Cut Through the Grey Area – How to Pick the Best Exterior House Color

Choosing an exterior paint color can be tricky, but grey is a versatile, timeless option for any style home. The key is finding the right shade and undertone to complement your house. From light and airy to sophisticated charcoal, the grey color spectrum is vast.

After finally buying our own home last year, my husband and I struggled for weeks debating which shade of grey to paint the exterior. Greys can appear totally different depending on light and time of day. I drove my friends crazy texting them endless grey paint swatches to analyze. Eventually we narrowed it down to three Revere Pewter options before making a final choice. Hopefully this article will save you some headaches in your own exterior grey paint selection!

Why Choose Grey for Your Home’s Exterior?

Grey has become wildly popular for exterior house colors, and for good reason. It provides a classic, versatile aesthetic that works well with varied architecture from farmhouses to modern designs. Grey pairs beautifully with other versatile hues like white and black. It comes in many different shades, from light silvery hues to deep charcoals, enabling you to control the look and feel of your home.

Whether you want your house to feel elegant and sophisticated or relaxed and casual, there’s a grey that fits. For modern farmhouse styles, grey offers a light and airy look when paired with crisp white details. More traditional homes can go for a cozy, greige exterior with reddish undertones. Contemporary designs may opt for a striking dark gray with cool blue undertones. Whatever vibe you’re going for, grey delivers.

The Different Types of Grey Tones and Undertones

Grey paint colors can be divided into two main categories based on their undertones: warm greys and cool greys. Understanding the undertones is key to selecting the right exterior grey for your particular home.

exterior grey house colors

Warm Greys

Warm greys have red, brown, and yellow undertones. They include popular greige paint colors, which blend gray and beige for a cozy look. Warm greys like Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter evoke a sense of familiarity and comfort. Taupes with touches of brown also deliver the inviting feel of warm greys. If you want a more traditional home exterior, a warm greige or taupe creates a relaxed, down-to-earth aesthetic.

Cool Greys

Cool greys have blue, green, or purple undertones for a more modern, sleek look. These grey shades pair beautifully with whites and even pinks or blues. Cool greys work especially well for more contemporary home styles. Many popular grey exterior colors like Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray or Behr’s Blueprint Slate have cool undertones. The blue hints give them an icy, serene vibe.

Cool greys offer greater versatility for color pairings, as they beautifully complement colors across the spectrum from deep reds to yellows. Unlike warm greys, they don’t limit you to a more neutral earth tone palette. However, some people find pure cool greys to be overly sterile and austere.

Light, Medium, and Dark Grey Shades

Along with choosing a grey undertone, you’ll want to consider whether to go light, medium, or dark. Lighter grey exterior colors create a more airy, ethereal look. These work well for smaller homes, as they make narrow buildings appear larger. Try Sherwin Williams’ Natural Gray for an almost white-grey that feels clean and spacious.

Mid-range grey shades remain versatile for all house sizes. For larger homes, medium greys have a balancing effect, preventing an imposing or overwhelming appearance. They create a mood that’s subtle rather than stark. Benjamin Moore’s Horizon is a popular mid-toned warm grey shade with broad appeal.

Deep, dark greys can feel rich and luxe, creating an elegant facade. However, they tend to work best as an accent color, like a dramatic front door. All-over very dark greys may look imposing or limiting when used on every exterior surface. If you love a dark charcoal grey, consider using it selectively instead of all over.

Finding the Right Grey for Your House Size and Style

For Small and Narrow Homes

Light shades of grey can help open up small, compact homes. The lighter the grey, the larger and more airy your narrow house will feel. Painting tiny homes a dark color runs the risk of making them look even more shrinking. To maximize the look of space, consider pairing a very light grey exterior with crisp white trim.

Cool greys also tend to work better than warm greys on small houses, as warm earth tones can sometimes feel overpowering or overwhelming on petite facades. Look for a cool-leaning greige or grey with just a hint of blue for lots of light and space.

For Brick Homes

If your home features a prominent brick exterior, select a grey tone that flatters the brick color. Greys with red undertones help link the grey paint with the brick for a cohesive feel. Greenish-grey shades can sometimes clash with red brick, so steering clear of grey greens is recommended.

For a grey that complements the brick without overpowering, try a soft greige shade. The Behr Greige Collection offers options specially formulated to coordinate with red brick homes. Gentle, muted greiges allow the natural beauty of the brick facades to shine through.

For Modern Farmhouses

Grey and white is the iconic color combination for modern farmhouse style. For a light and airy farmhouse aesthetic, stick with cool-toned greys accented with bright white trim. This crisp, high-contrast combo feels fresh and invigorating.

Greiges also work well for a more muted, vintage farmhouse look. Whether you choose a cool grey or subtle warm greige, tying it all together with black accents like window trim and doors creates that quintessential modern farmhouse vibe.

Here are a few pro tips to nail the perfect exterior grey shade:

  • View large paint swatches outside at different times of day. Natural light changes how greys appear.
  • Test grey paint samples directly on your home’s exterior siding. Colors look different on brick vs. wood vs. stucco.
  • Ask friends or neighbors for recommendations on grey paint brands and specific color names they’ve used.
  • Have grey paint mixed at the store to achieve a custom shade perfectly tailored to your home.
  • First, use grey on an accent wall or front door to get a feel before painting the entire exterior.

Choosing that one perfect grey paint color may take a little extra work, but it’s worth it to get the ideal exterior hue. Keep these tips in mind as you evaluate warm vs. cool undertones, light vs. dark shades, and which greys will complement your architecture best. Take your time testing out samples to find the ideal nuance of grey for your home.

And if you’re dealing with decision fatigue like I was? Consult your friends or a professional designer. Those extra opinions really helped me finally feel confident with my grey exterior choice. No more endless questioning – our Revere Pewter house now feels like home sweet home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *