The Best Modern Exterior Paint Colors That Are Timeless

May 27, 2021

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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My most liked and most commented on picture on Instagram is this one below. My most asked question on this picture: What are the exterior paint colors? So, here’s a post that’s long overdue…


craftsman home painted with gray exterior paint colors

About 7 years ago we decided to paint our house an orange hue and chocolate brown with a cream tone base…

before pics of exterior paint colors

We actually got a lot of compliments on the changes we had made and we loved this new look…at the time. But oh how the times change and with that the styles change. Thankfully! Our orange accent house was in need of some modern exterior paint colors.

But before the painters came I needed to limewash our brick. After much research and planning, I decided to go with Romabio Avorio White Limewash. (Amazon Affiliate Link) So, on a Saturday morning I started at one end of the house and by the end of the day I wrapped up the other end. It was literally a one-day project. So easy and so rewarding! We love it!! What a difference this simple technique has made on the overall look of our home. You can read all about how simple this is in this easy to follow Limewash DIY post.

Now, I will say, the limewash and the current paint colors were not a good mix. So much clashing going on right there! I had many neighbors drive by and some even stop to ask me what on earth I was doing. I’m sure our house was the talk of the neighborhood those three days waiting for the painters to come :( ….

house with limewash and original paint colors

But finally the painters arrived and the whole picture started to come together…

Craftsman home with American Flag and lots of pink flowers and great exterior paint colors

After several samples and even having large samples mailed to our home, the paint colors were finally chosen. Here’s the breakdown:

Body: Sherwin Williams Classic French Gray

Accent Color: Sherwin Williams King’s Canyon

Two sections of the house are slightly darker–the faux window above the flower box and the small square window area above the 3rd bay garage door. It’s a very subtle variation and kinda hard to see in the picture.

White Trim: Behr Marquee Ultra Pure White

We searched the whole Sherwin Williams color wheel for a bright white, but had no luck finding one bright enough. We ended up settling on the same color I use for all of our indoor trim and moulding-and it was perfect!

Windows and garage doors: Tricorn Black 

Yes, we painted our garage doors and windows…another most asked question. Our painters did a fabulous job spraying the windows to make them look like they were always black. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: the windows on the garage are not real. We added these faux windows (by Coach House) back on our last exterior paint colors change–seven years ago. (Amazon Affiliate Link) And they have held up perfectly. The best part is you can paint them any color you want over and over again. If you’ve always wanted a craftsman garage door without the price tag of a craftsman garage door, these windows are the way to go! Add this hardware too and you’ll have the full look! You can read all about the garage door makeover here.

house painted and brick limewashed

We actually changed up the color of the trim around the front door. We really wanted our brand new door to stand out and be the statement piece of the house, so we accented it with it’s very own color. Unfortunately, I don’t have a name for this color, but I would call it a putty color. It’s a custom color from Sherwin Williams. Basically, I liked the look of the primer around the door trim and matched that. I felt like the white was just a little too stark against the mahogany front door.

Front porch with mums, corn shocks, ferns and lanterns

Challenge: Can you see the change we made a few weeks after painting the house? Hint: look at the first picture in this post compared to this picture…

Craftsman home with gray exterior paint colors

Got it? What do you think, do you like the white peaks better? I feel like the white draws the eye up and encourages you to look at the entire house. Before the peaks seemed to get lost and now they really stand out.

Having completed this project almost two years ago, it’s been a lot of fun decorating for each season. It’s almost like we have a new home.

Adding the flower box over the summer gave me even more options for planting an array of different flowers. Check out this post to build your own…

faux window with flower box and full pink flowers

Fall is probably my most fun season to decorate.

Can one have too many mums!?

front porch with mums, fern, and lanterns

Our Christmas decor really pops against the limewash brick and our new exterior paint colors…

exterior paint colors at Christmas time

This is probably my most favorite makeover I’ve ever done! It still amazes me the difference it has made on the overall look of our home. The curb appeal speaks volumes!

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

Be sure to join my VIP List below and never miss an upcoming post.

Other great outdoor posts:

Craftsman Garage Doors-Get the Look Without All the Costs

How to Limewash Brick Exterior-A Complete Makeover

How to Build Board and Batten Craftsman Shutters


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  1. Bryson Owens

    My sister is thinking about painting her home this year so that it’s more modern and has better curb appeal. She needs to find a good painter that is experienced with her type of home so that she knows they will do a good job. I really like that you talked about how the limewash and paint didn’t’ work well together, so it’s best to avoid that.

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Bryson,
      I’m not sure what you mean by the paint and limewash not working well together? We applied limewash on the brick and painted all of our cedar siding. That combination together worked great. Hopefully that makes sense.

  2. Tammy

    What are the con’s of using the limewash instead of leaving the brick as is? I so want to do this but I’m worried about how it will look in 10 years and will it have to be touched up? My brick is brown with some creamy white already in it, almost looking like a german schmear but it has much more brown than I’d like so I’m thinking it’s perfect for this application.

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Tammy,
      The limewash will last 5-7 years. At this point it won’t be gone, it will just have faded some. That’s really the only con. Depending on how much it fades, you may choose to brighten it up by doing the treatment again. Totally personal preference.
      Hope that helps.

  3. house painter auckland

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  2. The Cheapest Way to Make a Flower Box - Repurpose Life - […] summers ago, I did a complete makeover on the outside of our house. From limewashing the brick to changing…

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