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Choosing an Exterior Color Scheme for Your Home

Exterior color scheme on house with a dark gray main color and white trim

Choosing a color scheme for your home’s exterior can be overwhelming. Everyone can see it, and the last thing you want is for your home to be known throughout town as the one with a funny paint job.

When you consider that your home’s exterior will either increase or decrease the value of your home – it’s a lot of pressure to choose the right color scheme!

Your home should have three colors; the main color that covers most of the exterior, an accent color for components like shutters and doors, and one last color for the trim.

But how do you decide which colors work best? We have some tips:

Choose Your Main Color First

Deciding the main color is the first step in creating an exterior color scheme. Unless you live in an HOA-restricted area, there aren’t any “rules” when choosing your main color, but we have some guidelines that make it easier.

First, decide if you want your home to be light or dark, warm or cool, bold or muted. Colors like white, light gray, or light yellow can be great bases to work with. The same goes for darker, cooler tones like dark blue or green. Determining this color will set you up for success when trying to figure out accent and trim colors.

Trim – A Small But Crucial Part of the Equation

Choosing the color of the trim can be intimidating. You want a color that will stand out while remaining cohesive. You can go two routes here – the trim can be a darker shade of your main color, or it can be a complete contrast with a similar undertone.

Once you’ve nailed down a color, you’ll have to think about the sheen of the paint. Do you want your trim to be glossy, or do you prefer a matte finish? This is a personal preference that you will have to decide.

Dark wooden front door with window lites adds to the exterior color scheme.

The Accent Color Will Be a Make Or Break

You’ll want a shade that works well with your main color and the trim but also stands out. Your accent color will bring the home to life. It adds an element of intrigue to the home and draws the eye in. 

Wooden accents are usually a good idea. You can install a large wooden front door and wooden beams to be the focal point of your home’s exterior. Black is another great accent color option if you chose cool tones for the rest of the house.

So, main color, trim, and accent. Sounds manageable, right? Well, maybe. If you’re still struggling, these are a couple of other considerations you should make:

The Style of Your Home

When determining a color scheme for your home, you’ll want to consider the style of the house and the neighborhood. If you have a Spanish-style home, it would be silly to paint it a dark gray. If you have a ranch-style home, you should avoid pinks and other pastels.

Staying true to your home’s style aesthetics makes choosing paint and accent colors much easier. If you’re still stumped, there’s no shame in getting inspiration from your neighbors.


You’ll need to consider the existing materials before deciding what colors will work since some colors just don’t bring out the best in certain materials.

Is your home’s exterior primarily made up of siding? That’s great – siding is a relatively easy material to work with! Blue is the most popular choice for siding, with gray and white not far behind.

Is there brick or natural stone accents you’d like to leave untouched? This makes your process even easier since you have a built-in accent color! Almost any color looks great paired with brick or natural stone, but try to keep the color in the same undertone.

If you need assistance putting together an exterior home color scheme, we would be happy to help. We will consider your preferences as well as the home’s style to make your home the most beautiful on the block.

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