Skip to main content

Is your home exterior dated? How to modernize it with traditional paint colors

When repainting your home’s facade, the hue you choose is not a decision to take lightly. Your home’s exterior forms your guests’ first opinions and can seriously impact your curb appeal and resale value. Though dark blues and dark greys are trending colors these days, traditional tones are classic for a reason.

Choosing a traditional outdoor paint color may not seem very exciting, but nothing is worse than spending tons of time and money on your exterior paint only for the color to go out of style the following season. Traditional and timeless colors don’t have to be dull. With these tips and tricks, you can give a classic look a new life, dressing up your home and giving it a bit of style and personality along the way.

White

White may not be unique or exciting, but it acts as a strong base that makes all of your other accents, fixtures, and features pop. It makes trees look greener, roses redder, and cobblestones just a little more elegant. White is also generally cheaper than other paint colors, and it helps keep your home cool in the warmer months.

A white backdrop can give your home a sense of luxury, conveying crisp cleanliness that gives a sense of elegance and vitality. Keep in mind that white isn’t a single shade. There are thousands of hues ranging from stark white to warm creams to cool hints of grey. Don’t let the abundance of choice weigh you down, though. Picking the exact shade is a matter of personal preference —almost any white that you choose will make your house look spacious and timeless. And, white goes with everything — so feel free to have fun when choosing colors for your trim and front door.

Brown

We know what you’re thinking: Why would anyone paint their entire house brown? While dark browns may be a staple of log cabins and rustic ranches, it’s the light browns and beiges that make homes look contemporary and inviting. These shades work well with houses that have a lot of dark wooden doors, window trimmings, and balconies, as it creates a warm, inviting scheme that says “Welcome home.” Alternatively, brightening up the home with white trim is a little more sophisticated, showcasing your mature design style and classic sensibilities, while dark green accents convey a more biophilic design.

Yellow

Many houses feature a yellow facade because this color can make a home appear larger than it actually is. The brightness of yellows, even paler shades, gives the illusion of more space. Typically, yellow exterior paints adorn traditional-style homes, but you can add this welcoming and sunny vibe regardless of your home’s design.

With yellow as the primary color, consider adding burnt oranges and deep reds as accents to create an energizing, warm appearance. On the other hand, incorporating dark brown stains and wooden accents make the bright yellow tone a little more subtle. For a more contemporary, unique facade, incorporate dark greys or deep blue hues.

Light blue

Light blue paint is a universally beloved hue that isn’t relegated to homes of a single style, size, or region. While dark blue is a very trendy exterior paint color these days, pale, baby blue shades are softer and quieter, making for a more classic scheme. Feel free to update this temperate tone with darker blues to add some dimension. Deep blue or dark gray shutters, doors, and trim will all pop against the brighter exterior paint.

If you love the trendy, modern dark blue hues, be sure to accent with lighter colors so the house doesn’t end up muted or dull. This is especially important in regions with long winters. Without hours of sunlight to illuminate the paint, the home may end up looking dark and uninviting.

Painting the outside of your house is a big commitment, especially if you’re completely changing the color scheme. While it is tempting to choose a trendy color, traditional may be the way to go if you’re planning to sell your home or don’t intend to repaint anytime soon. If you’re worried that these colors won’t give your home enough personality, don’t forget that accent colors can completely change the game.

Traditional doesn’t have to mean dated — designers have painted homes in these colors for years because they’re fan-favorite shades that won’t go out of style. These classic colors also give you more flexibility in your decorations, as you can add your favorite style of landscaping, trimming, and lighting, and they’ll all pair well with these traditional base colors.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelly Kaliszewski
Kelly's work has appeared in blogs and on websites. When she's not writing, she is playing with her two dogs, cooking, or…
Gallery wall ideas to completely transform any blank, boring space in your home
Consider these gallery wall ideas to set your home apart from the rest
Gallery wall above bed with black and white frames and small mirror

cGallery walls have been around for some time. They are a great way to take up space on a large wall, and they are much more interesting than one single piece of art. But if you aren't careful, gallery walls can look a bit basic and too uniform.

The point of a gallery wall is to showcase something that's important to you — family trips, rare art, special photos — so make sure to highlight them in a fun and interesting way. Here are a few gallery wall ideas to get you inspired and ready to tackle your most boring wall.

Read more
These As Seen On TV products are actually perfect additions to your home
Here's why we suggest these 6 As Seen On TV products
Woman with remote watching TV on couch

We’ve all seen the cheesy television commercials for random household items that we never knew we might need. Those ads, with their primary-colored graphics and overly enthusiastic narrators, led to an entire brand of As Seen On TV products. Some As Seen On TV products are pointless; others seem cool but aren’t necessarily worth the money. But then there are those that hit a sweet spot of practicality and convenience in everyday life. Here are a few As Seen On TV products that are actually perfect additions to your home and we are loving them.
iBED Convertible Ottoman Guest Bed

Talk about cozy, cute, and convenient — this ottoman that converts into a guest bed is all three. It’s a must-have if you have guests but no guest room. It’s a comfy spot to sit on or prop up your legs onto. Plus, it comes with a 2-inch foam mattress and doesn't require assembly. Just place it in the middle of your living room and enjoy.
Expanding Desk and Dining Table

Read more
These dark color palette ideas deliver all the mood
The depth of these dark colors will transform any space in your home
Bedroom with dark wall behind king bed

Dark rooms can sometimes get a bad rap. When designers talk about paint colors that bring light in, make rooms appear larger, or add color to make a room feel "fresh," lighter colors often rule the day. But they don't have to. In fact, bringing in a dark, rich color to a bedroom, living room, office, or bathroom can actually give the space added personality and depth that light colors cannot.

You can also decorate around the dark colors with furniture, lighter cabinets, and wall decor to break up the monotony of a dark color. Here are a few dark color palette ideas to inspire you to bring dark paint hues to any room.

Read more