Historically in the United States homes have gone through a myriad of trends insofar as exterior façade colors (and materials) much of which is based on cultural regions, weather, and raw materials available.
Before the Revolutionary War, American homes were not usually painted since they were built of clapboard and shingles made out of high quality eastern white cedar, oak and pine – woods that held up well against insects and the weather. In the early 19th century, the world had a limited selection of color choices for paint. Colonial homes tended to be painted in deep, earth-based hues such as brown, yellow ochre, charcoal gray, and barn red and gray-green. Off white color was used for siding and trim.
Up until today, the exterior paint on American homes was not so varied, nor were the formulations very complex. Paints used to be made from just three ingredients: linseed oil binder, a turpentine vehicle, and a pigment, typically white lead. There was a lack of chemically produced pigments, which were costly.
In 1856 synthetic organic pigments were developed, making dyes more readily available, and paint development began to expand, giving consumers more options. However those pigments that were affordable and the most stable came from natural, organic substances including red iron oxide, lamp black, or colored clays. The well-known exterior paint color called Spanish brown was made from a reddish-brown pigment from red iron oxide which was very popular in 18th century homes.
By the 20th century there were a number of chemical advancements including a substitute for white lead, titanium dioxide, as well as paint color mixing which was developed for in-store use in the 1960s, enabling people to get custom colors.
Now there is a wide spectrum of exterior colors from white and tinted neutrals to bright hues of many colors. Monochromatic color tints and various shades of one hue with contrasting siding and trim provide an additional way to achieve the earth-toned look.(Left)
This Southwest house plan (#117-1052) from The Plan Collection is an example of natural earth toned paint used to complement the design of the home featuring an asymmetrical exterior in earth tones, terracotta stairs leading to the entry, arched doorways and a red tiled room.
House plan #115-1000 (right) is a very exclusive craftsman design that is full of character and charm. The warm reddish-brown exterior finish embodies a good blend rustic color with white trim for extra curb appeal.
Your home’s exterior walls is an important feature because it is the first thing anyone sees when they come to your home.
According to one leading pain manufacturer, Benjamin Moore, during 2015 the most popular exterior home color finishes include: light earthy tones with pale blues and greens including a grey lighter brown undertone. You’ll be seeing taking darker shades of grays with vintage pastels and brighter accent colors like bright red, pink, blue, green or pink.
When it comes to your new home plan, if you are unsure of what exterior paint colors use, take a look at pictures of exterior paint colors in the home magazines and paint manufacturer catalogs to get an idea of what style you would like use.