Exterior Paint Colors for the Different Types of Homes

Sarah Robinson

When deciding on an exterior paint color, it’s important to consider the architectural style of your home. Certain designs lend themselves to particular color schemes and moving too far outside of these can result in a look that’s a little unbalanced.

Before you start looking at specific paint colors, it’s a good idea to do a little research about the style of your home. Learning a bit more about which colors are traditionally used with your type of home will help give you a starting point for choosing your colors.

To help give you some ideas, let’s take a look at some architectural styles commonly found in North America.

It’s Time to Refresh Your Exterior House Paint Colors

vinyl siding home

Vinyl Siding

Many people don’t realize that you can paint vinyl siding. It’s a great way to update the look of your home and actually helps to improve its durability. It’s usually less labour-intensive than painting other surfaces, because the siding does not retain moisture and dries quickly.

In terms of choosing a color for your vinyl siding, you want to choose something that will hold up over time. It’s always safe to go with a more neutral tone and accent with bolder colors. For an overall color, you could try a creamy white or a buttery tone. Beige and gray are always ideal, since they are easy to match with your surroundings and are always in style.

rancher style home

Rancher

Ranch-style homes come in a variety of styles, but are based on the type of buildings you see on farms and ranches. If you want to keep this traditional style going, choose a paint color in a rich, warm earthy tone like brown or beige. If your home has a mix of materials, you can play up the natural tones in surfaces like brick or stone by selecting colors with undertones to balance out the overall palette.

For a more modern feel, experiment with bold accents like a red door, or go for a bright shade of yellow or blue.

bungalow style home

Bungalow

Bungalow houses sprung up from the Arts and Crafts Movement, and most of these types of houses feature and emphasis on natural materials like wood, stone and brick. When these particular elements are present, you want to make sure you choose colors that balance with the natural colors present. For a more classic look, go with shades of gray or taupe. For something a little more modern and cutting edge, try deep blue, sage green, or a sunny yellow.

cape cod style home

Cape Cod

The Cape Cod style houses were inspired by Britain's thatched cottages. Certain elements of the cottage designs were updated to reflect the climate in the Northeastern United States. With this style, you most often see homeowners sticking to a very traditional color palette, with crisp whites, dark hunter green accents, traditional blues, and deep grays. You often see these types of homes with an overall neutral tone with pops of bright color as accents on trim, shutters, and doors.

victorian style home

Victorian

If you have a Victorian style home, consider yourself very lucky indeed! This style of architecture really lends itself to bright and bold colors. It’s not uncommon to see 3 or 4 different colors used to accent all the unique details on these homes. While many people stick to neutrals with a bit of a twist (think taupe with a lavender undertone, or a blue-gray) and white trim, others go wild with an assortment of bright colors like red, purple, and bright blue. In many areas, there are historical colors associated with these buildings, so it’s a good idea to do some research and see if there is a list of official colors in your area.

tudor style home

Tudor

Tudor homes are the very definition of classic. It’s typical to see these homes stick to a traditional color palette, with crisp white and darker brown or black trim. However, there are several variations on this style that still stick to that classic vibe, but add a modern edge. For the overall color, it’s best to stick to neutrals but in slightly warmer versions of white or beige. For the trim, try a gray or a dark blue. These homes look particularly great with a pop of color on the front door—something extra bold like a deep red or bright yellow really makes it stand out.

mid century modern home

Mid-Century Modern

This type of home is perfect for those who like a blend of natural and edgy elements. These homes often feature a clean and crisp minimalist design aesthetic, which lends itself to some unique color options. The emphasis on showcasing materials like wood and steel makes it ideal for a neutral backdrop like beige or dark gray, paired with some bold color pops as accents. Think bright greens, aqua, and even orange.

These are just a few of the many styles of homes we see around us, but each type of home will be a little different. One of the best ways to get some inspiration for your home is to simply take a look around your neighborhood and notice the color palettes of homes that are similar to yours.