Exterior Color Schemes As Easy as 1, 2, 3

Your roof is a significant element of your home’s overall design. A beautiful composite slate or shake roof can inspire an exterior color scheme that works well with your home’s style.

Autumn Residential Exterior Color SchemeMany homeowners don’t know where to begin creating an exterior color palette. I’m here to show you that following my “top-down” approach to building your color story can be easy. Here are three simple rules to get you going in the right direction by looking at your roof as the starting point:

One, Check the Roof’s Temperature

Most roofs are neutral, but the overall tone is warm or cool. For example, DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic slate in Castle Gray is a cool gray; Slate Gray is a warmer gray.

A general rule of thumb is to choose a primary paint color with the same “temperature” as your roof– warm roof colors work with warm and cool roof colors with cool colors. 

Cool with Cool, Warm with Warm

A cool Castle Gray polymer roof blends nicely with a home exterior with a color scheme that is also cool, such as blue, green, or icy grays.

Castle Gray exterior color palette

DaVinci Slate Castle Gray with Benjamin Moore Exterior Color Palette

DaVinci Shake Tahoe with Benjamin Moore Exterior Color Scheme

DaVinci Shake Tahoe with Benjamin Moore Color Scheme

Balance Warm and Cool in your Exterior Color Palette

Another option is to balance warm and cool colors. Rather than match the roof tone, the opposite color temperature will stand out in contrast to the warmth or coolness of the roof.

DaVinci Single-width Slate Smokey Gray with PPG Paints Exterior Color Scheme

DaVinci Slate Smokey Gray with PPG Paints Color Scheme

Aged Cedar Shake Exterior Color Scheme

DaVinci Shake Aged Cedar with Benjamin Exterior Color Scheme

Two, Pull the Colors from Your Roof into Your Exterior Scheme

Whether your roof is single- or multi-colored, using your roof’s color on your home exterior is a solid strategy for creating an integrated paint scheme.

If you have a Black Slate roof, black accent shutters will contrast with the house and draw the eye vertically, making the home look larger.

DaVinci Bellaforte Slate Black with Sherwin-Williams Exterior Color Palette

DaVinci Slate Black with Sherwin-Williams Exterior Color Palette

For a multi-color roof like European, you could use a more robust version of one of the roof colors on the front door.


DaVinci Slate European Blend with Benjamin Exterior Color Scheme

Three, Do Both

It can be tempting to think that the least apparent solutions will be the most eye-catching when choosing an exterior color scheme, but that is not usually true. People find an exterior scheme that uses color to connect a house’s different parts and details most appealing. One of the best ways to do this is to choose two or three hues and use them in various shades and values (lightness/darkness) on the house’s different architectural elements.

DaVinci Multi-width Shake Black Oak with Sherwin-Williams Exterior Color Scheme

DaVinci Shake Black Oak with Sherwin-Williams Color Scheme

DaVinci Select Shake Mossy Cedar with Sherwin-Williams Color Palette

DaVinci Mossy Cedar with Sherwin-Williams Color Palette

Easy-to-Follow Steps for FRESH Exterior Colors

My free ebook walks you through how to choose the colors for your home exterior confidently. Download it now by clicking the image. For even more guidance for exteriors, including special help for homes with brick and stone, see all of the free ebooks in the DaVinci Roofscapes Color tab.

Even More FRESH Ideas for Selecting Colors for Your Home Exterior

  • For more help finding the perfect color scheme for your home, our ebooks offer easy-to-follow processes for choosing the colors in every part of your home. Download a free ebook.
  • Visualize from roof to ground the products and colors that complement your home. Go to the DaVinci Color Visualizer
  • See pictures of homes and buildings that feature DaVinci Slate and Shake. Visit the photo gallery.
  • Try an entirely new look on your home exterior with the online 3D Immersive Experience from Westlake Royal Building Products.

About the Author

Kate SmithKate Smith Headshot is an internationally recognized color expert, consultant, and designer. She is a skilled colorist & a color consultant. For over a decade, Kate has lent her expertise to DaVinci Roofscapes. Kate helps YOU select colors you will love for many years.