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Best White Farmhouse Exterior Paint Colors

house with farmhouse white paint color, white picket fence

Discover the best paint color palettes for white farmhouse exteriors with trim and front door colors (and tips on how to choose them). We get frequent requests in our color consulting practice for white farmhouse paint colors and they are gorgeous!  When you consider this type palette, make sure that its right for the neighborhood and the architecture of your home.  This look is perfect for traditional cottages and homes with wraparound porches and larger entries but could look out of place with an ultra-modern house. Here we describe our favorite paint colors for this look and how to use them.

This look is made up of a base white paint color with black accents.  There are several variations, but the two most prevalent are (1) white siding with black fascia and gutters or (2) all-white with black accents.

White Siding and Black Fascia and Gutters

This home was a recent project and turned out amazing.  We incorporated black fascia and gutters (SW Iron Ore) with white siding (SW Pure White).  We chose Pure White, a crisp off-white, because it matched perfectly with the white vinyl picket fence in front.  This unified the home with the fence so that it looked intentional.

house with farmhouse white paint color, white picket fence and American flag
Photo by M. Marceny – Body color SW Pure White, Trim SW Iron Ore
green house with white picket fence
Photo by L.Adams – Before

If you want more information about which parts are fascia, soffit and gutter, here you go!

House with labels that show Fascia, Soffit and Gutters
Photo by M. Marceny – Fascia, Soffit and Gutters

Another variation is white fascia with black gutters, but we really prefer black gutters with black fascia to hide the gutters as an architectural feature.  If your house has this pattern, it can be very lovely, but it’s just not our preference.

White Siding with White Fascia and White Gutters

An all-white palette is also a classic and timeless look.  This beautiful coastal cottage palette kept the whole house white except for the wooden front door, dark blue shutters and blue-green (SW Sea Salt) front porch ceiling.  We specified James Hardie Arctic White pre-painted siding which is equivalent to SW Extra White.  Discover more about this project in Coastal Cottage Exterior Makeover.

house with farmhouse white paint color
Photo by M. Camilli – Body color James Hardie Arctic White, Trim SW Extra White
coastal cottage before
Photo by Google – before

Should Windows be Black or White?

The answer is, it depends!  This home has white vinyl windows, which are increasingly common in the United States where we live.  We discovered that white vinyl windows look best when matched with a white or light-colored paint.  Too much contrast with a dark trim can make the white vinyl look mis-matched and too stark white.

house with farmhouse white paint color, white picket fence and American flag
Photo by M. Marceny – Body color SW Pure White, Trim SW Iron Ore with white vinyl windows

If you have paintable window frames, or black window frames, they look really sharp with white window trim.  If you paint the window trim black with black window frames the look can get heavy, especially if the trim is very wide.

Color your world boldly.

Best Black Paint Colors for Farmhouse Exterior Accents

Our favorite black paint colors for farmhouse exterior accents are SW Iron Ore and SW Urbane Bronze.  Iron Ore is a soft clean black and Urbane Bronze reads black with some warmth.  Choose either one or the other for your home.  Iron Ore is best if you don’t have any stone or brick.  We like Urbane Bronze as a softer alternative if you have warm stone or brick finishes in your home.

Check out this fabulous breakfast bar on a back porch with a view.

White back porch wood breakfast bar
Photo by L. Adams – Back porch breakfast bar

Best Front Door Paint Colors

The most classic and timeless look integrates a black or rich wood front door, but you can paint virtually any color as long as you tie it in with other elements.  Consider pairing your door color with outdoor furniture, your landscaping, flowerpots or pretty annual flowers.  A door is a low-risk way to change your look.  If you don’t like it, you can repaint it.

white house with farmhouse white paint color, black front door, white picket fence and American flag
Photo by M. Marceny – Black front door
house with farmhouse white paint color and wood front door
Photo by M. Camilli – Wood front door

Consider a white back entry door for a seamless look.

white back door with haint blue ceiling
Photo by M. Camilli – White back door

Front Porch or Entry

A common element of the white farmhouse look is a welcoming wrap-around front porch or entry.  You can paint the front porch ceiling the siding white color.  For extra drama, consider a haint blue front porch ceiling.  This is a classic look from the American deep south.  The tradition stems from folklore that ghosts mistake the blue-green color for water and stay out of the house.  Another urban myth is that the blue-green ceiling will keep wasps away.  Two of our favorite front porch ceiling paint colors are SW Tradewind and SW Sea Salt.

house with farmhouse white paint color and haint blue ceiling
Photo by L. Adams – Front porch ceiling color SW Tradewind
house with farmhouse white paint color and haint blue ceiling
Photo by M. Camilli – Front porch ceiling color SW Sea Salt

Best Paint Color for Shutters

If you have shutters, the most classic and timeless shutter color for this type of palette is black.  If your fascia and gutters are white, then you can pick a dark blue. The shutters below were painted with Anchors Aweigh SW 9179. For a more eclectic look, if your door is a different color you can match your shutters to the front door.

White farmhouse window with blue shutters
Photo by M. Camilli – Blue Shutters (SW Anchors Aweigh)

Where Else Should I Use Black as an Accent Color?

Consider using black paint as an accent color on back porch beams, fence handrails, posts and even decorative windows.  Keep spindles on fence or rails white. This beautiful back porch with SW Iron Ore accents has it all.

White back porch wood breakfast bar
Photo by L. Adams – Body color SW Pure White, Trim SW Iron Ore
White back porch with black beam
Photo by L. Adams – Body color SW Pure White, Trim SW Iron Ore

Best Farmhouse Exterior Paint Colors

These are our favorite farmhouse exterior paint colors – a much more colorful look than it seems. Keep in mind that colors are 5-10 times lighter and more colorful outside than they are inside.  A light interior gray color can look crisp white outside.  All colors are Sherwin-Williams.

best white farmhouse exterior paint colors

1. Extra White SW 7006

A crisp blue white, great with blues – avoid with homes that have stone or brick finishes.

2. Pure White SW 7005

A crisp off-white – avoid with homes that have stone or brick finishes.

3. Alabaster SW 7008

A soft neutral off-white that will go well with stone or hard finishes.

4. Westhighland White SW 7566

A darker off-white, good for very bright exposure and stone or brick finishes.

5. Egret White SW 7570

A very light taupe that will read white in the sunshine, great for bright exposures, lots of reflected greenery and earthy stone or brick hard finishes.

6. Iron Ore SW 7069

A soft black that looks great with just about any white.

7. Urbane Bronze SW 7048

A darker black with warm undertones that is best with earthy hard finishes such as warm stone and tile.

8. Sea Salt SW 6204

A soft and neutral front or back porch ceiling blue-green color.

9. Tradewind SW 6218

A colorful front or back porch ceiling blue-green color.

The Verdict

We love a White Farmhouse Exterior palette, but it should be appropriate for your home.  This look is perfect for traditional cottages and homes with wraparound porches and larger entries but could look out of place with an ultra-modern home.  The basic palette is white siding with black accents and shutters.  Add a blue-green front porch ceiling for a pop of color.

No matter what, don’t forget to test your paint colors.  It’s a standard best practice.  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.

NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one you will use.  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. That’s why it’s best to work with a professional exterior paint color consultant. See results from paint matching here.

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.

Color concierge offers online color consulting from anywhere in the world.

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Best White Farmhouse Exterior Paint Colors and how to use them


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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The Best Exterior Paint Colors for Red Brick Homes (and what not to do)

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Historic Exterior Paint Color Transformation

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.

25 Responses

  1. Should the trim, fascia, and our gutters be a matte/flat finish like the body? I really like the first house with the SW pure white and SW iron Ore, but not sure what sheens they are using.

    1. In that house we used a Sherwin Williams Satin Sheen, which is the equivalent of Benjamin Moore Low Lustre. I like to use a mid-level sheen for everything on an exterior. Enough shine to be able to clean, but not so much that you show imperfections.

    1. Hi Liz,
      In your case I would either pick a white or a black garage door. The choice really depends on the architecture of your house. If the garage door is a very large element of your front view, then I would paint it white. Otherwise it is too strong and element, and who wants all eyes on a garage? If the garage door is on the side, or a smaller element of your front view, then you can paint it white. Its hard for me to say without seeing a photo of your house, but those are the general guidelines we follow.

      I hope that helps!

      1. With a pure white house, black windows and metal roof would a black fascia, soffit and gutters look good?

  2. We are deciding on an off white color for the body of the house and really don’t want black soffit and fascia. Is it recommended to find a soffit and fascia color you like and go off that? If we did off white for the house and stark white siding and fascia I’m afraid the house will look dirty.

    1. If you want an all-white house, I would pick soffit and fascia color same as the siding. its a classic and timeless look!

  3. Hello,

    We are getting ready to paint our 1914 country home and I’m very interested in doing white on white. I’m thinking Sherwin Williams Alabaster. Would I use Alabaster for trim, fascia and soffit in the same sheen as the body?

    1. We rarely recommend SW Alabaster because its so bright for an exterior. The sunshine will make colors look 5-10 times brighter when you take them outside. I once had the rep at the SW store tell me that the biggest mistake people make is going too light. In terms of sheen, for SW we recommend the mid-level sheen (Satin) for all surfaces for exteriors.

      Brightness also depends on where you live and at what altitude. We live in Colorado, so if we specify a palette for a house in Vail or Aspen, the colors we pick will be significantly darker than colors we pick for Denver or even Boulder. We believe its because of the level of UV light.

      For houses in Florida vs. Michigan, the same thing goes. Florida colors need to be specified darker than colors in Michigan.

      If you have alot of trees and shade on your property you might be able to get away with Alabaster, but it would be a very special situation.

      For houses like yours where you are specifying one color for everything, you can go a bit lighter, but not as light as Alabaster or it will look like primer. Of course there are always exceptions.

      No matter what, test your paint colors on a very large swatch according to the guidelines in our blog post.

      Good luck!

      1. Hello,
        I was also going to use Sherman Williams Alabaster. I see here that you do not recommend that color for exterior. I have done so much research and most farmhouse styles are using Alabaster or Pure White, now I am so confused. Can you recommend a white that will be soft yet not yellow or dull? I was thinking of Iron Ore by SW for the door. Everything else will be the white. Thank you !

        1. Although there are exceptions, when you pair whites as trim with darker body colors our preference is to use warmer whites for trim color such as Oyster White or even grays such as Gossamer Veil. The reason is that lighter whites can look very stark outside. If you are looking for an all-white palette, its easier to use bright whites such as Alabaster or Pure White, but you have to test carefully. It all depends on the lighting and your situation. For more details, please purchase a color consultation.

        2. Hi,
          We painted the exterior of our House/Trim/Porch Pure White Flat. It looks great! The exterior doors are SW Forged Steel also Flat. Having a hard time deciding on the porch floor color. Any ideas? The original color SW Blue Spruce but need a change. Leaning towards Juniper Blue? Go with Pure white…

          1. Please test carefully before using Pure White as a trim color. It can work well, but if your body color is too dark (too much contrast) or if you live in a very sunny climate it can look stark. Our favorite application for Pure White on exteriors is as a whole-house color with low contrast, but we always test very carefully. Juniper Blue sounds like a lovely front porch floor paint color.

      2. We live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado and are about to paint our house…I too was considering Alabaster for the main siding/body of the house with Urbane Bronze accents and possibly trim. Our home faces mostly South…will Alabaster be too blinding? I am trying to achieve the farmhouse look without making the house too different than the rest of the neighborhood since we need HOA approval. Any suggestions for a good white exterior?

        1. Hi Denise,
          Yes, Alabaster can be VERY BRIGHT as an all-house exterior white paint color, especially in Colorado where the high altitude, unprotected uv light and all-around bright sunshine make Alabaster a color that could look like primer outside. If you have lots of shade and trees or are in Oregon or Michigan where the light is more filtered it might work better. Every once in a while, it does work though.


  4. Hi I have White House with black front door end black garage door white trim grayish retaining wall I need to paint foundation end it’s high what color should I paint ? Thank you

    1. Hi Sophie,
      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.

  5. We are painting our north facing Boise, Idaho home and detached shop in either a SW Pure White or Alabaster (leaning strongly toward Pure White) – planning to paint both trim and exterior (mix of brick and regular siding) all in the same white. Any recommendations on whether that will be too white or best way to balance the white? We really like the crisp look and fear Alabaster will read too warm / creamy. Thanks for any advice!

    1. Hi Abby,
      I have never ever seen Alabaster read too warm and creamy. It should look like a crisp white outside in the Boise sunshine, but the shade could make it warmer.
      My recommendation is to test, test, test, and not just little splotches of paint in the middle of the wall. Paint a large area on a corner, 4 feet wide by 6 feet tall so that you can get a good eyeful. Pure white worked great in this project, but it is usually very bright. My advice again, would be to test. I rarely use either of these colors for white trim, but for a whole-house color they can look nice.

  6. Have a pure white Colonial style ranch that we are taking this way. It has very deep soffits(2′). Would you paint the soffits black or leave them white and just do the facia, gutters, windows.

  7. Is it okay to pick a crisper white to trim out a warm white exterior? i am in a decently shaded lot in the Pacific NW and like white duck and am wondering if SW pure white or BM simply white would work for a little contrast in the trim? Too bright still? Do I keep the white duck for trim as well or does that look unfinished? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laura,
      We usually don’t recommend BM Simply White for trim because unless you use a primer, it can take several coats to get right.
      Pure white would be better, but hard to see the difference between pure white and white duck in the sunshine.

      Instead I recommend that you use White Duck for the siding and the trim. It won’t look unfinished. Use a crisp black front door!

  8. Hi Michelle, we’re choosing colors for our transitional home exterior right now. We have black windows and a charcoal gray roof. We live in Palo Alto, CA and was thinking between the following: Egret White, Alabaster, Oyster White, White Dove (BM), China White. Any recommendations on what to stick with or avoid? Or any other colors you’d think would work? Many thanks!

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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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