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exterior paint color

Emily Oster

It is a very gray wintry day here in Saint Louis. We got a good snow accumulation Saturday and then it rained last night so things are looking quite brown. It reminds me of Michigan in late March - brown, dirty piles of snow and, of course, overcast. The winters in Saint Louis are significantly clearer than I experienced growing up in Michigan but we still get a large number of gray days. And it is on these days that I really notice some one off house colors. That gray that is really purple or the tan that definitely is light pink or our house's beige color that tints green to look like baby poop.....which is to say I have started thinking about repainting our exterior.

As usual, I am not sure when this particular home project will happen but mostly likely it will be during the warmer months. This means, however, that I won't have the opportunity to test colors in the flat, tricky light of winter. As such, I plan to keep an eye on house colors in the neighborhood that I like, research what palettes look the best all year round and then finally photograph our house in multiple lights - times of day and seasons - so that when we are selecting colors I can remember not to select anything that might even come close to looking like it came out of Booker.....

In the meantime, I have gotten the search going by just looking broadly at different exterior color palettes and checking out REMODELISTA and GARDENISTA for related posts. The first two colors I instantly gravitate towards are white and black. A white house is just classic and a black house is unexpected yet timeless as well. 

Or a white and black combo.

The problem with white is that our house exterior is stucco and I am worried about the maintenance as well as how much it will emphasis the rough texture. The challenge with black is that I would have a really hard time convincing Jeff to go for it and it might be even a little daring for me. 

I also like the idea of a really dark green. 

It would have to be just the right shade - not too blue and not too light. It is really hard to find examples of well done dark green exteriors so that makes me a little nervous as well. 

Then, of course, there is the overwhelming idea of doing gray or tan. The two are probably the most popular selections but there are just so many shades of each that I get dizzy just thinking about it.

Clearly this is going to take a while....

from top: source unknown - source unknown - original architectural design by Gerard Colcord and renovated by Tom Boland via Milieu Mag - source unknown - design by Bill Ingram Architects