Why I love a crisp white trim

Let me explain to you why I love a crisp white trim.  The ubiquitous neutrals are a perennial favourite for exterior and interior decorating schemes.  In fact, I really don't get asked about much else when it comes to selecting paint colours.

So, what exactly is a neutral?

In theory it should be just that – a grey or stone colour that doesn't have any underlying colour.  In reality however, when it comes to decorating, the word is bandied around to encompass anything that is not a definite colour, so includes warm taupes, subtle beige and biscuit tones, green based stone colours and of course the ubiquitous grey – the neutral of the moment.  Some more than others have a definite underlying colour but there is one thing that I believe they all have in common – they come alive when you partner them with a crisp white trim.

Why I love a crisp white trim

Image: Stritt Design & Construction

I'm concentrating on exteriors in this post and wanted to show you some examples so you can see what I am talking about.  Scroll down and you will also find out my go to white trim choices and some important points to consider when selecting your white trim.

Viewing a neutral against white

Whenever you look at a neutral colour, they really come alive once you view a white sample with them and the beauty of introducing white is that the neutral looks much deeper in tone than it would on its own.  This means that you can use a lighter neutral on your exterior scheme but make it work with a crisp white trim.  This is also the classic partner to a sleek black front door.

Introducing a white trim on white weatherboards

Why I love a crisp white trim
Image – Home Beautiful

This image also demonstrates how you can use a light white neutral on a weatherboard but finish it with fresh white to make it pop.  If you used the same white as the weatherboards on the trim, the effect would be lost and the house would be too one dimensional.  The black door is there again – that classic black and white partnership!

Why I love a crisp white trim
Image – 28 Byronbay

Just a subtle difference here but the crisp trim makes all the difference.  Remember that you don't always have to make an amazing colour statement – just a gradual tonal variation helps to define the architectural elements.  I think you will agree that this accommodation in Byron Bay is quintessential Australian Coastal style – I love it!

Smart white trim on a black weatherboard home

Why I love a crisp white trim
Image – Domino Magazine

And of course, this article wouldn't be complete without a mention of the classic black weatherboard house.  This house would have a very different vibe without the white trim.  If you love these strong monochromatic schemes and definite tonal variation then you may also like this recent post.

Monochromatic colour schemes – Black and White

So what is a crisp white? See my go-to trim whites here and my 4 steps on how to use them

My go to white trim colour is either Dulux Lexicon Quarter strength or for a softer look Dulux Vivid White.  Porters Snow White also works well and from the Haymes range I love Greyology 1.  There are a few points though that you have to bear in mind when selecting the right white for your exterior trim:

  1. Are you using Colorbond colours for your gutter and fascia?  If so, the lightest is Surfmist and depending upon the style of your house you may need to continue this as a trim colour.  If you are not a fan, you can restrict this to the roof line and then change to a fresher white for window architraves, posts, balustrades etc.  I know people often find Colorbond Surfmist too grey but in fact you do need some grey to stand up to the harsh Australian sunlight.  An update to this in August 2022 – Colorbond has just released a crisp white called Dover White which gets around this problem if you want to use it.
  2. Consider the neutral that you are using on your exterior.  Is it a grey or a beige tone?  This will dictate whether you use a clean fresh white like Dulux Lexicon quarter or you may want a softer white like Dulux Natural White.  Don't forget to view and test these neutrals and whites outside as this will make a huge difference.
  3. Consider the depth of the neutral that you are using on your exterior.  How deep is the tonal level?  If very pale then you will definitely need a really crisp white to see a difference.  If you are using a deeper tone then you could get away with a white that has more depth and still achieve the same effect.
  4. Don't forget your eaves and veranda ceilings – with all this white trim, it's a good idea to continue the look here too.
Why I love a crisp white trim
Image – SFgirlbybay.com

Related: My guide to painting eaves

So the next time you are considering using a neutral for an exterior scheme, don't forget your trim colour. Remember that this will make an impact on your chosen wall colour and if chosen correctly, will really help to define the house and pull the colour scheme together.  I would love to hear from you and answer your questions about which white is right for your exterior trim!

If you are just about to embark on a building or renovation project or are simply giving the exterior of your home a fresh coat of paint then you must download my free comprehensive exterior checklist.  This will get you organised and cut down on some of the stress involved.  Be ready for your builder or painter or simply just use it to get your thoughts in order.  I have this and other free e.books in my Free Resource Library.  Click here to download

If you still need help you might consider using my online colour consultation service where I review your plans, ideas and photos.  I have a range of packages from one question through to an entire colour scheme.  You can find out more here.


Why I love a crisp white trim

Need more information?  I have heaps to tell you – some related articles on the blog if you want to read more:

Why I love a weatherboard home

How to find the right white for your exterior

How to achieve a classic neutral exterior


130 thoughts on “Why I love a crisp white trim

  1. Sarah says:

    Samantha – excellent article. We are building a weatherboard beach house with Milton moon (light grey) exterior, Monument (colorbond colour) window frames and a Woodland Grey colorbond roof. At present we do not have any exterior window trim but am thinking about adding quite a wide Vivid White trim in the New England/Maine style . Do you think that would all work? Thanks so much for all your brilliant advice. Sally

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sally I think you are absolutely on the right track. Just make sure that Dulux Vivid White isn’t too bright for you – Something like Dulux Casper White Quarter is similar but with a touch of grey to stand up to the sun – perhaps paint sample boards and place next to painted weatherboards to get an idea – don’t forget you will have trim on your gutter/fascia too. Samantha

  2. Simone says:

    Hi Sam,
    Loved. your article on White Trim. I am currently renovation a 1933 Queenslander and loved the grieve colour on the weatherboards in the first photo. Is it Dulux White Duck?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Simone I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I don’t know the exact colour of the weatherboards in the first image and all computer screens will read slightly differently but I see it more as a neutral grey rather than a greige like Dulux White Duck. I have used White Duck a lot and in fact it would come out much lighter in reality – just an off white on an exterior – although under a wide verandah this may be darker. If you are looking for a greige then something like Dulux Oyster Linen which is a couple of tones darker than White Duck might be suitable but it will all depend on the amount of light your house gets. Dulux has recently released a beautiful range of naturals including some great greige colours like Baltic Beige – this might be worth looking at. I think the colour in the image is closer to Dulux Tranquil Retreat but really you have to play around with samples to see what suits – Lucky you having a 1933 Queenslander to renovate – I hope you are very happy there. Samantha

  3. Mez says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for your articles. I am painting a 1940s weatherboard house with a low profile roof. Our colours are silkwort for the walls and basalt for the roof. My question is which White for the paned windows – lexicon quarter or classic white?
    Also what colour for the barge boards?They are 5 boards deep in the elevated parts of the house. I was thinking stepney. The front door will be Night Sky black.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mez Dulux Lexicon Quarter is a good colour for windows if you want a really fresh, clean and crisp white. For your barge boards, Dulux Stepney could work but you won’t see a huge contrast outside with the Dulux Silkwort. Remember that with weatherboards they have a natural shadow line so the Silkwort will appear light and dark and then your barge boards will be in full sun so depending on the aspect etc. you might not see a great difference. It really depends on the effect that you want but you could consider going darker on the barge to Dulux Tristan. I would get large samples of them all – test them in the sunlight on the house and see what you think. Good luck! Samantha

  4. Donna Wardlaw says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thanks for the great article! We are underway with a brand new build – a weatherboard home with a very traditional Australian farmhouse country style on our farm in country Victoria. We have a zinc roof, Colourbond Wallaby gutters/barge rolls and true white steel fascia to match the white aluminium windows. We will use the Wallaby on our baseboards and front door as well. At this stage I was thinking Dulux Vivid White for the veranda posts, eave & veranda brackets and window trims but tossing up what colour to make the weather boards – I had thought Dulux White Duck but I’m not sure how well it will work with the Wallaby? We are definitely more country than coastal, so I’m steering away from the blue/grey based whites, but I’m a bit nervous about going too warm/yellow with the weathboards. Is something with green tones going to work better to help make the Wallaby noticable along with the white?? There are just so many shades to consider!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Donna Your house sounds lovely. I certainly think that you can consider Dulux White Duck for your weatherboards. It is veering towards a green neutral but is still warm enough to work with Wallaby. I actually use this colour a lot because it seems to work inside and outside. It will be very light outside though but as you have a verandah I suspect a large proportion will be in shadow. Test out a section first with the Vivid White and the Wallaby to see what you think before committing but you are definitely on the right track – let us know how you go – it sounds gorgeous Samantha

  5. Sam says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Do you know what colour the exterior of 28 Byronbay is? We are looking to paint our place Surfmist with Lexicon quarter trims – would the noticeable enough? Tile roof will be resurfaced in Basalt. We’d like a light look, however as we’re in SE QLD, don’t want it blinding in summer. Thanks!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sam I don’t know the colour unfortunately. You will see a difference between Surfmist and Lexicon Quarter but it will be subtle and you have to bear in mind the bulk of the building and natural shadows in different aspects. Generally though with a face on view with Surfmist on the walls and Lexicon Quarter on the architraves, you should be fine. The good thing about sticking with Surfmist for the wall colour is that you can have this for your garage, gutters, downpipes etc and it all works. It might be an idea just to double check with large samples in your lovely Queensland sun but you should be OK. Hope you love the end result Samantha

  6. Jess says:

    Hi Sam,

    We have a weatherboard home with Deep Ocean colorbond roof and gutters. The weather boards are currently light blue with a darker blue trim but we are looking to repaint and would love to go for more of a grey with white trim look. I’m just wondering if you have any ideas for which light greys match well with deep ocean. I like Tranquil retreat and Silkwort but not sure if they will clash with roof colour?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jess Both of these greys that you like are warm, Silkwort more so than Tranquil Retreat and I like them with Deep Ocean as the contrast works well and stops the house from all being too blue or battleship grey which often people put with the blue as they feel it matches better. White will also add another dimension which will keep the greys fresh. Colours will appear different on each house so you will need to look at large sample boards adjacent to the blue trim to really see whether you are going to like the most. You can also paint your fascia and eaves in white which gives you a barrier between the roof/gutter and wall. Hope this helps Samantha

  7. Kerryn Sweeney says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thankyou for sharing your valuable thoughts! We have an Edwardian weatherboard in inner city
    Melbourne and have unfortunately inherited a dirty terracotta colour clad roof. We are thinking of delux linseed for the boards; a deep grey like colourblind monument for spouting and barge boards and wondered about lexicon quarter for the trim. What do you think? Also should I use a flat or semigloss paint?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kerryn This all sounds good – Dulux Lexicon Quarter will give you a very crisp trim against the Linseed – if you wanted to take it back a bit you could look at something like Dulux Casper White Quarter which has a touch of grey – either is fine, just ensure that you really do want that crispness that Lexicon Quarter will give you. In terms of paint finish – I like a low sheen for exteriors as I’m not keen on a lot of shiny surfaces but you might like to use a semi gloss if you are painting windows to give you durability. Monument on the barge boards will really take away the effect of the terracotta roof – sounds good! Samantha

  8. Paul K says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I am redoing a 1950’s weather board home. I’m replacing the old wood weatherboards with the James Hardy Linea 180mm (150mm showing) weather board look and the tiled roof with colour colourbond. I’m looking at Monument for the Roof & Gutters, Shale Grey for the Cladding and the Windows are a White uPVC tilt and turn style (looking towards white plantation shutters later on).
    The biggest issues i’m seeing is that the fascia doesn’t have a white in Colourbond. I love the cottage look and would prefer the fascia is white rather than Monument (i’ve seen it a lot on new old style houses) which would allow me to also do the external corners in white also. What do you think about the colour combination of Monument (Roof), Shale Grey (Cladding), White (windows & hopefully boarders). Have you got any suggestions around the fascia issue and colour of the outside/inside of the front door (thinking dark blue or black on the outside, white on the inside).

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Paul Yes it is one of the exterior decorating problems that I hear all the time as Surfmist is the lightest of the Colorbond colours – love the combination you suggest and would probably use Monument on the front door to tie in the roof – this is very popular at the moment. People sometimes paint their Colorbond fascia – seems a shame but it is the only way to tie your fascia in with a crisp white window. You could of course leave it in Surfmist if you liked the effect as the fascia doesn’t have to match the windows. Unless you are in a bush fire zone you can of course install timber fascias and simply paint them. Good luck! Samantha

  9. Kim Kennedy says:

    hi Samantha,
    thank you for your very helpful hints … I am an absolute first time novice !! I have 2 days to select an exterior colour palette. I am leaning toward your Image – 28 Byronbay, I was thinking of all one colour, trim and walls. But I like the subtle difference and the “crisp trim” that pops out. Can you tell me the colours used please ?
    Our home is double storey
    thanks, Kim ( 18 Oct ’17 )

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kim – very stressful to have to make a decision in such a short time and unfortunately I don’t know exactly what these colours are. I do think you are on the right track of having a subtle difference. It may not even be visible in some lights but you will see it during different parts of the day – sorry I can’t be more specific but I hope the article helps with your thinking Samantha

  10. Jill Campbell says:

    I love your article. I have shied away from white paint all my life but would consider it after reading your article.
    We have an old weatherboard house. That walls are solarguard Moondance and the new colonial aluminium windows are a a creamy colour. Would white be too odd?
    Thanks, I look forward to your advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jill glad you like the article. White is lovely on an exterior but you just have to bear in mind the depth of it. If you are repainting the weatherboards then I like a white that has a touch of grey – remember that you get the lovely shadow line here which makes the white more interesting. By going with a little more depth on the main body of the house you are choosing something to withstand the harsh sunlight and also to be practical against dust etc. You really need to consider your creamy aluminium windows and select a white that has a touch of warmth to tie in with these rather than fight them. Something like Dulux Stowe White which is warm could work but do try samples and consider whether you are painting weatherboards or just a trim to go with Moondance. Hope this helps Samantha

  11. Renee says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for your article. I’m hoping that you might be able to provide me with some advice about my colour scheme. We are about to paint the exterior and are leaning towards Milton Moon. We have a large timber verandah that is Surfmist and our guttering is Basalt. I realise that it is ideal to stick to 3 colours, but I feel that the Surfmist won’t provide the contrast that I’d like for the windows and I’m thinking of maybe Lexicon 1/2 strength. What are your thoughts? I’d love to share my photos with you and perhaps that will give you a better insight for our colour scheme?

    Thank you, Renee

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Renee to look at photos and review properly becomes a colour consultation – I do these by skype, email etc. but there is a cost. In terms of some free advice here – I can say that I know Milton Moon works beautifully with Basalt and you will see some contrast with Surfmist but if you want a really crisp window then Lexicon half will be fine – it is no problem to paint your windows a different white. If you have Surfmist on your fascia then this will be fine of the eaves but whites do get darker horizontally so if you want a crisp finish to your eaves then I usually recommend half Surfmist. Hope this helps! Samantha

  12. Leanne says:

    Hi Samantha. I loved reading your post. Thank you for taking time out to share your ideas. We are currently starting our first new build. Colonial/hamptons (if you can bundle them together) style. We have chosen colourbond Ironstone Roof, Surfmist gutters and fascias with Ironstone posts, front door and garage door. Surfmist post sweeps. The cladding we have chosen is White Duck Half. We have trims inside in Vivid White. Should this be used on the window trims outside as well or Surfmist? We have white windows and white shutters going in. I’m also wondering if I should change the gutters to Ironstone instead of Surfmist. We have a verandah along the front. Thank you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leanne I do think that you would be better with crisper white trim on the exterior as Surfmist is actually the same tonal value as Dulux White Duck Half and also very close in appearance so in the bright daylight you won’t see any contrast at all. With your gutters and fascia it depends how much of the Ironstone you want to see – once you do the gutters and fascias in the same colour as the roof it brings it down into the scheme more. You are using this in other areas though so that shouldn’t be a problem. However you won’t see much contrast, if any, between your trim and wall colour if you stick with Surfmist – this doesn’t necessarily matter if you have the Vivid White on the windows to give you some contrast. So you can go either way with this element – Hope this makes sense! Samantha

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you might be able to suggest some colours for our newly purchased weatherboard home in the country? Currently the weatherboards are yellow was the inside of the house in various shades. Inside we are painting dulux antique white USA (undercoat looks great) and dulux Walter in our bedroom. The house sits on a small hill so below the weatherboard is silver corrugated iron which is quiet deep where the hill slopes away. The roof is also silver corrugated iron and we don’t plan to paint that at present. The windows are a thin lattice sort of style. We love the dark Swedish Summer House look but have decided to go black for the windows and white for the weatherboards due to full sun and dust. I’ve no idea what to do colourwise about the lower corrugated iron for the medium term. Later we plan to cover it in stone. If you could suggest shades that’d be great!
    Thanks! Sarah

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sarah I think I would go fairly dark on the lower corrugated iron as being at that level I think it could get quite dusty and a mid grey colour will ground the house however it is difficult to give you an exact colour but possibly something like Dulux Klute could work – it really depends on how you want it to relate to the white weatherboards – if you don’t want to see much difference you will need a much lighter grey. The best outcome will be when you have the natural stone as this will bring in a lovely earthy tone to the house. Hope this helps Samantha

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Samantha,
        I’ve been reading more of your blog today. It’s been so helpful. I think the Klute could work really well for the lower corrugated iron. Thanks for the suggestion. As far as the white weatherboards and the black trim I’m no longer set on the exact colours after my additional reading of your blog. My partner and I both lovethe dramatic black/white contrast (we were thinking Lexicon Half for the weather boards) but I don’t want it too glaring white after reading your articles and I’m aware of dust in the country too. Do you think Dulux Snowy Mountains would work for us? I don’t think he’d go full strength Casper White without some convincing but could go half strength…I’m thinking Taubmans Black Spade for the window/door trims but open to suggestions here too. I’d love to know what you’d pick for both the weatherboards in white and windows in black for the look we’re after.
        Thanks! Sarah.

  14. Angela says:

    Hello there Sam,
    Gosh you are such a clever lady with whites. I am learning so much from your amazing blog. This is such a wonderful resource to have.

    I am about to start choosing whites for my new weatherboard home to be built.
    Do you know what the paints in your second image , the “Home Beautiful” image would be? I am hopefully set on a light white neutral and then fresh white windows, but I am still slightly confused which Dulux ones to get.
    I am thinking a Surfmist roof . Also. the house has a full wrap around verandah so underneath will be more in shade .
    Looking forward to hearing from you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Angela glad you are enjoying the blog! I don’t know the colours on the Home Beautiful house but something like a trim in Dulux Vivid White could work with Dulux White Exchange for a similar tonal contrast. Check the samples out first though – particularly in shade. This is a nice neutral white but you may prefer something a little warmer so you must double check it first. Good luck with building your new home Samantha

  15. Alicia says:

    Dear Samantha
    Thank you for such detailed information in your blogs and your generosity of time. We are currently renovating what we intend to be our forever home – a large 1920s weatherboard Queenslander with a north easterly aspect and terracotta tile roof. I’ve had some assistance from the Dulux colour advisers a couple of years ago and still like the idea of White Duck for the main exterior colour. The Dulux lady suggested Deep Walnut for trims but I thought Woodland Grey might be a better choice for gutters as it would pick up the green of the White Duck and offset the terracotta tile roof … as well as having the benefit of being a Colorbond colour. I also thought Lexicon would be a better trim than her suggestion of Vivid White… I wonder if you think I’m on the right track given it’s a huge expanse of space and which Lexicon strength would be best… or should I stick to something like Whisper White… would also love a black entry door like Black Caviar if it works… your thoughts?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alicia I do like the colour combination that the Dulux consultant gave to you as the Deep Walnut will work beautifully with the terracotta. However if you want a Colorbond colour that you can match later on then Woodland Grey would work. Definitely don’t go with Lexicon with White Duck – Lexicon is very blue and you need something softer with the lovely green based neutral of Dulux White Duck. Dulux Vivid White as they said, will work really well but if you want something with just a touch more grey then Dulux Whisper White could be the answer – I love black front doors! Good luck Samantha

  16. Scott Killingbeck says:

    Hi Sam,
    Loved the article and follow on comments. We are renovating a 50s beach home which has a few external decks and pergolas. The internal walls are painted in Dulux Natural White with Dulux Vivid White trims and Dulux Vivid White shutters on the windows. Its been suggested we paint the exterior weatherboards in Dulux White Duck and all exterior trims and pergola in Dulux Berkshire White with the gutters and downpipes in Colorbond Surfmist. Do you think the exterior colours work together and also with the internal Vivid White shutters on the inside windows?
    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Scott Dulux Berkshire White is a very creamy yellow white while Dulux White Duck is more of a neutral green white (Although this has some depth it will appear white outside – it is the same tonal level as Colorbond Surfmist). I think a white like Dulux White Verdict half or quarter (depending on how contrast you want to see) would go better with Dulux White Duck – you could go to Dulux Vivid White too if you really want a very crisp contrast. Try out some samples with the Dulux White Duck to see which effect you like the best. Good luck Samantha

  17. Helen Chamberlain says:

    Hi Sam

    Your detailed articles and answers are so helpful!

    We are painting the exterior of a 1925 California bungalow with a mossy terracotta tile roof in Melbourne. We love white on white and have black lights by the front door and in the porch. After many sample pots we feel settled on Lexicon half for the exterior walls.

    What colour would you suggest for the trims? Lexicon quarter or something like vivid white to make them pop? Would you do the shingles under the roof in the wall colour or trims? What about the roof of the porch?

    And finally our front door is glass panels. Would you suggest the trim colour for the front door? Or black?

    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Helen It makes sense to use the same white in different strengths so I would probably just go with Lexicon quarter for the trims and eaves however Vivid White is slightly brighter and I am concerned that if you house is north or west facing you might not see enough of a contrast with either of these. However if you want the white on white look this is probably OK but I would try a sample next to the rendered finish to see what you think. Eaves I treat the same as trim as the whites get twice as dark on horizontal surfaces so you need to keep these light – and keep all your outdoor ceilings the same. I do love the idea of bringing in some black for your front door, particularly as it has glass panels so it won’t be full on solid black. Hope this helps! Samantha

  18. Anja says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Your blog has been such a great source of inspiration.
    We are currently finishing off a new build and getting stuck on the colour palette.
    It’s a weatherboard house (scyon linea) with a colorbond roof. Single storey from the front but as the block slopes away from the street it is double storey at the back with a big verandah. The down stairs with be clad in wide vertical boards (scyon Stria).
    We are leaning towards a Basalt roof and Dulux Tranquil Retreat 1/4 strength maybe for the weatherboard. Not sure what white trim to use as we have pearl white aluminium windows or what colour to use on the vertical cladding downstairs. We’ll also be painting the posts and veranda railing but want to steer away from white. Any suggestions? I’m going round in circles.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anja I think you need to re-look at Tranquil Retreat in quarter strength to double check that you like it – have you tried a sample – it will be very light outside. Dulux Tranquil Retreat in full strength is a soft and light silvery colour so a quarter of this outside in bright sunlight will be very very light indeed. I would recommend getting a sample pot and painting a large piece of board. Once you get this clear in your mind you need to consider your secondary tones for the stria and your trim colour. Pure white would be the only way to go with this colour to see any type of contrast, otherwise you can have a darker trim. A Basalt roof is very nice and is a classic mid grey so this is good. I hope this gives you a starting point Samantha

  19. Brian O’Grady says:

    Hi Samantha, We are renovating a double story home – south facing and coastal over looking the river in North Qld. We were thinking Dulux Highgate walls with either Lexicon Quarter or Vivid White trim for windows, doors, posts, rails. Do you think there will be enough contrast or should we go slightly darker grey on the walls ? Cheers and thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Brian you should see some difference here, particularly on a south facing aspect – it just depends on what you had in mind for the overall look – if it is just a subtle change that you want then this should be fine. Good Luck Samantha

  20. Katie says:

    Hi Samantha, I hope you can help me. Whites are so hard! If we were to paint our old weatherboard house Natural White, which colour trim would provide the best contrast? Vivid White, Lexicon Quarter, or something else? Or is Natural White even the best choice of a light white for the weatherboards? Our other colours are a Manor Red Colourbond roof and Monument doors and window hoods. I would appreciate and value your advice so much!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Katie Dulux Vivid White goes the best with Natural White – you won’t see a huge difference though as although this is the whitest that you can go, Natural White doesn’t have a lot of depth either – particularly in sunlight so just try the samples together in your brightest light – ideally paint a large board with a couple of coats – and see what you think. Good Luck Samantha

  21. Denise says:

    Hi Samantha, I appreciate your help, we have a fence painted in Haymes City stone and rendered wall next to it painted in silkwort and want to add aluminium privacy screens above the silkwort stepped wall…thinking white ….would surfmist Work with these colours or do we need crisper white like lexicon 1/4 or some other colour better …or we could pick palladium silver would that work better? Many thanks Denise

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Denise as you are using a powdercoated fence you have to select from a more restricted range so the Dulux colours you mention won’t work. Surfmist is always in the standard range for powdercoated fencing so this might be the way to go – Ask your supplier for their colour chart – you should be able to use any powdercoat colour from the Dulux range (note this is different from the paint range) but sometimes if you go out of a standard range there can be additional costs. Pearl White should be in the range but it is a really crisp white and I am worried that it will be too bright and standout next to your lovely subtle grey tones. Hope this helps Samantha

  22. KarenGentle says:

    Hi Samantha, wow! This is the best article I have found about the most complex of tones – white.
    I have a farm house with a wrap around verandah in sunny WA with a zincalume roof and ironstone gutters. I would like to re-paint the verandah posts, facia boards and window trims white with a light colour wall and darker verandah floor and door to tie in gutters. I have been given 30 litres of Dulux lexicon half left over from a friends exterior, do you think this will be ok on posts and trims and what colour would you suggest on walls to tie it all in? I am also painting a retro caravan that will be converted into a mobile bar and wanted a white to go with a colour like Dulux flooded gum that wasn’t going to blind anyone but would still look crisp in contrast.
    Thanks for any advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Karen I’m glad you like the post! Lexicon Half has a blue undertone so should work well with the Ironstone gutters and steely colour of the roof – outside it will be very light and crisp in the WA sunshine. For the wall it really depends on how dark you want it and whether you want a grey, neutral or just a deeper white? Dulux Madigan is a lovely blue grey that will work with this scheme – quite light but if you have a verandah I am assuming most will be in shade. I do think this colour also looks better on weatherboards – you can get away with so many more colours on weatherboards but I find that render works with more neutral tones. Dulux Flooded gum needs a softer white – Dulux Blissful White has similar undertones and is soft but will still give you a contrast so perhaps try a sample of that and see what you think? Good luck Samantha

  23. Connie Osborne says:

    Hi Samantha, love reading everything you write. I’m currently building a ranch house with woodland grey roof, white windows and surf mist gutters. I’m struggling to decide which grey to go with for the render, I like Milton mood, tranquil retreat and Silkwort, I like vivid white for my feature weather boards and verandah, what colour do you suggest for front door, garage and render (house is mainly rendered). Really appreciate you giving up your time.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Connie glad you are enjoying the blog! All of these greys are nice and will work well with Vivid Whtie. Milton Moon and Tranquil Retreat are nice and neutral but in some lights have a touch of a blue undertone. Dulux Silkwort is a much warmer grey with a soft pink undertone. As you are using lots of white trim on the house, including the weatherboards, you could look at white for the garage and front door – Remember that Colorbond Surfmist will not look white next to Dulux Vivid White and in fact can look quite creamy yellow/grey next to these very fresh whites so you will need to ask for a brilliant white for the garage door. An alternative which may work better is to use Colorbond Woodland Grey for the garage door to soften the look a bit. You just need to consider whether you want very crisp white and grey on their own or break it up with a smart dark green/grey garage. Hope this helps Samantha

  24. Rene says:

    Hi Samantha,
    This blog and comments and advice have been invaluable. I am trying to discern ‘the right white’ for my exterior trim/posts/gable ends/eaves. Our home is a 2 storey north facing home. We have a shale grey roof and gutters and a white fascia (we found a supplier who does a ‘white’ as opposed to the colorbond Surfmist) and our semi commercial window frames (so quite “substantial” looking) are the pearl white colour.

    The leading colour for the cladding is Timeless Grey (Dulux) – can you suggest what crisp white trim to use externally that will blend with the pearl white window frames? I was thinking vivid white ? Or would you lean more towards the lexicon quarter?

    Thank you ahead of time for your advice. I appreciate it.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rene I find that Dulux Lexicon Quarter is the crispest white that you can get for trims and goes well with the Pearl White windows – it will also work really well with Dulux Timeless Grey – Good luck Samantha

  25. Dene says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Great Blog! We are renovating our 2 story suburban home inside and out, in Melbourne west facing. Inside is mainly Lexicon with a couple of rooms different colours. Outside Monument roof, gutters, fascia, windows & possibly downpipes. Smirf Mist or Lexicon on our Render exterior wall. What do you think? We may also put weatherboard on the front entrance (2 story) that perpetrates. What colour would you suggest? Also at the rear of the house it will be a mix of weatherboard/render & plantation shutters on a balcony. Would I need need different colours on the balcony 1/2 wall to the shutters? Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dene Surfmist is a creamy darker grey white while Lexicon is a crisper blue white so they will give quite a different look to the house. Surfmist is good to use if you have other Surfmist elements and you want it to blend, otherwise I would look for a white that you like the look of. You need to consider how bright you want the white to be and whether you want a very crisp contemporary look or a softer look. In terms of a secondary colour I can’t really say – it depends so much on the style of house, whether you want a contrast etc. Possibly a soft grey for the weatherboards to go with the black and white? The half wall to the shutters on the balcony should just be treated like the render – so a white. Hope this helps Samantha

  26. Chloe says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are about to start our weatherboard build in VIC and we’re getting stuck on exterior colours. We are thinking along the lines of windspray roof, white duck quarter cladding, surf mist garage door. Not sure if we will be able to get much contrast between trims if we clad with white duck quarter but we were looking to go white Aluminium windows as the interior will be all white. Do you think this will work? And if so what colour trims would you go? Vivid white? Or should we be sticking with surfmist windows and trims? Or any other suggestions would be very welcome… novice here!
    Appreciate your feedback 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chloe you really do need to have white windows if you are looking at a light weatherboard like White Duck Quarter. You might also try a sample of White Duck Half too. Surfmist windows and trim are nice to match your garage but Surfmist is a much darker, greyer white – much darker than the White Duck Quarter or even half so you would end up with darker windows. Hope this helps Samantha

  27. Abby says:

    Hi Samantha
    Firstly I would like to say I loved your article and all your responses to comments left on your page. I have been struggling with choosing the ‘right’ white for the exterior of our house.
    Our roof is zimcalume finish and the exterior will be a symmetrical hamptons weatherboard cottage with decorative eave brackets.
    I have chosen our entrance door colour which is a chalky pale blue. Originally I was thinking of going Dulux Snowy Mountain Quarter however the gentleman who helped with my sample paint pots believes it may be to creamy against the chalky blue door. He suggested I go with double strength Dulux White on White for the exterior and Dulux Vivid white on all the window and door trims. I was wondering your thoughts on the above and if you have any suggestions.
    Its been almost 10 months since you wrote the article and you are still replying to people’s current comments! 🙂
    Thank you again for your informative article.
    Kind regards

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Abby Dulux White on White is very white outside – blindingly so and I think that even in double strength it will be very light but it does have the blue base and I am sure this is why it has been recommended to you. As double strength White on White is not a standard Dulux colour, I don’t have a sample for it so I would highly recommend that you get the store to mix you up the smallest amount they can – probably a litre – so that you can test it out against the Vivid White. You might be better off just looking at Dulux Lexicon which is a standard blue based white Dulux colour which you can get in a small sample pot. Hope this helps! Samantha

  28. Emma McDermott says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are currently renovating our cement rendered 1970’s home and I’m trying to decide on exterior colour scheme (so hard!). So I’m going for Dulux Milton Moon on the main render, Woodland Grey for our tiled roof, Dulux Teahouse for the fascia, guttering, barge boards and fencing and maybe Endless Dusk on the garage doors. I’m trying to pick a white for the front door and Eaves, under cieling areas….maybe Lexicon Half or full strength? Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Emma This all sounds good – Dulux Milton Moon will be quite light on the render – particularly if the house gets a lot of sun and as Dulux Endless Dusk is only one tone darker you won’t see a great contrast for the garage doors – all OK as long as you are aware. I tend to favour slightly darker eaves and find that full strength Lexicon for both eaves and front door will work with the colours without being too blindingly white – just double check a sample of Dulux Milton Moon outside to ensure you get the depth that you are looking for. Good Luck! Samantha

      • Emma McDermott says:

        Hi Samantha, thankyou for replying. I think I could use some help with the colour scheme, do you do Color Consultations without needing to come to site? I really love the Hamptons look but our house doesn’t really lend itself to that look. Thanks

          • Emma McDermott says:

            Hi Samantha,
            Since my last message we have made some Decisions (ekkk). So the roof and guttering will be Monument. My hubby thought Milton Moon was ‘too blue’ but he likes Silkwort and Flooded Gum so we are just trying to decide between these colours for the external render. The white trim (and front door) I think will be either half Lexicon or full strength. And the garage doors and fencing will be Stepney. Do these colours all work ok together? Not going to clash? Thanks again for your help. Emma.

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Emma – it sounds OK – just consider the depth you want when deciding between Silkwort and Flooded Gum – these are lovely warm greys so won’t throw any blue – consider the aspect of the house – how much sun it receives etc. and this will help you choose between the two – good luck Samantha

          • Emma McDermott says:

            Hi Samantha, Thankyou for your help. We have decided to go with Flooded Gum as we are on a hill facing north west and get alot of direct searing sunlight in the afternoons. So I think it will look lighter on our house most of the time. Thanks again.

  29. Emma McDermott says:

    Hi Samantha, Thankyou for your help. We have decided to go with Flooded Gum as we are on a hill facing north west and get alot of direct searing sunlight in the afternoons. So I think it will look lighter on our house most of the time. Thanks again.

  30. Vanessa says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Am renovating a 1960s beach house. Am thinking about White Box for the cladding with Lexicon Quarter window trims, posts and eaves and Merbau decking. Do you think Surfmist for roof and gutters and fencing will work? Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Vanessa Dulux White Box is a lovely grey isn’t it and it will look great with Dulux Lexicon Quarter. I often specify Surfmist roof and gutters with this type of combination – it is a darker white but outside you don’t notice it. Sometimes though a darker Colorbond fence can look better though depending on the amount to cover – dark colours in a garden blend into the background while the Surfmist will really stand out. Good luck Samantha

  31. Joanna says:

    Oh my goodness you are a gem and I have spent so much time reading everything!

    I’m still a little lost. I want a White House of some sort! Not a bright white however.

    We have a shale grey roof, surfmist fascias and garage door and pearl white windows. I have seen some houses around me that are new that are trying to achieve the hamptons look with painting the house white however they have a surfmist garage door and a really bright stark white! How can I avoid this? I kind of like the warmer whites that won’t blind you! Would appreciate any help!!! Thank you jo

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Joanna you are right that the Surfmist garage door can completely throw a white house as it is only white when other brighter whites are not placed next to it. You will still achieve a white house by selecting one that is a similar tonal level to Surfmist – you will just see your windows pop more which is a good thing. Dulux White Exchange is a nice modern grey white that you could try a sample of which goes well with Surfmist. Glad you’re enjoying the blog Samantha

  32. Michelle G-D says:

    Dear Samantha,
    This blog, and all of your others are incredible… obviously … people have been loving it for over a year now! Thank you very much. I have learned so much :).

    I am trying to avert a disaster that has appeared on my new, but not yet finished, house .. thankfully there are a few coats of paint to go, so I’m hoping to get this sorted within the tender price ;).

    Our designed house is a combination of PGH urban blue (blue-black) brick and PGH aluminium brick with off white mortar, areas of concrete render and both square scyon cladding and hardie plank weather board. It is architecturally very interesting but the colours have me beat and I’m keen to avoid getting too busy.

    The roof, alfresco cappings and garage door are colourbond ironstone, the fascia and downpipes are dune (though fascia is not always present on some skillion roof areas) and the aluminum window/door frames are surfmist. Over all we were going for the blue, beige, white ‘coastal’ theme.

    The front render around the light maple front doors has now been painted in calico dress (which has turned out a heck of a lot ‘bluer’ than I expected ;), but certainly makes a beautiful statement) with a single rendered wall on the right of the entrance painted in surfmist and this makes the surfmist to look nice and ‘white’.

    The scyon cladding above the calico dress painted rendered wall is also painted in surfmist which fits nicely between the blue render and the blue-black brick with off white mortar.

    My biggest problem however is that the weather board that is positioned to the right of the surfmist painted scyon cladding, and above the blue-black brick, and next to a wall of aluminium brick has been painted in limed white half … and I am super unhappy about it :(.

    First .. the limed white half is too close to surfmist to notice a difference, yet too different to NOT notice a difference … if that makes sense!. Next .. because it is often in full sun, the limed white half is just too white and takes too much attention, even with the intense calico dress blue render diagonally below it !

    Initially the architect had chosen natural white for the scyon cladding and limed white for the hardie plank, but a colour consultant said the surfmist window frame surrounded by a natural white wall wouldn’t look good … so we went with surfmist for the surrounding wall instead of natural white … which looks okay with the blue and black but absolutely YUK with the limed white half that was subsequently chosen for the hardieplank.

    I’m wondering if any of this could be improved by taking the limed white half to limed white straight up? Or perhaps covering the limed white half with dune? Someone else suggested either calf skin or grey daze…

    After months of disappointment I’m finding myself grateful to see hand prints left over from the roofers all over the cladding … so that I can ask for the cladding to be repainted!! The only thing left to do is to choose a colour that will give me a sandy theme to fit between surfmist and calico dress. Arrrrgh! I would love some help regarding how to change the limed white half to help me get a nice coastal blend between the surfmist and the calico dress.

    Huge gratitude for helping all of us to think in colour and to then go on to create beautiful homes. I REALLY want mine to turn out beautiful …

    Smiles and thanks,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Michelle I don’t think that the limed white will be improved in full strength. We need to take the Surfmist as the white on your scheme and when introducing anything else it has to be quite different with more depth. Dune could work as you already have it on part of your house – it looks good with Surfmist and with Ironstone and by using it here will tie in your fascia and downpipes. Hope this works and is not too late………..Samantha

    • Michelle G-D says:

      Ah, wonderful Samantha!
      Not too late and I am absolutely stoked that you replied and also that your thoughts are in line with the ones I have been having throughout the week whilst waiting for your reply :). Thank you!!
      We’re both in agreement then … the Limed White ‘whatever’ needs to go.
      My husband and I agreed that there are enough colours and patterns happening already and in order to keep it ‘simple’ I have begged my builder to do me a massive ‘favour’ and cover over all the limed white hardie plank with surfmist.
      So far all I have is a ‘wink’ from him but that is as good as a Christmas present at this stage of the build 🙂 and I am going to point him in the direction of this blog now too!
      If we choose to change the hardieplank colour to dune in the future we can, but for now I am happy to have a clean white (surfmist) cladding slate at handover … and I can choose to work more colour in later.
      Thank you, thank you, thankyou so very much for your generosity of spirit Samantha … and I wish you and yours a wonderful Festive Season.

  33. George says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Love your blog, you have the gift of making the complex simple and understandable .
    We are in Adelaide and have an Art Deco rendered house built in about 1937, it has a terracotta red roof , the present paint as far as I can tell seems to be a straight white.

    What whites would you suggest for the walls and trim.?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi George A fresh white does suit an Art Deco house – particularly if they are the ones reminiscent of the 1930s ocean liners. But all the ones of this time suit that colouring. A good exterior white is Dulux White Exchange or half if you want it crisper. The key with exterior whites, unless you want a very ultra contemporary crisp look, is to select one that has a touch of grey to help with the strong Adelaide sunlight. For the trim it will really depend on how much you want to show it off but Dulux Lexicon Quarter is a nice crisp white. Try large samples of both to check you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  34. Chloe says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Our build is getting ready to start in feb and we are ready to choose colours. Our roof is going to be basalt (that’s the only colour locked in so far)
    For the weatherboards I’m thinking of using white duck half and team with a surfmist garage door. We like the look of a White House but not too stark white. It was suggested at our first colour consultation that we keep with surfmist on the windows but I’m worried about that. I’m thinking white windows would be better? Our internal wall colour is going to be natural white (possibly half strength). That will go better with white windows than surfmist windows right? What colour fascia would you suggest?
    Also, we are having a black front door – top half with glass panels, and single sidelight in matching style. I’d love to hear what colour black you suggest and should we paint the sidelight black too or just the door itself?
    Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chloe I like Surfmist on the exterior but if you are concerned about the interior colour then a Pearl white window will go much better with your wall colour. The brighter white windows will also give you some contrast to your wall colour – although not much as White Duck Half outside is very very light. Just bear in mind that your garage door will be a different white. If you do want the white windows then you shouldn’t add Surfmist to your fascia or gutter and I think it would probably make sense to use Basalt to tie in your roof. For your front door – I would just paint the door black -not the surround. Perhaps get a sample of the window and paint a large sample of your exterior wall colour and check you are happy with the effect. Hope this helps! Samantha

  35. Alesha says:

    Hi Samantha

    Love your blog! Hoping for some advice. We have a rendered 2 story house, east facing. We have monument tiled roof and gutters and aluminium Windows.

    We will have a light timber deck and handrail running the width of the facade with a timber front door. Considering painting the render a warm nuetral colour – tried calf skin too dark and cement looking, tried biege royal too cream in full sun, currently liking dulux ghosting with natural white double garage and posts/ballustrades/fascia.

    i painted a bit of the ghosting and i like it but someone told me it can look cool but we want it warm, what are your thoughts on ghosting outside? And the natural white trims?

    Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alesha I wouldn’t say that Dulux Ghosting is a cool colour but it is cooler than Calf Skin – Dulux Grey Pebble is the equivalent tonal level of Ghosting and 2 tones lighter than Calf Skin. There really isn’t much in it so I would paint a large sample board in Ghosting to see what you think – you won’t see a lot of contrast outside between this and Natural White but there will be some so this may be enough for you but test it first. Good luck Samantha

      • Alesha says:

        Thanks so much for your advice Samantha!

        We tested Ghosting, grey pebble and Heifer and have come to the conclusion that we need something a little more earthy (our home is a 1990’s 2 story brick home that’s been rendered and has few architectural features) all those other colours were too stark / grey looking. My husband really liked Beige Royal when looking at inside, so we’ve gone back up the tonal scale, tried Candlebark but it looked a little too green, we’re currently sitting at the same depth of colour as Calf Skin! and have tried Linseed which is really nice, however i now need the perfect white.

        I am currently testing Whisper White, which I like how it makes the Linseed tones look (ie. not too green and just a nice neutral) however i worry it’s too stark against the Linseed, what are your thoughts on Whisper White 150% or even 200%? Or is there a white that you just love with Linseed that i should try?

        Thank you so much for you advice.


  36. Anita Kay says:

    I have 2 days to choose my exterior colours and came across this post which has been amazing #thankyousamantha

    We have decided to do Colorbond monument roof and gutters.. For the fascia we are thinking Surfmist.. Our greatest issue is the eave and parapet mouldings and the window architraves.. We are wanting to render the house a grey colour and was wondering if I should do the mouldings and architraves in a lighter or darker grey colour than the render?
    Any grey colours you may recommend?! Some have mentioned Milton Moon but I’m afraid it may be too light?
    Also we are want to colour the front door & garage black..
    Should I be introducing white somewhere to contrast against the black/monument colours?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anita I hope I’m not too late but my advice is to have a little more depth than Milton Moon to balance out the black and there is absolutely no reason to have white trims unless you want to. White trim either gives a country feel or a classic Hamptons look. Darker trim can look great although remember that you do have Surfmist (off white) fascia. Endless Dusk is one tone darker in the greys so may suit but you just need to paint a large sample and put it against the front of the house as it will depend on the aspect and how much sunlight you receive. You need to have a difference of at least 2 tones to really see a contrast if you are looking for a darker grey trim or you won’t see the difference. Good luck Samantha

  37. Lou Wilson. says:

    Hi Anita..We have a very old Australian Miners Cottage..The colours are Plain tree Weatherboards with a Woodland Grey roof and trim..(verandah posts)
    The front door was a beige with an old wooden screen door..painted bright red)
    Have decided l want more of a Hamptons Cottage style look.. We now have a black front door..and a black wooden screen door..and have introduced a white trim..around the stained glass that surrounds the front door..The white suggested is Lexicon Quarter..The doors are Night Sky Colourbond..We intend on using the same white around the windows..The front door is done and really pops! Would love to know your thoughts about this colour scheme.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lou the scheme sounds lovely. Dulux Lexicon Quarter is a very crisp, cool white that is often used for Hamptons style schemes. It does work – you just need to be aware that it is very crisp so if this is the look you are seeking to achieve it will be right. Good luck Samantha

  38. Taylor says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I love reading all the posts and advice you have and I’m hoping you may be able to help me from my procrastinating nightmare.
    I have a house that is a mix of hamptons / country theme which has a colorbond roof (monument) with cladding top half and render bottom half. I am so undecided on what colours to use for the cladding and render and garage doors come to think of it. We have gorgeous timber stained merbau posts going around the home on a veranda that is yet to be paved and a timber front door. Originally I was going to do the Render in Dune and the cladding in Surfmist but am now second guessing. I do wish to keep a beige colour scheme as the house is not on the coast and doing a grey toned house would not suit the area I live in. Can you let me know what beige colours work well together with a monument colour roof. I love classic soft tones.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Taylor The beauty with Monument is that it is so neutral so doesn’t have an underlying colour and therefore goes really well with most colours. You could look at a classic combination of Dulux Mud Pack (mid tone) and Grey Pebble (light) – these are browns but with a touch of grey? Or you may need to go more classic – it’s difficult to say and you might benefit from a colour consultant as you have a lot of decisions to make. Good luck Samantha

  39. Dee says:

    Hi Samantha,

    My husband and I have lived in our white weatherboard home for 35 years. Our kids have all grown up and I am itching to give our home a face lift. Our home is a Californian Bungalow that has been extended, the previous owners replaced the original windows with large aluminium windows which I think lost some of the original charm. I am intending to place interior shutters on the windows to hopefully give the windows more character.

    I would like to paint the house in two different tones of white and I like charcoal grey for the front door and highlights.

    We love our home and know that it has so much potential. However I would love some advice/ tips on what whites go well together and anything else you could advise us on.

    Thankyou 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dee if you are using whites together on an exterior then you need to ensure that there is a large enough gap between them to see a difference. Don’t just place them next to each other, bear in mind the bulk and shadow that your house will create. You also need to think about the underlying tones. Dulux Terrace White has a blue undertone and goes well with Dulux Lexicon half strength or even quarter but I usually just use this on trims as it is very bright outside. So you need to consider the undertone you want – blue, neutral green or a creamier tone. Charcoal grey will generally have a blue undertone too and does look really smart on front doors and trim. I hope this has given you a starting point. Samantha

  40. Nicki says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I love your knowledge and ideas on the neutrals in this article. We have renovated the interior of our weatherboard Edwardian home in Victoria.
    We chose black japan stain for the floorboards in the entrance and grey, concrete look tiles in the kitchen and dining area. Our kitchen cabinetry is a mix of polytechnic black wedge ravine, Matt white, timber and marble (quite modern), therefore we decided on a neutral exterior due to our colour scheme inside. We are going with grey impression from Haymes but are torn between a white for the trim, door’s, eaves and frat work. Tossing up between Haymes white on white or greyology one. We dont want a huge statement, but a noticeable contrast that is not too in your face. Any ideas? Thanks Nicki

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicki Glad you have enjoyed the blog – your house sounds amazing! I think I would stick with the Haymes range and go with Greyology but you might want to consider number 2 as Greyology 1 will be very bright outside and will be in your face! Even Greyology 3 could work – you just need to consider the aspect of the house and how much sunlight it receives and how much of a contrast you do want to achieve. Good luck Samantha

  41. Sue Sloane says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Love all the information you share.
    Could you help? I like dulux Flooded gum but wondering which paint would be a shade light in you opinion with same base shade.
    Using monument roof/gutters and down pipes, pearl white windows lexicon quarter round windows and trims.
    Also really stuck on garage door color. Have you any suggestions? I was thinking maybe same color as walls as I think monument would be to dark and surf mist to much cleaning (light colour)
    Any ideas? Thanks Sue

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sue Dulux Silkwort is one tone lighter but it does get very washed out in the sunlight so you should try a large sample on an area that gets a lot of sun. I do feel that with your look that Surfmist will look the best but I know what you mean about the cleaning! Hope this helps Samantha

  42. Grace says:

    Hi Samantha. You are a total superstar! I have read all of these comments and haven’t yet seen one like mine, so here I go.

    We are renovating a 1960s ‘fake federation’ style home…weatherboards, terracotta roof. Its currently the colour of an old tooth outside so we are hoping to freshen it up with some nice whites!

    The inside of our house is Dulux Natural White. Should we mimic this outside? Surfmist trims? We have a Monument garage door and a very dark driveway, so that would be the only thing that is a different colour.

    Any wisdom totally appreciated.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Grace Dulux Natural White is a good exterior white if you are looking for some warmth. You clearly like the colour as you have it inside. However I wouldn’t put Surfmist trims with it. Surfmist is a good white for exteriors as it has some grey but once you put it next to a much fresher white like Natural White it will just look a bit grubby. So consider a white that is either much lighter like Vivid White or a touch darker if you want to see a contrast. Hope this helps Samantha

  43. Caroline Skene says:

    Hi Samantha, please help!!!
    I am having my weather board house painted, I chose Dulux Antique White for the boards, what should I paint the window and architraves in?
    I didn’t know weather to go which a brighter white a kgrey or even a black.
    I am a little confused now, the roof is terracotta not a bright orange but a subtle dark orangey with greyish look (old tiles)
    Their is a large veranda on two sides, from the front it looks very cottage like withe the veranda. I have decided on a black front door.
    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caroline you can go with any of the three choices but you have to consider the look that you want and whether you want to highlight and accent the windows. With cottages you do see people picking out the frame in black and then painting the architrave in a fresh white. Consider too what colour you have on your gutters and facias? With your veranda do you have posts and balustrades and if so which colour are these? Usually for a cottage look I would say to go with a crisp Vivid White. There is an image at the beginning of my post on how to find the right white for your exterior which is Dulux Antique White with a crisp white trim – this might be useful for you to see. Good luck Samantha

  44. Kelly says:

    Hello Samantha,

    I cannot begin to thank you for all of the responses you have posted on this site. Reading through them all has helped us immensely!

    My question today is about the actual aluminium window frame. We have chosen to paint our exterior Linea boards in Surfmist and Lexicon Qtr for our external window trims but wondered if you would suggest Pearl white gloss aluminium windows or should I choose Surfmist which is more of a Satin Matt finish. HELP!

    I look forward to hearing from you. ~ Kelly

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kelly Setting aside the finish, you need to consider the colour first. A Lexicon Quarter trim is almost a perfect match to Pearl White. This means that by painting your architraves in LQ and using Pearl White for the aluminium you get a really thick window against your Surfmist. If you go for the Surfmist window frame you end up with a stripy effect Surfmist/Lexicon Quarter/Surfmist. So it really depends whether you want your frames to link to the main walls of the house or to be the same as the architrave and create a wider band for the look of the window. You must also consider the look from inside. If you want a crisp white on your walls and architraves, Surfmist will really show up a lot more inside. I do favour a satin finish over gloss but I think I would look at the colour first. Hope this has helped rather than confused! Samantha

      • Sharon Russell says:

        Hi Samantha I love all the information you have shared and wondered if you could help me – I want a white house of some type. we are building in SA , coastal, south east facing and quite shaded on high side of the road, 2 story, skillion roof, mix of render and scyon. Internal Id like Lexicon walls,doors and pearl white windows with decor black/white/greys/ timber/concrete. Having pearl white windows I’m confused with external walls/roof/roller doors etc. I’d be thrilled if you could suggest colour schemes that go well with pearl white windows – surf mist has been suggested but I’m concerned it will look dirty. we will have a balcony decking and considering doing it in graphite.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Sharon The house sounds lovely but being south facing and shaded you may need to double check that Lexicon is right for you inside as it is a blue white and can appear cold. Perhaps look at half strength or even quarter to give you a crisp contemporary look without too much blue or if you want the depth of full strength then maybe consider a less blue white. For outside, there are lots of choices and you need to consider firstly your roof, gutter and facia colour and then find a white that ties in with this and gives you some contrast with the Pearl White windows. Basically anything will go with the windows – a soft grey, a warm white or a cool white so you need to consider the overall look of the house. Do you want a big contrast between the render and Scyon cladding or a simple look where you just rely on the different textures? Consider all of these points and then work backwards for your wall colours. Hope this helps Samantha

  45. Camille Elmir says:

    Hi Samantha – We have Antique White USA walls in our house and I am planning to paint skirting boards and doors/frames in a contrasting white. Do you know which of these two (which are recommended in article) would work best with Antique White USA?
    Dulux Lexicon Quarter strength or for a softer look Dulux Vivid White

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Camille Dulux Vivid White is slightly softer than Dulux Lexicon Quarter which is a crisper, cooler white. Therefore Vivid White would be my choice to partner with Dulux Antique White USA. Samantha

  46. Cassandra Forester says:

    Hi Samantha, love your post! We are looking to install security doors for our Californian Bungalow home. The exterior of our home is Hog Bristle and window frames are Berkshire White. Not sure whether to go for black powder coated security doors or whether to match the exterior colours of the home. Can you please advise? Also, if we do end up matching the door colour with exterior colour, which Dulux Powder Coating colour would you suggest. Thanks so much!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Cassandra I generally like to have the screen door the same as the trim colour but depending on what else you have on the house you can sometimes get away with a smart dark colour as the grill of the door is dark and so the overall effect can be preferable. I like Monument rather than black as it is softer but it depends what else you have. If you do want to match the frames then you could try either White Birch which is always a standard colour or Barrister White – neither match exactly though so you may be better of going with the Monument (which is generally a standard colour too). Good luck Samantha

  47. Linnie says:

    Hey Samantha
    Great article! I’m painting my 1903 miners cottage, weatherboards, beach house with Dulux White Box with Lexicon half strength trim for picket fences, shutters, windows etc. Question is half or quarter strength White Box? I’m torn! Kindest regards. And thanks in advance for your amazing knowledge.

    • Linnie says:

      Actually it’s Lexicon Quarter. And the cottage orientation is east- west so the living side gets full northern sunshine all day.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Linnie for an exterior, particularly facing west, I would opt for full strength White Box but it depends on how much of the green colour you want to see so it is best to try a sample of half and full on a large piece of board and leave it there all day to view at different times. There isn’t a right or wrong answer as it is a personal view of how much colour you want to see on the weatherboards. The house sounds lovely BTW! Good luck Samantha

  48. Sharon Arcus says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you so much for your helpful articles!!!
    My home is a 1950s weatherboard postwar cottage in Brisbane. It’s north facing single story with a zincalume roof.

    I’m considering painting the weatherboards in Dulux Timeless Grey with Shale Grey gutters and fascias. Is Shale Grey the best match for the zincalume roof? The casement windows, battens and trim have recently been painted Vivid White. Could you please suggest a suitable eave colour?

    I’m also considering using Dulux Terrace White or Lexicon throughout the interior. Again, the internal trim – casements, architraves and skirting – has been recently painted in Vivid White. Will I have enough contract between the walls and the trim with either of these wall colours?

    Thank you so much in advance – I’m so confused!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sharon I would use Shale Grey gutters with a Zincalume roof. You will certainly have enough contrast between Vivid White and either Lexicon or Terrace White for the interior – hope this helps Samantha

  49. Jess says:

    Hi Sam, we have a period home so are wanting a more classic look with bright white trim. Considering doing (full) hog bristle render with Dulux natural white trim, we have a woodland grey roof. Do you think these colours will work together? Thanks in advance!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jess These colours do definitely work together but the Hog Bristle will be very light outside. Dulux Russian Toffee or Self-Destruct are a bit darker and might be preferable? It does depend on the overall look you want to achieve – if you want an off white then Hog Bristle should be fine. Also consider the aspect of the house and paint up a sample board first to double check. Good luck Samantha

  50. Esther Kelly says:

    Hi Samantha, we are about to embark on a weatherboard ‘retirement’ renovation. The home is about a 1940 build and in very good condition. We will however change the windows with Trend Wideline double hung and considering ‘Surfmist’ as we prefer an all white exterior. Are we choosing the correct combination if we go with Surfmist as the exterior house colour too? The interior we have considered Vivid White throughout as it will have Easyclad VJ in all rooms. I would so appreciate your advice on this one.
    Kind Regards,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Esther Surfmist is a good external white window and by choosing the same colour for the exterior paint you get a seamless look and the Surfmist will appear very white. It’s only when you put a much fresher white (like Vivid White) next to it that you start to see the underlying grey in the Surfmist. You need to consider the inside too with powdercoated windows as the Surfmist will look quite dark in comparison with the Vivid White VJ cladding. If you think this will be a problem you might like to consider the Pearl White windows which work so well inside but will be very bright outside! It’s tricky with windows as the colour reads so differently outside to inside. Sorry this isn’t clearer but hopefully it has given you some help! Samantha

  51. Lisa Williams says:

    HI Samantha. I love your blog and it has been a great help with transforming the facade of our home. We have a ‘between the wars’ weatherboard bungalow and have just painted the exterior Dulux Te Kaha 1.5 strength. We will be getting a Zinc roof. I’m finding it difficult to narrow down the white for the trim. I want white with a decent enough contrast but not too harsh. I’ve narrowed it down to Natural white, Lexicon half and lexicon ( I know all very different!). Any advice regarding these colours with Te Kaha or any other suggestions? Lisa

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lisa As Te Kaha is a warm neutral I would be inclined to use Dulux Natural White with it – perhaps try a large sample outside with the wall colour to double check. Good Luck Samantha

  52. Mark says:

    Hi Samantha, we are about to start building our new home using the James Hardie Primeline boards. We are currently thinking of having a Basalt roof and guttering, Tranquil retreat weatherboards with a white trim around the windows as well as a white fascia. The white is where we are getting really lost! We are unsure on which white will go best with the grey we have selected. I would love your thoughts on this colour combination and also which white you would recommend for the trim and fascia?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mark If you are looking for a fresh, clean white trim with Dulux Tranquil Retreat, you should consider Dulux Lexicon Quarter – try a sample pot of this to see if you like it next to the other colours. Good luck with your new build Samantha

  53. Jemimah McCann says:

    Hi thank you so much for this article, it has me thinking ?
    I am building a house with surfmist roof, gutter and fascia. The weatherboard will be painted in shale grey (colorbond). I have aluminium balustrades and RHS posts as well as picture framing around windows that I need to choose a white for. Do you have any suggestions? My windows are powder coated white.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jemimah Pearl White is probably the window colour you mean and this is a good match to Dulux Lexicon Quarter – perhaps try a sample to double check you like it. This will certainly give you a lovely crisp white trim with the Shale Grey. Hope you love your new home. Samantha

  54. Liz says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks for all of your info, so helpful!

    I have an ironstone roof and gutters, surfmist fascia and dune render.

    The house is south facing so the front of the house is shaded so the colours will appear darker.

    Would you suggest white lustre or pearl white for the window?

    And what white exterior colour would you suggest to match these windows for the veranda posts so there is some contrast? I don’t think surfmist on the posts will give it enough contrast.


  55. Rafaela says:

    Hi Sam,
    Wow! I loved your article and reading through the comments. What an excellent source of info and it looks like you have come across a very common problem 🙂

    We are getting our previously yellow weatherboard, Hamptons style house painted but are reluctant to change the roof.
    The challenge for the roof is that it is a colour bond green roof (it’s been there 20 years but in todays colours, I would say Pale Eucalypt).
    Not my first choice!

    For the trims I have chosen Vivid White and for the house colour I am thinking either Natural White or Antique U.S.A.
    I don’t want a big contrast but still some, so quite happy in bright summer light for no contrast but at other times yes.
    We live in a coastal area but the house has a country/ traditional look.

    What colour white goes best with a green roof?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rafaela These whites will work with the Pale Eucalypt. It’s quite a soft grey green so will be pretty with this white on white scheme. It really depends a lot on how much you see of the roof, often you can just change the gutters to get a whole new look, but it depends so much on the style. Hope this helps Samantha

  56. Sam says:

    What great information… we have dulux dune exterior walls with surfmist garage door and considering a white refresh of trim colour… I’m a bit worried that crisp white may make our house look to dark and wanting to achieve a softer look. Will surfmist trims look effective with dune?

  57. Katherine Howell says:

    Thank you Samantha for this article. You have really inspired me to place a crisp white trim on my country home and given me direction on how to do this. I have China White cladding on my home and I’m thinking Lexicon Quarter like you recommend. However I am now starting to lose sleep about whether you would say this is too stark for China White as it is a beige. Would you recommend Snowy Mountains Quarter may I ask instead? Thank you so much again.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Katherine I do think that Snowy Mountains quarter will be a better complement to Dulux China White. Hope this helps and you get your sleep back! Samantha

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