6 Ways to Use White on Your Home’s Exterior

By Kelly Porter, Houzz

As summer comes to an end, keep in mind that fall can be a great time to paint the outside of your home. The weather is cooling down and you’ve got a few short months before the holiday season. This is when you’ll want to make sure your cool-weather curb appeal is in tip-top shape for visits from family and friends. While white is a very versatile interior color, it’s also a great choice for the exterior of your home. White is crisp and clean, and it will give your home a classic, timeless look. Here are some ideas for using white to make your house a standout.


home exterior with white trim
Hendel Homes, original photo on Houzz

For a house with great architectural features, consider using a dark hue for the main color and white on the features you’d like to showcase. The contrast will add a whole new dimension to the entire exterior. In addition, unique elements such as unusually shaped shutters and arched doors will really stand out.

Color to try: Popped Corn from Behr


traditional barn with red and white exterior
Vanguard Studio Inc., original photo on Houzz

Farmhouses and barn houses are often steeped in tradition and history. Therefore, it makes sense to use a traditional barn red and white color palette for these types of homes. But stay away from the brightest whites. The best shade of white will be one that’s slightly gray and has cool undertones. This will help soften the look and reduce the harshness of the strong red and white combination.

Color to try: Cool Gray from Valspar


farmhouse with white exterior and black shingles
Farmhouse Exterior, original photo on Houzz

If you prefer a more modern look for your farmhouse, use white as the main color. Create a clean look by forgoing shutters, and choose black shingles for the roof. I love the stained wood entryway on the house shown here. It provides a traditional element with a contemporary twist.

Color to try: Moonlit Snow by Olympic


modern farmhouse with white exterior and black shutters
Helios Design Group, original photo on Houzz

Scores of traditional, Colonial-style homes can be found in the Northeast region of the U.S. Many of them are painted with a classic black and white paint combination, which has stood the test the time. I think any house in any region would look gorgeous painted with such a tried-and-true duo. And don’t forget the white picket fence. This is an elegant color scheme that takes away all of the guesswork.

Color to try: Ultra Pure White from Behr


hunter green exterior on cottage-style home
Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc, original photo on Houzz

Hunter green and white is another classic combination you’ll see on traditional and cottage-style homes. Hunter green has a masculine feel to it, so if that’s not your style, pairing it with off-white is one way to lighten up its appearance, especially on a large home.

Color to try: Alabaster from Sherwin-Williams



white exterior home with cool green shutters
Highland Homes, Inc., original photo on Houzz

For a house that offers guests a more subtle welcome, pair a warm white with a light, understated accent color. If you have a grassy front yard and trees, a pale, light green accent is a wonderful way to tie in the natural scenery. A soft green and white combination is very organic and serene, and it will look great for years to come.

The main color used here is Pure White from Sherwin-Williams

For more cool weather curb appeal ideas, read:

Ask a Local Painter for Advice
Are Plantation Shutters the Right Choice for Your Windows
Add White Rocking Chairs to Your Front Porch