When selling your home, exterior paint color (and curb appeal as a whole) plays a big factor in resale value. “Ever heard ‘don’t judge a book by its cover?’” Realtor Jessica Lingscheit of The Somerday Group asks. “We all do it! And your home will definitely be judged by the outside appearance.”
The reality is, aside from buyers looking for a fixer upper, the majority of people on the market for a new home aren’t interested in extra projects, like painting, once they move in. Plus, Lingscheit adds, not every home buyer can see the potential in a home when it’s an unappealing color. So, ensuring your home’s exterior is inviting is key to drawing buyers in, which is the first step to getting competitive offers.
Exterior Paint Tips for Homeowners
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Bring paint swatches home to pick your color
Just like you would with interior paint, it’s crucial to get samples, so you can see your shades in natural lighting and not the fluorescent lights in hardware stores, which can cause colors to look very different, Lingscheit says.
Mix and match swatches until you find what you like
Play around with swatches to make sure they work well together before painting. For example, The Somerday Group Realtor says, “if you’re shopping for an exterior paint color and your trim is white, grab the white swatch and put colors up to it so you can see what kind of contrast you’ll get.”
Have fun with exterior accent colors
“Add a wink of personality by selecting a contrasting color for your front door,” says Hannah Yeo, Benjamin Moore Color Marketing & Development Manager. “Trim and other decorative elements are great opportunities to highlight architectural details to enhance curb appeal.”
Take note of what’s already in your neighborhood
Sue Wadden, Director of Color Marketing at Sherwin-Williams, suggests looking around your neighborhood to see if your home fits in, especially since popular colors vary in different parts of the United States. “Prospective buyers will appreciate how your home fits in with its surroundings,” she explains.
Now that you have the tips, you’re ready to get inspired.
The 15 Best Exterior Paint Colors
It’s obvious, sure, but we’d be remiss in excluding white from our list. It’s timeless and sophisticated, no matter the style, location or size of the home. For a modern take on a classic white facade, try painting the trims and accents black—a color combination that’s in particularly high demand right now, according to Lingscheit.
Consider: Behr Ultra Pure White PPU18-06
Should you prefer a warmer approach to the classic white house, off-white is a versatile option that also pairs well with black but can be equally welcoming with natural browns and wood accents.
Consider: Benjamin Moore Baby's Breath OC-62
3. Navy Blue
One color that’s becoming increasingly popular, Lingscheit shares, is navy. Not just for a more nautical feel to coastal houses; it’s even popping up inland, with rustic brown accents and crisp white trims. Thinking about working with a color instead of playing it safe with white? Navy might just be calling you home.
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Naval SW 6244
4. Light Gray
Similar to white, other neutrals are perfect choices that’ll please nearly any buyer. Light gray, specifically, is a beautifully subtle option that goes with everything, making it easy for prospective buyers to envision themselves adding their own personal touches.
Gray exterior paint is what one might call a “safe statement” that’ll have the neighbors admiring and buyers impressed by its refined boldness. It’s out of the norm…but not too much.
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Sensible Hue SW 6198
While gray shades are always popular options for home exteriors, Lingscheit predicts they’ll begin to fizzle out a bit this year, making room for warmer neutrals. Taupe, a gorgeous gray-brown, will give you the best of both worlds: the sophistication of gray with the warmth of brown.
Consider: Behr Perfect Taupe PPU18-13
Beige is another color in the gray-brown family that feels welcoming, thanks to the warmth from its added yellow tints. Truly, a fresh coat of beige paint, Yeo says, will attract a broad range of buyers.
Consider: Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige HC-80
If edgy is more your style, a dark gray with blue undertones is exactly the statement you should consider without having to worry about scaring potential buyers away. After all, is there anything cooler than a home that can make a neutral seem spicy?
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Slate Tile SW 7624
9. Blue Gray
When in doubt, choose the color with more gray tones for a more muted appearance. Since the direct sunlight is going to make your house bright already, you don’t want it to be too vibrant on its own (especially if you’re picking something other people will like). Blue gray is a beautiful example of this, since it’s a cool-toned exterior color that can be dulled down with darker neutrals or played up with fun complementary colors.
Consider: Behr Adirondack Blue N480-5
10. Gray Green
Often subtle enough where it can pass as a light gray, gray green is an earthier take on the cool neutral trend. It’s prim without being unwelcoming and adds a tinge of personality without feeling like color overload.
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Rushing River SW 7746
11. Sage Green
Exterior paints in earthy tones have also seen a rise in sales recently, a Behr representative shares. Sage is just one of many stunning green shades that will instantly upgrade your home with as little as one coat.
Consider: Behr Sage Green ICC-77
Another elegant alternative to the other light neutral options, cream can lean toward the yellow family, making it ideal for homeowners who aren’t feeling the sparseness of white but still want to keep things understated.
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Irish Cream SW 7537
13. Powder Blue
Gone are the days when powder blue was reserved for nurseries and children’s rooms. Now, light blues can be found outside the home as well and, when chosen wisely, can take a (typically) smaller home from boring to charming. Of course, selecting a blue that’s timeless is key to keeping resale value up so consider moving toward a powder blue with gray undertones for a more neutral effect.
Consider: Sherwin-Williams Powder Blue SW 2863
14. Pale Yellow
There are few things warmer and more inviting than pale yellow, making the sunny color perfect for bringing in interest. What’s more? This friendly shade can also make smaller homes appear bigger, which is always a plus when trying to add value.
Consider: Benjamin Moore Weston Flax HC-5
15. Black or Charcoal
Though black and charcoal may be more common shades for exterior trim, painting the entire home in either of these colors is a bold choice that’ll attract bold clients. If you’re planning on reselling, you’ll have to consider where you are located and what the homes in your area look like (contemporary and modern homes are great candidates). Not ready to take the plunge? Try painting just the front door black. It’s actually known to increase the resale value by thousands of dollars.