10 Exterior Paint Colors That Will Refresh Your House for Spring
Three experts weigh in.
Published Mar 27, 2019 7:00 AM
Curb appeal is very real, and there’s no easier way to make your house look extra-inviting from the sidewalk—or even from down the street—than with a fresh coat of paint. The color of your home can communicate your personality, give an old building a fresh feeling, or even just make a lived-in home feel a little more spruced-up come springtime. The tricky part comes down to choosing which house paint color will turn your house into a home.
As winter eases up, you might find yourself itching for a change, but before you fully invest in new paint colors, consider your base. What do your home’s architecture and its surroundings seem to call for?
“The direction of the sun, the amount of light, the surrounding landscape, and the climate should all be factored in when choosing a color,” advises Benjamin Moore color and design expert Hannah Yeo. “Using the blue color family as an example, look to the color of the sky or the water and take note of the colors that accent your surroundings—maybe there is a bold pop of red geraniums, the neutral color of sand, or lush green foliage. Incorporating these same colors into your outdoor decor will help to create a harmonious color scheme for the exterior.”
That said, plenty of colors can work for almost any home, and depending on the kind of exterior vibe you’d like to create, there are plenty of options to pick from. Below, experts share their favorite house paint colors of the moment.
If You Want to Create Your Own Oasis
“Benjamin Moore Saybrook Sage can blend in with surrounding greenery to create a calming retreat,” Yeo suggests. In particular, she recommends it for ranch-style homes, on which it can make an enticing alternative to more traditional off-whites and grays.
All-green everything can offer an even deeper state of calm. “A sage green like Behr Sage Brush is lovely on the body of a home when paired with cream-colored trim and offer guests a verdant welcome with deep, mossy shade on the front door,” suggests Erika Woelfel, color expert at Behr Paint. “Colonial, Cape Cod, and traditional style homes can pull off this look really well.”
One of the brand’s most popular paint colors nationwide, Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray makes for a perfectly placid blue option that’s simultaneously historically driven and perfectly revitalized. “Pair it with off-white trim, for a clean and fresh look,” Yeo says.
If You’re All About Neutral Tones
For Tudor homes, in particular, Yeo recommends Benjamin Moore’s Pale Oak, a truly neutral off-white that pairs well with both warm and cool accent colors. “It’s a versatile color that works well with brick and stones,” she notes. “A dark brown trim can also enhance the character of the home.”
It hardly gets more classic than a creamy off-white hue, especially if you’re one for tradition. “Behr’s Swiss Coffee is a long-loved, off-white hue with a subtle hint of taupe that’s great for the body of a home or as a sleek choice for trim,” recommends Woelfel. “I suggest pairing it with a dark navy front door and shutters for a bold contrast.”
If you’re looking for a good base that will allow you to have some fun with your front door or shutters, this hue could be it. “Year after year, Sherwin-Williams Dover White is one of our most popular whites,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “If you’re considering a total refresh of your exterior, this warm and welcoming neutral is a very versatile choice. The timeless white also gives homeowners greater leeway when selecting trim colors, allowing them to express more of their personality and make colorful updates as often as they wish.”
If You Dare to Do Something Different
Tired of neutrals? Go a bit deeper. “We know that warm grays are on the rise, so try out a gray with brown undertones,” advises Woelfel. “I’m loving a grayed taupe like Behr Elephant Skin as an allover color paired with bright white trim and a saturated, rich pop of color on the front door and shutters.”
Black paint can make a major impact on shutters and a front door, but don’t be afraid to use it all over too. “Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black makes for a great accent shade on exteriors,” Wadden suggests. “Use it on shutters or the front door to create a striking contrast against a neutral white, gray, or beige background. For a more modern statement, apply it to your window trim as well. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a developing trend of all-black exteriors—particularly of the modern farmhouse style, which is a stunning choice for environments with heavy greenery.”
A little bit of warmth can do your home a whole lot of good. “The sun-washed terra-cotta hue of Sherwin-Williams Cavern Clay is most commonly seen on the exterior of southwest- and Spanish Mission–style homes, but it also makes for a warm, inviting accent color on contemporary and Southern Colonial homes,” says Wadden. “It pairs nicely with a variety of shades, but it really pops against saturated blues and soft beiges.”
Yes, an almost-white hue can be a statement color too. “A crisp Benjamin Moore Distant Gray against rich, muted blue-green trim on a craftsman-style home highlights the low-pitched rooflines and covered front porches,” suggests Yeo. The cool tones of this super-light gray paint also fare well on contemporary abodes.