Picking Authentic Exterior Colors for Our Mid-Century Ranch

Decisions, decisions. We have narrowed down our exterior paint colors to a select few. After looking into authentic mid-century exterior paint colors we decided to go with a blue door - we'll install a new door and fit it with a Crestview Doors Westhaven kit.

And we've narrowed down the field of gray to a select two. We'll be putting one of them on most of the trim on the house. I think what we're going to do at this point is get sample cans of each and see them on a larger scale, without totally committing. That way we can get it right on the first try and hopefully never have to paint again.


  1. Sounds like it's going to be great. I love the blue and gray. I can't wait to see the final result.

  2. What are the names of the two greys above? Any photos of the final result?

  3. No photos yet. We're hoping to get the exterior painting done this year now that we've selected colors. The two grays are Martha Stewart Cement Gray (right, lighter) and Behr Antique Tin (left, darker). We're planning on going with the Antique Tin.

    1. How do you think those two colors look together (i.e., if we did the main part of the house in the Cement Gray and trim in the Antique Tin)?

    2. I don't think they'd look bad together, but I think you could probably find two grays that worked better as a pair.

      If it were me, I'd start with the Cement Gray, because it's more of a true gray, and then find a gray that's in the same family but a few shades darker. The Antique Tin has a touch of blue/purple in it (at least to my eye), which is why I think it looks better with the Tropical Tide blue (the blue in the photo above).

      But if you like them together, you can get tester sizes of both the colors and see what they look like on a larger scale and on your house. That's how we ended up picking one over the other. Well worth the few dollar investment to not hate the final paint job.

  4. Could you pass along the name of the blue color as well? My wife and I are slowly working on our recent mid-century purchase as well (our 1st home, a 1963 brick split-level in Atlanta with all original finishes and fixtures). I have a gray (similar to the dark option above--we will be using Benjamin Moore 1547 Dragon's Breath) picked out for the trim already, but was hoping to update our front door with a nice mid-century blue...

    Keep up the good work--your house is looking great!

  5. The blue is Behr Tropical Tide. For us, it's the right balance of pop and calming.

    But since you're outside Austin, let me suggest a color you might not have considered: orange. A nice deep orange is what we were originally thinking with this gray, but in Austin (home of the University of Texas and burnt orange everything), we thought it would be mistaken for university pride too often.

    And thanks for the kind words. Good luck with all your painting and projects.