Exterior Paint Color Scheme at Saving Etta

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Saving Etta exterior color decisionsExterior Paint Color Scheme at Saving Etta

Things are moving along on the house. I know I owe you another Saving Etta chapter. Please know it’s on my to do list. The past two weeks have been absolutely insane. My electrician, plumber, and HVAC contractors have been putting in lots of hours in the 95 F degree heat to get everything installed and ready for the rough in inspection. I’ve spent numerous hours up and down the ladders helping my electrician with marking light locations and nailing nail plates. As things progress, I am forced to make decisions quickly. Right now it’s time to get the siding up on the house — which means it will be time to choose the exterior color paint scheme for Etta. I can’t believe she will be beautiful again soon.

I’m extremely excited to be working with Magnolia Paint by KILZ as a Saving Etta sponsor. I had the opportunity to meet Chip & Joanna Gaines and try their new paint line last February in Waco, Texas. While there, I fell in love with the Magnolia chalk style paint. It’s thick, smooth, and has great coverage. I can’t wait to use it again on a small project (when I have more free time.)

At the Magnolia Home paint event, I enjoyed talking to one of the KILZ chemical scientists about my favorite interior wall paints and what I look for in a quality paint. I was pleased to find out that the Magnolia Paint Interior Paint offers the same Low-VOC, thick stain coverage, and durability I demand in paint. I’ve been itching to really put these paints to the test, and now I can because I have a whole house interior to paint!

Truth be told, the exterior house colors were ones I’ve been thinking about for a long time. But, I wanted to share with you some of the Photoshop sketches I created for the house so you can let me know your favorites.

I am very partial to the simple white house with a light blue door. Although this is my favorite combo, there is a real rivalry between NC State (Red & White colors) and University of North Carolina (Carolina Blue & White) in our area. In other words, this color scheme would appeal to a UNC fan, but an NC State fan would never be caught dead owning a house with a light blue door. So, I’m leaning toward some other color schemes:

I have always wanted to use orange as a front door color. I love fall colors and this Work Worn Wood paint color has me dreaming of fall again (especially since it’s been in the mid-90’s all week.) Of course, I also like the color because of the orange leaves in the photo. So, I’m wondering if an orange door would still look fabulous in the winter and summer. What do you think?

Navy has had a huge resurgence in home design. I’ve seen some amazing houses painted a dark navy with white trim. This is a color combination I wanted to try for Etta, but ultimately my realtor talked me out of it. She likes the color combo, but said the dark colors fade faster. Ultimately I’m trying to provide a low maintenance house for whoever buys Etta, so I chose to stick with light colored siding and reverse the palette by painting the front door navy. What are your thoughts on this combo?

My final options are inspired by nature. Painting a front door green is suppose to be good luck (at least that’s what I’ve heard.) Regarding the siding choice, I bought some samples and painted swatches of Locally Sown, Blanched and One Horn White on foam board to see how they look on a larger scale. Blanched was a little creamy for what I wanted.  One Horn White had a hint of a green undertone (it would be pretty, but I wanted something more neutral for the siding with a green door.) Ultimately, I really like Locally Sown. It’s a very light neutral warm gray (almost white) color.

Right I’m leaning toward Locally Sown siding and True White trim colors. Any front door color would look great with these:

These are the options I mocked up. What do you think? Are there any combinations that appealed to you? Any others I should consider?

Disclosure: Magnolia Home Paint by KILZ is a Saving Etta material sponsor. I’m honored to work with them on this project. All words and opinions are my own. I have not been told what to say. As always I am very particular about the sponsors I work with and you will be told if you are reading a post that has been sponsored or in which materials were provided. 

If you liked this post, you’ll love learning about color compliments and choosing paint colors:

How to Choose Color Harmonies | Pretty Handy Girl

How to Choose Color Harmonies



How to Pick Paint Colors


My Home Paint Colors | Pretty Handy Girl

Paint Colors in My Home

29 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    I love the same one you do. Simple white (like many houses use to be) and then that nice turquoise/aqua door. Very pretty combo!

  2. Mariele Storm
    Mariele Storm says:

    It might be because I’ve grown up in farmland my whole life, but I abhor all white houses because they look decrepit and abandoned to me… all the white houses out here are falling apart. The other color is rust, and they all look new (even though they’ve been up for awhile and they’re on gravel roads, so they’re covered in dust), so I am heavily biased toward brighter and darker homes. That being said, the navy door looks very nice. Maybe a slightly more grey color for the siding to match with the navy?

  3. Lee-Ann
    Lee-Ann says:

    I’d like to see a true white with yellow door. Yellow to tie with the houses past, and because it looks great with a White House. White is classic and time tested.

  4. MoeWest
    MoeWest says:

    I love Gatherings for the siding colour. You didn’t say anything about this one but it looks like a light sage green on my computer. I consider this to be one of Mother Nature’s neutrals and I prefer it to Locally Sown because I’m just not a fan of beige shades. For the door, Work Worn Wood or Silos District would both look great with Gatherings. I think an orange door would look fine in summer with blue or white blooms to contrast. I prefer a pop of colour on the front door. I find it more welcoming.

  5. beth
    beth says:

    You are so amazing ,and I am so excited to see progress on Etta! I love the Locally Sown for the siding and the True White for the trim, and I love the idea of a Navy door . If you hate that ,then, the Texas Summer. Whatever you decide I’m sure will be awesome. Thanks for taking me on this journey, I’m loving it!

  6. Vontreva Gammel
    Vontreva Gammel says:

    Work work wood and gatherings is my choice, it’s classic and different at the same time! Love your work!

  7. brenda
    brenda says:

    locally sown and true white would be my choices also. I think the blue door would be first choice followed by the green.

  8. eileencur
    eileencur says:

    I like the dark blue door combo. I think it adds curb appeal and I don’t think that having to repaint a door is a high maintenance project. Of course, you know I lean toward blue whenever it’s an option 🙂

  9. Donna Lee
    Donna Lee says:

    I like the first blue one, but I think a little more than the door being blue, maybe the pillars to tie it all together

  10. Linda L Weeks
    Linda L Weeks says:

    My siding is very similar to the “Gatherings”, and I’ve never been sorry! I think it’s quite comtemporary and fresh. Plus most any color door will work nicely with it! Currently my front door is Behr “Sanctuary”, a very nice green color. Enjoy!

  11. Mary Sue W
    Mary Sue W says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading and watching your hard work saving Etta. I really like the Magnolia green door and the Locally Sown choices.

  12. Katherine Jordan
    Katherine Jordan says:

    I think Etta has too many pretty architectural details that would be swallowed up if you don’t have enough trim/siding contrast. Like the diamonds that you took so much time to recreate are swallowed up on the white option and when the Locally Sown siding fades, it won’t look as good. I like the darker Gatherings color. It’s also nice because if you have a cool color roof and trim, add a cool color door, the warm siding color will make a huge impact and be very inviting.

  13. Kat J
    Kat J says:

    White is so overdone right now. It’s too trendy for my taste and not really appropriate for a home from that era. Go with a darker shade if you don’t want a color.

  14. Guerri
    Guerri says:

    Though blues are my favorite, I think the green would look best with Locally Sown and White. If a new home owner wants to change it to a “team” color, it’s an easy fix, but with green you’ll appeal to both teams!

  15. Courtney
    Courtney says:

    Have you considered using the same color for the siding and trim? We’ll probably change up our exterior within the next 5 years and this is something I’ve been thinking about.

  16. Jeri
    Jeri says:

    I really like that Texas Summer, in the picture it doesn’t look like Carolina blue and the new home owner can paint it whatever color they want. It looks pretty and fresh. They green is also lovely.

  17. Candyce Blodgett
    Candyce Blodgett says:

    Love to see how she’s coming along! I usually love grey, but such a light shade looks a little boring. I would love to see crisp white with dark charcoal (or black) trim and even a distressed wood door (yes, it has been overdone, but still looks great). I also like the idea of slightly yellowy cream with a MCM lime green door. A shade that goes with the turquoise next door. Perhaps a darker shade of grey with a tangerine orange door? Too much? Don’t be afraid to go a little bold. A moderate MCM pop of color would do wonders for the neighborhood.


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