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How To Choose An Exterior Paint Color + Our Favorite Shades AND Combos


We may be an interior design blog… but today, we’re changing lanes and chatting exteriors. That’s right folks: this morning, it’s all about the CURB APPEAL. The weather is cooling down and many of us are heading into a long weekend, so what better time than today to lay out a plan for a nice lil’ exterior paint update? 

But before we jump straight into the color recommendations, I wanted to share a quick process for planning that will save you BIG BUCKS as you decide on which samples are worth picking up and testing. Y’all, I learned a whole bunch about exterior paint — like, did you know that a color on brick will dry lighter than the same color on stucco or siding? I could write a whole lot more about why this happens (I definitely fell into a google-hole as I researched), but instead, I’ll offer the point: I have a couple of things to keep in mind that will help you hone in on the right color and will save you from buying a million tiny cans.  

So in the interest in speeding up your decision-making process and keeping some dollars in your pocket… we begin with a quick guide. LEARNING IS FUN, RIGHT? (If you don’t need the primer, just scroll down a little bit. I won’t be *too* offended.)

Step 1: Study Your Home

I know that you know what your house looks like…but take a step back, and really give the ol’ girl a GOOD LOOK. Some questions to ask:

  • Is my roof warm-toned or cool-toned? If you have something black or neutral, the world’s your oyster! If you have a terra cotta roof, you may want to lean into warmer colors. If you’re rocking green- or blue-tinged shingles, consider sticking on the cooler end of the color palette. Also, take a second to peek at the fascia: is it visible? Do you want to paint that, too?
  • Do I have any existing stone or brick? If you’re not planning on painting your masonry, you can’t go wrong by choosing a primary house color that corresponds with the undertones in the stone.
  • What about tiles or pathways? If you’ve spent money installing concrete tile or a walkway to your front door, what color is it? This whole Q&A section really comes down to figuring out if you should be sourcing from warm-toned or cool-toned colors. (P.S. Paint is kind of like lipstick — there are still things like cool reds out there! You’re not cut off from a color just because it’s traditionally warm or cool — this will just help narrow down which part of the spectrum you should be picking from.)
  • What I am actually painting? This is when it gets complex. How much are you changing? Shutters? Trim? Columns? Window mullions? The front door? It’s easy to make 2-3 colors across the house look professional. An example: If you want to keep your white mullions (or if they’re ingrained in your window), consider testing out a white house with black shutters and a green front door. Or vice versa! The options are endless — and if you really want to run with a whole bunch of colors, you can! — but it’s easiest to pick 2-3 colors and to run with them.

Step 2: Decide On Your Color Inspiration

THE FUN PART. You’re already here! This is easy, and I’m sure you already have a general idea in mind. Maybe you want to test out the dark exterior paint trend…or maybe you’ve always dreamed of a cute red cottage place…or maybe your Pinterest board is filled with bright white and blue homes in Santorini. Whatever your inspiration, take what you’ve learned about your house and finalize your dream plan (…in the abstract. We’ll get to picking actual colors next).

Step 3: Consider the Light

AH, LIGHT. The true trickster! Here’s the thing: painting outside is NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT CLOSE to painting inside. I thought it was similar and I. was. wrong.

Let’s talk science: it’s outside. The light is way brighter and way more blue than you think. (Is this science? Am I doing it right?) So let’s say you’re scanning swatches online and you think you’ve stumbled upon the perfect light greige or a great bright white — I am here with the sad truth that those colors are going to pull way lighter (and blue-r!) outside.

A key tip: instead of buying every shade on a color swatch, try just picking up your favorite choice and the color that’s 1-2 spaces down. We’re going to get into some of our favorite tried-and-true picks below because it’s seeing paint in action is invaluable…but if you happen to fall in love with a picture, just keep our good pal THE SUN in mind.

The sun and your environment — like your yard, your garden, a pool, or any hardscaping — will change the way that light reflects. Imagine this: a color on a house in the middle of the sparse and golden Joshua Tree desert will pull drastically warmer than that same color painted in the middle of a lush green Oregon forest, because the light will be bouncing around the space differently. So many factors!

And for those with masonry — like I mentioned earlier, stones suck up paint in a whole different way! Priming stone with something like this will be key as you attempt to maintain color steadfastness — the brick will be able to absorb the primer instead of the paint, which will keep you from having a *slightly* mismatched house.

Step 4: Try It Out

CRITICAL STEP, obviously. While you can do the old EHD trick of painting samples onto watercolor paper and taping it up to your house, I’d recommend testing paint straight on the siding or stucco in question. You’re going to want to see how your exterior surface absorbs the color — these materials can be more finicky than their indoor counterparts — as well as how the samples stand up to any weather, like rain or dew.

You’re gonna want to keep an eye on those paint samples morning, noon, and night. (What’s more exciting than watching paint dry? Watching a whole bunch of dried paint that basically looks the same and trying to decide which is best!)

Step 5: Decide

If you’re having decision paralysis, it’s okay to phone a friend. Or, you can grab a trial to the Community and ask us! Or…if they all seem good and they’re just too similar…flip a coin. You were measured and thoughtful and smart in your planning and selection process — it’s going to look AMAZING. 🙂 Just make sure you grab the outdoor brand of whichever color you’ve chosen!

AND NOW THAT WE’RE DONE, WE’RE ON TO THE MAIN EVENT: Our favorite colors IN ACTION. Whether you’re just looking for some exterior paint ideas or hoping to copy a whole palette (I can’t blame ya!), you’re in the right place. There’s something for everyone here, but we’re starting it off with the very frequently-requested Mountain House paint color…

PS. I included links for all the colors in question but O.M.G. you will be FLOORED by some of the differences between swatch and daylight once we get into the lighter paint colors. Just saying. IT’S WILD.

Our Favorite Dark Exterior Paint Colors

design by emily henderson design!

The Color: Sherwin-Williams ‘Laurel Woods‘ (Siding), Sherwin-Williams ‘Iron Ore‘ (Trim), and Sherwin-Williams ‘Tricorn Black‘ (Front Door and Deck)

Why It Works: Ah yes, the official declaration of the paint colors! This is a prime example of picking colors that are perfect for the location — this deep green and black combo is modern and mountain-appropriate, but it’s also bold and stunning against an all-white backdrop in the winter. It’s dark and interesting without being ominous or spooky. GOOD JOB, BOSS.

photo by frank frances | via sheila bridges design

The Color: Benjamin Moore ‘Black Tar

Why It Works: Do y’all know that saying that goes “if you’re not going all the way, why go at all?” Yeah? Because that’s how I feel about this place. I am very into a modern farmhouse with a uniform coat of paint — it’s sleek and minimalist and tidy while still feeling homey and appropriate for the setting.

via juniper home

The Color: Valspar ‘Nocturnal Green

Why It Works: If you’re interested in highlighting your landscaping or your tile…going dark is a great choice. Nocturnal Green looks great with this cool roof, bright green fauna and checkerboard tiling AND it thrives when put in contrast with warmer elements, like the natural wood pergola. Juniper Home actually did an awesome writeup (with photos!) on choosing this paint color — it’s definitely worth a read.

photo by michael a. muller | via remodelista

The Color: Benjamin Moore ‘Hale Navy

Why It Works: A deep navy with a clean white trim is timeless and elegant. This place is actually a restaurant, Josephine House, and it’s SUCH good inspiration for those who’d like to go dark with their exterior but who also worry about accidentally leaning a little too gothic. Navy is a safe bet to bring some punch and character without sacrificing a more traditional feel!

photo by heather keeling | via apartment therapy

The Color: Benjamin Moore ‘Graphite‘ (Siding), Benjamin Moore ‘Black Onyx‘ (Trim)

Why It Works: I am obsessed with Victorian homes painted black. It’s modern and special and in a weird 2020 way, it almost highlights the architecture because it’s so bold. Here, the mixing of a dark gray on the siding and a true black on the trim still bring in some depth (and that wooden front door provides warmth!).

Our Favorite Light Exterior Paint Colors

photo by amber kelly | via a beautiful mess

The Color: Behr ‘Swiss Coffee

Why It Works: What a mid-century treat for us!!! The before and after linked in that blog post is worth a peek — it’s incredible (and it includes some great intel on painting brick!). You may be familiar with Swiss Coffee as it’s the go-to paint choice for landlords with good taste everywhere — my last two apartments have been painted Swiss Coffee — but it reads as such a nice white here. AND HOW CUTE IS THE DOOR? And the light fixtures? And the windows? Painting the brick and trim in the same color unified the space, which lets your eye take in all those aforementioned goodies.

photo by moya mcallister| via hgtv

The Color: Benjamin Moore ‘Standish White‘ (Exterior), Benjamin Moore ‘Rockport Gray‘ (Trim), Benjamin Moore ‘Crimson‘ (Shutters and Door)

Why It Works: This one has a special place in my heart! I grew up with a similarly-colored front door and folks used to stop in front of our house, walk down our hilly driveway, knock, and then they’d ask my mom for the color. More than 20 years later, it seems WILD to think about — opening doors for strangers?! — but the palette here evokes the same friendly feeling. The soft beige paint (which reads very tan in that swatch!) and taupe trim are SO. GOOD. at bridging the roof and masonry…and obviously, that pink is a delightful pop of color.

photo by agnes lopez | via hgtv

The Color: Sherwin Williams ‘Greek Villa‘ (Exterior), Sherwin Williams ‘Caviar‘ (Trim)

Why It Works: An American take on a Greek classic color palette! Inside, it’s a creamy off-white (and one that Sara actually used in her own home!), but outside, it’s a crisp and bright white that doesn’t come off too stark.

via the home bunch

The Color: Sherwin Williams ‘Repose Gray

Why It Works: If you’re looking for something with a little more visual interest and depth than a stark white, Repose Gray is a perfect choice (and also one that looks so much darker in samples before it’s up on the exterior!). Here, it’s a warm choice that ties in the cool stone with the copper roof.

photo by ashley gieseking | via hgtv

The Color: Sherwin Williams ‘Pure White‘ (Exterior), Sherwin Williams ‘Privilege Green‘ (Trim)

Why It Works: You notice how this ‘Pure White’ pulls a little green when it’s on the house…especially when compared to the fence next to it? It’s the light bouncing from the green surroundings and back on to the house! ‘Pure White’ is a little warm and soft to begin with, but it’s definitely amped up here. Also, the choice to go with green on the shutters, door AND trim is tasteful and simple.

Our Other Favorite Exterior Paint Colors

photo by claire thomas | via chalkboard mag

The Color: Dunn Edwards ‘Rose de Mai

Why It Works: If you haven’t seen the hype about Oeste Home on Instagram, I’ll give you a second to scroll through all those pictures real quick…but OKAY, WOW. This home is a masterclass for those looking to create a cohesive paint and tile situation! Oeste makes a real case for matching your paint color to your surroundings — the place is stunning at sunset when it blends into the mountains.

via charleston blonde

The Color: Sherwin-Williams ‘Sullivan’s Island‘ (Siding), Sherwin-Williams ‘Charleston White‘ (Trim), Sherwin-Williams ‘Beach Flower‘ (Door)

Why It Works: How welcoming is this? A pale blue-green mixed with a coral door is so sweet, especially in a city like Charleston. (Y’all have to click through and get a close up of her door knocker. It’s truly too much for my heart.) It’s just clean and eye-catching and a little bit preppy… LOVE IT.

via jackie greaney

The Color: Sherwin-Williams ‘Connor’s Lakefront

Why It Works: WHAT A BEAUT. This property is cohesive: one peacock paint color that echoes the shingles, one bright red front door to tie in the brick chimney, and a crisp white trim and fence to package it all up. It’s a modern take on the classic red, white, and blue color scheme without being too “I painted a flag directly on my house.”

via hgtv

The Color: Benjamin Moore ‘Georgian Green‘ (Exterior), Benjamin Moore White Opulence (Trim), Benjamin Moore ‘Wethersfield Moss‘ (Shutters)

Why It Works: It’s the perfect example of a warm-toned green! This sage/olive combo perfectly complements the corrugated roof and wooden front door. Let this be a lesson that you’re not limited to just neutrals when your home’s unchangeable features skew on the warmer side — you can still have a color you love just by altering the tone a bit! (P.S. This nature makes both greens look *so much more* green!!!)

photo by ashley gieseking | via hgtv

The Color: Valspar ‘Sharkfin‘ (Siding), Valspar ‘Wave Crest‘ (Trim), Valspar ‘Quarry Pond‘ (Shutters)

Why It Works: Ah, here’s a perfect option for all you who are interested in dipping a toe into the color pool! This home goes a little more tonal, with paint colors pulled straight from the roof. It’s bright, but it’s also still subdued and timeless.

AND THERE WE HAVE IT. 15 examples of good, beautiful, real-life exterior paint jobs at work. Do you love your exterior paint? Are you inspired to pick up a project this weekend? What say you??? Let’s chat 🙂

Fin Mark


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Another, probably unwelcome, bit of science is that dark paint, like a dark roof, significantly increases solar gain–I know from experience that a house with a black roof is much hotter in the summer.
Unless you live in a cool, cloudy rainy area, think twice. Or even three times,

We’ve also noted that the dark painted houses in our newish neighborhood fade much more noticeably more quickly than the lighter colors. I’m not sure how much of that is color versus paint quality used by builders, but it is something to consider.


When I painted an exterior dark, I bought the highest grade exterior paint I could to hopefully fight the fade. TBD!


I bought what was supposed to be the best exterior paint at Sherwin Williams, since I was painting my exterior Peppercorn. They assured me it would not fade at all. Wrong…it faded terribly within a couple of years. I know for sure the prep job was excellent. I watched like a hawk the 2 days they prepped. So maybe the Sherwin Williams paint isn’t great? I need to paint again, and really wanted to go blue this time. But my neighbor just painted her home blue. So I am going white this time. Witch a cute olive door. Now to find the olive color. I guess I still need to pin down my white as well. I’m normally a very decisive person. But not when it comes to painting my house.


A designer here – I had a nightmare time with a dark green Sherwin Williams paint in my bedroom. It kept drying into a sort of crackle glaze! Thank God it wasn’t for a client. Of course I had the best painter I knew on the job, bought the premium kind of SW paint…and I went back to the store for new paint TWICE, as they said it was maybe something wrong with the batch. Finally my painter begged me to get it color-matched at Benjamin Moore, and it went on perfectly for coat #4 or 5. I’ve since learned how superior BM is to SW. I do love the color palettes at SW, I just get them color-matched into better paint now.


We’re a year and a half in so far with the highest grade Benjamin Moore paint on our navy blue house with black shutters, garage doors, and front door, and we haven’t had any issues with fading yet! Power washing the black every now and then helps keep it fresh looking, since dirt does show a bit on that, making it look faded when dirty. Fingers crossed it keeps looking great for years to come – we get so many compliments from neighbors and visitors on the color!


That’s helpful! How often do you power wash? Is that a professional job done on the entire house?


The reverse is also true – it stays a bit warmer in the winter. We painted our house a dark navy just over a year ago, and while it’s tough to tell for sure what the cause is, our electricity bills have gone down in the summer AND our gas and electric bills have gone down in the winter! We also installed a Nest thermostat about 6 months before we painted that could be the culprit for the decrease – but I think its worth pointing out that the dark paint had less impact than a smart thermostat!


Awesome that you’re seeing your energy bills go down! I work in energy program evaluation and we actually don’t see large savings attributable to smart thermostats alone, since they tend to adjust for “comfort” and in some cases go warmer in winter or cooler in summer than before. That said, you must be doing other things right to reduce your energy use, so way to go! (Or it could be weather patterns…?)

Also – the above note about dark roof colors is definitely true. If you live in a warm place, it’s much better to go light with your roof color. The reverse is true if you’re up north!


Yeah, when we got a new roof several years ago after a terrible hailstorm everyone was telling me my choice of shingle was bad and I’d regret it. WELL 1 It’s asphalt shingles in ‘silver birch’, we are the only house inthe neighborhood that didn’t choose black, dark grey, or dark brown. You can always find our house 2 We live in the southern US and only have a single tree shading a small part of the house. We get lots of sun for most of the year. Since getting this roof we use our AC less (environmentally friendly) and it doesn’t have to work as hard. The savings per month are small, several dollars difference that we started seeing right away. But we’ve had this roof since 2013. 7y x 12m = a lot, for us to be honest. 3 Our roof is wearing really well. So many of the dark ones around us have faded here and there – shade vs. no shade, or east vs. west side of the house. Our roof still looks the same all over and is still a bright silver-grey. 4 We still haven’t painted our house from its current warm combo to… Read more »


Would love to see some ideas of paint colors to go with the ubiquitous red brick! I’m not going to paint my 1940s brick, but there’s plenty of siding, shutters, and trim to update.




If you like dark, we painted ours Wrought Iron (shutters and trim) and Kendall Charcoal siding. Looks amazing with our red brick. We steered clear of colour because red is already so colourful. Our windows are already black, installed them last year. Something I found very important, look at your colours against the grout in the brick.


I would love to see suggestions for this as well. We are about to begin an addition to our 1950 red brick house. The addition will be sided in board and batten. We do not want to paint the brick. We also do not want to paint the siding white (too much upkeep) or any shade of grey or dark blue. There are just a lot of houses recently painted those colors in our neighborhood so we want to do something different, but we are not sure what.

Suggestions are welcome!


I’ve heard you should match the grout color in the brick for siding?? Sounds reasonable to me.


My sister bought a cute 1960’s brick ranch with a lot of wood siding on it, and the siding is red. I don’t even like red that much, but it is the CUTEST house. I love the tone on tone and it’s pretty unique. She has black shutters and white siding and it looks great. She’s not a huge fan of red either, but she just had it repainted and kept it the exact same because it really is just too cute to change.

I painted my 60’s brick ranch SW dover white last year and I love it. It’s a nice creamy white that’s worth considering. I debated between that and BM white dove, which is another really popular choice in my area.


I know someone who painted the addition to their brick ranch house a nice cream color that complemented the grout – I don’t know what the specific color was but it worked really well!


The Instagram photo is of Chris Loves Julia’s house, but it’s not referenced in this article and it’s not credited on IG.


I saw this too, and yeah it should be credited (along with McGee, since they’re the actual designers) but I’d like to request that you find other sources of inspiration to share rather than CLJ. I think many of your readers are probably also CLJ readers, so it might feel like recycled content. For me though, I find them truly uninspiring, especially with their new house, everything is either an ad or done with a gazillion dollar budget (and/or #gifted); nothing feels fun, creative, or unique. That’s what I come to this page for so often! So to see frequent links or pics of what they’re doing over there is beginning to erode my love for this site, which has been a constant source of inspiration in so many ways (from design, politics, relationships, and service) for the past decade. Just my 2 cents; hope it’s not toooooo snarky.


I totally agree on the CLJ. It’s all gifted or a gazillion dollars. Out of reach.


Huh, I thought it was just me who has not been feeling the CLJ new house. Just t relatable anymore.

This EHD post is really helpful – I just finished painting my house exterior to sell it. I went with Kendall Charcoal!

Saima M Sharoff

I’m also not a huge fan of the new house, but mostly it’s because I find it bland. Everything is some shade of cream, greige, or gray. There are basically no colors in the house at all aside from music room. Even the art on the walls is bland. It’s all very beautiful and stately and devoid of color.


I’m not familiar with Chris Loves Julia (just skimmed their post about this exterior) but I know Studio McGee are interior designers. I’m confused about why they chose to hire interior designers to handle an exterior, specifically one with mold problems…


Interesting timing. This should be the last day we are still painting our house. We chose Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron for the eaves, soffit and fascia and gutters. Kendall Charcoal for the siding. It goes well with our red brick and black window casing in our 1960s side split.


This is great advice 👍 …. I would love to see the CLJ pic you used as your link-in in your Instagram stories credited though 😊


Also curious about suggestions for Spanish style homes! We’d like to paint the trim and doors of our white Spanish house something in the charcoal family, but are facing option overwhelm.

Karen T.

Thanks for this round up and for saving me a TON of work…pinning for my next house!


I painted our shed Nocturnal Green. It changes colors all day as the sun moves through the sky. It sets off the landscape without being a “hey, I’m a shed!”


I’d really like to stain our mountain house a dark charcoal. It’s currently brown, but getting darker as we have stain every five years. The masonry is a warm colored stone, and the roof is half gray asphalt shingle & half rusted metal. We also have exposed beams and craftsman entry that i want to leave stained brown. Any thoughts on how darker charcoal/black stain would work with those materials? Once i stain it dark, it would be hard to go back!


Sounds great to me! I’m sure you could google for dark colored craftsman exteriors and find a nice example. Would definitely want to make sure you picked the right shade of charcoal but the fact that you’re even noticing the different materials makes me believe in your ability to figure it out!

FYI there are opaque stains where the color sits on top, with that you might actually be able to get away with staining a lighter color over a darker color – but I would definitely chat with the employees at a quality brand paint store (BM or SW) about it first.


Suggestions for a flat room modern home set in the woods of CT….the flashing is copper.
Contemplating a very dark gray but not sure how it will look with copper. We are also building a deck this year and think we are going to go with a darkish wood to that will complement the cedar panels inside the house. A big investment and I’m so scared I’ll make a wrong choice!

We are updating a 1970s “modern” ranch and adding box style copper gutters. The entire house will be painted matte Sherwin Williams Caviar, which is a dramatic but somewhat soft black. We’re so excited for the reveal!


What if you have red brick and a cool colored roof?


I love almost every one of the home tours linked to! I mean wow Hay House! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a masterful balance of lightness with color and pattern. And the art! If I ever got into maximalism this would be my muse.

I do have to say that it pains me to see the brick of a midcentury style home painted. The old color scheme was definitely dreary, but brick and stone is such a key ingredient of that architectural style! They literally whitewashed the history right out of the place. It’s almost cutesy… might as well write #pinterest #insta on the front door.

I would have looked for a color more period-appropriate AND fun, replaced those dumpy shrubs with some more attractive landscaping, and saved my pennies for a new roof.


So glad you posted this! We are looking to replace our vinyl siding and roof this spring. While we won’t be adding painted siding, I have been eyeing those really dark colors. I’m thinking charcoal with white trim. Super scary in my mostly grey and beige neighborhood, but I think it will do wonders for my home.

i’m usually so don’t-paint-brick, but my parents had an almost black brick 1970s ranch, which they painted cream, and it completely changed it. like night and day. literally. now i see the appeal. and this post is TOTALLY inspiring me to paint our red brick! it’s fate.


I love all of your recommendations, but any ideas about a pale-ish yellow colonial? It has vinyl siding that is in great shape and we probably won’t replace. Any door/shutter combinations would be appreciate it. Currently, it has a pink (!) door and faded teal shutters. Not as bad as it sounds, really. I’m ready for an upgrade though. My area is New England, if that’s relevant.

Thank you! Love your blog!!


We have a similar house – 1918 American four square with some colonial touches, with light yellowish vinyl siding. We don’t love the siding color but it’s fairly new and in great shape so not worth replacing. We have white trim and black shutters, which pop nicely against the yellow. Our front door is white, but it needs to be replaced and we’ve been thinking about either a stained wood door (something in the walnut color family) or painted red or a light teal?

Saima M Sharoff

Man, you aren’t kidding about sunlight being bluer than expected. I thought I had picked out the perfect shade of gray-ish navy, and instead I ended up with a BLUE house; no gray to be seen. Luckily, it’s still a beautiful shade of blue, and the Craftsman cottage-style house lends itself well to blue with white trim. We just lucked out though…I don’t know what we would have done if we’d hated the color had to repaint the whole thing!

One tip – we painted large swatches directly on our house as recommended above, but we painted like 5 colors all next to one another. I think the close proximity of all the colors affected how we saw each of them. Even after the viewing the swatches, I was convinced the color I’d chosen was blue-gray.

Maybe paint each color swatch on a different side of the house, or at the very least, far enough apart so that they don’t affect one another when you’re looking at them.

Nicola O.

Timely! I just chose colors for our house and am waiting on the weather for the work to be done. I ruled out dark colors because we don’t have air conditioning and we struggle a little to keep the house cool in the summer. There’s a blue house next to me, a faded pink one on the other side, and a lovely deep forest green with blue undertones — just shy of teal — across the way.

I chose Sherwin Williams Smokey Beige for the main body color, with Commodore blue accents and white trim. I can’t wait to see it!

Lena Waldon

We are in the process of re-doing our exterior and I haven’t found much information on the internet, so thank you for this article! During quarantine I have been taking a lot of walks around the various neighborhoods and based on the twenty houses that have been repainted this summer, I would say the color used the most is dark blue. It’s become a running joke in our house “there’s another one!”


I love the Charleston house, but when I click on the paint colors or even search for them on the SW site, nothing comes up? Even went to the Charleston Blonde’s page and her links go to a “No Products Available” page on SW. Are these no longer available or did they just switch the name?


Pretty sure the Josephine House is not Hale Navy, but a custom blend. We tried to mimic that house and went with Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray, and it worked out great.

I love how you displayed how to use dark colors without making a house look too spooky or gloomy. I’ve always been a fan of sleek black paint as a way to color the things that I like, but when I imagined using it for the color of my house, I began to worry that it might make my home look like a haunted property if not done right. To make sure this doesn’t happen, I’ll use the tips you displayed in your article when talking to an exterior painting service.


Very helpful and if painting brick or natural stucco definitely use a mineral paint that will allow the brick to breath and not create any issues. Romabio Paints have different finishes specifically for masonry. The dark colors are beautiful but I think others have mentioned climate and if you live in the South, lighter is better for fade resistance and heat.


Thank you for all this good info! I’m starting to think about painting our house. I also have the issue of working around (or painting over) red brick. I was thinking it might be helpful to have you guys work through a couple of example houses and talk about the options for dealing w/that particular style house and design (brick? siding? etc.). Ala what Jenny did at the Evergreen house. Would love the more specific advice, building on this more general start. Thanks!

This post popped in my feed the day we looked at exterior paint samples. It’s the most exciting and transformational decision yet! We went dark and selected Black Forest Green from Sherwin Williams. There are a handful of dark blue or charcoal homes in our neighbor and a million white brick houses. I’m hoping to stand out with a moody green pick!

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