Struggling to come up with an exterior color scheme that goes with cool gray stone? Then this post is for you!
As an online paint color consultant, I’ve helped so many homeowners in North America find the perfect color schemes for their interior and exterior projects.
But when it comes to choosing paint colors for my own home, it always feels a little bit harder! I see so many possibilities, that I can’t make up my mind. In the last year, I’ve looked at over twenty color palettes, but here we’ll show you the final options.
I bought this house as a new build in 2019 and they gave us a cool gray ledgestone accent on the exterior. I love the stone, but finding the right exterior paint colors that go with cool stone has been tricky.
Our HOA is very restrictive about the palettes they allow (they actually have a “book” with palettes to choose from). As we find with many of our clients’ HOAs, the book of palettes is dated, and some of them aren’t very good.
Naturally, my team and I set out to find a better gray stone exterior color scheme that still aligns with my HOA’s rules (hopefully!). We’re still in the process of narrowing down palettes and submitting one for approval, so let us know in the comments which palette is your favorite!
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The Current Color Scheme
Current color palette (include links to Samplize for testing):
- Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray: Trim, Fascia:
- Sherwin-Williams Dorian Gray: Shingles
- Sherwin-Williams Gauntlet Gray: Siding, Garage Doors
- Benjamin Moore Caliente: Front Door:
- Slate Southern Ledgestone: Synthetic Gray Stone
Overall, this is an ok color scheme that pairs well with the stone. With a new color palette, I hope to change the “white” trim color from Agreeable Gray to something with a cooler undertone. I also want to pick colors with more colorful hues that will distinguish the house from my neighbors.
Even though the house is fairly new, the paint grade that was used was contractor grade, which means that it wears quickly in the Colorado sunshine, or any sunshine for that matter. The paint is fading and wearing in spots and it’s time to paint the house again. Also, there are several houses with this color palette in my neighborhood, and I have been known to drive up to the wrong one.
How Do You Match Paint to Stone?
Creating a color scheme for a gray stone exterior is a lot like choosing paint colors for red brick homes. The key is not necessarily to try to match your paint to your stone, but instead to find paint colors that complement your stone.
Use the tips below to find the right paint color for your exterior home. While we’ll be specifically talking about cool gray ledge stone, you can use these same guidelines to help you choose paint colors for other stone exteriors too.
Understand Your Stone
The first step is to get clear on exactly what type of stone you have. The color and undertone of your stone have a big impact on the colors you choose. The same is true whether you have a cool gray stone like my home, or a warm, red brick exterior.
My stone is what I would call an “elephant” gray, with violet undertones. These undertones are what make it a cool color. In my experience, violet grays and taupe paint colors look great together indoors, but they don’t work outside. I’m not sure why.
Consider Your Location
Paint colors look 4-5 times lighter and more colorful outside than inside, and this is especially true if you live in a place that is very sunny or high altitude (like I do in Colorado!). Avoid exterior paint colors (especially exterior whites) that are too light and bright – they’ll look stark in the bright sun.
Pay Attention to Your Neighbors
Most of us don’t want a cookie-cutter house that looks just like the one next door. But you don’t want your house to look completely out of place, either. It’s also important to ensure your exterior won’t reflect the colors of your neighbor’s homes. If your neighborhood has an HOA like mine, it’s also important to ensure your new palette will align with their guidelines.
What Color Paint Goes with Gray Stone?
After working through my typical color consultation process on my own house, I created a general list of paint colors I would pair with cool gray ledgestone – and paint colors I wouldn’t use.
Body Colors I’d Pair with Cool Gray Ledgestone:
I love the combination of cool gray stone with reds, rich greens, blues, and violet grays. If the stone is earthy, then make sure that the colors are muted. Don’t pair bright colors with earthy stone or brick.
- Red (muted) paint colors look so rich when paired with gray stone.
- Green exterior paint colors are complementary on the color wheel.
- A deep blue is truly harmonious. You can use cool dark blues like Sherwin-Williams Charcoal Blue or warm dark blues like Sherwin-Williams Sea Serpent or Benjamin Moore Hale Navy.
- Cool gray paint colors like Sherwin-Williams Dovetail, Sherwin-Williams Acier, and Sherwin-Williams Gauntlet Gray look fantastic as long as you have some contrast.
Body Colors I Would NOT Pair with Cool Gray Ledgestone:
Taupes and warm grays do not pair well with cool gray stone outdoors. Here are some specific colors I would avoid:
- Taupes such as Sherwin-Williams Shitaaki, Benjamin Moore Ranchstone, and Sherwin-Williams Tony Taupe
- Tans and beiges such as Sherwin-Williams Relaxed Khaki, and Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige (they have too much yellow)
- Green-grays such as Sherwin-Williams Fawn Brindle or Benjamin Moore Rockport Gray unless they have more green color than neutrals.
The color of your roof and roofline trim also play an important role when building a color palette that goes with cool gray ledgestone.
If your roofline is dark:
Stick with cool blacks and grays for your roofline trim, such as Sherwin-Williams Dark French Brown and Benjamin Moore Carbon Copy, or even Benjamin Moore Cheating Heart. Warm blacks and browns such as Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze and Sherwin-Williams Black Fox may clash a bit.
If your roofline is white:
Stick with darker, cooler whites and light neutrals for your roofline trim. Avoid beige. Sherwin-Williams Origami White, Sherwin-Williams City Loft, and Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray are all good options. Don’t use warmer whites and neutrals such as SW Oyster White, or SW Alabaster. The current trim color is SW Agreeable Gray, and it’s ok, but wouldn’t be my first choice because its not cool enough.
Of course, these are exceptions to all of these “rules.” Consider these guidelines (and then consider hiring a paint color consultant to help find the perfect hues for your home).
Window Trim Colors:
If you have white windows (so many people do, including me), then pick a light window trim color to avoid a very high contrast. Avoid dark trim colors with white vinyl windows.
4 Exterior Color Schemes With Cool Gray Stone
For my home, the goal for the look and feel of the development is to fit in with the Prairie Grasslands of Colorado, so the paint colors need to be earthy. My HOA has a whole book of colors and color schemes, and I first looked through these options when building my ideal exterior palette.
I rendered several versions of mostly white-ish paint color palettes, but they just didn’t look good with this type of architecture. I decided that I wanted a colorful palette, yet muted to fit in with the neighborhood.
Featured below are my favorite exterior color schemes, along with Photoshop renderings of my house with each one. As you’ll see, there is a lot of variety in the palettes – a clear sign that cool gray stone can be more versatile than you might think.
Some of these are 3-color palettes and some are 4-color palettes. It doesn’t matter which way you go. These are different designs and it’s just as important to get the placement right as it is to find the right colors. Keep in mind that the more colors you choose, the more the project will cost with extra paint and labor to switch colors.
Sherwin-Williams Carriage Door Exterior Color Scheme
Red is my favorite color, and this is my first choice for a color palette that goes with gray stone.
Based on our project questionnaires, most people don’t want to paint their house red. It is unlikely my HOA will approve it, but you never know. This palette features Sherwin-Williams Carriage Door body paint, garage doors painted with SW Deep Forest Brown, and SW City Loft for the trim and rooflines.
I love the rich, earthy SW Carriage Door on the shingles! This color is a deep reddish-brown that balances out the gray stone. The cool brown garage doors help ground the palette and keep it from looking too warm overall.
This color scheme reminds me a lot of the BM Earthly Russet palette I put together for a client back in the fall.
Please note that I’m using light colors for the window trim, which is white vinyl. We played with darker colors, but the white windows looked too bright for these earthy colors.
Sample This Gray Stone Color Palette:
- Sherwin-Williams Carriage Door: Lap siding, architectural shingles
- Sherwin-Williams City Loft: Window trim, roofline, corbels
- Sherwin-Williams Deep Forest Brown: Garage doors, front door
A SW Carriage Door Palette to AVOID
This next palette is an example from my HOA book – and it’s one that I don’t recommend. While it includes the SW Carriage Door paint color I love in the palette above, the other warm browns (SW Tiki Hut and SW Hickory Smoke) just don’t go with the stone. And I’m not crazy about the dark trim used in this palette, especially with the white vinyl windows. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.
The moral of the story is that just because a palette is in your HOA book (and even includes a color you love), it doesn’t mean that it will suit your stone or your house!
Sherwin-Williams Needlepoint Navy Exterior Color Scheme
The next palette is gorgeous! I’ve always wanted a blue house, and my husband likes this one too. The combination of blue-gray siding with light gray trim (looks white) and cool brown garage doors is stunning. It offers just enough warmth and complements the cool gray stone beautifully.
This palette uses SW Needlepoint Navy on the lap siding and shingles and my favorite SW Deep Forest Brown on the garage doors and front door. The trim, roofline, and corbels are painted with SW Repose Gray, a violet-gray paint color that works well as a light trim paint color outdoors.
Sample This Gray Stone Color Palette:
- Sherwin-Williams Needlepoint Navy: lap siding, shingles
- Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray: trim, roofline, corbels
- Sherwin-Williams Deep Forest Brown: front door, garage door
Sherwin-Williams Homburg Gray and Repose Gray Exterior Color Scheme
This palette is very close to one of the palettes in the HOA list. Note the placement of colors. In this palette we went with four colors, adding a color for the architectural shingles.
Sherwin-Williams Homburg Gray is used for the siding. This warm blue-green gray color has strong green undertones that contrast with the cool, gray stone with violet undertones. Green and violet are complementary opposites on the color wheel and make each other come to life. I love the way the garage doors are painted the same color as the siding – the placement is nicely balanced.
Sample This Gray Stone Color Palette:
- Sherwin-Williams Homburg Gray: Lap siding, garage door
- Sherwin-Williams Repose Gray: trim, roofline, corbels
- Sherwin-Williams Pussywillow: Architectural shingles
- Sherwin-Williams Blackberry: Front door
How to Test Exterior Paint Colors
You should always sample and test your paint colors, but it’s especially important with exterior paint colors, which can look different in bright sunlight than they do on the page or screen.
The easiest way to sample any of these exterior paint colors (and any other paint color for that matter) is via SAMPLIZE. Their peel-and-stick paint samples are easy to use and true to color.
There is no mess, and the cost is less expensive than purchasing a sample and a white poster board. Since you don’t need to dispose of the paint, it’s also environmentally friendly!
With Samplize you can easily see how different shades look on your unique wall. Check out the SAMPLIZE website HERE. Get 10% off your Samplize order today by using the code “ColorConcierge10” at checkout. Order today and get samples tomorrow!
Key Learning Points
Choosing the right exterior paint colors of your home is one of the biggest impacts you can make on its curb appeal. If you’re ready to find your own paint colors that go with cool gray stone, don’t forget these important tips:
- Colors look 4-5 times lighter and more colorful outside than on the page or in the shade. Keep this in mind when choosing paint colors and always test in bright sunlight.
- Pay attention to the other colors in your neighborhood. You want your home to look unique without looking like it doesn’t belong. Make sure to not repeat your neighbor’s palettes and stay within any HOA rules you may need to follow.
- Avoid paint colors that are too light and warm, such as taupes and beige. Instead, opt for cool gray paint colors, blues and greens. Rich, earthy red paint colors can also look really lovely with gray stone.
Don’t forget to always test your paint colors before painting your whole house! Whenever I test my paint colors, they are perfect, and when I don’t test they turn out wrong. Learn how to test your paint colors here.
Remember: NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one specified. Results are poor and there are no standards for the sheens. Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching here.
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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions. If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.
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