Looking for black and white exterior paint colors? Gather inspiration from this Sherwin Williams White Duck and Tricorn Black exterior and get tips for choosing the right white paint color and black trim color.
When we bought this house almost six years ago, I was smitten by the pool and the view out of the back of the house, What I was not in love with was the view of the back of the house.
I knew from day one that the exterior paint color wasn’t right for me and my home decor style, but since it was in good condition, I simply couldn’t justify repainting it at the time… So when the trim around the windows began to show a little water damage, I rejoiced!
Not really… but there was a small part of me that was thankful that it was time for a repaint. 😉
Today I want to show you how we chose our exterior paint colors and how it all turned out. Hopefully this will give you some design ideas, too, if you are working to choose an exterior paint color for your home.
Choosing an off white exterior paint color
Three sides of our home is an off-white brick, while the back is siding. I knew I needed a creamy white exterior paint color to blend with the rest of the house. The back of the house, though, was painted a dark khaki with white trim.
It was easy to see that pure white wouldn’t work. What I needed was a slightly warm white that had some greige undertones to blend with the bricks but brighten the back of the home.
So I began with four excellent creamy neutrals that don’t have too much yellow:
- SW 6203 Spare White (the original trim color)
- SW 7011 Natural Choice
- SW 7010 White Duck
- SW 7008 Alabaster
I put all the samples in two places: on the porch, where I could consider at various times of day and in the context of the “room” that is the porch, and on the fence, where I could see the color beside the brick.
Tip: Always paint swatches in multiple locations, preferably ones facing different cardinal directions because the sunlight reads differently on north facing and east facing walls, for example. Then, be sure to check it at different times of day.
I decided I wanted something that blended a little more with the brick than the Spare White, which was a bit too bright and cool compared to the brick. Natural Choice was a bit too yellow, and Alabaster was too bright. I love Alabaster for interiors, but for this exterior, it looked much too bright white.
Tip: Remember that colors almost always look several shades lighter on an exterior than on an interior.
That left SW White Duck. I was hoping to pull the lightest tones from the brick, and White Duck exterior had just the right amount of cream and greige undertones to blend beautifully.
Black exterior trim
I have always loved classic black and white houses. And while the three sides of the house that are clad in brick don’t have any paintable trim, I do have black accents like lighting and pottery. So I began testing black trim color options.
I tested some charcoal grays, warmer neutrals, and a true black.
To me, Sherwin Williams tricorn black was the clear winner. Tricorn black is my favorite true black, especially for exteriors, because it lacks the red undertones of a color like SW Black Magic. It is the black we used on the exterior of our colonial house, as well.
Painting the House Exterior
We used our local neighborhood site to find a highly recommended painter (because Mr Pax was not interested in either of us painting that two-story exterior – ha!), and we had our fence repainted at the same time.
They did a wonderful job replacing the rotting trim, scraping any peeling paint, pressure washing the entire facade, masking all the opposing components, and spraying the paint.
White Exterior with Black Trim and White Windows
And now for the full reveal… I have a confession: I didn’t even stage this at all or pull out my big-girl camera. These are all iphone pics I took various evenings when outside in the backyard.
I love the new color scheme (so much more up my alley!) and the overall classic feel it provides.
You will notice that I chose to do black trim even though our windows are white. I honestly debated about this for a long time since the popular look right now is black windows with black trim, and I was concerned that the white windows inside the black trim would bother me…
But love it.
Without the black trim, the house felt too large and white and monotonous. And a bit like a Grecian temple with our giant pillars (again, not my home design choice, but not something I can justify changing at this stage). 😉
Moral of the story: be sure to choose your exterior paint colors carefully, but be willing to take some risks to achieve a color scheme you will love.