A few EXTERIOR paint suggestions

After studying these for weeks, ok months here are some grouping i have come up with…many of us like a neutral color house with red door but what EXACT neutral and exact red?…or a GRAY house with a yellow door or blue but exact color suggestion?…of course objects may  not appear in real life as they do on screen…i painted big samples on our house, front in back where sunlight is different and i did big posterboard too and carried around…its work to paint out a number of big samples but on a big expense it really is required i think… so i really encourage you to do samples whether its inside or out! But as a starting point here are a few of my faves.

I am not sure i like this red..i really like a true red door red (am i nuts or did SW have a exterior paint color called RED DOOR RED years ago???) I think ladybug from Martha”s new line might be what i prefer…but many love moroccan red! I think a lot of it depends on the sun and the direction your house faces and if you have a porch, if no porch and your door is very exposed and up front i think you can go less bold and still get the red door feel, is this crazy thinking.  My door is up under a porch so i like it RED, wouldn’t want anyone to miss it!  ha!


{Blue door, sandy hook on siding, creamy white trim and shutters or the Chelsea on shutters}

You could definitely go with a brighter blue her if you wanted but i just this MlLK pail color..its in her new line. I also think you could do the shutters the white color and maybe use the chelsea on the back door or as an accent…

And finally, a yellow door…my new love…will I do it? we will see. There are complex factors involved in painting an exterior…location, climate, sunlight, landscaping, street, neighbors, etc..its like naming a baby, not easy!

{yellow door, chelsea siding, white trim and shutters or no shutters}

I think the question is not whether a yellow door looks good with Chelsea Gray…it sooo does but what color yellow..a buttery or a bright?? Please give specific feedback on some yellow door colors if you have any thoughts, i have noticed there is not a lot of exterior suggestions and discussion in shelter magazines and even on blogs..

Thanks for looking, these are just a few ideas, please link to your blogs or sources if you have something to share!!!!

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  1. LOVE the bright yellow. I think the front door is a wonderful place to go bold and bright. I actually recently drove by a house with seemingly this exact color scheme. I stopped and took a picture. VERY striking.

    Good luck with your choice! I love your blog.

  2. Love the modern cottage pick with the bright yellow door! But I might be biased… my house is Sherwin Williams Roycroft Brass (an olivey-brown) with a bright yellow door (in Sherwin Williams Quilt Gold, I think). I had to go much more yellow-green on my door than I thought I would. My shutters are Enduring Bronze.

  3. Ooops. Just double-checked my door color from above). I had to go a lot more ORANGEY-yellow than I thought I would, just to get a true bright yellow on my shaded/south-facing front door. I used Sherwin Williams Anjou Pear (NOT Quilt Gold).

  4. Love your suggestions here. We’re planning to paint our brick ranch next summer but might do the trim this summer and this gives me something to think about. I do love a yellow door and with ours facing west it might be a good idea. However, our neighbors across the street already have a yellow door so that might be too much. I was thinking about Angela’s at TPH (http://www.tphblog.com/ranch-redo-colors/) and trying to figure out if I wanted to go that route. Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  5. that’s so hard. i have always been obsessed with red front doors too! but gray and yellow is probably my favorite color combo of all time – which is why i had a gray and yellow wedding! 🙂

  6. Great combos
    Wish I would have had these ideas when we painted our exterior!

  7. Seeing the front of our house would help me choose but I’m partial to the gray and blue. I love the fresh look! I like the yellow door idea, too. I couldn’t do it on my own house but I think it would be adorable on a cottage.

  8. I will have to send you photos of 3 of my favorite house colors in our neighborhood. Tell me what YOU think. Look for them this afternoon. 🙂

  9. Hello sweet friend! Glad to see what’s on your brain after my two weeks of disconnect. A good two weeks, though. I bet you can guess which combo is my personal favorite (may have to pin it!), but for you, I say go with the yellow door. If you don’t love the bright, go with the butter. Bt you might like a little more pop on your door than the buttery color.


  10. I have a question. Our house is a red brick house and we just painted trim and shutters the same as your Classic colors. I would love to do the door, and I love the red, but I’m not too sure since we have red brick AND our roof (owners before us) is red…ugh. What do you suggest? Thanks!

  11. Look at you, Miss Sassy! Love these fun combos!!!! xo

  12. Fresh:))))

  13. Jennifer says

    I love all of these combos. Darn, I wish we hadn’t just painted our house!!! I am still on DH about the door. He wants it to be stained, not painted. Boo! I will tell you that I have Haw Yellow in my hallways and even in the darker hallways, it looks much brighter than those samples.

  14. After painting numerous sample areas, my brick was painted Glidden Stonington Beige from Home Depot. It is really more of a grey than a beige. I call it a mushroom. We are in the middle of the country, and it is a very natural color which blends in with the tree trunks well. My door is Derby Red by Ralph Lauren.


  15. We had a yellow door in NoVa and HATED it. I know, I know, it’s a personal preference but…. 🙂 I LOVE fresh palette…. think it would look amazing on your cottage.

  16. Modern!!!

  17. Fresh is my favorite. But I like modern too. There is a gray house is Southside Place with a bright yellow door. it is cute.

  18. I LOVE the bright yellow door. If you’re not sure about it, you could try something just a tiny bit more subtle…but not as subtle as the butter.

  19. I really like the lemon twist version & think it works great w/the gray.

  20. Oh….I love all of your color combinations! Can’t wait to see what you choose…I know it will be fab!

  21. Love all your combos, thanks for the great ideas! Love your inspiring blog, too!

  22. Modern Cottage all the way! It’s so fresh. Everyone has a red door. Yawn!

  23. I love a red door. Ours is sw botacelli red which is discontinued I believe but it’s a great color and they can still make it I know. But I’m loving the bright yellow door and grey combo for a change. I really love that idea for something new and a twist on the old traditional red.

  24. I am loving the yellow door…..there is an old color by Duron…[owned by SW now] called Daisetta. It is in between the two yellows you have on your board. I love all of your suggesstions and would be partial to the blue or yellow door. I saw a beautiful home in Atlanta with a gorgous green door similar to the color of Duron Sweet Olive 7683. The trim was like an antique white and the house color was similar to the Kendall Charcoal. It was stunning.

  25. Jo Nelson says

    I have to go with FRESH. They are all nice – you won’t go wrong with any of them, but I’m a neutral exterior type of person. Plus, I think with the Fresh look, you will have more versatility on decorating the outside with plants, etc. Just my opinion.

  26. Your color combinations are fantastic! My husband painted our shutters a plum color last summer. The house is white and we have a colorful house number sign. I love color, but it feels a bit whimsical rather than classical.

    I used MS Ladybug red in my interior. It is a true bright red. I felt like it was better suited for a preschool room, so we painted over it within weeks. Have you looked at the SW color barn door red (I think)?

    Someone in our neighborhood has a gray house with a mustard (gray based) yellow. It pops in a very understated way.

    I think I prefer the Fresh option.

    Please keep us posted.

  27. Kim Wright says

    Hi…first time commenter 🙂 I just had to get my 2 cents in because I ADORE doors that stand out. My vote is for the bright yellow. There is a brick house down the street from me (my neighborhood dates from the early-mid 1800’s) with a bright yellow door that I LOVE! We painted a rental house we own(happens to be next door) with a bright yellow door because I loved it so much (the siding is BM Wedgewood Gray HC-147). My house is very similar to Hawthorne Yellow and my door is BM Midnight Navy – it’s a deep shade of periwinkle and I hate it when people call it purple 🙂 I was actually thinking about changing it to a grey because I loved your post (hope that was your post!) with the grey houses with yellow doors, but I couldn’t find any examples online of yellow houses with grey doors. Probably not the same impact. I do appreciate that you’ve picked a complementary shade of grey for me if I do decide to go that direction, though. I guess I’m sticking with my “purple” door for now. One more thought…I think red doors are soooo overdone.

  28. Hi Holly,

    We just moved into a gray house – with a horribly faded red door. I think I am over the red door and am contemplating doing the yellow door. I found a few inspiration photos on Pintrest (follow me!) but the shutter color is perplexing! Do I get all wild and crazy and just ditch the shutters??? I think the gray/white/yellow calls for a more cleaner look??? Right? I think white shutters would just look boring and busy. Seriously, all my uncertainty has me, at this point, doing nothing! Ackkkk!
    Good luck to you, I look forward to seeing what you decide!

  29. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a gray house with a yellow door and I’ve just about got my husband on board with the idea. Any recommendations for exterior painters in the Houston area?

  30. Hi Holly-

    My house is a medium Gray with “Kettle Black” shutters, white trim and I have a Red Door. The color that we used on the door is from SW and it is called Pompei Red. It looks great and is under a covered porch as well, so I wanted it to stand out a bit more. I really love it and have had several people in the neighborhood paint door the same color…not sure if that is good or bad? 🙂 can’t wait to see what you pick.

  31. This post is SO timely! Yesterday I finally decided on BM319 (Dalila) for my front door and SW 1595 (rocky coast) for my shutters on my light gray (sided) “cottage” built in the early 70’s. Now that I’ve read all the other suggestions here, I’m going to take a look at them, and make sure I have exactly what I want!

  32. Oh, I LOVE the modern and the bright yellow door! I’m so glad so many others think the same. Positive peer pressure: paint it YELLOW!!!! 🙂

  33. I think you are definitely headed in the right direction. Your color combos are lovely. The Modern is my favorite. But my front door is yellow…so I might be biased. 🙂 We started with a light yellow…but from the street the door looked white and baby shower-ey. So darker and darker we went. The bright vibrant yellow seemed out of place in our traditional neighborhood. So we landed on Auric by Sherwin Williams. It’s the perfect blend of yellow. I found yellow paint chips to be very deceiving. Good luck!

  34. have you decided yet? im a little late to the game!! My current wish list of paint colors for my house is:
    white brick/siding
    blacky-green shutters and trim
    apple green front door

    but i would also consider:
    white brick/siding
    grayish/brownish shutters
    bright, bright, bright yellow front door!!

    can wait to see what you choose! -Jenny

  35. my husband JUST finished painting our exterior the Classic colors from this post! went from a lovely mid-90’s hunter green on doors and shutters to that fantastically updated yet always classic charcoal on the shutters and paprika/brick on the front doors. it did so much for the curb appeal!!

  36. Emily Vanderputten says

    Hello Holly! FTC here but have been reading your blog for some time and like Kim W had to comment. My husband and I have been going round and round for 2 yrs about painting the exterior of our brick ranch. I finally won. We have yet to paint the brick but our color way is similar to your Classic colors. And b/c we had to replace our front door recently, I have already painted it the SW Moroccan Red. I absolutely love it even with our current orange/red blah 70’s brick. We have had a ton of compliments. So I am partial to the red door. I painted the interior of the door high gloss black inspired by Barclay Butera’s CA home – probably a design no-no – but black worked better with my living room colors as the front door opens into the living room. And again, people LOVE it.

    My mother had a yellow door for years (with grey exterior) and while we all loved it, she recently painted it black and it instantly went from ‘twee’ to ‘classic.’

  37. We went for a buttery yellow door – love it – http://sweetsouthernsymphony.blogspot.com/2011/02/first-impressions.html

  38. Cat Hunter says

    I love the Chelsea Gray and the Lemon Yellow!! Those combinations work on so many levels. I think that a teal blue or in the blue/green family would great on the door too. And then you could do some accents with that bright Lemon Yellow around the porch or even with yellow flowers. Love it! I have Ralph Lauren Alistair Green on an accent room in my bedroom with other white walls and bright yellow accents. I have been slowly adding in blue elements. So you can see I’m a little partial. Good luck!

  39. I adore this yellow front door! Especially with a grayish home and black shutters! 🙂

  40. I love those color combos, all of them. What suggestions do you have for front door, shutters on a home with white siding? It’s a colonial style home.

  41. Haden Hughes says

    How do I get the numbers for the Kendall Charcoal, Morroccan Red, and Sandy Hook Gray Benjamin Moore paints. My builder says the names don’t work! Thanks.

  42. I have a yellow siding on the top half of our home with green shutters, garage door, front door and red brick on the bottom story of our home and up the chimney. i want to change it up and i love the grey and yellow but what will i do with the brick? I am so nervous to paint it.

  43. Would Sandy Hook Gray work with a brown roof? I love the color but am afraid it would look bad.

  44. Love the Lemon Door with the Gray! All the colors are lovely together.

  45. Hi Holly!
    I have a beautiful red brick home. The previous owners decided to close in the garage and painted the outside a off white/tannish color with hunter green shutters and we have a little well house that matches the addition. I would like to paint the addition and well house a different maybe darker color and paint the shutters and front door something different. My boyfriend and I are into modern and traditional themes. Do you have any suggestions?

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  47. I am looking at the Kendall Charcoal as the body of the house paint. We have a red brick walk way as well steps into the covered entry also all around the entry door. The south side of the house has a sun room and they also put the red brick as the siding. The house needs paint desperately and I keep going to the dark with white trim. My only question is the door in the center of the brick entry. White is boring. We removed the shutters I will not be replacing them. I am looking at putting new wider trim . Can you help?

  48. Fascinating information I haven’t been experienced such information in quite a long time.

  49. Well my personal choice would be the fresh colors for painting my home as I do not much impressed by modern colors; your blog is worth appreciating.

  50. Wow nice combination! I love the grey, its so elegant!

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