As of late, it seems that more and more homeowners are looking to paint their homes yellow. Yellow is a paint color that evokes cheer and happiness. It’s friendly and welcoming when done well; however, picking the wrong shade of yellow can drastically change that. In this article, we break down everything you should consider before painting your home yellow, so you don’t end up with a house that would be best suited for a circus.
Since the start of 2020, yellow has become a much more popular color for exteriors. With so many people turning towards this cheery color, you might be wondering if yellow would be a good color for your home. When it comes to selecting the right paint color there are a few things you should consider. First and foremost, take a look at your neighbors’ homes and make sure there isn’t already a yellow house close by. Most HOAs won’t approve a color that’s too similar to your neighbors. So, if someone’s house is already yellow you may want to look at other options.
Another thing to consider before going with a yellow paint color is the fixed features of your home. This includes things like brick color, stone, and roof color. Yellow is a very bold color and its complementary color is purple, which means it doesn’t match well with colors typically used for painting exteriors. A dark-gray, red, or brown roof will typically pair the best with a yellow exterior. If your home features brick or stone, you may want to reconsider going yellow because it will likely clash with most brick or stone colors. If you’re dead set on a yellow home, you might consider a lighter yellow or even painting your brick to create a cohesive look.
The style of your home should also play a big role to determine if yellow is the best color for your exterior. Here in Colorado, it’s far less common to see a yellow home than it is in coastal cities. Since yellow is so bold you’ll often see it used on smaller homes like ranches or bungalows; however, yellow can also be a great color for Victorians, farmhouses, and Spanish-style homes. The choice to use yellow paint when it’s less traditional can make a big statement. But, to avoid being hated by your neighbors, you need to make sure you choose the right color yellow!
One of the most important factors to know when you choose yellow paints is that you will be limited to certain products. Yellow has a very high fade rate, so yellow options tend to be very limited for exterior paint products. It’s important to know that certain exterior paints are only available in certain bases. A paint base dictates which pigments can be added to create specific colors. Since yellow is so susceptible to fading, many companies will not mix brighter yellows in an exterior paint base because they are sure to fail. This can be incredibly frustrating for homeowners. So we highly recommend you work closely with your local paint store to make sure you only look at yellows that can be mixed into your desired paint product.
Keep in mind, even if a yellow is listed as being suitable for exteriors online or on the color swatch, it doesn’t mean it is available in all products. On most of our exterior projects we use Sherwin Williams Emerald, Emerald Rain Refresh, or Benjamin Moore Aura, and there are very few yellow colors available in these products. For that reason, we typically have to drop clients down to a lower tier paint product such as Sherwin Williams Resilience. This is ranked as Sherwin Williams’ fourth-best exterior product, so you do sacrifice paint longevity and the length of the warranty in order to gain access to those other yellow paints.
Now to the good stuff; what are the best exterior yellows? As we just mentioned, the top-rated exterior paint products for Sherwin Williams are very limited as far as yellow goes. The boldest yellow you can mix into Duration or Emerald is Peace Yellow SW 2857 so that’s a great option to explore. If you’d like to use one of these products, consider looking for a yellow that has a bit more brown undertone. This will help ground the color and increase the likelihood of it being available.
Benjamin Moore offers a few more yellow options, but none that are quite as punchy as Peace Yellow. Here is a list of colors from Benjamin Moore to consider:
Now that you know which yellows might be good option, which should you avoid? As we already mentioned above, yellow is a very bold color and it can easily overwhelm a house! To get that nice pop of color without it looking childish we recommend you avoid overly saturated yellows. You may think this is what you want, but believe us, these colors often look far too bright, especially on an exterior. To give you an idea, here is a list of colors that would not make great exterior yellows:
If you click the links provided, you’ll notice that most of these can only be mixed in interior paints (although we wouldn’t recommend these on the inside either). You should keep an eye out for this as you look through yellow paints. It’s a horrible experience to feel like you’ve fallen in love with a color only to find out you can’t actually have it. These colors are far too bright and will look quite childish when applied to a large space like the body of your home.
If you really love the hyper-pigmented yellow look, we recommend using the color sparingly. Consider painting your front door yellow for a fun pop of color that doesn’t overwhelm.
After you finally pick the right yellow for the body, the next challenge is to choose your complimentary accent colors. White trim is a classic pairing with yellow, but you could also try gray, green, or brown. For a front door, we love a blue-green like Rainwashed SW 6211, a green-gray like Dried Thyme SW 6186, or a blue-gray like Foggy Day SW 6235.
So, should you paint your house yellow?
If you’re looking for a fun, bold, and vibrant house color then yellow might be a great option for you. As always, we highly recommend picking up some samples to test out before making any decisions on yellow paint colors. Keep in mind that you may need HOA approval on your yellow and you should always consider the fixed features on your home before painting. We do hope you found this guide to choosing a yellow paint color helpful. Check out our gallery and Instagram for photos of real houses we’ve painted yellow to get even more ideas!