Why I love a weatherboard home

Growing up in England, weatherboard homes were few and far between but I always admired the clapboard houses of East Coast America and longed to live in one of those.  Moving to Australia, I thought I would achieve my dream of having a weatherboard home, as they are referred to here.  They are one of the mainstays of Australian architecture, but sadly, I haven’t managed to buy one yet!  With a husband who loves brick houses and can’t see the appeal of the weatherboard, it is a constant struggle but I hope to get there in the end!  I may have to settle for a garden shed or summer house.

Why I love a weatherboard house

The weatherboard shadowline

Part of the appeal for me I think lies in my childhood dreams but what I have realised as a grown up and qualified designer is that the humble weatherboard, with its classic shadowline, is so much more receptive to exterior colour than a rendered house is.  You can easily get away with soft pastels, grey blues and greens and dark grey and even black on a weatherboard home that you can’t do on a one dimensional rendered finish.  Even classic white is elevated to another level because of the shadow that the overlapping boards create.

Why I love a Weatherboard House
Image – Resene Paints, colour Bali Hai

Different styles for a weatherboard house

Weatherboard houses also suit a more relaxed coastal or country style which really appeals to me.  These houses are less formal than a solid brick or rendered property and really just prettier!

The classic Queenslander with its elevation from the ground, deep porches and ornate details add another dimension again and frankly make me swoon with envy.  It’s almost enough to get me to move to Queensland – which I really love by the way – but I do find the heat is a bit of a challenge.  Still, with a cool drink, an overhead fan and a beautifully decorated verandah, I could learn to adapt!

Why I love a Weatherboard House

Related: How to find the right white for your exterior

Related: My guide to painting eaves

Related: Why I love a crisp white trim

Why I love a weatherboard home

For a true country look, you can't beat weatherboards in natural timber.  If you do want to keep the beautiful natural colour in the boards, you will have to commit to quite a bit of maintenance though as the boards will weather, particularly in a harsh environment or in a sunny western aspect.

The best approach if you don't want the maintenance, is to let the boards weather to a beautiful silvery grey.  In fact this is what a lot of people actually want to achieve from the outset and as long as you have used a good quality stable hardwood, then this is absolutely fine.

Why I love a weatherboard house
Photographer Ilya Aki

I do really love both looks but this timber home really looks great with the depth of natural colour in the boards, trimmed with black, the look is subtle and understated – just what a true country home should be.

I can’t think of a favourite colour for a weatherboard house as there are so many options that look great, so it really comes down to the look that you want to achieve.  For example, is the house a classic weekender by the coast?  If so then you could opt for a white or a classic pastel hue which is fun and gets you into the holiday spirit.

Why I love a Weatherboard House
Image – Dulux Australia

The classic blue and white colour scheme looks great on a weatherboard house and is equally at home by the coast or in town.

Why I love a Weatherboard House
Image – Resene, colour Enigma

Related: Australian Coastal Style – 7 steps to achieve this look

As well as looking good in natural timber, countryside weatherboard homes also look good in soft grey greens or white or to really get the farmhouse look, black might be the answer.  Or the weatherboard house may be in a smart inner city area, in which case a sleek grey may be more the ticket.  Endless possibilities!

Why I love a Weatherboard House
Image – Haymes Paints

Related: Don't paint your house black until you have read this

There is a heap of inspiration on my Pinterest Boards and it would be great to hear your comments and questions about weatherboard houses and colour schemes in the comments section below. Look forward to hearing from you!

Why I love a Weatherboard House
Image – Dulux Australia

Are you planning a renovation or building a new home?  You might also like my article about how to Make an Entrance – one of the most important parts of a house.

Related: Making an Entrance – 5 tips to follow

Are you considering painting your weatherboard house in grey?  This really is the neutral of the moment and is so successful on this style of house.  If you are then you might like to read this post:

Related: How to select the right grey for your exterior

Do you like the idea of completing your weatherboard home with a colourful front door?  This post helps you to fit the colour to your personality:

Related: Colourful Front Doors – what they say about you


Why I love a weatherboard house
Photographer Ilya Aki

If you are building or renovating or even updating the look of your home with a coat of paint, you should download my free comprehensive exteriors checklist.  This is in my Free Resource Library – you can sign up here.

17 thoughts on “Why I love a weatherboard home

  1. Paula says:

    I, like you, salivate at the sight of a Queenslander and I like you have a husband who strokes out at the thought of painting one. They have always been my favourite in all their variations from the most modest beach shack to the mega million dollar versions. I hope you get your wish I will probably not get to own my own but I did grow up in one so I am one up on you.

  2. Rita says:

    Hi Samantha, I have to say that I adore your blog and especially this post (I know you wrote it a while ago) – my family cannot understand why I bought a weatherboard and talk about us needing to upgrade!

    I am thinking of colour schemes and unfortunately have a red terracotta roof that I don’t love. Would like to choose a grey that will look almost white with whiter trim. Have been thinking Dulux Grey Pebble, Ghosting or White Duck with Vivid White or Natural White trims. I would really value your advice. Thank you x

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rita I am so glad you love the blog – makes it all worthwhile! By painting all your trim – gutters and fascia – you will lessen the impact of the terracotta roof, although these are often coveted and one of the things I loved about Sydney when I first arrived here. Dulux Grey Pebble is a warmer off white/grey than Ghosting and then White Duck is cooler again with a green undertone – all will work it just depends which one you prefer. I love Dulux Vivid White with these. If you wanted to make your gutters more practical as they will get dirty in a bright white you could think about a smart dark warm grey like Dulux Grey Eagle – try a sample first though! I hope your family all end up loving your weatherboard house as much as you do! Samantha

  3. Michelle says:

    Hello Samantha. First off, your blog is fantastic! What a wonderful resource! We have a heritage listed Queenslander we are about to repaint on a large leafy block. We were thinking of a beige/white colour combination to sit well against the green of our garden and white picket fence. I had been looking at Dulux Linseed for weatherboards with either Natural White or Vivid White for lattice and trims and maybe Colorbond Woodland Grey for the guttering. The corrugated iron is in its natural unpainted state and has some age to it which I love. My question is what is your favourite beige palette for a Queenslander?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Michelle I am always so jealous of people who have beautiful heritage Queenslanders – I absolutely love them! You certainly can’t go wrong with Dulux Linseed – it is a fabulous neutral which will still be nice and rich in the shade of your verandahs. I would be inclined to use a Natural White rather than a Vivid White, just to bring a bit of softness to the look. Dulux Calf Skin is a similar colour but just a bit warmer – Linseed knocks out a bit of the warmth which does make it a really great neutral. Dulux Oyster Linen is a touch more green – just a touch and again a lovely neutral – I like the idea too of bringing in some Woodland Grey trim. Good luck Samantha

  4. Jo says:

    Hi Samantha, I havebonly just discovered your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I have a 1950s Tasmanian vertical timber shack which I inherited from my grandmother. I have just started a long overdue reno and then I will do a repaint.
    It’s always been painted in the traditional Indian Red of that time, but I really don’t like that colour. I was intending on painting it a black, the alternative popular colour from that period due to the use of creosote to preserve the timber. My painter has suggested I don’t use black due to the expense and that a lighter colour is preferable.
    Can you recommend another colour that may have been used in the 1950s as I would really like to keep that heritage? It will have the large timer winder architraves in white as well as white french doors.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo I am not an expert on heritage colours of the 1950s and I don’t know why the painter is concerned with the black as it is being used over a relatively dark base colour but he probably feels that 3 coats will be needed to get a good finish? I don’t think you should have a light colour as that would make the house look beachy. There is a Dulux traditional paint colour called Lead Colour – this is a nice neutral mid tone grey that might be worth looking at as it would make the house nestle into its environment rather than stand out. But I would follow up with your painter again about the black – possibly Monument might be better as it is an off black and not so harsh. You should also check with your local Heritage Council if possible – hope this has helped a little. Keep in touch Samantha

  5. Jen says:

    Hi Samantha, wow, what a find. Have spent half my day reading through your blog and everyone’s questions and your responses. I’ve learnt a lot. Thank you.
    I have an older weatherboard cottage situated on a vineyard with extensive lawn area and established European trees. The cottage does receive full sun for the most part of the day. The landscape and vineyard does soften the cottage surrounds. The cottage faces North with an external deck and posts that has achieved the weathered silver/grey look. I’m wanting to leave the main poles and decking weathered but freshen the roofing section that adjoins the cottage also in white.
    I’m wanting to achieve a fresh clean white feel without the creaminess of some whites or starkness of being in full sun. I’ve read your suggestions of whites that have a green base because they are more neutral. Could you recommend a white for the external and trim for a contrast. I’ve tried sample pots of vivid white and lexicon for window trims and Terrace White for the walls but have found the terrace white throws too much of a blue/mauve tone. I’ve also tried Snowy Mountains half but feel it’s quite creamy. The tin roof has been replaced and is shale grey. The entire cottage will need to be painted including guttering and fascia etc. Ive also been looking at soft light greys with a white contrast to throw another option in the mix.
    I believe I’m at the stage of reaching out for your assistance if possible.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jen Either Dulux Vivid White or Dulux Lexicon Quarter are good trim colours and I think you might like to try a soft neutral grey rather than white to prevent any creaminess or blue undertones. Dulux Grey Reflection – also known as Dulux Lyttleton Quarter in NZ – might work for you? Good luck Samantha

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kylie I’m not 100% sure but it looks like Basalt. I would certainly use this colour with this type of scheme and a Monument trim. Unless you have the gutters the same as the roof then it is often difficult to see so with your roof you need to consider how the light will fall and the slope of the roof too. Hope this helps Samantha

  6. Alice Carroll says:

    Wow, the way you described the shadowlines that gets created through weatherboard cladding made me appreciate the aesthetic more. I’m thinking about getting a some exterior upgrades for my house in order to make it standout among the houses in the neighborhood that have the same kind of exterior walls. Perhaps weatherboard cladding would be a simple but elegant way to make my house more appealing.

  7. Anja says:

    Hi Samantha!
    I love your post about how to choose the right colour.
    I was wondering if you know which colour they used on the 3rd and 4th weatherboard? One has a light roof and one a dark but I’m trying to figure out which colour they painted the weatherboard.
    Thank you for your help

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anja I’m not sure what the colours are but I think you could achieve a similar effect with Dulux Grey Reflection which is a light white that looks great on weatherboards. Try a sample first and see what you think. Good luck Samantha

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