How to select the right grey for your exterior

Grey is the colour of the moment.  Whether you are searching for the right interior or exterior colour, grey inspiration is everywhere.   A grey exterior is a classic choice.

The designer's secret weapon though has always been this beautiful neutral.

In the past, grey has been a much maligned colour, however it is in fact one of the best neutrals to use in an exterior palette.  At some point grey has always been used on at least one substrate on a house, whether it is a simple slate roof tile that brings much understated elegance to a scheme or an architect's colour choice for windows.

A grey exterior has always been a winner and ensures that house colour palettes come together well.

How to select the right grey for your exterior
Image – Witt Construction

A grey exterior with white trim

One of the best features of grey, apart from being a sophisticated neutral, is that it goes so well with fresh white. A white trim with grey, whether it is used inside or outside, really elevates the colour to another level.

The grey shingle roof on the house above, partnered with a mid-blue grey for the walls and fresh white trim makes this a beautiful house – well I think so!  It really is a simple colour palette and gives you a very upmarket look.

Don't forget the mantra with colour palettes, that less is often more.  This grey exterior palette highlights the vertical weatherboards, gorgeous shingle roof and interesting windows with their generous architraves.  These are all great architectural elements that speak for themselves and don't necessarily need additional colours.

How to select the right grey for your exterior

This is another example of a blue grey exterior with white trim for a project that I undertook recently.

The owners use this little lakeside cottage as a weekender so didn't want anything too fancy.  The poor cottage desperately looked to be in need of some TLC but really all it needed were a few minor repairs and a simple colour palette to update the look.

It really is amazing what a simple paint transformation can achieve.

I introduced a darker grey on the foundation bricks to ground the house and provide a look of some substance.

The colours I used were Dulux Dark Door, Dulux Rangitikei River and Dulux Whisper White.

It's interesting to see on a sunny day how much this house appears to be blue.  This is a point you must never underestimate for a grey exterior, that the sunlight will wash out the neutral and you will be left with the underlying colour.  Not a problem of course, you just need to be aware of the effect.

How to select the right grey for your exterior
Image – Haymes Paints

The above house is another example of a grey exterior with white trim for a house.

This example is from Haymes Paints using their colours, Sense and Greyology 1. I particularly love their Greyology palette as it goes from 1 to 7 in various tonal stages – great for interiors but also useful too for a grey exterior palette where you need a couple of different lighter trims.

Always look out for paint companies that offer their neutral range in various tonal stages as this is a foolproof way to partner neutrals to ensure you select colours with the same undertone.

Related: Why I love a crisp white trim

How to see the undertones in a grey exterior

Talking about undertones, this is actually the main point that you need to take away from this article.  All greys, as with all neutrals, including white, will have an undertone of colour.

The grey exterior colours shown so far all have a blue undertone.

When a colour chip is viewed inside it will be very difficult to see what the underlying colour is.  Here is what you should do:

  • Buy a sample pot of your chosen grey and paint a large piece of card with two coats.
  • View outside in all conditions; morning, evening, a dull day and in bright sunshine.
  • View on different aspects of your house – the grey will appear different on the north to the south aspect.
  • This is when you will see the underlying colour and gain an appreciation for how this will look on the exterior of your house.
  • Repeat the process for your chosen trim colour to see how they appear together.

The house below has a grey with a warm purple undertone.  This colour looks great on contemporary houses, particularly smaller urban developments.  You will however love it or hate it so you need to be sure when you select a grey for your house that it is the right one.

How to select the right grey for your exterior

A grey exterior that has a purple undertone also looks very effective on federation houses that have terracotta roofs with hints of purple in the tile.

Select a grey with a purple undertone for guttering and fascia on these homes and you can't go wrong.  Consider too if you have brick on your house as you will often see a purple undertone here too and this is another time when a grey exterior trim like this will work well.

You're not really adding purple to your house scheme, just the right grey to complement the architectural features that are already there.

How to find the right grey for your exterior

I like Dulux Timeless Grey which is shown on the render below – a great neutral for an exterior scheme.

How to use Grey for exteriors
Image: James Hardie

The cottage below has a lovely neutral grey which doesn't have too much blue or purple.  These are often the greys that have a touch of brown and are much sought after at the moment.

Although a neutral grey exterior is timeless, the neutrality in it can leave the look a bit flat so don't be afraid to add a splash of colour.  This can be very effective on a front door, which is a great place to inject some personality and flair.  The sharp cool, yellow green shown here really lifts the colour palette and brings a touch of fun to the scheme.

How to select the right grey for your exterior
Image – Chic Little House

Related: Colourful front doors – what they say about you

This image below uses a palette of very warm greys.  These are the lovely brown grey neutrals that will stand the test of times and give you a very classic house.

The different substrates on this house offer the opportunity to use the same grey but in varying strengths which is very effective when offset with white. The use of a warm grey exterior palette ensures that the house is sophisticated and contemporary, yet welcoming.  I think in fact that this is one of the most timeless looks, in terms of colour, and will ensure that your house looks as good in ten years time as it does today.

How to find the right grey for your exterior
Image – James Hardie

How to select the right eave colour

The colour that you choose to paint the eaves can be dictated by the gutters and fascia or by the grey exterior wall colour.  Although I love a fresh white trim on a grey house, I prefer slightly darker eaves that relate well to the grey on the walls.  They may still appear just white as they will be a very pale grey and outside this will wash out.

My main point is that you need to consider this carefully as part of an overall grey exterior scheme.

Related: My guide to painting eaves

So, whether you want a simple grey and white palette, some colour in the mix or a palette of various different tones of grey, you can see that this is a very sophisticated and user-friendly neutral that will ensure you have an exterior colour scheme that will be enduring.

Follow my Pinterest board for lots more examples of neutral exteriors and don't forget to join the conversation and let me know about your decorating and colour dilemmas.

First and foremost though – don't forget to look at exterior colour schemes outside, in sunlight, on a large expanse before committing to a scheme.  A little legwork goes a long way!

How to find the right grey for your exterior


If you are in the midst of a renovation or just about to embark on building your dream home then you must download my comprehensive exterior checklist.  Be organised and ready for your builder or painter or simply use it to get your thoughts in order.  The checklist is free from my Resource Library together with other e.books which you may find helpful.  I am regularly adding to the library – everything here is free.  Download here

Still need help?  I offer an online colour consultation service.  From one question through to an entire colour scheme, I will have a package to suit you or can tailor one for you.  Find out more here.

Interested in reading more about this neutral?  Then you may like to read this post:

How to find the right neutral grey

The white that you partner with your chosen grey can also be hard to pinpoint.  You might find that this article is also useful background reading:

How to find the right white for your exterior

Still looking for more information?  Then you might like this article:

How to achieve a classic neutral exterior

270 thoughts on “How to select the right grey for your exterior

  1. Pete says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Your blog is great. We are currently trying to select a grey for the exterior of our new two storey – for the fascia (flat roof), small sections of Axon panelling, and garage door. We wanted a charcoal. We have spotted gum cladding as a main feature, plus large steel structure in ferrodor natural grey that has a corten rusty steel laser-cut screen in it. There’s also rendered white wall. Plus a floor to ceiling thin Bowral blue brick wall. Sound a lot when you list it like this! We were looking at Dulux Domino and Klavier. Domino seemed seemed quite a flat grey in the sunlight. We were slightly leaning towards Klavier as this was darker, but some people see purple. I can’t see it, but am worried we will see it more over a large surface. Are there any other dark greys you would recommend? Also we were thinking Lexicon for the white wall, but see that it matches better with Domino. If we went with Klavier, could you recommend a white that is still very white? We also saw your advice on full, 1/2 and 1/4 for interior walls/skirting etc. Is there a guideline for (render) walls and eaves for exteriors. Any advice much appreciated!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Pete Your new house sounds great – Bowral Blue bricks are one of my favourites. Dulux Lexicon is a good exterior crisp white and will work with either Dulux Klavier or Dulux Domino. Klavier does throw purple but you won’t necessarily see it – it’s basically more of a warm blue and Domino is cool blue. Both are great exterior greys but I think with your brick I would lean towards Domino which is more of a charcoal colour. If you feel that Domino is a bit flat, you may prefer Dulux Baltica or Maximus which shows more blue – still very dark and grey but with more colour showing through it certainly won’t appear as flat as Domino. Consider the aspect too though – you will see more underlying colour coming through any grey that you select if the wall is on a north or west aspect. Southern or Eastern aspects don’t have as much sunlight on them and therefore they grey doesn’t get washed out. Whites get twice as dark when they are horizontal and used on eaves but you also need to go a little darker than you think here as they will get dirty! I hope this helps with your decision making! Samantha

      • Anne Brown says:

        Hi Samantha, hoping you can help. I have woodland grey colourbond roof and burgundy and cream trimmings. Would like to change the burgundy and cream. My windows are cream which I can’t change so don’t want them to stand out if possible. Thanking you in advance. Regards Anne Brown

          • Jo says:

            Hi Samantha.
            I am really struggling to get the right grey for the exterior. There were 2 I loved, now I have seen a 3rd.
            My 1st choice was Silkwork- full or half?
            The 2nd Grey pebble.
            And now I like shale grey.
            I want a light grey with no blue & possibly surfmist for roofing..thoughts would be fantastic.
            Many thanks

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Jo Silkwort is a lovely warm grey – half strength will be Dulux Dieskau which is very pale and in some lights just off white. Grey Pebble is more of a neutral greige and again will be quite light once outside. Colorbond Shale Grey is a classic at the moment – a very neutral grey – all will work with Surfmist roofing but remember that if you have Surfmist gutter/fascia test this out next to all of your chosen greys so that you can see the effect and how much contrast there will be. Good luck! Samantha

          • Anne Brown says:

            Hi Samantha, thank you at the moment the gutters are burgundy, fascia is cream so if I do the above woodland grey. What about up in the peaks where backboard is cream and burgundy timber trims. Wish I was able to attach a photo

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Anne Sorry for not getting back to you sooner – this is all starting to get hard to follow! You can email me photos but then to review in detail I do charge a fee – I may have got back to you too late though but if you are confused and would like some help then you can email me separately. Samantha

      • Leah Meszaros says:

        Hi Samantha, we have chosen Silkwort for our exterior, we are going with lexicon for the white trims, but still can not decide on a roof colour. Would surfmist be too light? Thinking shale grey may be too matchy? Or do we forget the light colours and go with a dark roof?

        • Louise Hudston says:

          Hi Samantha I am just about to start a 3 storey coastal project the rear overlooks harbour east and the front west overlooking ocean. Want to create modern contemporary coastal .. looking at surfmist acrylic texture as the main .. light grey window frames .. the height of the build will be broken up with horizontal ship lap boards that I would like to do in a white with a good contrast to surfmist .. my facia and roof also surfmist!

          • Samantha Bacon says:

            Hi Louise you will need to go very light with the white to get a contrast, particularly for the west elevation. It’s difficult to say without seeing the elevations of the house – possibly Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter. You could try a large sample of that on a board which you can move around. I do have an e-consultation service if you wanted me to look at it in more detail for you Good luck Samantha

    • Carol Mullen says:

      Hi Samantha,

      I’ve just come across you blog and have loved reading your entries, and learned a lot along the way. Thank You.
      I’m building a new home with weatherboard front and second storey and a rendered ground floor (a limitation of the builder but hopeful the combination will goes well.) I’d like a sharp fresh, modern hamptons look and currently have selected shingle like tiles in monument for the roof, lexicon quarter trims, a black front door and Highgate for the walls. We live on a corner block with parks at the front (south facing) and the side (west facing). I’m concerned that the Highgate is too light. Tranquil Retreat was suggested by somebody though this did not seem as fresh a colour. I’ve also looked at Miller Mood though think this is too dark. Is there a mid way colour you could suggest for the walls. I’d appreciate any advice you could provide. With much thanks, Carol

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Carol Yes – Dulux Highgate is very light outside. Dulux Lewis is this colour but a couple of tones darker. It doesn’t have the grey that Tranquil Retreat has and is a touch lighter than Miller Mood. As with Highgate, it is a warm blue in that it reads a little lavender so double check that you like it out in the sunlight. Paint a large sample board with two coats to check it first. Good luck Samantha

      • Karyn says:

        Hi Samantha I was just wondering what colours is the 7 th house pictured as you scroll down . The one after the yellow door picture . The image – James Hardie two storey house . Thank you

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Karyn This isn’t my work – it is a project that James Hardie was involved with so I can’t say for sure – the colours are warm earthy brown greys rather than the full on greys though so you should be looking at that type to get this effect. I’m sorry I can’t be of any more help. Samantha

    • Siobhan Heyblok says:

      Hi Samantha,
      Great article. We have just painted our home in paving stone dulux and domino, however the contrast is so much that the house appears almost white. Can you recommend a better grey to use. Not sure if to darken the render colour or lighten the trims. Thanks for any advise

      • Samantha Bacon says:

        Hi Siobhan it is probably easier and cheaper to adjust the trim colour – a lighter trim will make the Paving Stone appear darker. But you do have to consider your other accent colours and whether getting rid of the Domino is the right thing to do. So consider things like posts, windows, garage door, front door etc. before changing anything. If you do want to change the main house colour then Dulux Rogue and Randall might be worth a sample as these are darker versions of the Paving Stone and will give you less contrast. Hope this helps Samantha

  2. Julee says:

    Hello Samantha
    We are re painting our house shortly and would like your advice. Our house is two storey with render at the bottom and vertical cladding at the top. We have Colorbond Jasper for the garage door, skillion roof, gutters, fascias and feature panels. The house faces East and sits high above the road.
    We would like to paint the bottom either Dulux Klute or Stepney and the top either Dulux Tranquil Retreat or Diesku. These colours appear to be grey/brown and we are hoping they will blend with the Jasper. What do you think

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julee I think you should be looking more at Dulux Stepney and Dieskau as they are warmer greys and will go better with Colorbond Jasper – Klute is a touch green. Do try on a large piece of board though next to the Jasper elements to check that you like the combination and that it suits your house aspect. Good luck Samantha

  3. Trish says:

    Hi Samantha, Would you recommend using Surfmist Half Strength for a rendered exterior of modern two storey with White Birch Window frames. Roof, trim, verandah railings and fencing are all Surfmist, but exterior paving and tiling is sandstone colour. Also thinking of using Flooded Gum on some exterior rendered retaining walls. Should we go white exterior walls or a light neutral grey or greige? Keep swinging between a light grey and white which I love but dont know if cream windows will be too obvious with white. If we go white I want it to match Surfmist roof rather than be a mismatch of whites so am reluctant to look at other warmer whites.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Trish Surfmist half strength will be very white and may make the White Birch frames more obvious whereas a greige will make them blend in really well and will still look great with lots of Surfmist accents in the roof, trim, fencing etc. Although white is the exterior colour of the moment – it does get dirty and I do think will exacerbate the yellow in the frames. A greige with a touch of grey/brown/neutral green will work the best. Good luck! Samantha

  4. Ali McKellar says:

    Hi Samantha, Your blog is amazing! Such a great reference for my choice of house colours. I am about to start painting my exterior, it’s a little old fibro cottage in the Perth hills, nothing fancy, but plenty of character.
    I decided on Dulux linseed with whisper white trim (It has a red roof which wont change). I am now having second thoughts, thinking linseed might be a bit green. Do you think I should go for something like flooded gum instead? It’s seems to be a bit more brown I think. Thanks for an incredible blog!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ali glad you are enjoying the blog. I really think that either colour will go well. I had a client recently deciding upon Linseed and a colour similar to Flooded Gum – we loved them both with white trim and they both worked, it was just a personal preference. Dulux Linseed has to be one of the classic neutrals that has looked good for year. Dulux Flooded Gum is a touch more modern as it is a grey but it does have a slight lilac hue in certain lights. I don’t want to put you off as you won’t have a lilac house but you need to be aware of this. Both will go well with the red roof and I can see Flooded Gum working on a cottage with character. Have you painted large boards with both samples and looked around the exterior from different aspects? A bit time consuming but a great way to see whether you are making the right choice. Good luck! Samantha

  5. Leisa Cabban says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you for providing such great advice regarding exterior colour choices. We are building a very modern style two story house with a grand entrance. The ground floor external will be rendered while the first floor will be a James Hardie Matrix panelling. I am thinking of Dulux Tranquil Retreat for all of these walls with monument grey windows.
    The entrance will be the feature and at this stage will be covered in James Hardie woodgrain panelling. It will have mid/dark-grey marble tiles (800mm x 800mm) on one side of the external entrance next to the front door, going up to about 3 metres in height. The colour of the woodgrain panelling has left me a little confused……I’m not sure whether to paint it in a cedar colour, or keep with the grey tones?
    And secondly, I am wondering if the Dulux tranquil retreat will be too light to use externally?
    Thank you in advance for your expert help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leisa I love the idea of introducing the woodgrain paneling and keeping it a cedar colour as natural timber tones work so well with grey colour schemes and enhance them rather than clashing with them. Dulux Tranquil Retreat may be a little light but it depends on the look that you want – it certainly will be a big contrast against the dark grey marble tiles and the Monument windows – perhaps sample a couple of tones darker on a large board to see the difference? Good luck Samantha

  6. Julee says:

    Hi Samantha
    Would you be able to tell me what the colours are in the James Hardie home. I love the greys and brown combination. It looks beachy, just what I want.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julee I love it too but I don’t know the paint colours unfortunately. The gutters are Colorbond Dune with Colorbond Surfmist for fascias, eaves and garage. A good local colour consultant would easily be able to replicate this for you and would be well worth the investment to get it right – half the battle is seeing something that you love and a good consultant would be able to make it work in your setting. I hope this goes some way to helping you Samantha

      • Julee says:

        Thanks Samantha. I have engaged a Dulux colour consultant two months ago and she suggested Dulux Bogart and Dulux Heifer to me because I have the Colorbond Jasper. I prefer the grey/Browns and because my house is similar to the Hardies one I was steering more towards something like that. I think I am going to go with either Dulux Malay Grey or Stepney for the dark and Dukux Silkwort for the light. I have Colorbond Jasper as a vertical feature near the centre of my home covering both floors as well and the lawn and garden are about 4 metres to the front. I wish I could send you a photo for your opinion?
        Thanks for all your help and I love reading everything on your site.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          You could certainly give this a try if you prefer the greys – Malay Grey and Stepney would work well – Silkwort will be very light – but try them on large sample boards next to the Jasper to check that you like it. good luck Samantha

  7. Lesley Everett says:

    I have a small weatherboard home that is undergoing a major overhaul. I have a new roof in Surf Mist. Windows and doors are in matching colour. I was looking at Evening Haze as the exterior wall colour but it is much more grey than I had anticipated and in the areas that receive little direct sun the colour is quite dull . Colour cards from various paint brands seem to indicate that Evening Haze has a different base to what the actual colour has. I am keen to have a colour that is closer to what the colour cards represent and was wondering if you would have any suggestions as to what colour would more closely match the colour cards. The paint chart that I am looking at is an Accent Colorbond one.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lesley I find that the Accent printed colour cards are not always a close match to the real Colorbond colours and each paint company may match them slightly differently. I find that Colorbond Evening Haze is a close match to Dulux Apparition which has a yellow base but is fairly grey. If you really like the Accent Evening Haze colour then you should get a litre of this brand made up – they should be able to match it exactly to what they have printed. Hope this helps! Samantha

  8. Joanne says:

    Hi Samantha
    We are building our forever home and at the stage of selecting exterior colours
    We found that after many sample pots & shades of grey I’m seeing blue, our home is weatherboard with louvre s white trims and all windows…the roof eves ect will be surfmist also… I have narrowed it down to 2 finalists deluxe timeless grey or flooded gum, what shade of white do you suggest

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo it really depends on how much of a contrast you want to see between the weatherboards and the trim. As you are already using Surfmist on the house you can just opt to use this as your trim colour and then you are not introducing another white. Otherwise something with a touch of grey like Casper White half or quarter if you want more of a contrast – test them out first though! Samantha

  9. Leonie says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I have bought a timber frame asbestos clad house on a country property is a pretty boring rectangle shape so no scope for doing a grey mix like the James Hardie house which i like the look of but I also love the look of the dulux timeless grey weatherboard house. It is not a forever home for me so for resale I was going to reclad walls and roof with colorbond – thinking dark grey on roof maybe woodland grey and a lighter Grey on walls – which colour do u think is most similar to Dulux timeless grey? Any tips would be awesome

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leonie Woodland Grey is a classic Colorbond choice for the roof and Shale Grey would be the closest for the walls but it might be a little light. Dune has a touch more depth but is a warm grey – it does look really nice with Woodland Grey though. On my article about neutrals for an exterior, there is a Dulux image of a house with a Woodland grey roof and painted Dune walls – this would give you an idea of how it could look. Good luck! Samantha

  10. Pamela Bunting says:

    Hi Samantha…

    I have recently purchased a small federation minors cottage in a gun barrel style… I have no idea what colour to paint it…It is on a small block and front verandah is right up to front picket fence… I would like to paint it different to all the greys around at the moment… I like greys but the neighbours are greys, whites and creams… I’m in a real quandary as to which way to go… I can send a pic if ok..

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Pamela There are lots of considerations but I think if you stick to a neutral palette of warm grey browns rather than the whites and cool greys then you will have something that works. It is really personal choice so you might need to look at Pinterest to get some inspiration. I do consultations online but I’m not doing them at the moment so can’t review any images – this is something I will do again in the future though. Perhaps a local colour consultant could give you some advice? Good luck Samantha

  11. Michael Gorey says:

    Any idea what paint colours the 7th image down from the top would be? The James Hardie picture with the facade that has the rendered garage and scyon weatherboards. The bottom floor has a nice warm grey and goes well with the lighter grey on the top floor.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Michael I’m sorry I don’t know for sure what this colour is – James Hardie may help you? Otherwise if you use this as inspiration a good local colour consultant will be able to get the look for you. Samantha

  12. Amanda says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thanks for taking the time to offer so much advice on your blog – there is so much to learn when choosing paints!
    We are choosing exterior paint for our renovation of a weatherboard house. We’ve used a Colorbond Shale Grey roof and gutters, and Surfmist fascia.
    We’ve been toying with using Shale Grey on the exterior walls as well with window trims in either Surfmist or vivid white (after reading your post about whites I thought Surfmist might be better in our harsh sunlight). We have ironbark timber feature posts and a natural timber front door.
    We are situated in Central Qld so harsh sunlight, and lots of it, is our reality.
    What are your thoughts on this? I’ve painted the weatherboard on each side of the house with the Shale grey and I like it but don’t want it to be too purple. Also, if I used Surfmist on the exterior trims would you paint the soffits the same colour?
    Again, thanks for your help.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amanda I have clients who have used Shale Grey on their weatherboards and have been happy with the end result as it is a pretty neutral grey and I don’t think will prove to throw purple and I wouldn’t really go any lighter in your environment as it will all be too bright. You can use Surfmist on the soffits but sometimes people prefer the effect of half strength Surfmist. This is because colours get darker when they are horizontal however I am not a fan of having my eaves too light as it is a natural collecting place for dust and cobwebs! You can go either way. I hope this helps Samantha

  13. Anne says:

    Hi Samantha, thankyou for such an informative blog. We have a heritage style weatherboard cottage with a Colourbond Windspray roof. The timber windows are Dulux Antique White USA in water based gloss. The weatherboards are currently Dulux Doe in low sheen but I want to change them as almost the entire neighbourhood is grey! I would like the weatherboards to also be in Antique White USA but am worried it will be all too bland. I am worried double strength will look cream which we don’t want. We don’t want to repaint the windows, could you please advise whats best. Thankyou so much for your opinion 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Anne yes double strength of Dulux Antique White USA may be too creamy. Perhaps look at samples of Dulux Rice Crop or Swedish Moon. These work with Antique White but have a little more depth without the creaminess. They will certainly be warm off white neutrals outside but not too yellow. However it is important that you try out samples on the elevations as a north aspect will be different to a southerly one. Remember too that with weatherboards you get a lovely natural shadow line which will make the overall look different too and adds some contrast to the frame. Depending upon the amount of sun though you may not see much difference at all and this is where you will need to look at the samples in situ. I hope you love your departure from the grey zone! Samantha

      • Anne says:

        Thanks so much for your suggestions Samantha, I will check out those 2 colours! What do you think about the other option of just painting the weatherboards the same colour as the timber windows in Antique White USA. Do you think it would be all too bland or would the shadows of the weatherboards add interest anyway plus the fact the sheen level will be lower than the gloss on the timber windows? Kind Regards Anne 🙂

  14. Andrea says:

    Hi Samantha

    I too am deciding on exterior colours & need some help.

    I have decided on a colourbond shale grey roof & gutters & colourbond s urfmist facias. I also plan to do the windows & trim in a vivid white.
    I have tried sample pots in shale grey & half strength shale grey for the main house colour. I feel the full strength shale grey is too grey for me but do you think the half strength will look too washed out?

    Thanks in advance

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Andrea the aspect of your house is really going to make a difference here – north or west and the colour will be a lot more washed out than south/east. If you have weatherboards, this too makes a difference as you can often get away with a lighter tone as the boards give a natural shadow line. Colours usually appear lighter when they are on the entire house too. Vivid White gives a really crisp contrast so I think you could get away with the lighter one but it really does depend on aspect, substrate and the overall look and feel you want for your house. Good luck Samantha

  15. Susan says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thanks for this wonderful blog! I’ve just been reading the comments here and saw that colours look darker when painted on weatherboard, and have a question for you. Our about to be painted house has a rendered exterior with large gable ends, which are weatherboards (south facing) sitting over the top of a surfmist garage door. I was going to paint the render and the weather boards the same colour grey (I’m on my sixth sample pot and everything makes the surfmist look cream). The rear of the house has a second story in weatherboard and I had planned to paint it half strength surfmist or Casper white. Should I paint the weatherboards on the gable ends the same as the rear of the house or the render colour to not clash with the surfmist door? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  16. Clair says:

    Hi Samantha. I am in colour hell, please help!
    I am renovating a 1930 federation home that is tuckpointed red brick at the bottom with top half rendered, roof is dark grey tile.
    I have added a large exterior wall which has a large expanse of solid wall and then wall and pickets at the front, it is a corner block. I had my heart set on a dark wall as I will have a pool and deck run alongside and from inside that would look great but I am concerned that it will be too much from the street, look too bold.
    If I do go ahead with a dark colour I was thinking of Monument to match in with new gutters, I do like Woodland Grey but I have heard it can look greenish in full sun. If I do go ahead with a dark wall what colour would you suggest for the house and the pickets? What colours would complement Monument and red brick without looking cold? Want to keep some warmth without going beige.
    I am considering the change to a light colour for the exterior wall however everything I look at my husband says it will just look like concrete.
    I also need to take into account that I am using a coloured render so it will probably look darker again.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Clair it is so difficult to advise on this one but my feeling is to go bold with the wall but look at the range of colours from one of the paint companies rather than restricting yourself to the Colorbond range. Perhaps consider a greige – mix of neutral brown/grey which is more sophisticated than beige but not as harsh as Monument. This is a big decision as you need to tie in other elements and as you are in colour hell have you considered a friendly colour consultant? For a very small investment I believe it will be worth it in your case. Sorry I can’t be anymore definite but hope this helps Samantha

  17. Deanne says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience with colour seletions in your blog – so helpful.

    We are renovating a 1990’s WA coastal home in a modern Australian hamptons/coastal style,and it has a 25 year old roof which is currently appearing closest to Dune in colour.

    I couldn’t see any posts regarding mid strength grey/brown render colours to suit Dune on the roof and with a suitable shade of white on the gutters and fascia, plus some cladding, and white windows and front door, and a double and single roller door in light or white colour.

    We also have a rendered wall across the front which we would like in a slightly darker colour to the house render (but they can’t be too dark as we are coastal and fading will be an issue.

    I haven’t seen too many warm grey roof colours like Dune with white gutters and fascias in Australian design trends (apart from surfmist on surfmist which is very common) but a few examples in US designs.

    We would really appreciate your suggestions on some render colours for the house and front wall, plus the idea of a white gutter and fascia, and the shade of white we could consider – would like visit white on windows and trims and cladding. We also gave 4 cladding filled triangle barge board featured which will need a colour also.

    Reckless grey was too dark and I like powered rock and flooded gum but not sure on the best shade of warm grey to suit Dune.

    Many thanks


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Deanne If you visit a Dulux trade store and ask to see their Atlas you will see a colour called Dulux Grey Pebble – look at this line as it gets darker and possibly select from here – Grey Pebble for trim and then at least two to three tones darker for the wall – these go well with Dune and are grey/brown. You might need a colour consultant though to pull it all together for you with trims, garage etc. The trade store can help you there and you also receive money off of your paint. Good Luck and glad you have found the blog helpful! Samantha

  18. Jo-Anne Border says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are building and fairly confused – hope you can help. The house is a tri level and from the front you will see the street level and half of the upper level as the block slopes back from the street. The street level will be rendered and the upper level will be board. We have chosen Colourbond Basalt for the roof, guttering, fascia, windows and garage door. We will have some timber around the front entrance and door.
    A colour consultant recommended Dulux Ghosting but it looks very light. We saw a house we liked and it is done in Dulux Rakea – it looks great on the house but the sample looks really dark and a bit brown – is it too dark?
    We are currently renting and the internal colour is Dulux Grey Pebble Half – it’s beautiful and we are considering for the internal walls. Will Grey Pebble full strength be too light for outside?
    Many Thanks in advance. I have been reading your forum for some months and the advice is great – now it is decision time!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo-Anne You have to go much much darker than you expect to for an exterior colour. Dulux Grey Pebble Half will look even lighter than Dulux Ghosting. I have successfully used Dulux Rakaia on lots of exteriors and people love it – it is from the New Zealand range. A slightly lighter neutral is Dulux Mangaweka Remember when comparing colours on houses that you see to consider their aspect – is it the same as yours? For example, does the front elevation face north or west and therefore receives a lot of strong sunlight through the day or is it south facing. The aspect has an enormous impact on how the colour will look on your house. Have you read my article on how to achieve a classic neutral exterior? This guides you through this process. But I can certainly give Dulux Rakaia a big tick – just test it out first!! Samantha

  19. Jo-Anne Border says:

    Thanks so much Samantha – will check out Mangaweka. In the mean time we have had a paint shop recommend Haymes Pale Mushroom 4. Looks good but again not sure if too light! Our front facade will face South West.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jo-Anne Haymes Pale Mushroom 4 is a lovely grey – more of a grey than Mangaweka which is a brown neutral. If you are worried about it washing out – which I think it will on that aspect, you could try Pale Mushroom 6 for more depth. Good luck Samantha

      • Jo-Anne Border says:

        Thank you once more for your reply – just one more quick question and I think I might have used up my time! Do you think there will be enough contrast between Dulux Rakaia and Basalt windows? We sometimes see houses that look a little washed out with too much grey. With Basalt roof and garage what colour would look best if we render our entrance columns a different colour (they have timber posts at the top). That’s 2 questions – sorry.

  20. Carol says:

    We are about to start renovating our small post war weatherboard in suburban Brisbane. First job is a new steel roof but I am going crazy trying to decide on a colour. Surfist is my husbands choice but I think it could be too blinding. I like Dulux Powder Rock, Timeless Grey, Oyster Linen, Taupe Stone. Could you suggest a neutral roof colour that would work with these . I also saw a house (HB Sept.16) painted in Wattyl Marina Pearl but could not pick its roof colour. Thank You

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Carol Colorbond Evening Haze springs to mind with this this palette – it is very similar to Dulux Oyster Linen. It is still very light but just takes the edge of Surfmist. You can always go a little darker on your roof choice and then have Surfmist gutters and fascia – that way you get the practicality of a darker roof – thinking of leaf stains etc. but your trim is nice and fresh to go with various greys that you want to use for the walls. It is very difficult to pick a Colorbond roof colour on a roof as the sun makes many of them look the same and you can’t see what it is until you look at the gutter and fascia which is flush with the wall. So this could be a compromise. Colorbond Windspray is another nice roof colour that looks silvery but is a touch darker – a mixture though of blue/green depending on the light. Also consider your window colour and garage in the whole mix – there is a lot to think about! Good luck Samantha

  21. Julie says:

    Hi Samantha, l am loving your blogs and need help with exterior colours for a beach house we are renovating on the Surfcoast in Victoria. We have red terracotta bricks with grey/brown grout on two side sections of the house and weather boards on the west, north and east. The house faces south. We are looking at Dulux Gosting for the weather boards which works well with the terracotta bricks. Surfmist for the guttering and facia. You cannot see the roof as it is flat. We’re we need help is with a white that will work with these greys. We have pearl white sliding aluminium doors leading onto the top decks and balcony and are having trouble deciding on a white paint for under the eves and the windows that need to be painted that will work in with the pearl white aluminium and greys. We were looking at Dulux white on white? Grateful for any advice you can provide. Julie

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julie You can ask the paint store to mix you a white to match Pearl White – this may be the best option for your window trim as you need something very white against Ghosting which will in itself appear very pale outside. If you have Surfmist on your guttering and fascia you can ask for a half strength Surfmist for the eaves. Colours go twice as dark when they are horizontal so by doing this your eaves will look roughly similar to your trim. Alternatively if you want to go with a Dulux paint colour for your window trim you can look at Lexicon Quarter which is a lovely fresh clean white and doesn’t have the stronger blue undertone that Dulux White on White has. Try out samples first to see what you think – hope this has helped! Samantha

  22. Julie Brazzill says:

    Hi Samantha
    I love the colour palatte of the James Hardie contemporary home above on your blog. We are building a similar home at in the bush with a similar garden. Could you give me some ideas of the Dulux greys that would be similar? Is it Basalt colour bond Roof with surf mist white and a flooded grey wall colour? or more warm greys with woodland grey Roof and Dune wall colour and surf mist white… So confused which greys to use in the bush with a north facing sunny block. I really like the James hardie picture’s colours but unsure which greys/ white it all is?
    Kind Regards,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julie It looks to me as though the roof here is Dune with Surfmist fascia and Surfmist garage and windows. You could look at Dulux Vanilla Quake through to Dulux Ricochet – there are 3 colours in between and a Dulux store will be able to help you with this. This is a stab in the dark though – a colour consultant could help you with this image and your house – it’s a great starting point for what you want but colours vary so much in different areas, light etc. You should definitely test large sample boards with two coats before you make any commitments – sometimes by the time you have done this you are better off with a consultant! Good luck Samantha

  23. Julie says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks so much for your advice. I am loving Surfmist as a colour so will definitely take up your advice and do 1/2 strength for the eaves. And will look at the Lexicon quarter. Thank you again, your advice it is so helpful in the maze of white swatches. Julie

  24. Nicci Beardmore says:

    Hi Samantha, thanks for a fantastic blog. I like the overall feel of the James Hardie colour scheme and will engage with a colour consultant here in brisbane to get in that ballpark for our renovated Queenslander. Before we get to that stage though we have to select a Colorbond roof and I’m hoping you could help. One option is to go a basic Shale Grey but I am leaving towards something a little darker to finish it off nicely. I’m not sure between Wallaby, Basalt and Woodland Grey. What would you suggest? Thanks

    • Nicci Beardmore says:

      Sorry, I forgot to clarify that I would use the lighter colour on the weatherboard with some contrast (handrails etc) and possible the garage door in some of the darker color. The bulk of the house would be relatively light, hence the darker roof thinking. Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicci Colorbond Wallaby is a match to those colours but it depend on how much of the roof you see – it might all end up looking a bit brown! It looks like a Dune roof here but being a skillion roof you don’t really see it. I think I would probably opt for Woodland Grey as I feel its classic colour would suit a Queenslander and it is a timeless classic – it is however a lot darker. Basalt is a lovely mid tone but does read a little blue and may throw your wall colours. It is difficult to say exactly without seeing it and looking at how the sun will work on your roof. Remember to consider your gutters and fascia too which you may have to order at the same time? Good luck! Samantha

  25. James says:

    Hi Samantha
    Some good info here.
    Maybe you can help me. We are looking to render our house and am pretty much in the light grey/white sort of camp.
    House is flat roof (shale grey colorbond but you cannot see it) with monument fascias and gutters.
    All windows and doors are cedar or aussie hardwood stained a teak colour, so dark natural wood.
    Orientation is important in all three directions.
    North is primarily taken up by big bifold doors and a timber deck but gets lots of sun.
    East is almost double story due to slope of block but gets lots of sun.
    West is main frontage and faces street but gets good shade from trees and large ridge.
    Fence is woodland grey miniscreen profile.
    I have considered shale grey (colorbond colour) and like milton moon, tranquil retreat and timeless grey in dulux colours although i think the latter may be too dark.
    Essentially what do you think would work with monument roof and lots of natural timber that is in the neutral grey sort of area?
    Happy to hear if you believe I should be rethinking my palet.
    Thanks in advance

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi James The beauty of Colorbond Monument is that it is very neutral with no underlying colour so it works with most choices. I think you are on the right track and it will really be which grey complements the timber in your particular setting. Dulux Milton Moon is lovely but can read a little blue. Dulux Narrow Neck is a warmer option – it’s a NZ colour but you can get it in Australia. Ask to see that at the Dulux Trade Centre and you can see the difference – whatever you do it needs to work with your timber and you must try samples – large boards painted in two coats – to get an idea. Good luck! Samantha

  26. Jennifer Ross says:

    Hi Samantha

    We are building a house with a surfmist scillian roof , basalt gutters and facias and window and door trims Trend Anodic Natural. We have James Hardie Summit profile cladding. Our preferred colour for the exterior is grey, however none of the greys I have tried look right. Can you please suggest any colour combinations that might suit this house.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jennifer Basalt is a lovely grey which is fairly neutral but if anything has an underlying blue hue – bear this is mind when selecting your grey. You also need to consider whether you are looking for a dark or light grey. Dulux Timeless Grey is a classic that is very popular at the moment but it depends on the strength that you want and also if you want to see any underlying blue or keep it more neutral – Timeless Grey is very neutral but some people find it a bit flat. Hope this gives you a starting point Samantha

  27. Kylie Alison says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We have an 1880’s weatherboard house with a colourbond roof in Headland red. We have to work with the roof colour, but we’d like to update the exterior to grey with white trims. Considering the red roof, would you be inclined to go with a lighter grey like Dulux Dieskau/Flooded Gum, or a darker grey like Dulux Malay Grey/Teahouse? Thanks!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kylie If you paint your gutters too then the red roof will be minimised – I quite like dark grey gutters on heritage homes with red roofs – even something darker than Malay Grey – possibly Dulux Raku. Stick to the warmer greys with the red roof – so Dulux Teahouse is out. then it really depends on the look that you want as all three will work. The White trim will stand out beautifully against the Malay Grey – but you might also get away with Flooded Gum if you want a lighter feel to the house. You will need to consider your aspect, whether you have shade and also test samples! Good luck! Samantha

  28. Jenny says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I absolutely love your blog and the advice that you give. I have been reading your articles for awhile and thought I’d be brave and ask for some of your help please.
    We have a pale orange 90’s brick house with colonial/french style windows and doors. The front of our house faces East and our main living/entertaining area faces North. Last year we had our terracotta coloured roof sprayed in Monument and our double garage doors too.
    I really would love to render our house with a ‘greige’ or grey colour. I do love the ‘Hamptons’ look of grey and white trims but I also love the look of a warm, stone-grey with dark trims. I am struggling to choose between the two and therefore not too sure of the best ‘grey’/greige to choose for either of the looks.
    I love Dulux Rakaia, Colourbond Shale Grey and Porters Old Stone wall for render colours. Could you please advise me on a suitable dark trim colour and which grey would possibly work. Or would the classic grey and white be suitable? Just not sure which grey to use. I am happy for other colour recommendations too.
    I would to hear from you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jenny Lovely to hear from you! I’m glad you took the plunge and asked for help…Dulux Rakaia is a gorgeous neutral that will stand the test of time. Porters Old Stone Wall is a favourite of mine – I have used it in my kitchen! You must use Porters Paints though as it doesn’t replicate well. You could continue with the Monument for your trim or you could use a white to give it a lift. By trim do you mean your gutters/fascia/windows? You could use Monument on the gutters and then a white on the other areas or Monument on all? Perhaps decide on the look that you want and then think about the main colour which may help you to decide on the trim. I hope this has given you some help? Samantha

  29. Travis says:

    Hi samantha,
    My wife and I will be building a new home later this year, and whilst googling for external colour inspiration for our rendered styrocrete dwelling i stumbled across this blog, and its been amazingly helpful. We are comfortable with most of our selections (monier ‘traditional’ concrete roof tiles, sambuca in colour, monument guttering, surfmist fascia, window frames and doors) However, we are stuck on the main wall colour and feature portico.
    Whilst we want a light, fresh neutral grey, we are also desperate to avoid the home appearing blue or purple. We first agreed on Dulux Milton Moon, however, after reading the comments section im concerned this will throw a blue colour in sunlight. Im now leaning towards Dulux Silkwort. What is your opinion on the perfect neutral grey to march our other colours?
    Additionally, i should mention for the portico feature colour we have currently chosen Colorbond Woodland Grey, and intend to install colourbond fencing along our boundaries of the same colour. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this idea too!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Travis You might like to look at greys that have a soft green base as you are using Woodland Grey on the house and garden which has a definite green base. Perhaps look at Dulux Lyttleton which is a nice neutral grey with a slight green look about it – or double strength if you need more depth. Try out large sample boards. Silkwort is a warm grey and may fight with the Woodland Grey. Hope this helps and that my advice is not too late! Samantha

  30. Jenny says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your tip with Porter’s Old Stone Wall. I have been devouring over grey houses with white trims (gutters/fascia/windows) and those with the grey trims too, and personally think that white trims do present with such a classic and timeless look. I think that would possibly be the look that I want.
    Thank you for your advice. ( I’ll let you know how I go.)


  31. Jacqueline says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Your blog and replies to comments have been very helpful, I am building a new single storey house with a momument roof, fascia, gutter and garage door, white aluminium windows, a large Merbau feature entry door with glass, light/medium grey exposed agg driveway and I am stuck on what render to pick for either side of the garage (two small sections) and one pillar. I am thinking shale grey but am worried it may look blue colour, can you provide any advice on this? Also if you have any comments on my other selections that would be helpful, thank you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jacqueline I am concerned that the Shale Grey may be too light against your Jarrah bricks. If you do want a light colour it might be better to look at the mortar colour in the bricks and go for an off white which will also work with your windows? I’m sorry I can’t say for definite but I think the grey may look out of place as apart from the driveway you are not using it anywhere else – hope this makes sense? Samantha

  32. Kristin Chalmers says:

    Hi there! I have been reading your articles keenly- they are so helpful! We are currently building and determining external colours. Our roof is colourbond Surfmist and i’m looking at either 1/2 teahouse or 1/2 Klute for the trim but i’m stuck with a matching grey base. Would you think either Diffused grey (maybe double) or Steel copy could work? My catch is we have a colourbond Wallaby shed next to the house- I don’t want to match it as it throws too much purple but I want it to all blend together…

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kristin These are both lovely cool greys that will not look out of place near Wallaby – Steel Copy is one tone darker than Diffused Grey – I like this on an exterior but it depends how dark you want the house to be. With your trim you need to consider that outside colours blend together more than they do inside and to see a contrast you usually need to have more of a tonal gap than you realise. I think it is worthwhile painting large sample boards of Klute and Teahouse – don’t worry about half strengths as these are not available in sample pots and if you do think you need it lighter then look at Timeless Grey. These greys look good together but you just need to consider the tonal strength and how this balances with your Surfmist roof – don’t forget about garage and front door etc. Hope this helps! Samantha

      • Kristin Chalmers says:

        Thank you so much Samantha, it helps a lot to know that they go together. Now we have the freedom to decide which ones we like the best!

  33. Jamie says:

    Hi Samantha
    I would love your advice . We are about to start building our Hamptons/coastal dream home and I am getting very confused trying to choose my exterior colours. Currently we have a basalt colourbond roof and gutters, weatherboards and garage door are surfmist and all trims are lexicon half. Originally I had selected silkwort for the weatherboards but then thought I’d prefer a White on white look. Now I’m not sure I’ve chosen the right whites to complement each other or whether I should go back to a soft grey. I’m also concerned with the colour of the roof as I’ve been reading that it throws a blue hue? Help , are you able to suggest two complementary whites that work well together plus a grey that doesn’t look blue but would work with basalt ?? Thankyou so much . Jamie

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jamie Colorbond Basalt can read a touch blue but all the Colorbond greys have an underlying colour with the exception of Monument which can be a bit heavy. I do like Basalt on a Hamptons style home though and as you are not continuing with it on your gutters and fascia I think you will find that it will work well. Often you can only tell a Colorbond roof colour from the gutter/fascia which is flat on the house. As you are going to use Lexicon Half for your trim you could consider Surfmist for the wall colour or Dulux Casper White. Remember that Dulux Lexicon Half reads a little blue too although in the bright light you should probably not notice this. Hope this helps – remember to test large samples before you commit. Samantha

  34. Sue says:

    Hi Samantha ,
    Have chosen “timeless grey” with “monument” but still can’t decide on lighter colour. Should I use “lexicon half” or “vivid white” is there something else you think.


  35. Sarah says:

    We are building a new house and need some assistance with exterior colours. House windows will be anodic silver and roof monument. I was thinking two grey colou is for the walls. Can you recommend Anything that would go with this.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sarah The window and roof that you have chosen is extremely neutral – no underlying colour to either of them – so you can choose anything and the greys will depend so much on the look that you want – dark house, light house – blue undertone, warm undertone etc. so you need to consider all of these points first and this may help you to come to a decision. good luck Samantha

  36. julia unwin says:

    Hi Samantha.
    I would really LOVE (actually, I really need) your help.
    We want to paint our bedroom walls and rest of house with a light and bright and pale grey (we think) but so many have tints of lavender or fluro green in them (ick).
    We have two feature walls in lounge rooms painted Dulux – Stepney, and book cases in those lounge rooms painted Dulux – Western Myall. We accessorise with bright stark whites, a touch of red cushions or red vases. What do you recommend for the walls?
    Thanks for your help,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Julia Take a look at Dulux Narrow Neck Quarter – this is a lovely pale neutral grey – as Stepney gets lighter it gets lavender but I think this one should work. Paint a large sample board and take it around the house to double check – I love it with a Vivid White trim too – hope this helps! Samantha

  37. Craig says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We have painted the external cladding of our house in British Paints Dark Silhouette. Louvre windows and sliding doors around the house are in Colorbond Monument. Roof, gutters, eaves and downpipes are all Colorbond Windspray.
    We have a pergola off the front deck that is painted white. We are struggling to decide what colour to paint the external architraves around the windows and doors. Everyone is saying white, but we are thinking either Monument, same as the windows and doors, or Dark Silhouette, same as the cladding.

    Could you please advise?

    Thank you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Craig Yes – I agree with you that white may jump out too much against your nice dark scheme – either Monument or the cladding colour would look better and it really depends on whether you want to see any contrast at all. Good luck Samantha

  38. Dael says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I’ve really enjoyed reading this post but it’s making me question my decisions…!
    I have an existing Colorbond Woodland Grey roof and have chosen Dulux Stepney for the weatherboards (I say chosen as I have already purchased the paint!) There is a large recycled red brick wall shared with my neighbour. Is this all going to work?! Thanks for your advice 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Dael Dulux Stepney is a great grey to use for exteriors and will work with Colorbond Woodland Grey – most things tend to as it is one of those great dark neutrals that work with so many colours. You probably have some paint up already – I hope you like it! Samantha

  39. Andrea Howren says:

    Hi Samantha, I’m loving your blog and desperate for your help. I have tried several sample pots on the wall but none of them seem right! I am about to paint a profile AC sheet cladding beach house, receiving lots of sunlight. The house is split level with a large balcony from the upstairs area . I have decided on monument fascias etc and was wanting pale grey walls with white windows. Could you please suggest a pale grey that won’t look blue at all?
    Many thanks,

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Andrea glad you love the blog – it might be worth trying a sample of Dulux Grey Daze – this is a warm brown based grey so will definitely not throw blue – quite pale so by the time it is in the bright sunshine will be light – check it out on a sample board – as large a piece as you can get to get a good appreciation of the depth and colour. Hope this helps Samantha

  40. Komathy Gajendra says:

    Hi Samantha
    I really need help with my exterior. I have chosen delux wildove but it looks more purple. I am planning to go with another grey. Please advice me on that. Roof is charcoal.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Komathy yes – Dulux Wild Dove is definitely a purple grey – you could try a sample of Dulux Reckless Grey which is a nice warm grey but without so much obvious purple -paint a large board with two coats and move it around the house to see what you think Good luck Samantha

  41. Maz says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Like most I am struggling with render colours, I am building a 2 story house and thinking about rendering it Lexicon but not sure 1/4 or 1/2, do you think a 1/4 will look more like vivid white. I would like my house to look nice and crisp white but not stark white. I have a large pillar in the front which I’m thinking of Woodland Grey and a Woodland Grey garage door. The roof with be dark tiled with Monument gutters and facia, and down pipes Surfmist. I also have like a hardiplank feature in the front below my tiles which I will paint to match the stain on the front door.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Maz the whites you are looking at are all very bright outside – I wouldn’t go lighter than full strength Lexicon but this can throw blue – test a large sample outside with your other colours to check you like the effect. Hope this helps Samantha

  42. Bec says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are renovating and extending our coastal home, and I thought I had decided my exterior colours… but now having some doubts! It is such a big decision. So would you mind if I run them by you please? Roof and gutters – Windspray; Fascia – Surfmist; Window frames, trims, balustrades (ship style picket) – all white… I was thinking Shale Grey for the Linea and render… but I’ve only really seen Shale Grey on weather boards. Would it look ok rendered? And will this colour complement Windspray? I am hoping all the white trims and balustrades will assist with breaking up all the large amounts of grey. I’ve always been keen to have grey with white. I really appreciate your feedback.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Bec many greys look better on weatherboards as the natural shadow line breaks up the wall and the harshness of grey. You are right though that all the lovely fresh white trim will break it up nicely. The colours certainly work with Windspray which is a great roofing colour – how the Shale Grey will work really depends on the house and its aspect but in principle it should work – trying just a small area of render and weatherboard might be the answer to help allay your concerns. Good luck Samantha

  43. Leah Jones says:

    Hi Samantha, Just wondering if you could help on some house exterior colours please. It is a homestead style house with verandha. Would love neutral beige tone colour for walls and white poles and window trim. Roof is maybe Cove? Unsure what to paint gutter as not so sure about white gutters. Presently it is painted a yellow cream with antique red gutters and poles.
    Many thanks Leah

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leah I like to blend gutters with the roof unless you want them to particularly stand out so I would select Colorbond Cove if this is what you end up going with – this is a lovely green based neutral. Then look to the stone coloured neutrals for your wall. Colorbond Surfmist could be a solution for the fascia or you could go with Cove if you wanted to bring more of this into the scheme. Posts etc. in Surfmist work too without being too glaring white – hope this helps Samantha

  44. Denise says:

    Hello Samantha,
    I just cam across your informative blog while looking for information on a grey exterior colour.

    We are in the process of renovating an old single storey home. It’s 100 years old, has a beautiful sandstone foundation and a terracotta coloured tiled roof. The house itself is double brick and has been rendered.

    We would like to modernise it with a grey exterior. However, we don’t want to go too light, but not too dark either, perhaps somewhere in between. Your point about sunlight washing out the neutral and leaving you with the underlying colour is really interesting. And for that reason I’m hoping to steer from any greys with purples or blue tinges.

    Is Timeless grey a great exterior on rendered homes? Not too dark, not too light? Does it off shoot a purple or blue?
    I have seen some photos of homes in this colour, they do vary depending on the house. I don’t want the house to look dark and gloomy, but modern with street appeal. I am leaning towards white window frames (which should look lovely with the white plantation shutters) and then a contrasting colour (possibly grey) for the eaves and fascia etc That tone of grey I’m not sure about!
    Anyway, any advice you could give on a lovely grey combo would be appreciate and save me migraines ha!
    Many thanks for your time.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Denise Dulux Timeless Grey is a nice neutral but in some lights it can still throw blue so you might be better off looking at a warmer grey that doesn’t throw purple. It is difficult to say as there are lots of variables on your house and it sounds absolutely gorgeous – I think it would be worth getting the advice of a local colour consultant to help you find the right warm grey to set off the sandstone and terracotta. Good luck Samantha

  45. Ivy says:

    Hi Samantha, grey blog. I’m trying to pick a colour for the render of my townhouse. It has a steel roof and I’ve decided that the front door, garage and trim will be in Woodland Grey but now need to pick a colour for the render! There is also a red brick facade as well. At the moment, I’m trying to pick between Windspray, Timeless Grey or Shale Grey for the render. What are your thoughts on those 3 options? Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ivy Colorbond Windspray has a blue/green undertone, Timeless Grey is a good neutral and Shale Grey is a lighter option which is nice but can look a bit flat on a rendered surface. I think all in all I would opt for Dulux Timeless Grey but it really depends on how dark you want your house, the aspect etc. So you should probably play with some samples to get a better idea. Hope this helps! Samantha

  46. Beth says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Your blog has been the most helpful in narrowing down our colour choice for our new roof. We are replacing our brown tiled roof with colorbond. Our house is a 70’s split level (looks 2 storey from the front) in the Perth hills, the roof colours we have narrowed it down to is Windspray, Wallaby and Basalt but I am still too scared to commit to a colour! The window frames will be painted the same colour as the roof and the house will be painted in a light grey. We will also be adding cedar cladding to 2 sections where the brick is currently painted a reddish brown. I really would like a neutral grey, I don’t want it to look blue/grey or beige/grey. I hope that makes sense! The house faces North. Can you offer any advise?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Beth Windspray is a blue/green colour, Wallaby is a gorgeous grey but can read very brown – one client complained that I had given him a brown roof but then once everything was painted admitted that he did actually love it but it can be brown! Basalt I think is probably the most neutral of the three – it does have a slight undertone of blue though. All of the Colorbond colours have an underlying colour with the exception of Monument, Black, Shale Grey and Surfmist – even these last two have slight undertones – so you need to consider which grey you want on your render and which one will go the best with that – it might help to get some professional advice to pull it all together. Hope this is of some help Samantha

  47. Tania says:

    Hi Samantha
    I have a double storey house and I am getting a new roof colour including the gutter and fascia to basalt.
    I want to repaint the house in greys and like the tranquil retreat and whites. However my window frames are a creamy/beige colour so not sure white around the windows and verandah will work? I am really stuck, any way to show you a pic of the house. Would love some feedback.
    Thanks ?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tania Quite often if you have a decent architrave and you paint this white it will disguise the creamy beige frame although if the frame is right next to the wall colour, they can stand out a bit – it really depends on how dominant they are on the house. You can email me a photo although you may have made the decision by now but I do charge then as if it is a colour consultation. Hope this helps Samantha

  48. Lauren says:

    Hi Samantha, I’m hoping you can help we live in QLD and building small single story house the roof needs to be light for heat so I have chosen Shale grey with same shale grey gutters and fascia hubby wants a dark garage door Bassalt or Woodland grey cant decide? Any thoughts
    As we are building in a new estate we have covenants that state we need 2 colours on our front render so I was thinking having surfmist around the double garage door and that only leaves the front room which has monument windows we will have surfmist around the rest of house
    Any help would be good

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lauren Once you decide on your garage door, this should help with the additional render colour. Woodland Grey has a green undertone and works well with other grey/greens or nice brown/grey neutrals. Basalt is a great mid tone grey which has a blue undertone. Think about this and hopefully this will narrow down your choices. Good luck Samantha

  49. Ellouise says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are looking to modernise the paint scheme on an Edwardian weatherboard which has been extended with double garage.
    The roof is surfmist and the garage doors (and front door) are Colourbond deep ocean. Looking for a mid-grey to work with the deep ocean while making it more modern (currently the colour of sand).
    Any advise would be appreciated. thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ellouise You might like to look at Dulux Steel Copy as a starting point – it is a lovely mid grey that goes well with blue without being too cool – try a sample and see if you like the effect – I feel it would work on an Edwardian house as it is a nice neutral but do double check first! Good luck Samantha

  50. Amanda says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I thought I had previously published this post so apologies if its coming through twice! We are building a home at the moment and I’m hoping to gauge your thoughts on our exterior colours. The home is a modern coastal look with white render (Lexicon – half or full strength) and Scyon linear cladding in grey (we are thinking Dulux Tranquil Retreat or Taubmans Stormy Shaddow half strength). The roof and fascias are Shale Grey Matt and eaves either white also. Could you let me know if you think those selections will work well together?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amanda Firstly I think you should look at Lexicon in full strength for the render or it could be really very bright. You also won’t see much of a contrast between Dulux Tranquil Retreat and Lexicon – it looks quite different inside but you have to take account of how colours work outside. If the render is in the shade and the weatherboard in sun, they will look very similar so if you do want a contrast you may need to go one tone darker. Colorbond Shale Grey is a great roof colour – very similar in tone to Tranquil Retreat. This is not necessarily wrong but you just need to consider whether you want much of a contrast – perhaps try painting large sample boards in the two colours and then place them outside, in sun and in shade to see how they relate together and whether it is the look that you are hoping to achieve. Good luck! Samantha

  51. Leoni says:

    Samantha what a treasure trove of hints and advice in these comments! My question is related to your last comment.

    We have a 40’s ranch style weatherboard – south facing – that I have (I think) decided to paint Pale Mushroom 6 (-50%). Being south facing the 6 was pretty dark, but we have a red brick fence and chimney, so 5 seemed insipid alongside that. Ergh.

    Anyway, I am stuck on a Colorbond roof colour. Woodland Grey works well, but the roof pitch is steep, so there’s a lot of roof and it is so dark!

    I was wondering what you thought of a Shale grey roof, Pale Mushroom 5 1/2 with Whisper White trim and a Woodland Grey gutter to demarcate the two?

    Or is that mental and I should just stick to Woodland Grey roof and cope?

    Many thanks if you get time to read this!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leonie With a steep roof pitch your roof colour will be dominant, whatever it is, so just going lighter relieves the heaviness but doesn’t take away from the strong impact that it has on the overall look of the house. You need to consider what will work the best with the Pale Mushroom – as this is a warm grey you may find that a contrasting roof, rather than another grey that will be similar to the house colour, may be preferable. I do think that Woodland Grey is one of the classic colours and does go so well with the Pale Mushroom range. Dark colours also make houses look smaller so in fact your dominant range style roof may appear less dominant as it will look smaller than if it was in a light colour. I hope this makes sense – perhaps try to find some images of darker roofs to see if you prefer the effect over a lighter one. Hope this helps! Samantha

  52. Alison Nolan says:

    Hi Samantha, i love your blog and having problems with the Greys so was hoping you can help me with your expertise.

    I have a 1920’s weather board cottage with original tin roof that i’m hoping to paint a soft light grey together with white trim and monument gutters & doors to keep her quaint yet timeless.

    The problem is she’s south facing, the front facade is in constant shade and the house neighbouring is olive green, the other white with Woodland Grey fences. I’ve tried tranquil retreat (which is probably the best at this stage), shale grey 1/2 & 1/4, dieskau, silkwort, narrow neck, grey pebble even ghosting and knowing, none suit as the shadow amplifies the purples and blue base, the beige based look odd with the olive house next door.

    Being based in rural north west nsw is making it hard to access samples and help. I was hoping perhaps you have come across this before and had some recommendations?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Alison I think bearing in mind the neighboring houses and the fact that you need to knock out the blues, browns and purples you should look at Dulux Lyttelton. I love this grey as it has a green base and I find it very user friendly. It is a lovely neutral grey and bearing in mind the colours next door, may be the way to go. It is a similar tonal level to Tranquil Retreat. I know it is difficult for you but it would be really good if you could get a sample before committing as I can’t say for sure that this is going to be absolutely right for you – it’s just another grey to consider. Good luck! Samantha

  53. Laura Rood says:

    Hi Samantha,

    So many great colour combinations that people are choosing.

    I’m currently painting the exterior of our house and am struggling with finding the right colour combination for my taste. We have a 1917 weatherboard house with a terracotta tile roof, and a very modern box extension for the back.

    I’m thinking of painting the weatherboards Dulux Milton Moon, and the eaves, gable and window panes Dulux Vivid White. The extension part of the house will be Deluxe Domino. My concern is that the Milton Moon will look too blue and washed out. Would you bring some of the Domino colour into the front part of the house? The front and side fence will be domino also (it’s a corner house).

    Thanks so much. Great Blog x

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Laura Dulux Milton Mood can look quite blue in some lights – Dulux Steel Copy is very similar but without such a blue tone and you might prefer to look at a sample of this. Be careful about overdoing the Domino – it is a great colour but very dark and you may lose the impact of it if you overdo it – as you are using it on the fence this does link the Domino to the back and this may be enough to include the modern extension into the overall scheme. good luck – house sounds very interesting – let us know how you go Samantha

  54. Jae says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Absolutely love the blog on the ‘greys’!!

    I am known for my inability to choose a paint colour and the family joke how many sample pots I purchase before i get the correct colour lol.

    So, this time I purchased the Dulux World of Colour Fan Deck and it has been invaluable. I can now see the undertones and hopefully no more complete re-paints hahah

    For the outside render of the new house I have narrowed down the main colour to Tranquil Retreat and was thinking Lexicon for the contrast. I would appreciate your opinion for these two colours as you have mentioned that Lexicon throws up a little blue, and i think that Tranquil Retreat is more of the green undertones.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jae yes it does start to make sense when you see the colours in a fan deck – and much cheaper than dozens of sample pots! Full strength Lexicon can be a little blue although this is less obvious outside in the sunlight and I think it will work well with Dulux Tranquil Retreat. Bear in mind that Tranquil Retreat will be very light outside = a simple grey white, particularly if it is on a north or west aspect, so take this into account. If you want more of a contrast you might like to think about Dulux Lexicon half strength which will throw less blue and also provide a great difference between the two. Good luck Samantha

  55. Jet says:

    Hi Samantha

    How do you know so much about grey?! 😉

    We are embarking on a new build, modern coastal cottage style. We have an existing granny flat at the front of our property which we need to blend with. The granny flat has a Colorbond roof in Ironstone. We don’t like the existing exterior paint colour so will repaint at the same time as the new house.

    Which colour would you recommend to go with the Ironstone? I would like something with a bit of warmth to it, not really cold grey. Also debating whether to paint the granny flat the same colour as the main house or a variation thereof. Would appreiate your expert thoughts!

    Many thanks,

    PS – And by the way thank you for so painlessly answering everyone’s questions here!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jet If you like the idea of a modern warm grey you could try something like Dulux Flooded Gum or Grey Daze – both contemporary colours but with some nice warmth so you avoid the blue/green grey look. If the granny flat is a different substrate – ie weatherboard with a main rendered house then I think it would be a great idea to go a couple of tones lighter on this – if they are the same substrate I think I would keep it the same colour. Hope this helps and remember to try samples first! Samantha

  56. Lee says:

    Hi Samantha,

    Our house is in need of a refresh, but I am struggling with what colour to go with.
    It is a 70s brick with a Manor Red colourbond roof, gutters and downpipes, front gates (into a courtyard) garage door and pergola. So much red!
    The bricks have flecks of grey, some look a light red and some even a pinky colour. It’s probably not as bad as it sounds, the bricks are just very busy with no one colour!
    The house faces west, we are the low side of the street and surrounded by a reserve, so not a lot of sun, especially during the cooler months.
    My husband is not keen to paint the gutters and down pipes, so it would be just the other bits.
    It was suggested to go with warm greys e.g Dune.

    I would so appreciate your thoughts, your blog is so enlightening!

    Many thanks!


    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lee if you have flecks of grey in the brick it might be a good idea to pull these out and use a really smart dark charcoal grey for the gates, garage and pergola. I have seen people adding lots of dark grey to house additions, verandas etc on more traditional red brick homes and it looks really effective. Would be great if you could do gutters and fascia too but that could be another time….Colorbond Dune could also work but sometimes that strong dark contrast can set off the bricks better. Possibly a grey like Dulux Baltica – assess the grey in your brick and perhaps try a sample next to that. Good luck! Samantha

  57. Vipul says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am building a single story 29 sq house. Advise me for my facade colour scheme selection. My roof is Bristile Heritage granite, gutter – colorbond Monument, Fascia – colorbond surfmist, front render – dulux winter castle, front window – colorbond wallaby, facade pillars(piers)- Dulux Hammer grey, Garage door/Cladding over pillars/main door – chestnut stain.
    Any suggestions would be appreaciated.

  58. Lee says:

    Thank you Samantha for the reply, I will have a look at Baltica. Some of the grey flecks/blobs are like a burnt charcoal, would Basalt work?



      • Lee says:

        Thank you again for the reply.
        I have a sample pot of Baltica and really like it. I did forget to ask, if I am using this colour on fascia boards, what would be a light complimentary colour with Baltica for under the eaves.


        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Lee you take your guide on the eaves from the wall colour – treat it as you would an interior ceiling – ie it has to be light to give the house a lift. Difficult to say exactly which colour but hopefully this points you in the right direction Samantha

  59. Tracey says:

    Hi Samantha, I just love your blog! I would greatly appreciate some advice on a render colour. We are building and have selected a monument roof and gutters with surfmist fascia and windows. Our bricks are a darkish cool grey. We have a rendered feature wall in the centre (its a wide acreage design home) with 3 narrow windows. I was feeling I need to go lighter as a contast to all the grey bricks and was leaning toward surfmist render. But am concerned the surfmist window frames will blend. Could you recommend a cool grey that is as light as possible that will still allow the surfmist windows to pop a little? Was thinking shale grey?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tracey My feeling is that a lighter render is definitely the way to go so you are on the right track there. The Surfmist windows will stand out against Colorbond Shale Grey. Dulux Diffused Grey is just slightly darker so perhaps try a sample of each to see which one you prefer with the bricks – remember to view it outside as it will come up much lighter than you think once it is on an exterior wall. Good luck Samantha

  60. Robin says:

    Hi Samantha we have recently purchased a coastal 1970s clad house currently painted in a pale green with Cottage green trims. Both the houses on either side are also painted in green. – one side in Colorbond Evergreen and Cottage green trims and the other side is an off white with Cottage green roof and trims. I want to repaint ours I a grey but I am worried the greens on from the other houses will affect my colours. I am looking at doing Colorbond Windspray for roof, Surfmist for gutters and trims and Shale Grey for the cladding. Do you think that these would look Ok with the two other houses? Thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Robin it sounds like the houses in your street are all of a similar vintage and when one person does update their house it can stand out a little but I don’t think that you should not update for that reason. I don’t expect that the houses are so close to you that their colour will affect yours. The combination you are going for is a classic look for today’s times – Windspray does read a little green but relative to your neighbours it won’t be so obvious. So unless you are in a real heritage area I don’t see any reason that you can’t update your colour scheme. I hope you love the end result Samantha

      • Robin says:

        Thanks very much Samantha, appreciate your assistance. It’s a big decision to do something different so now I am more confident in my choices.

  61. Shelley says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thanks for your contined blog posts – your advice is always spot on! We’re about to finalise the exterior render paint choice on our red brick (tuckpointed) federation house that also has terracotta roof tiles.
    Based on the sample pots I’m 99% sure will go with Dulux Grey Pail and then Dulux Lexicon Half for the trim, gables & window frames. We are also keen to try a front door painted in Dulux Black Gloss.
    We’d love your input if you have a moment to comment. Thanks again 🙂
    Best wishes, Shelley.

  62. Leanne Silcock says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Thank you for all the valuable information posted here.
    We are building a 2 storey home, monument colour roof and gutter, Colorbond Caoba garage doors and matching Caoba stain on front door. I can’t decide on a render colour….I love the grey/beige colours with no blue/purple or green undertone but I’m not sure what will work best with the Caoba. Could you recommend a render colour? Thank you
    And house faces north/west….thanks again !!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leanne Caoba is a very warm orange timber so you need to take that into consideration with your choice of neutral so something with a yellow base like Dulux Mud Pack which is a lovely mid tone neutral with a fair degree of grey and go lighter or darker from there. If you want something darker and greyer then look at Dulux Ricochet – as this gets lighter it starts to throw a touch of purple though so to not see the undertones you need to opt for something dark. Have a look at these with your garage doors – I’m not sure this is absolutely what you will want as it difficult to know how grey and how beige you want but it is a starting reference point for you. Good luck Samantha

  63. Yve says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I would love your thoughts about the colour palette our Dulux colour consultant has chosen for our 100 year old Californian bungalow. The home sits on greyish/golden sandstone (needs a good gurney) and it takes up about 1/3 of the front of the house, which has made choosing the right external colour difficult for me.

    I told the consultant that I wanted a grey exterior, but she thought that true greys wouldn’t complement the sandstone. She chose Dulux Powered Rock for the exterior, Casper White 1/4 for the window trimmings and battons and Monument for the capping and gutters. On paper, the palette looks lovely.

    But I wasn’t sure if I loved the Powered Rock enough. For me, it didn’t seem grey enough. So I painted a large piece of cardboard in Powered Rock and placed it on a variety of spots around the house. The results were quite deceiving…at the front part of the house the colour looked more grey, which i liked, but on other parts of the house it looked more taupe grey so I was left very confused.

    The painter is starting work next week so I’m in a panic…I just dont know how Powered Rock will look, I’m afraid it may look dull or shockingly ugly!!

    Have you seen Powered Rock on any external home?? I can’t seem to find any photos of it used on a house, which also concerns me.

    What do you think of the colour palette she has chosen? Is powered rock light or dark on a large scale?

    Thank you for your time!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Yve all Dulux Colour consultants will have lots of experience and so I am sure the scheme that has been recommended will work well – it certainly sounds as though it will – however colour is a very personal choice and so it has to be something you will be happy with. Externally Dulux Powered Rock is on the lighter side and depending on how much sun the aspect gets it will be washed out more. With the Dulux Casper White Quarter trims though you have a really good contrast so this should be enough to give you some depth and complement the sandstone. Perhaps ask the consultant to come back for a review to double check it is right for you but it sounds a good scheme to me good luck Samantha

  64. Yve says:

    Hi Samantha,
    It’s Yve again. So sorry to bombard you…I’m just continuing from my previous comment/question.

    I tried a sample of Flooded gum and placed it on the house near the Powered rock sample. Powered rock definitely looks more ‘brown’ next to the Flooded gum. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn’t like flooded gum because he thinks it’s too blue and there is no contrast with the monument painted gutters.. I do agree with him on that.

    The painters are starting to prep the walls, but so far have only painted the old gutters. Monument gave the gutters a new lease of life, they look fabulous and brand new!!! I’m very happy with that choice.

    I know what I want for the house exterior- a mid (not too dark, not too light) GREY, that doesn’t shoot off too much blue. I need it to contrast the white window trim, white posts and battons and the Monument gutters. At this point I was thinking of trying ‘Tranquil Retreat, Shale grey and possibly Silkwort- Dulux. Am I on the right track??!

    The house doesn’t get too much morning sun for long, it’s shaded for most part of the day… The back of the house gets a lot of afternoon sun tho- very bright and searing!! However, the back of the house will have stacker doors so I’m not as concerned as I am with the front of the house..

    Any help or guidance would be wonderful. Thanks again for your time

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Yve Dulux Flooded Gum is more of a warm grey and I have never read it at all as blue – Dulux Tranquil Retreat is more blue – Dulux Silkwort is just one tone lighter than Flooded Gum and Colorbond Shale Grey has a slight green base. Dulux Stepney is one tone darker than Flooded Gum – being a warm grey it will go well with the sandstone. It’s difficult to say as on paper I would say Flooded Gum would be a good choice. Don’t view it next to the Powered Rock – and perhaps ask your painter to just paint a small section rather than committing to all the paint to see what you think Samantha

  65. Rachael says:

    I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. We are renovating our house and deciding on an external paint colour has been so much trickier than anticipated. Our roof is ironstone and windows surfmist. I’m finding the bluey/purple tone in ironstone challenging to match. I originally picked a ressene colour , half gravel which clashed and have since painted patches in stone drab, winter grey and space capsule. I’ve not been happy with the greys so have moved away from those and painted patches of beige royal and dune. Dune looks good in the shade but we have large areas in the sun and I’m not sure about Dune in the Sun. Any advice would be appreciated.

  66. Amy says:

    Hi Samantha,

    We are building a new house and just about ready to paint our weatherboards Miller Mood. We have a Basalt colorbond on the skillion roof and Surfmist gutters, fascia’s, garage door and window trims. The majority of the house which is rendered is being done in Surfmist half strength. After reading a lot of your threads, I am concerned the Miller Mood might be too blue. The front of the house faces SSE. We are very overwhelmed by choices of colour! Your suggestions would be invaluable at this stage if the game!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Amy Dulux Miller Mood definitely has a blue undertone – not as obvious in a SSE aspect as the sun highlights the underlying colour in the grey but it will be there. Perhaps try a large sample of it on a board and then look at something like Dulux Milton Mood which is more of a neutral – I still see a touch of blue in this in the sun but it is not as obvious – without the underlying colour greys can look a bit flat so try both samples to see which effect you like the most. Good luck Samantha

  67. Donna Forbes says:

    Morning Samantha – we have a high set Queenslander home with front verandah and would like to paint it in a grey and white tones. at the present time thinking Colourbond Shale Grey walls, either white or Lexicon half for slats, windows etc, we have galvanised roof with off white guttering at the present time but happy to paint the gutters, possibly Invincible for the railing tops; What colour would you put with this for the steps and verandah and what colour would you paint the front door? Keen to hear your colour thoughts for this home also.,
    Thanks Donna

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Donna I like to keep steps and verandah flooring relatively dark otherwise it gets dirty and worn looking in no time. Colorbond Basalt is a good choice here and your front door could look smart in something like Monument? Hope this helps Samantha

  68. Jackie says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Your blog is great and very informative. We have a weatherboard home that I would like to repaint. Currently zinc alume roof, cream walls and red gutter and sills.
    Have looked at surfmist for verandah posts and facia with ??? Wallaby gutters and sills still deciding. Our issue is we have windows, lots of them in the primrose cream colour that we can’t change. I have looked at dune but find it too purple, we put shale grey up which looked very blue initially, we have also tried winter fog not sure if it is too dark but that has less blue and then tranquil retreat!!! Feeling slightly overwhelmed. Any suggestions.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jackie with Wallaby and Primrose you need to avoid anything that is blue or too grey – I think you should be looking at more brown/neutral greys – You were on the right track with Dulux Winter Fog so perhaps just a lighter version? A slightly darker grey though may help to disguise the windows a little more. Good luck Samantha

      • Jackie says:

        Thanks Samantha for your reply. Do you have any earthy grey colour suggestions we can try. We are going to do some more test colours on the house.

  69. Brett says:

    Hi Samantha, We have PGH espresso bricks, monument roof fascia, gutter. We have linea weatherboard in parts to break up the espresso brick – it’s a large home.

    We have a colourbond shed – and wanted a light grey to paint the weatherboard.

    It makes sense to me to choose shale grey to match the shed colour, but are concerned it will look blue/brown. Our living area steps our from the brick and will be all weatherboard extending to blackbutt (dark stain) deck.

    We like the tuabams silver service as a slightly lighter shade also.

    What are your thoughts for a shale grey, or any other colour recommendations?

    thanks – Brett

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Brett I think you need to leave the shed as separate as I don’t believe that the greys you are looking at will work with the Espresso bricks – I believe it will all look a bit flat. Possibly more of a white to pick up the off white mortar might look better? If you do want a grey then I would avoid Shale Grey or anything too blue. Hope this helps Samantha

  70. Skye says:

    Hi Samantha!!
    We have been trying to decide on the perfect grey to paint our dark brown exterior bricks.
    We have a colorbond zinc roof, and colorbond woodland grey fence, our window frames are white and we have stained timber posts.
    Was thinking colorbond shale grey or taubmans grey bonnet for the bricks and woodland grey for the gutters?
    Our house gets baked from the sun at the front from around 10am till evening.
    We don’t want a flat grey but also don’t want blue tone.
    What would you recommend please?
    Thank you

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Skye it sounds as though you are on the right track – Taubmans Grey Bonnet is a nice warm grey so shouldn’t throw blue. As you house gets a lot of sun you may even need to go one tone darker – Taubmans Chimney Sweep. I would paint a large sample board and view it with the white at the front of your house to see how much contrast you want to see between the walls and the windows. Woodland Grey is a nice choice for the trim to tie in your fence and create a break between your roof. good luck Samantha

  71. Helen says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I would like to paint our two story rendered townhouse white.
    What white do you think is best without being too stark.
    Our roof is charcoal tiles,our balcony railings are black and I have lots of greenery around.

  72. Jess says:

    Hi Samantha,

    My husband and I are building our dream weatherboard home. We have chosen to have monument colorbond for the roof and vivid white for trims, windows, posts of verandahs etc. I have sample pots of tranquil retreat and timeless grey (full and half-strength). I feel the tranquil retreat throws too much blue/lilac. So it is timeless grey but just not sure whether to go full, half-strength or have a look at quarter-strength.
    Also, what colour should we do fascia/guttering and garage door in? Was hoping for a lighter garage door but not sure what colorbond colour to use.

    Any tips or comments would be very grateful.



    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jess As you make Dulux Timeless Grey lighter it will become the same as Tranquil Retreat. You always see the underlying colour more in the lighter tones so the lighter you make it the more of the blue/lilac you will see and this will be more noticeable in full sunlight. Dulux Endless Dusk is just one tone lighter than Timeless Grey so perhaps paint a large sample of that to see if you prefer it to the Timeless Grey. Many people use Surfmist for the gutters/fascia and garage door which works with this look – you just have to be aware that you will be using two whites on the house – the alternative is to bring in Basalt but this does read a bit blue or to use more of the Monument. Hope this helps Samantha

  73. Judy Bell says:

    Hi Samantha. I was thrilled to come across this wonderful blog.

    We will be replacing asbestos sheeting and old concrete tiles with Colourbond on a small flat front 1950s cottage in the Blue Mountains. The house is on the low side of the street, most of the houses in the street are around the 1920s vintage and in various shades of grey. The front of the house faces south and has two large windows with white frames and white shutters in the windows. The western wall has a window on one end. We are wondering about painting the gable a dark colour perhaps the same as the gutters and fascia.

    We have been agonising over the colour swatch. We feel something a bit out of the box would be exciting but it is a simple structure.

    Shale Grey for the roof seems to appeal with dark gutters and fascia, maybe in Monument. However the wall colour is proving difficult, Deep Ocean, Basalt or something lighter? I can provide a photo of the house. Any comments will be most welcome.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Judy Colorbond Shale Grey for your roof makes sense as it would suit the vintage of the house. It is difficult to imagine the walls of the house though and as it faces south you need to be careful about how dark you go. Deep Ocean I feel would be too blue, Basalt is a lovely grey with just a touch of blue but is still quite dark and will be a big contrast between your windows and shutters. Perhaps a softer grey would suit better? I only review photos as part of an online colour consultancy service which I do charge for but if you are interested you could message me on – I hope this helps Samantha

  74. Kaye says:

    Good Morning Samantha.

    My gosh I’m so happy I found your page. I desperately need help.

    So we re-clad the rear of our house 2 years ago and it still remains unpainted.
    Can you tell I’m very indecisive.

    So the rest of the house is getting re-clad in 2 weeks. The pressure is on to finally find a paint colour for our exterior.

    The house is a 1960’s open gable weatherboard. We have an extension (flat roof) that is colorbond Woodland Grey.
    However we are replacing the gable roof which is currently terracotta tiles to colorbond also. It doesn’t necessarily need to be Woodland Grey as we can just change the flushing to the colour we choose (the Woodland Grey cannot be seen due to the flat roof).

    I’m really concerned about getting the roof colour right. It’s an open gable roof on the sides of the house. So the roof frontage is quiet a large roof. I don’t want the roof to look top heavy.

    My other concern is the house frontage is west. It’s so bright and glarey in the afternoons. I always liked taupe and beige colours but I’m concerned in the westerly sun it’s going to look yellow. I really don’t like Grey but think it’s my only option.

    Do you think a any of the following would work been west facing. Dulux Narrow Neck Double, Lyttelton Double or Winter Fog with a Woodland Grey roof?

    Look forward to your response.
    Thank you so much

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kaye Out of the three colours I think that Lyttleton Double would be my choice as it is a great neutral without being warm and yellow. It will work the best but on a west facing wall it will still be very light. It really depends on the look you are hoping to achieve and the depth of colour you had in mind. If you paint a large sample board with two coats of this colour it will give you an idea of whether you need to go darker or if you are happy with this look. Good luck Samantha

  75. Zee says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I am finding it very difficult to choose a trim colour for the foundation of my light orangey/peach brick home. The colour would be used to ” ground” the house. I have gone through at least two dozen sample pots of grey/browns , none of which are right. I tried different taupes, but they all throw purple. eg, “on the rocks”
    “sea elephant”
    “birch bark”
    “brief interlude”
    Ready to admit defeat and just use Jasper, which to me looks a little “bronze”, in that it seems to have a green undertone.
    Any suggestions would be much appreciated,
    thankyou, Zee

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Zee Perhaps look at Dulux Geography which is a good dark brown – I think you need some depth to the colour to avoid seeing too much of an undertone and definitely avoid anything in a taupe range as by its very nature it is warm and will throw pink/purple. Good luck Samantha

  76. Nicola Morrison says:

    Hi Samantha, found you website and your astute colour observations. We have a unique holiday house in norther NSW right next to the beach. It has a cottage green colourbond curved roof. We are about to reclad in Hardie plank Linea boards. We are struggling for a colour to match with green and dont like the classic cream combination, We are thinking of a soft grey (Dulux Tranquil Retreat?) with white window trim (and precious silver aluminium frames) which looks OK when we play with it in powerpoint, Can you recommend a grey that will go OK with a cottage green colourbond roof? Any other out of the box ideas?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicola I think you might be better off with a soft grey that has just a touch of green and depending upon the aspect and how much sun the house gets, you will probably need a deeper grey than you imagine. Remember that by playing with powerpoint images it can give you an idea of colour placement but it doesn’t take into account the effect of natural sunlight – so if you like a colour inside you probably need to go a couple of tones darker to get the look. You need to think about verandahs too if you have them and if they offer shade throughout the day or are the walls of the house in full sun – these things will make a huge difference to the colour you opt for. You could look at something like Dulux Gamelan or Sepal – they would certainly nestle into a beach location well. Would love to hear how it goes – the cottage sounds lovely. Good luck Samantha

      • Nicola Morrison says:

        Dear Samantha,
        Thank you SO much for your reply…and especially the advice!
        We are both really thrilled to hear back from you….being newbies at blogs and things…and totally agree with what you have suggested.
        We realise it is essential to paint large colour test patches on the various aspects of the house because that huge North wall can look a little monolithic, and we don’t want it to loom over the neighbourhood like a dark cloud, nor disappear into a cloud of nothing very much. We had been looking at Dulux Endless Dusk…but having seen your suggestions we like them even better!
        Will definitely send pics of the completed project!
        Many thanks again,

  77. Donna says:

    Hi Samantha, I am struggling with finding the right exterior grey for my north facing 2 story, flat roof home. HELP!! 🙂 I have decided on Colorbond monument for our fence, roller door (small and on a separate building at the front of the property not the facade) and front door.. and maybe our pergola trim (?) will have natural white windows to try to blend in with existing off white aluminium trim around sliding doors etc and would like a warm dark grey that I can use in both full and 1/4 strength on the walls. Dark would be at the bottom and light at the top with a small section on the top level picked out in the darker shade. I will have a light grey/ brown stone feature on the front pillars and parapet. I have looked at Dulux Western Myall – too dark, Malay Grey – bit flat? and Mt Eden – reminds me of boys school pants, Wattyl Thunderbolt – bit muddy…
    any advice would be amazing. I really liked the look of the colour pallette of the warm grey in different strengths on modern home in this article. Any ideas what colour that was?
    Thanks so much

    • Donna says:

      Malay grey is growing on me… was thinking of trying Dune, Flooded Gum or Silkwort for the lighter colour. Looking for something warm and “0ysterish” if that makes any sense! Any advice very welcome 🙂

  78. Lisa Walton says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I too am so pleased to have found your website. We have been waiting eight years to paint our two story weatherboard house as it is currently cream and green. The main issues is that we have have terracotta roof tiles ( which are quite old) and have decided to paint the windows Dulux Vivid White and gutters /eaves Dulux Raku. However, we are really struggling to find a warm grey that is sophisticated and timeless. We are thinking Silkwort or Winter Fog. Although I’m worried Silkwort will come across as too purple in the sun.

    I look forward to your advice.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lisa Dulux Raku is a nice choice for the trim to work with a terracotta roof. As that range gets lighter though you start to see more of the underlying purple tones. Dulux Winter Fog would therefore be my pick – it is a nice warm grey that I think will be pretty timeless. Good luck Samantha

  79. Jane Bennett says:

    Hi Samantha,

    I was hoping you could give me your opinion on the following house and garage colour scheme.
    We are building a south facing house with a wrap around verandah and a garage at the rear in South Gippsland, Victoria.
    We will be using Haymes paint.


    Roof : Basalt
    Windows: pearl white
    Render : Smokey Silhouette
    Posts, Fascia, Eves : Greyology 2
    Garage roof, Garage doors : Basalt
    Garage walls : Windspray


    Walls : Grey Shadow
    Ceiling, trims, doors : Greyology 1

    Would really appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks for your time

  80. Leah Meszaros says:

    Please help…..
    we are wanting to paint our exterior walls in a light grey ( Silkwort) lexicon comes to mind for doors and windows, I really need help with the roof, gutters and fascia colours?

  81. Melissa says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Hoping you might be able to give me some advice on which white colour to use on our exterior trim. We are painting a late 1950/60’s weatherboard cottage and are planning to go with Dulux Flooded Gum for the boards. I was going to use Dulux Vivid White on the window frames etc, but am now a little concerned about it being to bright/stark or not giving good coverage? Would it be better to go with an alternative warmer white something like Dulux Peplum Quarter, Natural White, White Polar Quarter or Whisper White instead or stick with Vivid White? We would still like a fairly clean contrast white. The roof is made of brown tiles with a reddish undertone. Hoping the overall effect will be grey and white and not lilac and white! 😉
    Thank you!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Melissa You are right in thinking that Dulux Vivid White does not give good coverage. Dulux Snowy Mountains Quarter has a touch more grey so stands up to the sun better or even half strength if you want a little more depth – try out a sample first in the brightest and darkest areas to see if you like the effect. Good luck Samantha

  82. Terri says:

    Hi Samantha
    I am hoping to get your advice please. We have bought a bit of an ugly duckling 80’s brick house. The previous owners had the tiled roof repainted black and replaced the gutters and fascia in monument. The windows in the entire house also need to be replaced. We want to lighten the exterior as much as possible without trying to make an older home look too modern or too bland. We we thinking of getting the new window frames in monument also and rendering the home in a lighter colour. The colours I have been looking at are Grey Pebble, Winter Terrace and Calf Skin. We have a new garage door in colorbond chestnut and a merbau feature fence. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Terri This all sounds good. As the roof is heavy I feel you need a little depth in your wall colour to balance it so I think that Grey Pebble will be too light – even though you want a light house it may appear washed out. Calf Skin is a good choice in terms of depth but isn’t very grey – Dulux Winter Terrace will be a bit lighter and greyer. I suggest you paint a large sample board with two coats and move it around the house as it will also depend on the aspect too. Hope this helps Samantha

  83. Karen says:

    Hi Samantha, I would love you thoughts on what exterior wall colour we should go with. We have a sandstone foundation, 100 year old house with old red tiled roof, white windows and black guttering. We have had a taupe colour on the walls for many years and without changing the above, I’m looking to just change the walls after some renovations. We have just discovered Dulux Raku after looking at much lighter greys. I’m struggling with the red roof colour for matching. It reflects onto the upper story and makes colours look pink. I think the dark Raku will not have this issue. Any issues would be much appreciated.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Karen in the sun, Dulux Raku has deep purple undertones which I think will stand up to and go really well with your terracotta roof. You should try a large sample first but as long as you are happy with slight purple hues this is a beautiful exterior grey. Good luck Samantha

  84. Helen says:

    I’m so confused we picked a Austral brick ‘Graphite’ and were after 2 grey render colours. What would you recommend. You roof tiles are almost charcoal.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Helen I can’t find this brick in their range so it is difficult to say. What I would recommend though is that you look at the underlying colour in the brick – is it a blue or more of a neutral grey etc. Then choose a darker grey and a lighter grey than the brick. You need to have quite a difference between the two greys to see a contrast so look at them at the Austral display centre outside to check you like them. Hope this helps Samantha

  85. paul stobbie says:

    Hi Samantha…so much info…all very good but im still a bit confused…please help….the front of our house will have vertical colorbond in monument soon, there are 2 alcoves in between 2 front to be colorbond panels (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs) which we think would need to be contrasting to the monument in maybe a dark grey (what we are unsure..perhaps..stepney?) then we have these large columns either side and basically framing the front of house which we think may need to be white but not sure of what white to go with the definite colorbond monument and the possible stepney in the alcoves? Would love your help or suggestions if you can.cheers paul and marta

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Paul & Marta Dulux Stepney is a nice neutral warm grey that is not too light or too dark and I find works well on exteriors so you try a sample of that next to the Monument and check that it gives you the look/contrast that you want. I am a little concerned about your large columns framing the house in white as these will really stand out – it’s basically the first thing you will see – you just need to ensure that is the look that you want. Good luck Samantha

  86. Josh says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Love your blog – what an amazing resource.
    Need your help with colours – house is weatherboard though not qlder (rough sawn cedar currently stained, slightly cabin style). Single storey but on stumps and high pitch roof. Will paint roof Monument to match extension but can’t decide wt colours for cladding and trim. Windows are black. We like Viking Grey but concerned it will be too dark with black windows and dark roof. Also considering something lighter like Knights Landing. There seems to be very limited examples of similar houses with black windows.
    Would love your opinion.
    Many thanks, Josh

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Josh You really do make a statement when you paint a house dark that also has dark trim/windows. It is a very striking look and without the white trim is also very contemporary. Viking Grey is a warmer off black – slightly purple and Knight’s Landing has a definite blue undertone. You have to consider whether you want to go the whole way and have a very dark off black house – there are some shown like this on Pinterest and I have a post about painting your house black. If you go with a very dark grey like Knights Landing you will define your windows more. Hope this helps with your decision making Samantha

  87. Ian & Cathy Mathieson says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Fantastic blog. We have a large contemporary style residence in the Northern Gold Coast area which we are about to repaint. We like many others are going the “grey route”. The house is a rendered finish in two colours (modern earthy neutral tones). We really love Rakaia as our dark colour selection and have half settled on Midhurst Quarter (another from the NZ range) on the light grey colour. We intend to also use Colourbond Monument on gutters and facia trying to give it is an extra contemporary look. Are we on track for the contemporary look we are trying to achieve and do you have any other suggestions we might like to consider?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Ian and Cathy glad you are enjoying the blog. These are gorgeous earthy browns and although they have some grey in them I wouldn’t necessarily call them grey. I think that with the addition of Monument you will get a contemporary look and the colours work really well together – I love the New Zealand range from Dulux. Dulux Whakarewara is similar to Rakaia but with a touch more grey which you could look at for the dark colour? Good luck Samantha

  88. Archana says:

    Hi Samantha!
    Glad to have found your blog 🙂
    I need some help in choosing external scheme for my North facing home.
    The below is our current selection.
    Roof : Boral Roof Tile Slimline Twilight
    Render : Dulux Grey pail
    Pillars :Dulux Malay Grey
    Windows: Colorbond Monument
    Fascia, Gutter : Colorbond Monument
    Garage doors :Colorbond Surfmist
    Entry door :Surfmist
    Timber exterior(in facade) : Dulux WoodStain Walnut
    I’m worried how the entire color scheme shows up.Any inputs will be highly appreciated.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Archana My only question mark is over the pairing of Dulux Grey Pail and Dulux Malay Grey. Grey Pail is a blue grey while Malay Grey is a warm almost purple grey. Perhaps have a think about whether your want a warm or cool look for the house and go with something that has the same base. Hope this helps Samantha

      • Gillian says:

        Hi Samantha – thankyou for your blog. We have a 1910’s weatherboard cottage front facing north. New roof is Woodland Grey and we’ve used monument on solid Frend door shutters and windows. Current weather boards are Grand Piano 3/4 which we find shows every bit if dust/dirt. Looking for a grey which doesn’t throw blue we sampled Timeless Grey but it’s too dark on horizontal boards. Any suggestions? Thanks again.

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Gillian Dulux Lyttleton is a light green grey – more of a stone colour than a green – which is lighter than Timeless Grey. This might be worth a sample? Good luck Samantha

      • Archana Kolagatla says:

        Thanks for the reply.we are looking for a cool look for the house.can you recommend a dark shade of cool grey that would work as a contrast for the dulux grey pail we choose.

      • Archana Kolagatla says:

        Thanks Samantha:-) how does dulux domino work in place of dulux malay grey for the pillars.the entire facade will be dulux grey pail?

        • Samantha Bacon says:

          Hi Archana Dulux Domino is darker than Malay Grey and will be very heavy looking – Dulux Drive Time is a darker version of Grey Pail and the same tonal level as Malay Grey so you could try a sample of this. It does start to read blue though. Samantha

  89. Simon says:

    Hi Samantha, great blog. We are repainting our 3 storey home this summer and struggling to even narrow down the choices. Roof and garage door are Surfmist, gutters are Woodland Grey, windows silver. There is some decking and terracotta tiles on the balconies and 40m of balustrades are powder coated light blue (I am not repainting those!). Our weatherboard cottage next to the house was done last summer in Oyster Linen which is growing on us but could be changed in a few years.

    We were looking at whites such as Terrace White but having read your previous comments I am concerned the Surfmist garage door will then look darker than the walls. Should we go for something like Lyttelton or will this clash with all the other elements? We are in the hinterland so lots of greenery around.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Simon I would be inclined to use Lyttleton rather than Terrace White. Dulux Terrace White is not much different in tone to Surfmist but one is blue while the other is a creamy more neutral white. Dulux Lyttleton is a bit darker so will show a little more contrast – still not much and it does have a green base so I think will suit the overall look better and it is a great exterior neutral so should work with the blue balustrades too. Try a large sample though as you may be better going even a little darker depending on the look you want to achieve. Good luck Samantha

      • Simon says:

        Wow this could be a tough sell, the other half just wants everything ‘white’

        If we did go darker have you got 2 or 3 popular recommendations for me to put forward

  90. Debra Burns says:

    Hi Samantha,
    Very interesting article. I’m painting the exterior of my cottage. The roof is Colorbond Manor Red. I’d love to paint the exterior walls in Dulux Timeless Grey. Just wondering if the two would look ok with white trims?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Debra Yes – I can’t see why this wouldn’t work – the roof is less dominant in the scheme if you paint the gutters and fascia either white or a darker grey. Good luck Samantha

  91. natasha says:

    Hi Samantha, we have an old farmhouse. Our interior walls are timber lining boards and are painted antique white usa. We were thinking of painting the doors, door trims and window trims in colorbond dune half strength (to tie in with the unfortunate aluminium windows which the previous owners put in after removing the old rotted timber windows). Do you think that the colorbond dune half strength would be in harmony with the antique white usa and with the aluminium windows? I had previously painted the trims etc in limed white half and it looked shocking against the antique white usa – the limed white half looked purple! Thanks Natasha

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Natasha Dune has a warm taupe pink undertone while Antique White USA has a creamy warm almost apricot undertone so I wouldn’t mix these together. If you don’t like the Dune windows, I would try to disguise them with blinds or simply sheers etc. rather than bringing any more of the colour into the scheme. You will end up with a similar look to using the Limed White. Perhaps use a fresher white to go with your walls and then think about white drapes/sheers? Hope this helps Samantha

  92. Natasha says:

    Hi Samantha, thank you so much for your advice and suggestion, I really appreciate it. I think we’ll be taking your advice and getting out the paint brushes to paint the windows/trims a type of white! Thanks, Natasha

  93. Fiona says:

    Hi Samantha, we are painting the exterior our farmhouse (solid concrete walls) and I think we have decided on Dulux Livingstone for the walls. We still haven’t decided on the trim colour, I would love a white however the dust storms and weather makes this pretty impractical. I am thinking of a charcoal colour and hoping you might have some suggestions that would work well with Livingstone. I like Porters Paints Mineral and it seems to have a green undertone as well but just interested in your thoughts and what you think would work well.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Fiona I think that Mineral would be a good option. Remember though that sometimes dust can show up just as much on really dark colours as light. Livingstone is a great neutral stone colour. Good luck Samantha

  94. Nicole Torrisi says:

    Wow, your knowledge of colours and undertones displayed in these comments blows me away!

    We are trying choose a grey (boards), white (trim) and charcoal (fascias) colour scheme for our Californian bungalow. I think board colour is most crucial for us. We want a mid-grey that isn’t blue or greige. Tranquil Retreat was too light and Milton Mood seems the right depth but appears too blue. Any suggestions on an alternative? I was thinking Silwort but it seems to lean greige! Then the challenge of a dark charcoal to go with the board colour that isn’t green or blue? I’m ready to pick any white I find if I can get those two sorted. Any advice you have would be so wonderful!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicole You could try a sample of Taubmans Grey Stone. This is the same depth as Milton Moon and Silkwort but not as blue as MM or as warm/purple as Silkwort. It’s difficult to say if you still may find it too greige but I think it could be worth a try to start with and then your other colours will flow from getting this right. good luck Samantha

  95. Nicole says:

    Good morning Samantha, love reading your blog.
    I’m having huge issues choosing a colour grey to paint the exterior of our house. The same as a lot of people, don’t want the blue or purple undertone which some greys have.
    I am going for dark grey (charcoal ?) walls with eves, facials, decorative trim white.
    I’ve tried the following of different walls of the house depending on which way they facing, or under cover etc.
    Timeless Grey in differing strengths – throwing blue
    Flooded Gum – throwing purple
    Stepney – throwing purple
    Haven’t tried Silkwort, will this also throw purple?
    Also tried others, but not further than patches as didn’t like them to do in a larger area.
    My biggest fear when choosing a grey was having a blue house!
    Timeless grey & Flooded Gumboth look great under the veranda / covered areas or when the sun isn’t out, but as soon as the sun shines on it, it looks awful!
    Can you suggest where from here with my colour choice. When I say charcoal, I also don’t mind griege tones either. My husband wants to go quite dark so you can see the contrast with white, we also have white windows.
    Would love your help if at all possible.
    Thanks so much!
    Kind a Regards, Nicole

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Nicole Silkwort will also throw purple in the sun so I think you need to be looking at more of a greige so that you have a slight brown grey to ensure you don’t end up with the blue or purple. Or you could consider a green based grey like Dulux Lyttleton Double. Good luck Samantha

  96. Jessamyn says:

    Hi, Samantha!

    We are currently trying to decide on exterior paint colors and my vision is almost exact the the one with the yellow green chartreuse door in this blog, I was wondering if you can tell me the names of the paint colors for the door trim and siding and also wanted to ask your advice on painting the red brick that is decorative and only comes up half of the way on the front of our house….I really dislike that bright red it just makes me think of the styles that were popular in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and that just isn’t a decor I really want to go back to just yet. The house is single story and pretty classic home style and lacks character bigtime I struggle to find ways to add enough curb appeal since it is pretty boring and only has a small amount of boring basic exterior trim which I would like to maybe add to and jazz up a bit. Thanks in advance- Jessamyn in Idaho!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Jessamyn lovely to hear from you all the way from Idaho! I’m afraid I don’t know the greys that are on that particular house. You could take the image to your local paint store though and they may be able to color match it for you? Perhaps introduce some extra colour and interest at your entrance with some pots or a bench with cushions to make up for the lack of trim on the house? By the way people who like green front doors are known to be civilised and conventional with easy manners and charm! Thanks again for posting Samantha

  97. Caesar and Tanya says:

    Hi Samantha – this was soooo helpful. We are just about to paint our 1927 Rough Cast California Bungalow in Dulux Hammer Grey (It was that or Teahouse). We are just struggling with a window colour, we were thinking white but as we test it, it is too stark, we tried vivid, Antiique white and will be trying surfmist. We either need a warmer white or possibly go Dulux Domino (Dark) for the window. Would love your opinion.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Caesar and Tanya Dulux Hammer Grey is a gorgeous rich warm brown grey and so your trim should tie in with this. I have used Surfmist for windows with this colour – it looks fresh white against it but doesn’t scream at you like a Vivid White would. Warm greys like Colorbond Dune suit this grey really well too. Dulux Domino has a blue undertone so I would avoid this but you could of course use a plain black if you wanted a different look. You need to really consider the overall look of the house as it will appear very different with either light or dark windows. Hope this helps Samantha

  98. leigh says:

    Hi Samantha, wow what a great blog! im wondering if you could help me, I am renovating my courtyard and our landscaper has recommended we paint our fences in dulux monument however we have a pergola in colorbond windspray and I’m wondering if these colour tones will clash? if so could you suggest different dark charcoal colour that wojld tie in with rhe windswept grey? we will also be laying pavers in a deep concrete grey. thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Leigh your landscaper is on the money with Monument for your fence – it is a great neutral to use as it doesn’t have a noticeable underlying colour and will work well with Windspray. Hope you love your new courtyard Samantha

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Liz it really depends on the look and mood you want for your room. Dulux Linseed has more depth and colour while Dulux Grey Pebble is quite a bit paler and greyer. Consider the other elements in the space, the amount of natural light and whether you want a more open, airy look or a more cosy feel. Hope this helps Samantha

  99. Natasha Whyte says:

    Hi Samantha.
    We are looking to paint our 1950’s hudson-style weatherboard home in Newcastle and have got ourselves completely and utterly confused with the colours! The weatherboards are currently a sandy/beige colour with a woodland grey roof, gutters & garage (which due to strong westerly sun have now turned a lighter grey, more like windspray). There is also terracotta brick at the base of the house. We have many sample pots of light greys and like the idea of a welcoming bluey-grey such as Dulux Miller Mood. This colour looks lovely out the back which is more shaded but my concern is that it looks quite washed out on the front (western facing) and also makes it look more blue rather than blue-grey. I am keen to hear your thoughts. Can you suggest any other similar colours that have a bit more depth to withstand the bright western sunlight? And would you suggest painting the terracotta brick in a dark grey to contrast the lighter weatherboards?
    Thank you so much.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Tash Dulux Miller Mood certainly does look blue when the sun shines on it. Dulux Accord is less blue and you could try a sample of this. You don’t necessarily want to make the house too neutral though and weatherboard homes can take a bit of colour. Once you decide on your weatherboard colour you should check with the paint store to see how this looks a few tones darker and then use this to paint the brick as some contrast would look good. Hope this helps Samantha

  100. Veronica says:

    Hi Samantha!! We are currently painting our house which is a queenslander and wanted to know what wall colour will go with colourbond wallaby roof?? The trims are lexicon half, we thought maybe dieskau but are unsure and wanted more choices!! Also what colour to paint front door and back? And the under house skirting?? Your option would be much appreciated!!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Veronica Colorbond Wallaby is a warm brown grey and will work with Dulux Dieskau. You need to remember that Dieskau has a warm lavender undertone which is what you really need to bear in mind. It will look lovely but we all have different ideas about what we want to see in a colour. In shade, particularly around the verandah, it will be less obvious. You could look at something like Dulux Narrow Neck Half which is a warm greige but without the lavender. Try a large sample first and compare it with the Dieskau. In terms of your accent colours this will depend on your gutter, fascia, balustrade etc. Just remember for your under house skirting that dark colours recede and are less noticeable while white colours stand out. I hope this helps – You have lots to think about and I do have an online colour consultation service if you have problems pulling it all together. Good luck Samantha

  101. Lee Rafferty says:

    Hi Samantha. I would be grateful if you could help with the following. Our local Dulux paint representative has said that Dulux Monument is not recommended as a colour for painting our roof (decramastic tile) or timber picket fence or concrete block fence due to the low LRV (Light Reflective Value) and the bright tints in this colour would compromise the substrate over time. What colour substitute could be used instead? I was quite keen on Monument. There is Lyttleton quarter on the weatherboards and Lexicon quarter on the trim. Many thanks for your help!

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Lee Perhaps ask the paint rep about the colour Basalt which is a nice grey – slight blue undertone but I have used this for painting roofs where Monument is considered too dark and it looks good and will go with the colour scheme. Otherwise get some guidance from the rep about the LRV that is acceptable for this type of roofing – I know the roofing but haven’t had any experience with specifying colour for it. However I have had no problems with concrete blocks or picket fences painted in Monument so far. Hope this helps Samantha

  102. Kylie says:

    Hi Samantha. Thanks so much for your blog and all your answers to people’s questions. We’d also appreciate your advice. We’re renovating our small weatherboard house (7.5m wide), with a Shale Grey gable roof and Monument picket fence. The front faces west. We’re struggling to chose a grey for the weatherboard and then a white for windows/fascia. Our interior will feature earthy tones like grey, sage green, tan, copper and timber. We don’t want a total disconnect from outside to inside so figure we should avoid blue, purple or lavender greys for the weatherboard. We’ve tried Lyttelton Double as you’ve said that both it and Shale Grey have green undertones. We thought a warm grey sounded like the right way to go (given the earthy tones inside) but see Lyttelton is a cool grey. Is there a warm grey (Dulux or Taubmans) similar to Lyttelton double (or even a bit darker/deeper) that would look ok with Shale Grey? I understand that maybe we are just overthinking this all way too much! 🙂

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kylie you could have a look at Dulux Narrow Neck. This is a warm but fairly neutral grey of about the same tonal level as Lyttleton Double. Try a sample pot on a large piece of board and move it around the exterior of the house to see what you think. Good luck! Samantha

  103. Glenn says:

    Hi Samantha,
    I am having my house rendered. Would you go with Silkwort or diffused grey?
    I have Malay Grey gutters and window trims.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Glenn both colours will work – Dulux Silkwort has more of a lavender undertone and Diffused Grey is a cooler more neutral grey. I prefer Silkwort but you need to think about the overall look and whether you are happy to see more of the warmth come through as you would with Malay Grey. Hope this helps Samantha

  104. Alice Carroll says:

    I like that you mentioned that using neutral colors for the exterior of my house can make it endure a long amount of time without going out of style. For my recent home improvement projects, I’ve been working a lot with minimalist styles. Maybe I should start getting my walls painted with muted colors and see how that would work out.

  105. Mark Balzan says:

    struggling with picking grey colours, we have just painted the roof tiles with Monument Black and was thinking of painting the gutters and facia with the same, then use Surfmist on the bagged brickwork. what do you think?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Mark This is a tried and tested colour scheme – Surfmist though will appear more white than grey and will be a strong contrast to the roof. You also need to consider the window/garage colour etc. Hope this helps Samantha

  106. Kam says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are building a new double story house and just deciding on the colours right now with a contrast. The house built with Hebel and 180mm Linea Weatherboard.
    Would you think Timeless grey on Hebel and Shale Grey on Weatherboard works with Wattyl white on all trims, Front door, white windows and garage ? with sufmist at Fascia and Gutter will be Monument.
    And for internals, looking at Kitty Grey with Wattyl white

    So confused

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Kam The exterior scheme sounds like a classic contemporary grey home – this should work well. Good luck Samantha

  107. Chris Dickerson says:

    Hi Samantha, We have a Colorbond Ironstone roof in which we are trying to find a suitable colour for the front colour rendered walls and trims.
    We are trying to stay away from beige type colours frequently matched with Ironstone and like the greys better. Would also like a contrasting colour for the window frames and gutters. What would you recommend. Thanks Chris

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Chris it’s difficult to provide a full colour scheme without seeing the house but in terms of a grey to go with Ironstone I like Dulux Doe. This is leaning towards a greige but I find that the warm beige/greys go better with the blue of Ironstone than the cooler blue based greys. This is a mid to light tone outside so you need to consider the depth that you want, how much light your house receives etc. Good luck Samantha

  108. Lee Rafferty says:

    Hi Samantha, I would be grateful if you could recommend one or two Dulux paint colours for our roof pleaese. The weatherboards are Lyttelton Quarter and window trims Okarito and the house base concrete blocks are Monument. They all look so beautiful together, but we now see that there is a substantial amount of Monument on the base of the house and decided a dark roof would make it look a bit like a prison. Lol. We have a decramastic roof (a metal tile). Kindest regards and thanking you in advance, Lee.

  109. Sarah says:

    Hi Samantha. Would appreciate your advice. We have a californian bungalow with terracotta roof tiles. Our external fences are Woodland Grey and we are going to paint our gutters and fascia Woodland Grey. We’re putting in plantation shutters so will do the window frames in a pure white colour (considering Vivid White). We need to select a colour for the walls of the house which are rendered. Front of house is south facing. Our pickets on our fence are Windspray with Woodland Grey posts but we think the Windspray is too blue. We’ve tried Flooded Gum on the walls but it’s too purple. We’re keen to get a grey neutral that works with Woodland Grey and doesn’t throw any strong colours. Also keen to avoid it looking brown. What would you recommend? Thanks heaps.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sarah Dulux Lyttleton double is a nice neutral pale grey which has a slight green undertone. This would work well with Woodland Grey – perhaps grab a sample pot to see what you think. Good luck Samantha

  110. Michael says:

    Hi Samantha, thankyou for this site and the time you put into these replies. Been looking for a grey that goes with ironstone to freshen up my hardiplank rural house. Aluminum windows are (slightly faded) ironstone, so will be painting fascia and skirting ironstone too.. Roof is just galvanised corrugated iron. For main exterior have so far tried samples of shale grey (liked this at first, maybe a little light now), flooded gum (looked nice under front veranda, maybe a little too purple on north facing wall), flooded gum half and milton moon. Any thoughts of other colors that could possibly work here? Was thinking of trying Dulux doe next which you mentioned a few comments up. Thankyou.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Michael You have been looking at a mixture of cool and warm greys so you need to consider which look you prefer. Shale Grey is the most neutral of all of the greys and does look lovely on weatherboards. Dulux Milton Moon is a little darker but can read blue in some lights. Something like Dulux Doe does give you more depth and is a browner grey which works really well with Ironstone – I think this would be worth a try for a comparison but try to think about whether you prefer a warm or a cool grey. Hope this helps Samantha

  111. Janey says:

    Hi Samantha
    Thank you for your fabulous info! I would love some help please, for a new build we are using a combination of a neutral off white brick with Monument roofing and rendered sections in Monument plus an ash toned light wood for door etc.
    To have all rendered sections in Monument is going to look too dark and dominate everything so looking to add in a complimentary lighter colour to Monument that is very neutral. I thought it would be easy to find a colour but it’s proving to be very tough!
    Would be most grateful for any suggestions.
    Many thanks

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Janey yes, it can be tough as all greys have an underlying colour which can become more apparent the lighter you go. You need to decide how dark you want the complementary colour to be – you might like something like Dulux Western Myall but this is still quite dark and you need to see how it balances with the off white brick and the ash toned wood. Hope this helps Samantha

  112. Rebecca says:

    I am currently redoing my fences and hope to do gutters, fascias etc but am really confused as to whether i should use woodland grey for the fence or Shale grey. We have a lot of fences around our house and our house has a very dark brown brick (up close you can see black and white flecks. What ever coliur we pick for the fences we will use the opposite colour for accents so for example around our front door it is cement rendered so that would be woodland grey if the fence is shale grey and the gutters would be woodland grey. Can you tell me which would be the better option when you have a house that has such dark brick.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Rebecca I tend to opt for darker fences, particularly if you have a lot of them, as they will recede and be less noticeable and also the plants look better against a dark background. In terms of whether you should use Shale Grey on your house, it is too difficult to say for sure without seeing the house. Hope this helps Samantha

  113. Maureen says:

    Hi Samantha I am getting lots of inspiration from your page. I am looking at painting the exterior of my house in Winter Fog and was wondering what would be a good contrasting dark colour for the garage door (currently stained timber) which I would like to paint and the trims? Thank you.

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Maureen it depends so much on other elements of your house – roof, front door etc. You need to consider your guttering colour and any other colour elements on the house. As a neutral starting point, Monument would work well for a dark garage door with Dulux Winter Fog but you may then want to add some white trim too to give it a lift. There are a lot of variations so it is difficult to say for sure. You may find my post on Monument to be helpful Hope this helps Samantha

  114. Sharon says:

    Hi Samantha, I have a fibro/cement cladded farm house currently painted (farm dirty) Colourbond Classic Cream. The windows are Colonial Style in Pale Eucalypt and the roof is Woodland Grey. I got a sample pot of the Colourbond Shale Grey in a half tint for the Walls and Colourbond Surfmist for the trims. I have tried these on many different area’s of the house and the half tint Shale Grey has a blue undertone. My question is would it still have the blue undertone if it was painted full strength or could it have something to do with the Classic Cream (original colour) underneath, or the Surfmist on the trims? I am thinking I might try a white on the trims and maybe Dulux Tranquil Retreat on the walls, but want to know if this would have blue undertone as well. Please help. Sharon

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Sharon Shale Grey can read a little blue – I also see a lot of green in the full strength of it – it is certainly a cool grey. Undertones of a grey are often more obvious the lighter they get so you may prefer full strength. I think a crisper white with Tranquil Retreat though will give you more of the look that you want. Hope this helps Samantha

  115. Libby says:

    Hi Samantha,
    We are wanting to convert our very brown/cream toned outside to grey/white, but on a limited budget!
    We currently have colourbond jasper gutters/facia/down pipes and a similarly brown toned roof. Our garage door is paperbark.
    Luckily for us we have white window frames, so we are hoping that if we paint our roller door white we can use a ‘greige’ to tie in and get the look we’re after!
    I know we can’t really go a cool grey, so we were looking at silkwort, or dieskau? Could that work? Or any other light-mid greys that won’t give too beige/brown look overall?

    • Samantha Bacon says:

      Hi Libby Dulux Silkwort is a classic warm grey that is very popular – I think this would work better than Dieskau which would be too light. Perhaps try a large sample of it next to the white garage and the Jasper trim to see how you like the effect. You need to be careful not to go too grey with the brown of the trim. Hope this helps Samantha

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