18 Exterior Paint Palettes to Suit Every Style of Home

Brilliant Red Front Door on a Light Blue House with Containers of Hydrangeas
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Don't you wish picking a paint color for your home's exterior was as simple as choosing a lipstick? Not only is the hue of your house a major commitment (unlike that regrettable tube of lipstick), but deciding on one can be tricky, too, since shades vary according to lighting, texture, and surrounding colors. Luckily, you don't have to wade through all the possible exterior paint color combinations alone. We've asked some of the South's most respected architects for their input to help you choose wisely, whether you're going coastal, thinking classic, or have no clue what you want.

Flip through these expert-approved exterior paint color palettes to find the combination that'll make your house sing.

01 of 18

The Look: Pure Patina

Charleston Townhome for Sale
Keen Eye Marketing

"Charleston is all about patina. As these colors wear over the years, they'll look even more beautiful than when they were first applied." – Mark Maresca, Maresca & Associates, Architects , Charleston, South Carolina

Try this color scheme:

Body: Sherwin-Williams Double Latte (SW 9108)

Doors: Sherwin-Williams Cascades (SW 7623)

Trim: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue (HC-144)

02 of 18

The Look: Fresh and All-American

Brilliant Red Front Door on a Light Blue House with Containers of Hydrangeas
Laurey W. Glenn

"For a traditional American home, try a deep green or baby blue on the shutters and a high-gloss dark red on the front door. Paint all other solid doors to match the shutters. Have French doors and trim matched with an opaque sample of the whitewash. The combination is light and fresh with high contrast and punch." –Charles Heydt, Pak Heydt and Associates , Atlanta, Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Whitewash

Shutters: Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green (HC-187)

Doors: Benjamin Moore Classic Burgundy (HC-182)

03 of 18

The Look: Classic Off-White

nashville cottage
Laurey W. Glenn

"This off-white palette has roots in the Southern Colonial style but with a twist—the tone-on-tone scheme creates soft shadows that bring forward subtle texture variations from the materials of the house." – Ruard Veltman, Ruard Veltman Architecture + Interiors , Charlotte, North Carolina

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore White Down (970)

Shutters: Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan (HC-81)

04 of 18

The Look: Woodsy Retreat

Arkansas Cottage After
Photo: Hector Sanchez

"This paint palette is reminiscent of Scouts at summer camp—dark uniforms all alike with bright green scarves tied at the collars." – Bobby McAlpine, McAlpine , Montgomery, Alabama, and Nashville, Tennessee

Try this color scheme:

Body: Sherwin-Williams Black Fox (SW7020)

Trim: Sherwin-Williams Sassy Green (SW6416)

05 of 18

The Look: Coastal Charm

Aiken Street, Plan #1807
Southern Living

"Dark and muted blues and greens reflect the colors of the Gulf Coast. This palette is quintessential for a Southern-style beach house. The look is warm and inviting." – Michael G. Imber, Michael G. Imber Architects , San Antonio, Texas

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore Cromwell Gray (HC-103)

Trim: Benjamin Moore Narragansett Green (HC-157)

Doors: Benjamin Moore Country Redwood (HC-183)

06 of 18

The Look: Lowcountry Yellow

Vintage Lowcountry
Southern Living

"We like a warm yellow paired with a classic ternemetal roof and red shutters for projects in locales where there is a lot of red clay in the soil, such as in Middleburg, Virginia, to make the house look more natural in the landscape. The warm palette also favors the lowcountry feel." – Anne Fairfax, Fairfax & Sammons , Palm Beach, Florida

Try this color scheme:

Body: Keim Color 9038

Trim: Farrow & Ball Incarnadine (No. 248)

07 of 18

The Look: Timelessly Southern

Sparta Garden Back Porch Seating
Hector Manuel Sanchez

"There is a rich timelessness and a patina to these colors that reminds me of the many great homes where I grew up in Florence, Alabama." – Michael Franck, Franck and Lohsen Architects , Washington, D.C.

Try this color scheme:

Body: Farrow & Ball Blackened (No. 2011)

Shutters: Farrow & Ball Railings (No. 31)

Porch ceiling: Farrow & Ball Parma Gray (No. 27) or Benjamin Moore Clear Skies (2054-70)

08 of 18

The Look: Simple and Clean

Farmhouse Curb Appeal with Red Front Door
Hector Manuel Sanchez

"This scheme is very simple and clean and is especially well suited for home designs that are influenced by English and European styles." – Hank Long, Henry Sprott Long & Associates , Birmingham, Alabama

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore China White (I-74)

Trim: Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain (2134-30)

09 of 18

The Look: Coastal-Inspired

Genteel Cottage Exterior
Laurey W. Glenn

"Painted brick has a particularly Southern feel when paired with contrasting working lowered shutters. The effect of this palette is one of a warm-weather location." – Bill Ingram, Bill Ingram Architect , Birmingham, Alabama

Try this color scheme:

Body and trim: Pratt & Lambert Beachwood (PLN-27)

Shutters: Benjamin Moore Blue Spa (2052-40)

10 of 18

The Look: Bright and Cheery

Bright & Cheery

"A friend of mine insists that people who live in yellow houses are happier. For a more traditional look, try a dark green on the trim. For a less traditional accent color, we like a dark red." –Jane Frederick, Frederick + Frederick , locations in South Carolina and Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Keim Color 9036

Trim: Sherwin-Williams Lemon Drop (SW 7122)

Shutters: Sherwin-Williams Cascades (SW 7623) or Sherwin-Williams Real Red (SW 6868)

11 of 18

The Look: High-Contrast Color

Farmdale Cottage
Laurey W. Glenn

"High-contrast color schemes look best on cottages. The stone color is used only at the front door to add a subtle punch of color to the otherwise austere scheme." – Norman Askins, Norman Davenport Askins, Architect , Atlanta, Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain (2134-30)

Trim: Benjamin Moore White (OC-51)

Doors: Benjamin Moore Carrington Beige (HC-93)

12 of 18

The Look: Touch of Blue

2018 Idea House in Austin, Texas Front Exterior Curb Appeal
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

"This palette of Wedgwood blue and bisque blends naturally with the big sky. Paired with a wide front porch, this palette feels classically Southern." – Jim Howard, James Michael Howard , Jacksonville, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee (OC-45)

Shutters: Benjamin Moore Iceberg (2122-50)

13 of 18

The Look: Burst of Color

Teal Blue House with Navy Blue Front Door and Dog
Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller; Container Arrangements: Tom Ericson/The Transplanted Garden; Location: The Cottages at Ocean Isle Beach, NC

"The crisp white trim enhances the cottage-style details and provides a strong contrast to boldly colored siding. Don't be afraid to pick another fun color for your front door." – Bill Curtis, Curtis & Windham Architects , Houston, Texas

Body: Sherwin-Williams Spa (SW 6765)

Trim: Sherwin-Williams Pure White (SW 7005)

14 of 18

The Look: Casual Cream

River Place Cottage, Plan #1959
Southern Living

"These subtle, creamy shades take on the effect of an old limewash when paired with hand-molded brick. We've been using it for years, and it never looks oudated or out of place. It's a classical palette that can be seen on raised cottages from Louisiana to the lowcountry." – Jim Strickland, Historical Concepts Architecture & Planning , Atlanta, Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Sherwin-Williams Roycroft Vellum (SW2833)

Trim: Sherwin-Williams Classical White (SW2829)

Shutters: Sherwin-Williams Andiron (SW6174)

15 of 18

The Look: Modern Monochromatic

Randolph Cottage, Plan #1861
Southern Living

"Buildings of a more modern, pared-down aesthetic and smaller structures, such as weekend cottages or outbuildings, lend themselves to the deeper tones that allow them to sneak into the landscape. With this color palette, we prefer a monochrome look." – Philip Dufford, Dufford Young , Charleston, South Carolina

Try this color:

Body and trim: Benjamin Moore Copley Gray (HC-104)

16 of 18

The Look: Charming in Green


Take a cue from Mother Nature's favorite neutral (and complement a flower-filled yard) with vibrant green siding and dark green, nearly black, shutters. Use a crisp white to highlight the trim and exterior details. – Sam Greeson, Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson , Charlotee, North Carolina

Try this color scheme:

Body: Benjamin Moore Vine Green (2034-20)

Shutters: Sherwin-Williams Roycroft Bottle Green (SW 2847)

Trim: Sherwin-Williams Alabaster (SW 7008)

17 of 18

The Look: Natural and Harmonious

Fran Keenan Birmingham Cottage Front Exterior
Hector Manuel Sanchez

"This natural, harmonious palette reinforces the colors of slate roofs and limestone. The tone-on-tone look is very pleasing to the eye and fits well within the Southern landscape." – Stan Dixon, D. Stanley Dixon Architect , Atlanta, Georgia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Sherwin-Williams Relaxed Khaki (SW 6149)

Trim and shutters: Sherwin-Williams Universal Khaki (SW 6150)

18 of 18

The Look: Rooted & Rich

Cape Cod Cottage: After
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

"This palette updates the colors of Colonial Williamsburg, the richly saturated, earthy mineral paint colors used in the 18th-century Virginia capital. These classics are always appropriate for a new old house." – Russell Versaci, Russell Versaci Architecture , Middleburg, Virginia

Try this color scheme:

Body: Ludwell Tenement Sage (CW417) by Pratt & Lambert; prattandlambert.com .

Shutters: Chowning's Tavern Brown (CW121) by Pratt & Lambert; prattandlambert.com .

Trim: Outside White (CW712) by Pratt & Lambert; prattandlambert.com

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