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Choosing Exterior House Colours

Choosing the exterior house colours was probably the most stressful of all the selections.

The exterior selections are a big commitment, it’s what everyone sees as they drive past and it sets the tone for your home.

So you wanna get it right the first time!

Building in a Hamptons Style, I wanted to use a shingle roof tile.

I found the Boral Striata style fit the bill with it’s clean lines.  Boral bought out a new colour called Shale earlier in the year, a smart mid grey tone which I thought would work.

Boral striata shale roof tile

Trouble with choosing a new colour though is trying to see it on an actual house.   Boral advised they had just completed 2 new homes in Adelaide with it, (both on the other side of town of course) so we checked them out before locking it in.

Now for the rest, when choosing exterior house colours, most designers recommend these guidelines:

  • Use a maximum of 3 colours – one for walls, one for trims and one for accents.
  • Match the gutters to the roof and the fascias to the trims (ie. windows, timberwork).

Boral also told me Colorbond Woodland Grey is the best match for the gutters.   I was glad as I prefer Woodland Grey to Basalt which is a tad blue.

Now I have white windows, so I’d have loved the fascia to be white to match, but as I’m using Colorbond fascias, the lightest shade is Surfmist.   So Surfmist it is, with matching panel lift/roller doors.

The 2 vented gables are also Colorbond Surfmist and the eaves will be painted Surfmist (they’re better to be off white than white).

choosing exterior colours - colorbond surfmist and woodland grey


Choosing render colour

The render colour was the hardest decision – I kept swapping between an off white (like Dulux White Duck), a taupe grey (like Dulux Powered Rock), a grey (like Dulux Silkwort or Tranquil Retreat)  or a stone colour (like Evening Haze).  They’re all current popular exterior render colours and would all be lovely but I was after “the one”.

Choosing exterior colours - dulux milton moon, dulux flooded gum, dulux silkwort, dulux tranquil retreat, colorbond shale grey, colorbond surfmist, colorbond basalt,

choosing exterior colours - colorbond evening haze, Dulux white duck

choosing exterior colours - dulux powered rock and pipe clay


I got a number of sample pots and painted out papers that I then stuck on the outside walls to check the colours.

Choosing exterior colours


It’s a big decision cos the whole house is rendered!

After spending a small fortune on sample paint pots, and painting little sections of wall at the front and back, I decided on Dulux Pipe Clay.

Dulux pipe clay


choosing exterior colours - dulux pipe clay, colorbond surfmist and woodland grey


I think it’s the perfect “greige” with a nice depth of colour.  The downpipes and verandah pier mouldings will be painted to match (you always want the downpipes the same colour as the walls so they “disappear”).

Cabot’s Dark Oak stain will be used to make a feature of the front door.

I can’t wait to see it all come together.

Do you have a favourite exterior colour combination?  I’d love to hear about it below…


Tash Bell - Adelaide Home renovation blog - Home of marble and mint -

About the Author:

Mum of 3 crazy loveable ratbags, property obsessed, renovation nut. In her "spare time" she'll be watching reno shows. And drinking coffee, always coffee. Unless it's wine.


  1. Kylie April 17, 2017 at 1:26 am - Reply

    Hi Tash,
    I stumbled upon your blog whilst searching for exterior colours for our californian bungalow. I too have bought countless sample pots and our house is looking very patchwork. Some greys are looking very mauve, others very blue. Pipe clay is one that has only been suggested today and I haven’t had a chance to get a sample pot for yet. Wondered if you were happy with your choices and if you could possibly post a pic of the exterior of your house?
    Many thanks,

    • Tash April 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Kylie, thanks for the question. I absolutely love Pipe Clay for the render, definitely no mauve or blue. It looks like a pale grey on the front of the house that faces north, and then a darker greige at the back under the alfresco area. I’ll email you a pic cos I’m yet to update the blog still as I’m in the process of changing it. Pipe Clay would look gorgeous on a Californian bungalow with lighter or darker trims, depending on the look you’re after. Good luck x

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