The 2022 Best Exterior Colors for Houses Will Inspire You to Paint

Add curb appeal with popular paint colors like bold black, rich charcoal, vibrant green, and warm white.

While exteriors are typically less susceptible to fleeting design trends, we've recently noticed a shift in popular house paint colors. Traditional bright whites are being traded for more confident, statement-making palettes on siding, trim, and front doors. Think vibrant blues and greens, creamy neutrals, cheerful pastels, and even monochromatic schemes of charcoal and black.

This new affinity for bold outdoor colors could be traced back to the difficulty of the past couple of years, says Lisa Tharp, designer and creator of ECOS Paints' color collection Lisa Tharp Colors. "There is a greater need for celebrating what is good and letting go of decisions that, in the grand scheme of life, are not that important," she says. "This means injecting more joy into the colors one chooses, and even into the selection process itself."

Designer Lisa Tharp

We are more willing to take chances with bolder, deeper, and unexpected hues.

—Designer Lisa Tharp

Nivara Xaykao, color marketing and development associate manager at Benjamin Moore, adds that exteriors are now seen as an extension of a home's square footage. "Many people are starting to realize the potential of these outdoor areas as an additional living space. Just giving your siding a fresh coat of paint or adding a pop of color to your door can do a lot to rejuvenate the exterior and make it a place where you want to hang out," she says.

Read on for a range of trending paint colors and accent ideas for your next curb appeal refresh.

Top 10 Exterior Paint Color Trends in 2022

brown and white house with stairway up to door
Edmund Barr

1. Warm, Earthy Neutrals

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Natural Bark N170-6, Behr

We've seen this warming trend throughout interior color palettes, and now earthy browns and other warm neutrals are making their way outside, too. Organic shades that mimic the color of clay, earth, or stone allow exteriors to blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment rather than stand out. For homes nestled amid lush green landscaping, try a rich chocolaty brown such as Behr's Natural Bark, while warm sepia tones like Über Umber by Sherwin-Williams look great on homes in more arid climates.

dark gray home exterior pumpkin fall decor

2. All-Black Exteriors

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Tricorn Black SW 6258, Sherwin-Williams

Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, notes a major exterior trend this year: monochromatic black facades. "Black exteriors are so different from what has been done in the past," she says. "People are gravitating toward this surprising and modern look, even on traditional-style homes! Dark, saturated hues have the power to make any house stand out and look more modern."

In addition to Tricorn Black, consider Sherwin-Williams' Iron Ore or the slightly warmer Urbane Bronze. "These colors pair beautifully with a home's surrounding greenery," Wadden says. "If you don't want to commit to painting your whole exterior a dark color, these hues are also great for a front door or shutters, as they make for a very classic focal point."

small monochromatic home brick siding weathered wood
Edward Everett (Rett) Peek Jr

3. Dusty Charcoal

Suggested Exterior Paint Colors: Slate Roof 1510, ECOS Paints or Kendall Charcoal, Benjamin Moore

Rich shades of charcoal are rising in popularity as well. Tharp recently used Slate Roof by ECOS Paints to transform a shingle-style home, covering the formerly beige exterior with an all-over coat of charcoal. "We are having such fun testing accent colors for the front door, including the rich warmth of Ochre or the bronzy-green Sculpture Garden," she says.

Xaykao is seeing charcoal exteriors boom this year, too. "For the more adventurous (and if their location allows it), dark hues are bringing a stylish edge to the body of homes, from charcoal to navy," she says.

White wooden house garage yellow door
Rett Peek

4. Warm Whites and Creams

Suggested Exterior Paint Colors: Shaded White No. 201, Farrow & Ball or White Dove OC-17, Benjamin Moore

Rather than bright white, more subdued options with restful energy are increasing in popularity, according to many manufacturers. "Pure whites are quietly shifting to more nuanced whites that sit more softly on a weatherboarded exterior," says Patrick O'Donnell, international brand ambassador for Farrow & Ball. "A great example is Shaded White with its gentle green tone. It feels less sharp and looks sophisticated when teamed with a dramatic dark such as Studio Green." Benjamin Moore's White Dove also offers a lighter, creamier version of the shade.

brick building with green and blue paint
Courtesy of Farrow & Ball Exteriors

5. Vibrant Greens

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Green Smoke No. 47, Farrow & Ball

O'Donnell lists rich green shades as a go-to for homeowners in 2022, a nod to nature and its rejuvenating qualities. "We are noticing a shift in how color can impact elements such as structural planting in the garden," he says. "Darker exterior shades are very flattering to greenery. Think of fencing or brickwork painted in Green Smoke to accentuate flowering plants."

Other gorgeous green paint colors include Pewter Green by Sherwin Williams, Backwoods by Benjamin Moore, and Farrow & Ball's Studio Green.

modern home exterior with gray color scheme
Kim Cornelison Photography Inc.

6. Muted Gray-Greens

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Hyde Park Gray 1550, ECOS Paints

If you're looking for a nature-inspired shade that is more subdued, muddy gray-greens are a burgeoning favorite. "There is a greater interest in color that inspires us and supports our well-being," Tharp says of this calming range of colors. This past year brought a renewed interest in "finding connection with the perennial colors of nature," she says. Tree Moss, Dried Basil, and Nantucket Gray by Benjamin Moore are great options to try, as is Behr's Muted Sage.

blue Colonial home exterior
Cameron Sadeghpour

7. Classic Navy

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Newburyport Blue HC-155, Benjamin Moore

Part of Benjamin Moore's Historic Colors Collection, this traditional shade is rounding the bend toward modern. As a popular exterior color in 2022, Newburyport Blue is ideal for both classic and contemporary facades and pairs well with several contrasting accents, such as rich yellow or natural wood textures. O'Donnell recommends Farrow & Ball's Inchyra Blue, described as a "dark blue-gray," as another option for those looking to capture this sea-inspired style. Wadden suggests another bold blue called Naval.

building painted dark blue with white door
Courtesy of Farrow & Ball Exteriors

8. Black Exteriors with a Contrasting Door

Suggested Exterior Paint Colors: Off Black No. 57 + Blue Ground No. 210, Farrow & Ball

"Darker shades are playing their part in this quiet revolution," O'Donnell says of the monochromatic paint color trend—but don't forget about the front door! Using black siding with a lighter entrance can help draw attention to the architecture of your home in a fresh, unexpected way. Try replicating the look of this home, which pairs siding and trim painted in Farrow & Ball's Off Black with a cheery Blue Ground door.

exterior white cape cod black painted front steps pink door
John Bessler

9. Rosy Doors for Off-White Homes

Suggested Exterior Paint Colors: Begonia SW 6599, Sherwin Williams or Lake Red No. W92, Farrow & Ball

Wadden reminds us that you don't have to paint your entire exterior to update your curb appeal. "Painting your front door is one of the easiest and quickest ways to boost your curb appeal, and it's a project that can be completed in just a few hours," she says. "If you want your front door to stand out, consider Oceanside or Begonia."

O'Donnell also recommends a bold hue for a front-door update this year. "Doors are a great (and small) way to make a statement as to the personality of the household—from bright, joyful pinks like Lake Red to aged-heritage blues such as Stone Blue."

black farmhouse exterior with teal door and white trim windows
Kritsada Panichgul

10. Charcoal Shades with Muted Pastels

Suggested Exterior Paint Color: Ocean Air 2123-50, Benjamin Moore

When choosing accent shades for homes with darker siding, consider a few non-traditional shades for a playful, eye-catching combination. "For trim and accents, pastels like pink, baby blue, and lemon can add some much-needed fun and cheer to exteriors," Xaykao says. Pleasant Pink, Ocean Air, and Weston Flax are a few of her favorites.

blue house with cactus
David Tsay

Expert Tips for Painting Your Home's Exterior

Depending on the scale of the project, hiring a professional for exterior paint jobs is usually recommended. If you're choosing to do the work yourself, consider the following tips before you get started.

1. Consider your neighborhood's style.

Pick colors that complement neighboring facades, but don't replicate them. "When selecting colors for your exterior, I always recommend starting by looking at which colors your neighbors have chosen and avoid using those same shades," Wadden says. "Instead, choose a color that complements it—this curb appeal trick benefits you and your neighbor!"

2. Be mindful of the weather.

Plan your painting around the weather forecast to avoid extreme temperatures or high humidity. "Avoid painting on days with low temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or in high humidity or rain," Xaykao says. "These factors can easily ruin a fresh coat of paint or significantly delay dry times."

3. Invest in quality exterior paint products.

Pick high-quality tools, including the applicators, primer, and paint. According to Xaykao, this ensures an easier, more professional paint job. "When selecting your tools, consider the surfaces you are painting and choose those specifically designed for those applications," she says.

4. Do proper prep work.

Surface preparation is critical for every successful paint job. "Make sure the surface is completely clean—which, for exteriors, often means power-washing," Xaykao says. "Then, a fully dry surface is imperative. To ensure proper adhesion, the surface should also be dull and smooth."

5. Start in the shade.

Be strategic about where you start. After priming and patching, begin painting on the side of the house that will remain in the shade until you finish. "Work from the top down and be prepared to apply two coats of premium exterior paint," Xaykao says.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which exterior house colors attract buyers?

    Buyers are drawn to neutral colors like grey, beige, and white. Neutrals such as these are timeless, bright, and welcoming, and they serve as a clean slate on which buyers can express their own personal style.

  • Which exterior colors have the highest resale value?

    While it is true that statement-making exterior colors are gaining in popularity, a classic white exterior continues to have the highest resale value. 

  • What elements of my home’s exterior should I consider when choosing a color?

    When choosing a new exterior color for your home, consider the elements on and around your home that are unlikely to change colors—like the roof, stonework, windows, and landscaping. For example, if your home has a brick façade, look to the undertones in the brick to help you decide. Does the brick have warm, orange tones? It may look great with navy blue or light teal. Does it have cooler gray-green undertones? Try using soft neutrals. 

  • What sheen of exterior paint should I use?

    The rule to remember is the glossier the paint, the more it will magnify imperfections. A semi or high-gloss paint (often used for trim) will be durable and easy to clean, but its shiny finish will highlight every nick and flaw. Conversely, while flat paint rolls on smoothly and hides blemishes, it is nearly impossible to keep clean. To strike the perfect balance, opt for a satin or eggshell finish which will provide even coverage, hold up well against weather, and be easy to clean. 

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