Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Last week, I let you in on our secret of how bad the exterior paint really was.

It looked fine from afar:

The back of the storefront.
The back of the storefront.

But up close, it was shabby to say the least.

Eeeep. Look at that paint.
Eeeep. Look at that paint.

Something needed to be done before our weekly Sunday afternoon BBQ guests started skipping our BBQ for one without manky paint. That’s right, it wouldn’t be my cooking, or our dirt patch of a yard that would drive them away, it would be the PAINT!

I got off my daybed, put my drink away, and got started. I wire brushed the loose paint, re-caulked and spot primed the problem areas with a good coat of Zinnser primer.

Now it was time to choose a paint colour.

I hit Pinterest, and my Storefront Exterior Board for some inspiration:
Follow Kristen’s board Storefront Exterior Inspiration on Pinterest.

I liked the idea of doing a lighter body color, and a darker trim. Something that would also blend in to the electrical & cable boxes plaguing the back of the storefront.

A cable box, the electrical box for the a/c unit, and a myriad of cables & wires litter the back of the storefront
A cable box, the electrical box for the a/c unit, and a myriad of cables & wires litter the back of the storefront

This is my inspiration:


Photo via

I broke out the left over paint from the front of the Storefront, Cracked Pepper in Satin, and did a test patch on the trim.

Testing out dark trim.
Testing out dark trim.

I liked it! AND it meant I didn’t have to buy new paint for the trim.

Now for the body color. We hemmed and hawed on light grays and I narrowed it down to two: Silver Screen or Pewter Mug.

Choosing Paint colours for the exterior rear of the storefront
Choosing Paint colours for the exterior rear of the storefront

I bought a can of Pewter Mug Behr Premium Plus Ultra from Home Depot, and headed home. I started painting, stepped back, and realized it was way way too light. Oops.

photo 1(9)
Pewter Mug aka too damn light

So down to the basement I went, and scoured through our selection of medium gray paint. I grabbed a can of Anonymous (from our master bedroom), and headed back outside to see how it looked on the wall.

photo 2(10)
Pewter Mug on the top, Anonymous on the bottom, Cracked Pepper for the trim

A few brush strokes later, and we realized a darker gray was a much better choice.

Back to the store we went, and had a can of Behr Anonymous mixed up.

Behr Anonymous

I cant wait to show you how it all turned out, but I have a bit more work to do before then.

In the meantime, I am on the hunt for two new exterior lights.

I want a couple large barn lights. I love these from Home Depot (and their 12″ size) but $218 each is out of my price range. Sad face.

Progress Lighting Brookside Collection Gilded Iron 1-light Wall Lantern - Home Depot $218 CDN
Progress Lighting
Brookside Collection Gilded Iron 1-light Wall Lantern – Home Depot $218 CDN

I need something closer to the $50 price range.

Any suggestions on inexpensive outdoor barn lights?

Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

8 thoughts on “Choosing Exterior Paint Colors”

  1. Kristen, I love your home! I dream of doing to my house, some of the things you have done. I just got off some bad medicine, tho. And am still recovering. I live in Louisianna. I am from New Orleans, but now live in Pineville. The other thing is my hubby (whom I love dearly!) works on a boat, and is gone a LOT! My projects will go slow,to say the least! Gee……can I rent you, and your hubby for a while?! Just kidding! My very small dining area is red and yellow. I know….but at the time I wanted bright!!! Well now I want to paint my kitchen cabinets. My taste has changed. I may re-paint the dining area, but things go so slow around here, I hate to think of doing that! I want vintage, and rustic for Kitchen. I was thinking a very pale yellow…??? And leave the red out this time. That would still leave the backsplash, and remaining walls(which isnt a lot SMALL kitchen.) Please help?!? I LOVE your home, and compliment you and hubby. Wish I could fly you down here!! Thanks, Joni

    1. Hi Joni,

      When it comes to kitchen cabinet color I always recommend a neutral. Something like white or grey will allow you to bring pops of color into the room with other elements such as textiles. This way you can easily change the look and feel of the whole room with a new pair of curtains or some fun dishes and kitchen accessories! If you want to add a pop of color within the cabinets, try painting the inside backs a fun color. We did ours in aqua and love it! You can see them here: .

  2. How come those same lights are listed as $166.53 on Home Depot canada when I access from BC? Another thought, since your house is heritage, but the doors and windows modern, could you find something cool from a salvage or antique place? I also like the idea of maybe copper as a finish? It’d stand outt from the black trim and look amazing next to the grey house colour…

    1. I guess the pricing must be different around the country? You do have to enter your post code, so that makes sense. No fair though! Now I want to move to BC!

      I am absolutely on the hunt for something vintage. I ADORE the idea of copper, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I have quite a few copper lights pinned to my board, and ideally I would love a great big one for the front of the storefront as well. I have been drooling over these for weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *