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Ask a Pro

Ask A Pro Q&A – Choosing the Right Exterior Paint Color

Carson Arthur, outdoor design pro, shares some tips on how to chose the right paint color for a home’s exterior.


I am looking for some advice on what color to paint our raised ranch home. We’ve been living here 3 years and we are finally getting around to painting. It’s currently a faded tan color with rust color shutters and white trim. We live in an area with a lot of trees and the house is older. I would like it to be more modern and pop out with a classy chic look. I just can’t seem to decide on a color. Can you give me some guidance? We are getting new windows put in with white trim and would like to paint before the windows are placed. We also ordered a new front door, which is a dark gray referred to as midnight. I thought that color could match with any color scheme but I’m just all confused now and hoping I didn’t make a mistake. Help please!


Sounds like you are doing everything right but are afraid to pull the trigger. Here are a couple of simple tips.

Go get 3 testers of the following colors:

  • Black or a dark charcoal
  • A rich tan like camel
  • A neutral gray

Paint all three on the front of the house in big sections.

Leave them for a week….even if it looks crazy, trust me. After a week pick the palette you’ve grown to like the most. Now you have a simple starting point and can choose from all of the colors in those palettes.

Have fun painting!