via domain

Here are my top tips for creating a successful exterior colour scheme. These are some of my foundation rules when it comes to exteriors {but remember in design, you can always break rules which I do with these from time to time}


Limit the number of main colours t0 3 {house, trim, roof/gutters/fascia} A 4th could be wood or stone but you dont want it to be too busy. All the other colours in your exterior pallet should be a lighter or darker shade of the 3 main colours. Federation or heritage style homes are an exception to this rule.

Tip #2

Once you have selected the colour you like, get the paint about 4 shades darker as any colour outside looks 4 shades lighter from sunlight.


Always buy a sample pot and paint large samples {min 1m x 1m} on both the front and back of the house. if your house has a East /West orientation the golden light in the afternoon is different from the crisp light of the morning, so have a look at your chosen colour in both lights to make sure you are happy with it.

The House that A-M Built


Tip #4

Never EVER highlight a downpipe.  They are not an architectural feature and in no way need to be highlighted by painting them a feature colour.  Down pipes do need to be given their own colour….one that makes then near invisible. That means painting them the same as the house or if you have brick or stone finding a colour that make them blend.


Never paint your eaves white.  Eaves over the years will get dirty, so selecting an almost white is a better option.  If you have a light neutral home pick a 1/4 strength of your house colour.  If its a darker shade go to the lightest colour in the colour family (most Dulux colours have 9 shades of the one colour which I refer to as a family). It will still look white because remember the sun makes it about 4 shades lighter.

Via Home Beautiful

Tip # 6

Your colour scheme is does not always have to be complimentary to the architecture of your home. What I mean is that you have a federation style you can still go with a contemporary colour scheme {like the image at top of of this post}.

Tip# 7

My most important tip…..orgainse a for a professional colour consultant to assist you create your colour scheme. The cost in getting it right the first time is priceless.

I would LOVE to help any of you living in the Sydney / Blue Mountain areas. Please contact me here if you would like to arrange and exterior colour consult.

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  • Barbara Bussey January 15, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Right-o! Great tips…especially the last one!

  • Tina January 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Have just FOUND your website – and what a blessing! Look forward to more posts about exterior colours – we are in the midst of concept plans for a major renovation and extension to our home. So happy to have found your site!

    • Angie January 27, 2012 at 8:27 am

      Hi Tina, welcome to the blog! hope you enjoy the coming posts on exterior colours. How exciting to be planning a new project…all those possibilities. Good luck, Angie.

  • Juliej March 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Great tips! What if you have a terra-cotta tiled roof and wood panel garage door that can’t be changed? Am I stuck with creams or can I go for what I really want which is the modern dark greys with white accents?

  • CathS August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Absolutely love your website and style. Any suggestion for an exterior colour tone when I have cream aluminium windows. I keep ending up with a dark colour, when I really want a light fresh crisp colour but I feel that the light colour brings out the cream window frames.

    • Angie October 25, 2012 at 1:28 am

      Hi Cath, yes having cream windows is a bit of a difficult one. I recently did a clients home who had that exact problem. My advice is dont let the windows stop you from picking the light colours. Some dark colours can make them look quite yellow too! If what you really want is “light fresh crisp” then go light. Good luck

  • Claire Johnson October 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Love your ideas and inspirations!! What amazing talent you have. Just wondering if you have any suggestions for the best white to paint a house exterior – our’s is weatherboard and the roof is surfmist??

    • Angie October 25, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Hi Claire, happy to hear you are inspired by the blog. Great question about the White paint for exteriors. Everyones version of white is so different. If you are looking for something whiter than Surfmist try Dulux Natural white.

      • Pauline Setterfield August 2, 2014 at 10:35 am

        We are building a queenslander style home and have a surfmist roof. The surfmist paint on the boards, though, looks quite dull- a cool white? What would be a warmer version of it? Natural white was one of the alternatives I was looking at!

        • Angie August 10, 2014 at 7:42 pm

          Hi Pauline, yes Natural White is a good option. Your right that surfmist painted on a surface can look cool as it has a grey tinge. I painted my pool area walls in Surfmist and not overjoyed at the outcome even though I love it on roofs and trims. Natural white will be my next go to colour. Angie

  • Bec October 30, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Wow this website is fantastic!!! Glad I stumbled across it!!!! I am getting my house painted in less than 2 weeks and still throwing colours around. Do you know what grey is in that federation colour scheme image at the beginning of this post? My gutters are colourbond deep ocean and aiming for a deep grey on the house – just scared its going to throw the blue??? Any advice / suggestions would be brilliant.. (Unfortunately Im not in the Sydney area…. ) I was thinking a grey for the house a really dark grey/blue for the fascia and pailings under the house???? to blend down from the gutters (or keep the white fascia?

    • Angie November 14, 2012 at 4:29 am

      Hi Bec, keep the white facia…. you need a good clean break to seperate the colours esecially the blue / grey. Adding white is the best way. My advice is acknowledge the Deep ocean, dont try to disguise it. just use white to break up the two colours. Try Dulux Teahouse or Mt Eden for a nice deep grey similar to this.

  • Rozanne A. November 12, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Just love your site!! So helpful. I’m building a rendered home and would like to know if there’s any rules when it comes to the colour of window frames?

    • Angie November 14, 2012 at 4:19 am

      Hi Rozanne, there are a few “rules” so to speak. But they vary depending on lots of other aspects. I am a great fan of white especially ith render becuase you can change the colour of render and white works with all exterior colours light or dark. If you have a dark roof then perhaps marry the windows to same colour as that. Most of the time I keep the facia the same as the windows. hope this helps.

  • Debbie Clark April 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Hello, may I ask for the exterior colours on the house for tip 5, via Home Beautiful please. Thanks Deb

    • Angie June 20, 2013 at 3:18 am

      Hi Debbie, I would suggest Stonecrop by Dulux as something similar.

  • Stephen April 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Angie. This is a great website. We have a rendered house with Colorbond Jasper roof, gutters and down pipes, Anodic Off White windows and are painting in Dulux Linseed. Eaves are Dulux China White. We were thinking of painting the fascias in either Linseed or Jasper to match. Any suggestions?

    • Angie June 20, 2013 at 3:11 am

      Stephen, if you have not already painted I say do the fascia’s in China white as well. I like when the windows match the Fascia. It gives it a balanced finish. China white will look similar to the windows in the light. Great choice with your colour palette. Angie

  • Ann-Marie July 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Angie,

    Would a colour scheme like the one at tip number 6 (e.g. Stonecrop) work with a cottage style weatherboard with a two-tone terracotta roof (which has an overriding orange tone)? We love that kind of colour but I’m worried it will look green against the orange. Our front door is dulux regent blue and we will have natural white trim.


    • Angie July 12, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Hi Ann-Marie, without seeing your house, I would say it would be OK. Stonecrop has a yellow base rather than green. But in saying that trees your neighbours house and the environment around you can change the colour. Good luck! Angie

      • Ann-Marie July 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        Thanks Angie. We did a large colour sample of the stonecrop and it looks great. Such a rich, interesting colour!

  • Jodie July 4, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Hi Angie, Your website is great! We have just had new weatherboards installed and deciding on paint colour. We have Surfmist windows, Deep Ocean roof. I thought Shale Grey walls however the sample sections I have painted throw a blue/grey…not exactly what we were hoping for.
    Any suggestions will be appreciated. Also do you know the name of the grey on the house in photo above “the house that A-M built” ??
    Thanks, Jodie

  • Angie July 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Jodie, A-M painted her house in Old Stone wall by Porters. If you like this colour get in in Porters, not say dulux as it changes the colour. It is a much warmer grey, even brownish. Good luck. Angie

  • Angie July 22, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Hi Yvette, happy you hear your enjoy the blog. Sounds like an exciting house build. If you would like help with a colour scheme or specific paint colours for your render, perhaps my e-design service could work for you as I dont give individual colour suggestions.Cheers, Angie

  • Sam March 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Great tips Angie. Thanks for sharing.

    • Angie March 25, 2014 at 8:29 am

      Thanks Sam, happy to hear they were helpful. A

  • Sarah March 22, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Hi, what great advice.. I am trying to find any modern colours that will go with a Brunswick Green roof and gutters?? ANY help would be really appreciated :-)Thank you

  • vicki June 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Hi there – fantastic site – thanks so very much!!!
    Am at slab stage and need advise on exterior colour decision.
    Double storey home…..ground floor ‘daniel robertson hawthorn black’ brick……top floor timber. aluminium windows jasper……My question is – what colour should i paint the timber on the upstairs floor? Also what colour should i do gutters / fascias / downpioes / eaves???

    many thanks

    • Angie August 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Vicki, thanks for the positive feedback on the site! My apologies for the late reply, I have been AWOL from my blog. How exciting that your doing a new build. So many decisions to make too! I only offer specific colour advice via my colour consult, either online or onsite. I would recommend you get the assistance of a colour consultant to help you select the right colours. Best wishes for your new home. Angie

  • Donna August 22, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Love you website, full of great info. Quick question, we are building a beach style hamptons inspired home, am wanting it a soft grey with the windows and trim to be white. I like the Colorbond Shale Grey for the roof, and am thinking the Dulux Milton Moon for the weatherboards, and pearl white gloss windows. Is it best to have the fascia & barges, gutter, eaves & soffits to match the roof, the exterior walls, or the white of the windows? I will have the downpipes the same colour as the weatherboards.

    • Angie August 22, 2016 at 6:10 am

      Hi Donna, Gutters the same as the roof, the rest is best in a white that works with the windows. Thanks for reading x

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