My biggest project yet – tackling exterior paint

Our next big project is to repaint the exterior of the house. Normally I wouldn’t have any problem playing with colors, but this isn’t just a room. A room is a few days of work and $30. Painting a house is days of prep work, days of painting and multiple gallons of paint. It makes me a lot more nervous choosing colors.


I’d like to give the house a more modern look with either a dark gray or brown, with a craftsman style door, preferably in a bright color. At first, I had my thoughts on a gray brown, but the more and more I look around for inspiration, the more I’m heading toward the grays. But at the same time, I don’t want the grays turning blue.

I recently went to Lowes and grabbed a couple Sherwin Williams samples and tried them on the side of the house. Neither one blew me away. I liked the gray at first, but I think it has too much blue in it.

IMG_3813 IMG_3818


Depending on when the light is shining on the side of the house, the brown looks like a rich dark brown, which is what I was looking for, or a lighter otter brown, which is nice, but  not what I’m going for. The gray sometimes looks great, but then starts to take on a blue tone, and I don’t know if that’s because the house itself is already blue, and pulls your eyes to the blue tones, or if the gray itself has blue undertones that will come out at different times during the day. I’m not sure if I want blue undertones. I’m thinking warm gray, not cool gray.

My inspiration of course comes from scouring the internet and Pinterest. I re-looked through all the websites I’d been saving and think I need to go back to the paint store. I’m going to pick up a couple more samples and try them out tonight. Painting the house is such a big effort that I want to feel confident when I start the actual painting process. I’m going to hit up Benjamin Moore after work and grab swatches. I don’t know if I plan on getting the paint there because 1) it’s a bit out of my price range and 2) a pro painter friend of mine said any good quality paints from Lowes or Home Depot are just as good. I think I’ll grab the swatches and see if Lowes or Home Depot can match.

Here’s some of my inspiration I’ve gathered over the past few months. It definitely seems as if I’m leaning more toward the grays. And why not? I love gray.


I love the idea of a bright contrasting door as well. We’re thinking of going with a craftsman style, honey yellow door.

midcentury-gray dk gray Benjamin Moore Iron Mountain

This last picture interests me. The sample looks like a rich charcoal gray, but on the house, it looks like it has quite a bit of brown in it. It’s called Iron Mountain and it’ll be one I pick up at Benjamin Moore. The others I’m going to grab are Mink and possibly Graphite, but that one looks like it may have some blue in it as well so I may pass.

Do any of you have house painting stories or advice? Do you have a color preference? Let me know. I’m all ears and eyes right now.



  1. I love home decorating and transformation projects like this one! (And you have such a lovely home!) I’m really digging your idea to pair a warm / neutral color with a pop of bright accent ~ I think that will have a really striking and very attractive effect!

    • Thank you for the compliments! It’s definitely still a work in progress. The home was a rental for a while before so it was pretty bland and slightly neglected. Color selection for such a large project like this starts to get me stressed out!

      • I completely understand – having to commit to a color is a big investment and can be scary! You’ll do just fine – you know what you want and seem to have a keen eye… can’t wait to see the finished product! 🙂

  2. Hey! Just clicked through from our blog. Glad you’re going gray. That first example looks a lot like our own scheme, though the gray is a little darker. I will be following with interest –good luck!

    • Hey, thanks for finding me. I’m now re-thinking Sherwin Williams and looking at Behr Marquee, which means more paint samples :). I’m still leaning more heavily to the grays. I had my eye on brown for a bit but I think I’d get tired of it too quickly. Gray it is. Now, just to find the right shade….

  3. Funny, our palette used to be very much on the brown side, and we transitioned to gray. Our house was originally brown, so sticking would have made things far easier! The great thing about gray (IMO) is that it complements other colors so well. It gives us lots of options, should we want to change our accent color (door/panels) later.

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