texas, family farmhouse, that rule rings true.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Paper White by Benjamin Moore

sprawling white modern farmhouse with wood doorsprawling white modern farmhouse with wood door

Stephen Karlisch

Creamy Tan + White + Olive Green + Brown

A 200+ year-old Cape Cod-style Connecticut farmhouse remains in keeping with tradition courtesy of period-appropriate paint colors. (It sure looks cute twirled up for Christmas, too.)

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Hearth Flat by Glidden
Front Door Paint Color: For similar, Bespoke Green by Magnolia Home

creamy gold farmhouse with olive green doorcreamy gold farmhouse with olive green door

Dylan Chandler

White + Gray

After Claire Zinnecker relocated a charming 1897 Folk Victorian from Austin to rural Texas, she gave it new life with a fresh coat of warm white paint.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
Disco by Portola Paints

RELATED: Peek Inside This Charming Farmhouse That Was Listed for $15,000 on Facebook Marketplace (You Won’t Believe the Before!)

texas hill country farmhouse exteriortexas hill country farmhouse exterior

Buff Strickland

Ivory + Blue +Terra Cotta

The creamy exterior of this 1920s casita in Santa Barbara, California, beautifully complements both the Spanish-style roof and bold blue trim.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Classic Light Buff by Sherwin-Williams
Trim Paint Color: For similar, Periwinkle by Behr

white exterior with blue trimwhite exterior with blue trim

David Tsay

White + Sky Blue + Black

Tastemaker and Country Living Contributor Holly Audrey Williams revamped a run-down Kentucky farmhouse with white siding and a welcoming sky blue front door. (Baby Arlo approves.)

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color: For similar, Nebulous White by Sherwin-Williams
Front Door Paint Color: Van Courtland Blue by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See More How Holly Williams Revived This Run-Down Kentucky Farmhouse

white farmhouse with light blue doorwhite farmhouse with light blue door

Annie Schlechter

White + Dark Green + Black

Designer Erick Espinoza updated his Connecticut home with a white paint color that has green-gray undertones (yes, it reads white in daylight!) and a historic green hue on the shutters and front door.

Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
Early Morning Mist by Benjamin Moore
Front Door and Shutter Color: Coach Green by Fine Paints of Europe

RELATED: 25 Best Green Paint Colors That’ll Liven Up Any Room

white victorian homewhite victorian home

Mark Roskams

Tan + White + Red + Dark Brown

A bright front door pops against this simple farmhouse’s vertical tan clapboard siding and sleek metal roof. “It’s always a stretch to afford metal roofing, but it’s so crisp. It’s like putting a frame on a picture,” says homeowner Bobby Houston.

Get the Look:

Exterior Stain Color: For similar, Parlor Tan by Olympic
Front Door Paint Color: Red by Benjamin Moore

RELATED: See Inside This Stunning Farmhouse Makeover (That Kitchen!)

a dog sitting outside of a tan house with red front doora dog sitting outside of a tan house with red front door

John Gruen

Yellow + White + Brown

A small cottage instantly becomes just that much cuter when painted cheery yellow. Crisp white trim keeps the look fresh and polished.


Get the Look:
Exterior Paint Color:
For similar, Hawthorne Yellow by Benjamin Moore

yellow house with white trimyellow house with white trim

Jean Allsopp

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