Exterior Updating: Picking Paint Colors

Oh man, oh man, oh man, you guys!! The exterior painting is in progress as we speak! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this.

House Paint

I debated showing some more sneak peak photos , but I think I’ll save it for the big reveal. In the meantime, I thought I’d talk a little about picking paint colors, and what we settled on.

First off, I should say that I’ve known what ‘general’ colors I wanted the house to be for five years now. I have always envisioned this house wearing shades of gray. Deep charcoal gray to be more precise. I’ve been taking mental notes all that time on the exact shades of gray exteriors I like and do not like. I like rich dark grays, but I lean toward warm-gray tones, vs. blue-grays. It seems like blue-gray tends to just look muddy blue in certain light, or after a bit of sun fade. Also, our roof currently has brown shingles. I anticipate that we will need to re-roof at some point in the next few years, but until then, I want everything to blend in. So that was my mindset as I began color hunting.

One of the first painters we had bid the project gave me a swatchbook of Sherwin Williams paint, and I immediately gravitated to Urbane Bronze. It seemed like perfection incarnate, and for months I was set on that color. But then I began to question my judgement… since it was based solely on a tiny 1-inch paint chip, and we all know color can look very different on a huge area vs. a tiny swatch.

Then we didn’t end up going with that painter, and the one we did hire uses Pittsburgh paints. So I completely put my previous choice out of my mind and started buying paint samples from that line and testing them out to see what colors I was drawn to. I’m pretty sure my neighbors were wondering what the plan was, because the front porch has slowly been accumulating paint swatches for about 6 weeks now.

House Paint Color Swatches

The problem was, I just couldn’t find exactly the right one. I’m kind of picky. Big surprise.

Finally I decided it was stupid to keep buying paint samples when I still really loved the original color I had picked out all those months ago. I ran to Lowes and grabbed a paint swatch and held it up next to the colors I’d been painting on the house. It was still my favorite by far. So I asked the painter if he could just color match his paint to my paint swatch, and that was that.

The final colors we settled on (and by we I mean I, because Brett just says ‘whatever you think’ when I ask his opinion— no pressure at all, just the whole exterior of the house squarely on my shoulders) were Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze for the main portion of the house, with Sherwin Williams Dovetail as an accent, and bright white trim all around. This included all the trim boards, eaves, window trim, etc on all sides of the house, which is apparently a strange request in this area. Most houses around us have the front trim painted, but the entire rest of the house is all one color. I’m not a fan. My painter wasn’t quite sure, so I mocked up all sides of the house for him so there was no questions as to what should be painted what colors. As I mentioned, I’m picky… and I’m paying.

SW Urbane Bronze SW Dovetail

I have yet to see them actually up on the house, but I’m hopefully confident that they will look fantastic. The perfect rich, dark, warm-gray.

Side story, when I handed my painter the paint swatches to match, he asked me which one of the samples on the house these were. When I told him “None of them” he laughed at me, and I’m fairly sure that he, not for the first time, thought I was crazy. Hahaha. Let’s just hope I never have to paint this house again. The whole process is just too much!

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ll be back in the next few weeks with a final reveal! See you soon!

*dawn sig


1 Comment

  • Anna

    Is this vinyl siding that you had painted?


What do you think? Leave a comment below.