13 February 2020

Ultimate Guide To Choosing An Exterior Colour Scheme

Whether you have a beautiful Queenslander or a classic brick home, choosing a new exterior house colour is a powerful way to transform how people perceive your property. A stunning exterior colour scheme can give your property more visual impact and attract sellers to buy. 

With millions of exterior paint colours available, choosing the right colour can feel daunting. In this article, we offer a wealth of professional tips from our painting experts, plus exterior wall paint ideas using Dulux’s industry-leading Weathershield paints. Here’s how to choose exterior house colours to suit any style of home. 

How To Choose Exterior House Colours

Dominant, accent and trim colours

Painting your home’s exterior is all about sculpting the proportions and architectural features of your home to create a pleasing aesthetic. Essentially, your home’s exterior colour scheme should consist of:

  • A dominant colour: The main colour of your home, typically used for the exterior walls
  • An accent colour: A complementary colour for the front door, window frame, shutter, or any element of your home that you want to stand out

  • A trim colour: A contrasting colour for the door casing, roof eaves, window trim, letterbox, railings, fascia, frieze, gutter and downspout

Ideally, the trim colour should contrast sharply with the dominant colour to create a crisp result. Most often, you’ll find the trim colour painted in a light neutral such as white or soft pale grey. For people looking to buck the trend and create a bolder look, pairing a light dominant color with a darker trim can create a clean-cut, dramatic effect. 

Colour values

Consider the size of your home when deciding whether to choose a light colour (tint) or dark colour (shade). If you want your home to appear larger and more airy, select a light tint. If you want your home to look solid and grounded, paint the base of your home in a darker shade. 


The architectural style of your home can help guide your choice in paint colours. For example, exterior colour schemes for Queenslanders often feature striking colours that retain the elegance of the historical architecture while bringing it up-to-date. Think bright and antique whites (Dulux Regency White, Ivory or Lexicon Half), sand (Dulux Portland Stone), grey (Dulux Leadman, Highgate or Aerobus), or greige (Dulux Linseed or Light Leather). 

Colour consultants

From a beachy vibe to a contemporary, edgy aesthetic, think about your home’s desired aesthetic. If you’re having trouble pinpointing a colour palette, we recommend seeking help from an expert colour consultant who can find the exact right match to suit your vision and your home’s style. 

Exterior Wall Paint Ideas

Gorgeous greige and grey

From cool dove grey to opaque gunmetal grey and warm greige, this colour is a natural choice for exteriors. Offering the perfect balance of sophisticated modern style and timeless beauty, this versatile colour looks especially beautiful when trimmed with crisp white. It also looks amazing when contrasted with exterior elements such as bricks, stone and timber with a greyish undertone. 

Here are some classic pairings to try: 

  • Grey and white: A serene, true grey like Dulux Tranquil Retreat, paired with Dulux Vivid White and Colorbond Monument
  • Three shades of grey: Dulux Teahouse and Dulux Dieskau with Colorbond Domino
  • Greige and grey: Dulux Surfmist, Dulux Vivid White and Dulux Dune

Welcoming white

A striking all-white exterior will keep your home looking fresh and classy. Dulux offers a range of classic shades that work well on their own and matched together: 

  • Clean vivid white: Dulux Vivid White
  • Ivory white: Dulux Natural White, Dulux Whisper White, Dulux Antique White U.S.A.
  • Grey white: Dulux Lexicon Half

Mesmerising monochrome

Classic yet sleek and modern, a monochromatic black and white scheme can deliver an arresting result. Use the contrast to visually sculpt the property, highlighting bold architectural elements or different substrates. Here are some options:

  • 50/50 equal black and white: Team Dulux Vivid White in equal amounts with Dulux Black Caviar to showcase your home’s architecture
  • 40/60: Pair a dusty antique white like Dulux Natural with the warm tone of Black Spur
  • 30/70: Charcoal like Dulux Domino paired with white trim in Dulux Lexicon and Terrace White

Peaceful pastels

Pastels are a popular way to lighten and brighten any facade. For timeless elegance, opt for a classic, two-colour palette where a neutral helps ground the pastel: 

  • A beachy Hamptons aesthetic: Pair soft blues like Dulux Zenith Heights Quarter or Dulux Greenland Ice Quarter with crisp white trim for an effortless light and airy feel
  • Tuscan – Dulux Cream and Egyptian Red
  • Classic country – Choose a grey-green eucalypt-inspired shade like Dulux Powdered Gum or Dulux Sage Green

Irresistible earthy tones

A palette of earthy colours in warm hues works well for a home with timber, brick and stone features. This is the perfect palette if you want your home to exude a rustic vibe. Here are our favourite ideas:

  • Layer warm ochres, slate grey and rich browns: Dulux Egyptian Red, Indian Red or Oxblood
  • Serene green: Dulux Sage Green, Dulux Olive Leaf or Dulux Antique Green

Nautical Blue

For a classy and timeless nautical vibe, pick strong, contrasting shades of blue and white. Ideas include: 

  • Navy blue and white: Dulux Rainmaker and Dulux Antique White
  • Teal blue and white: Dulux Hammock or Wentworth with Dulux Vivid White
  • Cobalt blue, light grey and mint: Dulux Cobalt Blue, Dulux Lexicon Half and Dulux Greenland Ice Quarter

  • Dark navy, gold and white: Dulux Sailing Safari, Topelo Honey and Dulux Natural White

Wilko Painting offers a Dulux Colour Consultation to transform your home. Interested in an obligation free quote? Give us a call on 1300 945 564.