Paint job: How to choose the perfect colours

There’s no such thing as a second chance to make a good first impression, so the stakes are high when it comes to the colour palette of your home’s exterior. Exterior house colours play a big role in giving your home street appeal, as well as setting the tone for what’s to come when guests visit for the first time after your new build or renovation is complete. All of which makes choosing exterior house colours a daunting task. From accent hues to architectural cues, there is a lot to consider, but we’ve made the task a little easier. Here are the best exterior house paint colours to suit the most popular home styles in Australia.

Scandi Barn

Scandinavian-inspired barn-style houses are soaring in popularity across Australia, and for good reason. The style champions open-plan living, statement-making vaulted ceilings and a striking modern house look that makes a bold first impression from the street.

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The design ethos celebrates the beauty of simplicity, and so should the colour palette. A dark charcoal paint is essential, and can be used exclusively from gutter to ground for a bold statement or as an accent to highlight the shape of the pitched gable roof synonymous with barn style. As an accent colour, it will pair well with a crisp white for contemporary contrast, or beside brick features for added texture.

Scandi barn colours HFTC

Prefer a monochrome application across the whole home? Utilise Hardie™ Oblique™ Cladding to add depth to the design. Made from fibre cement, it comes pre-primed, can be painted any colour and will resist warping and splitting in the heat, no matter how dark you decide to go.

Mid-Century Modern

Australians' love for Mid-Century Modernism shows no sign of abating. Whether you are building a new abode inspired by the architectural movement of the 20th century, or renovating an existing modernist house, you'll be familiar with key features such as flat roof profiles, floor-to-ceiling windows and seamless indoor-outdoor connections. The exterior paint colour combinations, however, can be harder to pinpoint.

mid century modern hardie fine texure cladding dulux paint swatches

This style is all about warm, neutral and earthy hues which pair beautifully with the render-like finish of Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding. Opt for light olive greens, warm greys and even muted mustards for the body paint, paired with crisp white timber details and architectural highlights. Add a punch of colour (think red, orange or aqua) on the front door and your combo is complete.

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The Hamptons aesthetic is beloved in almost every coastal region in the country, and beyond. The Australian adaptation of this quintessential American look is defined by weatherboard cladding such as Linea™ Weatherboards painted in a palette of neutral whites and greys with accents of blue.

hamptons linea dulux paint swatches

For a pared-back approach, choose a neutral grey or sea mist body colour and enhance with crisp white detailing on the windows, doors and architectural features. Natalee Bowen, Australia’s resident Hamptons style expert (find her on Instagram at @indahisland), will inspire you with more ideas on how to execute this look. To take a more modern hybrid approach to Hamptons, make a statement with rich navy boldly contrasted against a fresh white accent.


Hamptons Look Book

Our Hamptons Look Book provides design inspiration and highlights different hallmarks to achieve the Hamptons home of your dreams. The look book can support the start of your design journey and help you identify images you like for your vision board. Get a copy of the James Hardie Hamptons Look Book now.


Modern Coastal

White-on-white is the simple but effective palette behind the Modern Coastal aesthetic. The style is a refined evolution of the classic Australian beach shack, which is upgraded from timber weatherboard to profiles such as Stria™ Cladding, Axon™ Cladding, Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, and of course, Linea™ Weatherboards.

modern coastal hardie fine texture cladding dulux paint swatches

The experts at Three Birds Renovations suggest choosing a white with a cool undertone for the ultimate modern and minimalist edge, as well as a more chalky option for the outdoors to disguise dust and dirt better than a pure white. Warmth is injected with accents of timber via the front door and stone via the footpath.


Finalising the exterior design of your new build or renovation is one of the most exciting parts of the process, and while it can be overwhelming, it’s also a lot of fun. Be brave, embrace your favourite style, and prepare to see your home in a whole new light.

Modern Look Book

Our Modern Look Book provides design inspiration and highlights hallmarks to help describe and define the clean, contemporary home of your dreams. Discover which modern look you love then use the images and language to brief your designer or builder.


Download our Modern Look Book for more great house exterior ideas and design guidance.

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