Paint Schemes for Your Home's Exterior

White Painted House Exterior 483598945
White Painted House Exterior Getty / Paul Bradbury

It's a nerve-wracking experience to choose your exterior paint color. After all, this is a color you have to live with for a good long time.

It helps to choose tried-and-true exterior paint color schemes, rather than coming up with one on the fly. Following is a photo gallery of ideas you can use to paint your home's exterior.

  • 01 of 09

    Homey Craftsman

    Exterior craftsman paint scheme
    Behr Process Corporation

    No, you don't need to have a Craftsman-style house to use this exterior paint scheme. It's a soothing, homey paint design idea that evokes visions of long-ago days of children roller-skating outside and Dads Simonizing their Mercury Coupes. Who says it has to remain in the past, though?

    From Behr:

    • Powdered Snow - Trim
    • Shortgrass Prairie - Main area of siding
    • Chianti - The red area around the door


    Continue to 2 of 9 below.
  • 02 of 09

    Tudor Brown

    Tudor style paint scheme
    Behr Process Corporation

    With Tudor, the overly wide trim means that it cannot be ignored. In this example, the Tudor strokes complement the field paint, both of which work in concert with the house's masonry.

    Always paint Tudor half-timbers a darker color than the field for an authentic look.

    From Behr:

    • Fair Winds - Walls
    • Willow Wood - Details

    Exterior Painting Tip: When is painting season? The Upper 30s/low 40s Fahrenheit is generally regarded as the lowest you would want to paint. Moisture, though, is as big a factor. Wait at least a full day after rain to paint, and never paint when the surface is even the least bit damp.

    Continue to 3 of 9 below.
  • 03 of 09

    California Craftsman

    Benjamin Moore Craftsman exterior paint color
    Benjamin Moore

    Here is another Craftsman-inspired exterior paint color idea that will work with almost any house. These muted, earthy colors seem almost a part of the California landscaping.

    From Benjamin Moore:

    • Antique White - Trim
    • Horizon Gray - The main body color
    • Night Train - Accent
    Continue to 4 of 9 below.
  • 04 of 09

    Red Punch

    Benjamin Moore Farmhouse paint color scheme
    Benjamin Moore

    This farmhouse-type color scheme delivers a maximum punch with its contrasting black shutters and white trim.

    Red, white, and black is a traditional look, giving your home a New England appearance.

    From Benjamin Moore:

    • Almost Black - Shutters
    • Arroyo Red - House's main body color
    • Timid White - Trim
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Accent Walls and Trim

    Exterior paints with accents
    Benjamin Moore

    This is a prime example of taking a fairly ho-hum blah house and turning on its side with exterior paint colors. However, this isn't about choosing bizarre colors; it's more about choosing a larger-than-normal number of colors (four) and making full use of accent walls.

    Those two accent walls (Coastal Fog) serve to highlight the house's many peaks and liven up field paint so that it does not get boring.

    From Benjamin Moore:

    • Van Deusen Blue - Shutters
    • Coastal Fog - Body accents
    • Norwich Brown - Body main
    • Cloud White - Trim
    Continue to 6 of 9 below.
  • 06 of 09

    Electric Blue

    Dutch Boy Blue exterior house paint color
    Dutch Boy

    Bold and electrically blue for your Cape Cod, Colonial, or other classic homes.  White molding, casing, and trim are always a wonderful way to accent a blue house.

    From Dutch Boy:

    • Chanson Bleu
    • Durham Beige
    • Surfing U.S.A.
    Continue to 7 of 9 below.
  • 07 of 09

    Yellow You Can Live With

    Yellow Exterior House Paint Color
    Dutch Boy

    Yellow can be a touchy subject when it comes to exterior house paint colors. First of all, it reportedly fades more easily than other colors (though recent advances in paint technology allow for longer-lasting yellows). Secondly, will the neighborhood take up pitchforks and revolt at your egg yolk-yellow house? Not when you tone down the yellow. This exterior color sidesteps garish yellow tones, bringing it into the warmer, friendlier range.

    From Dutch Boy:

    • Nectar - House's main field color
    • Heavy Armour - Shutters
    • White - Trim
    Continue to 8 of 9 below.
  • 08 of 09

    Natural Wood Cabin

    Exterior paint color ideas like natural wood

    It looks like the natural wood siding of a cabin in the forest. Really it's exterior paint.  While natural, stained wood is gorgeous, painted wood is far more practical.

    From Valspar:

    • Churchill Hotel Maple
    • Roasted Coffee
    • Autumn Russet
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Simple and Classical White

    White exterior paint

    It doesn't get simpler than this classic paint scheme. Found on countless traditional homes, and for good reason, white with green or black shutters and door, is elegant and easy to maintain.

    Whenever you have a dark background of foliage like the home shown here, it is always wise to use a light color for your house to make it pop out.

    From Valspar:

    • Simply White - Main house body
    • Tarrytown Green - Shutters, door
    • Midnight - Fence