It probably comes as no surprise that paint is one of the quickest ways to update your home. In most cases, a paint job doesn’t require any invasive construction work, and the result is a lot like a good haircut—your house will look polished and neat when the work is finished.

Whether calm and collected or bright and inviting, your home’s exterior color palette makes a statement. Choosing your home’s color scheme isn’t a decision to make quickly, so give yourself plenty of time to research and test colors.

If you’re working with a professional painting company, ask if they have a color expert on staff who can provide some additional guidance. Check out the beautiful color combinations below for some inspiration.

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1. Olive, White, and Nutmeg

olive house with white trim and pristine lawnEarth tones help seamlessly integrate this home with its pristine landscaping, creating a calming and unified aesthetic. Crisp white trim accents unique architectural details and helps lighten up the front porch to create a more open, welcoming entrance.

2. Soft Yellow and Navy Blue

Pale yellow cottage-style home with blue door and shutters and white trimA pale yellow paired with rich, sophisticated navy blue gives this cottage a grown-up fairytale feel. White trim keeps the home’s aesthetic light and airy and makes classic exterior features pop.

3. Slate, White, and Burnt Orange

craftsman-style ranch home with orange windows and entrywayMake your favorite details all the more eye-catching by painting them an unexpected color, such as this home’s burnt orange. A subtle slate gray for the rest of the home makes a statement that’s not too harsh on the eyes. A bright white for columns, gables, and the garage door is the perfect complement to the combination of gray and orange.

4. Sea Blue, White, and Red

blue house with white trim and a red doorWhite trim set against a calming blue shows off this home’s extensive architectural detail. The red door draws attention to the entryway, which could’ve easily been lost in the rest of the color palette. Simple, clean exterior features, such as light fixtures and landscaping, keep the eye focused on the house.

5. Off-White, Chocolate Brown, and Beige

blue house with white trim and a red doorThis home’s Mediterranean style takes center stage with the use of neutral tones, and extensive stonework adds character. Keeping dark trim to a minimum prevents the home’s exterior from looking heavy or dated. Even the pickiest of homeowners’ associations would have a hard time arguing with this timeless palette. 

6. Cranberry, Pastel Canary, and White

red house with large lawnChoosing a statement color can be tricky, and it’s important to consider your neighbors’ homes (and your HOA) to avoid any negative effects. Cranberry is an inviting alternative to a bright, fire engine red. Pale yellow adds contrast to the cheerful color scheme, and white trim around windows and doors keeps the exterior from looking dull or muddy.

Testing Paint Colors

Painting your home’s exterior is a great opportunity to update the color scheme and highlight unique features. It’s important to first try out a few color combinations before you take the plunge, though. Here are a few basic guidelines to follow when testing out color on your home’s exterior:

  1. Buy actual samples of paint you’re considering.
  2. If possible, plan to test colors during a week that will be both sunny and overcast.
  3. Paint large swatches, about 12 inches square, at eye level on the side or back of your house.
  4. Wait approximately one week, and make sure to look at the paint swatches in the morning, afternoon, and evening before making a decision.

Before fully committing to your color selections, be sure to ask a paint color expert for suggestions. Taking the time to test out the colors you like in different lighting and weather conditions will help you settle on a combination you’ll love for years.