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6 Exterior Paint Color Combos (and how to pick them)

Photo by M. Marceny, trim and siding are the same color, SW Pure White

Exterior paint colors for your existing home or new build can be the most difficult decision a homeowner can make. The choices for exterior paint color combinations are endless and overwhelming. 

Homeowners with existing homes are limited by their hard finishes (roofs, bricks, and stone). A production (tract) builder will usually give you choices that are curated so they don’t clash with each other, but there are still pitfalls.

Exterior Finishes are the first decision homeowners make after they contract a new home, and are usually required for the building permit. My family recently started a new build, so we will take you through the process in this New Build blog series.  

We chose Richmond American (not a blog sponsor) as our builder because they have a great reputation in our area, and their quality is fantastic. 

Before we share some of our favorite exterior paint color schemes, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about the different parts of new construction exteriors and the types of exterior finishes for homes.

Just here for the exterior paint color palettes? Click here to jump to them.

Home Exterior Definitions

Soffit – Area under the eaves

Fascia – Wood under the roofline

Siding – Wood, shingles, or composite planks that cover the exterior walls

Rainware – Gutters and downspouts used to carry water away from the house when it rains

How to Pick Exterior Paint Colors and Finishes

Guidelines for New Builds are the same as existing homes.  The difference is that for new builds you need to pick hard finishes such as the roof and stone or brick. For existing homes, you are limited by the roof and stone or brick that is already in place.

So, what can you do to pick great exterior paint color combinations for your home?

Gather Inspiration

Start with a Pinterest search for exterior paint color palettes, and look for houses in the neighborhood with color palettes you like. Keep it simple. With many elements, you could pick a combo that clashes.  If you have samples, look at them together in natural daylight.

Make a statement with your color palette.

Consider Your Location

When you’re choosing exterior paint colors, you can’t forget about the true exterior of your home: the neighborhood, land, and light around it! Make sure your color choices coordinate with your neighbors.  Don’t repeat their colors, and try to stick with the neighborhood theme.

It’s important to keep in mind that paint colors appear four to five times brighter and more colorful outside than they do inside or on the page. One of the most common mistakes we see homeowners make is picking a color that is too bright or way too light once it’s applied outside.

The way a color looks outside even depends on where you live. Heavily wooded areas with lots of green trees, for example, will reflect a lot of green light on a home, accentuating any green undertones that were already in the paint. 

The strength of the sun in your area will also have an impact. A homeowner living in Florida will experience much brighter sun than one living in New York, which can make bright paints or white paints appear too overpowering. Higher altitude areas – like Colorado where The Color Concierge is based – can have the same problem.

Need specific recommendations for white exterior paint for your home? We’ve got a whole section dedicated to that further down this page.

Photo by M. Marceny; white trim is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray, stucco is BM Rockport Gray and siding is BM Kendall Charcoal.

Pick Brick and Stone Exterior Finishes First

For a new build, pick your roof and stone or brick first.  Limit your choices to one busy finish. For example, pick one stone only, even if two are included in the price. Pick either stone or brick, but not both. Don’t feel that you have to pick stone or brick at all. Just because it’s included doesn’t mean you need to use it. If your stone is busy, pick a solid-colored roof.

The key is to keep patterned finishes like stone and brick fairly simple. This will make choosing exterior brick and paint color combinations easier.

Choose Exterior Paint Colors That Complement Your Stone

One of the best ways to create cohesive exterior paint color schemes is to match paint to one of the colors in the stone you’ve selected.

Because brick and stone are earthy finishes, you’ll want to pick paint colors that are also earthy, such as warmer whites and beiges. A color like Benjamin Moore’s Manchester Tan, for example, is one of the exterior paint colors that go with red brick.

Another trick for creating exterior brick and paint color combinations is to match the grout color in the brick or stone to the body color of the home. 

For red brick, grout is usually a gray color with green undertones. Finding a similar paint to use on the body of the home creates a really cohesive exterior paint color palette.

Colors like Fawn Brindle by Sherwin-Williams or Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore are good examples of grays with green undertones that are not too light for exterior applications.

For more exterior paint colors for brick homes, check out “The Best Exterior Colors for Brick Houses (and what not to do)“.

Paint Colors for Different Parts of Your Home’s Exterior

As we saw earlier in this post, there are several different parts of your home’s exterior that will need to be painted whether you’re picking new build exterior finishes or working on updating an existing home. Each piece of the exterior needs its own consideration when choosing paint colors.

Typically, you’ll want to limit paint colors to one trim, a door color, a primary body color, and occasionally a second body color. If you pick a secondary body color, use it to highlight architectural features such as a gable, or for a second body material such as shingles.

Let’s take a look at how to build exterior paint color combinations piece by piece.

Benjamin Moore Pale Oak paint is used as an exterior trim paint color.
BM Hale Navy (HC-154) siding with BM Pale Oak trim; Photo by M. Marceny

Exterior Paint Colors for Windows & Window Trim

Your home’s windows have a bigger impact on your exterior paint color schemes than you might think. 

A huge percentage of homes have white vinyl windows. If this is true for your home, then it’s recommended to paint the trim around them white. With a light color, the frames disappear into the trim. A dark window trim with a white vinyl window accentuates the white vinyl and can look cheap.

But don’t try to match the white color of your windows. Remember – light colors tend to look much brighter outside, so you can choose a slightly darker white to create a smooth transition between the windows and brick, stone, or siding.

I prefer darker and warmer whites such as Sherwin-Williams Oyster White and Zurich White for exterior white trim. In Benjamin Moore exterior paint colors, Classic Gray or Edgecomb Gray would work well as trim colors. If your siding is very light, then you can pick Sherwin-Williams Greek Villa or Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.

A lot of bloggers recommend Benjamin Moore White Dove or Alabaster as white trim colors. That is usually not our preference because White Dove can be over-bright outside, and Alabaster can skew yellow. This is another reason to test your paint colors very carefully.

For more ideas, check out the Best Exterior White Trim Colors.

If you have black windows, be careful when picking your window trim color. Painting your trim black could end up looking too heavy. Instead, consider white trim or using the body exterior paint color as trim for your windows. Another option is to paint the trim the body color.

Exterior Paint Colors for Fascia

The fascia should usually (though not always) be the same color as the trim or windows. Use a black roofline for a modern farmhouse look, especially white siding. A dark brown roofline can also be nice with darker earthy siding colors and rustic color palettes.

The green fascia color on this historic home matches the green roof and is muted enough to pair well with the gorgeous brick.

an example of exterior paint color combinations with red brick
Photo by Color Concierge Client, Pewter Green trim, front door, fascia, and soffits.

We really love white rooflines, especially since so many homes have white vinyl trim. Make sure that you pick a white color that is warmer than you think. If you paint a white that is too stark it will look blinding. Basically, if you have a white trim color inside your home, it will look over-bright outside.

Exterior Paint Colors for Soffit

If possible, paint soffits and porch ceilings the same color as the fascia for a unified look. White soffits and front porch colors help brighten the interior by reflecting light inside. Colors painted near windows can actually reflect that color inside and impact the appearance of interior paints.

If you have black fascia, carefully consider if you want to paint the soffits black or the body color. I really like a black soffit/fascia combination, but if the soffits are very wide it can look heavy.

Photo by Color Concierge Client; Fascia, soffits, and window trim are SW Egret White. The siding is Intellectual Gray with a Tricorn Black front door.

Which Color to Paint Your Front Door

At The Color Concierge, we are big proponents of picking a fun color for your front door! There are so many opportunities to get creative here. A bright, contrasting color is often a fun choice for front door paint. But a deep, rich hue – like Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue – can also look beautiful.

Need front door inspiration? Check out some of my favorite front door paint colors that I saw while traveling in Paris.

6 Gorgeous Exterior Paint Color Palettes

Now that we’ve determined how to choose exterior paint color combinations for your home, let’s take a look at some of our favorite exterior paint color palettes to inspire your new build finishes.

Sherwin-Williams Exterior Paint Color Scheme with Red Front Door

This is the Sherwin Williams exterior color combination that we picked for our home.  It’s neutral and lovely!

Color Scheme with SW Gauntlet Gray siding, SW Agreeable Gray trim and SW Dorian Gray secondary color with Rustic Red front door
Sherwin-Williams Exterior Color Scheme

Sherwin-Williams Exterior Paint Color Palette with Red Brick

For red brick houses, I love a neutral paint scheme. This Sherwin-Williams elegant color combination can’t lose.

Color Scheme with black SW Iron Ore siding and SW Pearly White trim with a SW Sea Serpent blue front door.
Sherwin-Williams Color Scheme

Benjamin Moore Exterior Paint Color Scheme with Red Brick

Dark blue is gorgeous with a red brick home. Instead of whites, use Benjamin Moore Classic Gray for the trim.  It will be more subdued than white or cream, in a good way.

Color Scheme with BM Hale Navy dark blue siding, BM Classic Gray trim and BM Storm blue-gray secondary color and Carriage Red front door
Benjamin Moore Exterior Color Scheme

Benjamin Moore Dark Exterior Paint Color Palette

Consider these dark dramatic paint colors – this was our last home.  The accent color is more of muted eggplant than purple. You don’t need to pick brick or stone.  You can just use siding or add textural interest with stucco.  If you are a gardener, the Benjamin Moore Tulsa Twilight dark eggplant is a gorgeous backdrop for a flower garden.

Color Scheme with BM Ashwood Moss dark green siding, BM Classic Gray trim and BM Tulsa Twilight eggplant secondary color and front door
Benjamin Moore Exterior Color Palette

Sherwin-Williams Green Exterior Paint Color Palette with Stone

Check out this lovely Sherwin Williams blue-green palette for a new home build for our client in Eastern Colorado.

Color Scheme with SW Retreat green siding, SW Pearly White trim and SW Indigo Batik Front door
Sherwin-Williams Color Palette

Sherwin-Williams Black Exterior Paint Color Scheme with Red Brick

This beautiful color scheme was from an online project during the pandemic. I ran into it when I was working on a consult in-person with one of their neighbors. We used SW Iron Ore, a soft black, for the siding, and SW Oyster White for the trim and roofline. SW Sea Serpent was the choice for the front door. This dramatic home is lovely. Learn more about this project here.

Color Scheme with SW Iron Ore black siding, SW Oyster White White trim and SW Sea Serpent Front door
Sherwin-Williams Color Scheme

Sherwin-Williams White Exterior Paint Color Scheme with Red Brick

This is one of our favorite projects. When I visited the home for a color consultation, I had just returned from New Orleans, where so many of the shutters are green. This home reminded me of a sweet Creole Cottage, even though it was in Denver. Learn more about this project here.

Color Scheme with SW Greek Villa white siding and trim, SW Courtyard shutters and back door, and Iron Ore front door, gutters, downspouts and garage door.
Sherwin-Williams Exterior Color scheme

The Verdict

As long as you follow some basic guidelines, you can pick beautiful exterior finishes for your existing home or new build.  The process is the same for an existing home, except that you pick your hard finishes first. For new or existing homes, the paint color should tie in with your hard finish colors.

If you have an existing home, please don’t forget to test your paint colors! Check out “How to Test Paint Colors Like a Pro“.

Online Color Consulting

If you still need help with paint colors, check out our Online Color Consulting packages or an In-Person Color Consultation in the Denver Metro area.

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About the Author

Michelle Marceny, principal designer and founder of The Color Concierge, a paint color consulting company in Denver, Colorado.

Hi, I’m Michelle Marceny, founder, owner, and Principal Color Designer at The Color Concierge. I believe a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space. The Color Concierge was born out of my drive to help clients fall back in love with their homes. My clients trust me to help them find the perfect paint color for their home – whether it’s a whole-house paint color scheme or ideas for a single room. 

Since The Color Concierge was founded in 2017, we have completed over 3000 color consultations, both online and in-person.  I am a Certified Color Expert with 7 years of experience creating interior and exterior color palettes throughout North America.

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78 Responses

    1. I currently have a red brick cape cod house with an attached garage. I am looking to get a new roof and siding to the garage and dormers. I’m not sure what colors to go with. I really don’t want to paint the brick. I’m not sure how to attach a photo.

      1. Hi Jennifer,
        Please consider purchasing one of our online color consultation packages. You would then be able to upload photos as you fill out your questionnaire.

      1. I am looking at a home that recently had a new brown roof put on. I’m trying to pick colors for the siding. I want something unique.

        1. Hi Robin,
          Its hard for us to make recommendations without photos. The best way for detailed help is to purchase one of our Color Your House packages. Thanks!

          1. Please consider an online color consultation for this specific project. We can’t specify a cream color or placement without seeing the house and creating a detailed consultation.

      1. Hi! The front of our colonial is red brick. I have black shutters and a black front door. Garage is body color but am wanting to paint garage door black to bring black to other side of house. Thoughts on this? Thank you! Kathy

        1. Hi Kathy,
          I think that a black garage door might be a little bit heavy. If you don’t like garage door the body color, have you considered painting it your trim color if its white?

  1. Would you use the same colors if the roof were onyx black? Are dark grey and black roofing interchangeable? We are picking a roof color but have no clue what siding colors will be for a small 900 sq ranch cottage. I see more estate grey than black roofs. Thanks for any info on one versus the other.

    1. Hi Diane,
      Yes, I would. An onyx black roof has the same undertones as a dark gray roof. They are both really classic, and look sharp, but my preference is the gray because its a little less heavy. In terms of siding colors, there is so much that goes into picking an exterior color! Your neighbors, the look of the neighborhood, and the other nearby hard finishes such as brick or stone. If you are looking for more details, please consider purchasing one of our exterior paint color packages!

      1. looking for color recommendations to compliment (Siding (primary and secondary), trim, front door) williamsburg slate shingles (grey tones with some reddish/burgundy and green undertones (although my husband says it’s more blue than green).

    2. I really need some assistance/advice. We have a brick ranch house that looks very dated because it’s various shades of yellow,gold and orange. We are trying to decide on a paint color to bring it up to date. I would love to share a photo with you if I may, to get your opinion.

      1. Hi Laura,
        We would love to help you! One of our color consulting packages would be a great way to do it, and it helps subsidize our blog.
        Thanks for your understanding,

        1. We have dark gray roof and gray ish siding and tan bricks
          Two car garage doors are grayish whatt color front double door should I paint?

          1. Hi Yeonhee,
            For a color consultation, please link to our online color consulting page. Otherwise, you might look at our Front Doors of Paris for front door color inspiration.

  2. Thank you, this is helpful. Quick question: For the colors you suggested to use on red brick homes, would shutters be considered trim?

    1. Hi Ina,
      I wouldn’t necessarily consider shutters a trim color. The most classic shutter color is black. But I love to match a shutter to a front door. For example, a Hale Navy front door with matching shutters can be lovely. You can match your shutters to your door, or your roof, or in some cases your trim. Just consider that its nice to have a contrast with your shutters and your body color. I hope that helps!

  3. all are beautiful but we live in FL where dark roofs are not an option — silver metal used most often — we live in an oak hammock — surrounded by beautiful greenery with a dark charcoal gray crushed granite driveway — what next ??

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      A silver metal roof is still pretty classic. Consider it similar to a medium gray roof in other parts of the country. It’s hard for me to diagnose more specifically without photos. Please feel free to reach out to us for an exterior Color Your House Package!

  4. What house colors would you use with a light gray roof with red brick foundation and red brick porch pillars above the banister? House is a craftsman style in the country. No neighbor house colors to consider.

    1. Hi Linda,
      Check out our blog “The Best Exterior Paint Colors for Red Brick Homes (and what not to do)”. For more specific information, please feel free to reach out to us for an exterior Color Your House package!

  5. I still need help? so I have white trim! Windows, gutters, everything! What can I do? I tried to use darker fixtures. Im lost

  6. I am looking to paint my house. We have chosen Agreeable Grey with a Pure white trim, however we have a red roof and ideally we would like a dark navy blue front door. The HOA, does not approve the blue door becuase they say it clashes with the roof. Would you recommend painting the roof a dark grey color? or can you recommend a good door color. We also have a reddish driveway, which we could paint as well.

    1. Hi Alejandra,
      I’m not sure what materials your roof is made of, but normally a roof wouldn’t be painted. I think I fundamentally disagree that blue doesn’t match red; they get paired all the time, but its hard to understand the rationale that HOAs are using. There are so many door colors that you can use instead that are gorgeous; red, green and black are some ideas. Check out our recent Paris doors blog. Also, you might want to check our Paris Doors blog; there are some gorgeous colors there.

      Also, please make sure that you test Agreeable Gray with Pure White before you paint. It’s a beautiful palette, but those colors end up looking pretty light outside, and you might not see much of a contrast between the two in the sunshine. Good luck!

  7. Hi, great insight! My bricks has an orange-ish tint.. what colors would recommend for that? I liked the 2nd pallet you listed with Peppercorn, which is cool bcuz Both of my fireplaces are already painted SW Peppercorn.

    1. Hi,
      We are really glad that you liked this post! Its hard for us to give advice without seeing photos of your space. For more detailed information, please consider one of our online color consultation packages.

  8. I am trying to update the creamy Siding/red brick exterior an just tested Retreat in southern west facing light. It’s a lot bluer than I expected. Can you suggest something a little more green
    i wanted a gray green but don’t want a color so light that it will leach out in string sunlight

    1. Hi Mary,
      I’m really glad you tested, that is so important! Its hard for us to recommend paint colors without seeing your house and finishes. A muted green gray is SW Grizzle Gray. For more information, please consider one of our online color consulting packages!

    1. Hi Emily,
      There are exceptions, but normally I would paint columns the same color as the trim, especially if its white.

  9. Can you do up combos with a blue shingle roof? Wanting to repaint out siding and can’t seem to find a color that compliments the blue roof.

    1. Hi Kay,
      We don’t plan to update this blog post until later this summer. In the meantime, we would be happy to help you with one of our Online color consults.

  10. Need to paint shutters on our home. The siding is gray/olive color, white trim and the roof is brown. Currently shutters are painted green. What color would you suggest? Thanks

    1. Hi Rita,
      It’s hard for us to make detailed recommendations without seeing photos of your home and more information. We have an Online color consulting package just for shutters.

  11. Hi our house has a brown roof and the brick colour of our house is like cement grey brick colour and we have an oak colour garage door. What colour should we paint our front door and shutters ?

    1. Hi Caroline,
      For specific and personalized color recommendations, we ask that you purchase an online color consulting package.

    1. Dark Windows with dark trim can look really heavy. They look great with a lighter color trim, or even the same body and trim color is a sharp look.

    1. Hi Rainn,
      A dark gray roof is classic and timeless, and many exterior paint colors will match. Its hard for me to recommend colors without photos, so feel free to purchase a package for more details.

    2. Hi,My name is Jeraldine Johnson and I will like to update my house colors.The roof red metal and the bricks is red also siding is white please help me.

    1. Hi Cameron,
      It all depends on the room and the condition of the brick. If the brick is in good shape, looks great and doesn’t darken the room too much, I would vote yes! Keep it. That stuff is gorgeous. People pay alot to install in their homes. Another consideration is how well it looks with the style of the home. If your gut feeling is to keep and you don’t want to paint the brick, then of course keep it! I have found that usually homeowners have a pretty good sense for what looks well in their homes, and when they have a strong feeling they should go with it.

  12. What color is the house painted at the top of this page? Looked thru most all the post but did not see it listed.

    We’re building a classic tall narrow farmhouse with back wing. Wrap around porches here in the country.
    I’m trying to decide between SW Mountain Road and SW Retreat with SW Chamomile Is the trim color to match clad windows and goes great with either one. One paint is more Smokey grey green the other is Smokey Slate Blue green, i love both, yikes! Decisions decisions.

    My kitchen cabinets will be painted shade of Lighter green for bases and cream for uppers. Can cabinets be similar color to exterior paint?

    1. Hi Sharon,
      That house was painted BM Ashwood Moss (Dark green) and Tulsa Twilight (dark purple). The trim was similar to SW Greek Villa.

      Cabinets can be a similar color to exterior paint, but they will look darker inside. When you take colors outside they are 5-10 times brighter and more colorful than inside.


    2. Hi,My name is Jeraldine Johnson and I will like to update my house colors.The roof red metal and the bricks is red also siding is white please help me.

  13. I love the first color scheme with the Black canyon roof and agreeable gray…. What would you suggest for porch posts and shutters and garage doors if the house has a black roof , white siding and natural stack stone foundation ?

  14. Could you please recommend a exterior white paint color for a west-facing house with a black/dark gray roof. I want something that’s not too bright (being west facing), but a white that doesn’t read too yellow… Thanks for your feedback!

    1. Please consider one of our online color consults for specific recommendations for your project.

  15. We are building a new house with charcoal gray roof(don’t have any other choice) . Would like to paint it SW Naval or SW IN the Navy. We have chosen SW neutral ground as trim color. Need to decide on front door and garage door color. The decorator suggested Rockweed or Black Bean. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Vin,
      Honestly with that palette you could use just about any paint color for the front door. I love a red front door with that combination. You could test SW Stolen Kiss or SW Sundried Tomato. A green front door would be lovely too such as SW Courtyard. I’ve seen some pretty Yellow or gold doors with Navy blue houses, and a blue-green or teal that is mid-toned would be lovely.

      Sorry I can’t narrow it down more without seeing your house, but you can do alot with blues and front doors.


  16. We just added to our existing home and decided to change entire exterior. Presidential grey roof, with white windows, white gutters (which can be painted), smooth stucco and KM city tower body paint. Need ideas for widow trim, fascia and soffit and garage door. I’m soo overwhelmed…

    1. Hi Reggie,
      Its hard for us to give specific advice without seeing your house. Please consider an online color consultation. It subsidizes our blog and is also our job and income.

  17. I have gables on either end of my home and they are vinyl. The color is SW urban putty. I would like to paint my brick. What would be the best color. The trim work is white

    1. It’s hard to specify specific colors for a project without all the information and photos. You might want to consider an online color consultation.

  18. Combining colors with specific materials like brick in mind is an idea I can really see working for our home. We’re about to do a top-down makeover project for this place, and making the exterior as impressive as possible is one of my goals. Brick and wood have always been materials I want to work with, so I’ll consult an exterior paint expert so we can ask for advice on how to use your guide for those materials.

  19. Greetings!

    Can you tell me what the roofing selection is on the Hale Navy/Pale Oak Trim picture above?
    Thanks so much for the reply!

  20. What is the brand AND COLOR of this border??!!!
    Also I have old Chicago brick….didn’t see colors for that brick????

  21. I’m so glad I kind you to follow. I read where you talk about your own house and how the color palate is the same in most of your neighborhood. We are building our final retirement home and I love your exterior. Could you please please tell me the colors you used?????

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Meet Michelle

Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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8 Easy Ways to Pick Paint Colors