• May 3, 2004

Exterior On Hold

So many choices. How will we decide what color to paint our bungalow?

Paint, Restoration Diary

We aren’t moving forward with work on the house until we decide what color to paint it once and for all. This decision has been 8 months in the making. Still not able to decide, we tried some new colors over the weekend just to make sure the grass, er paint, wasn’t greener on someone else’s house. We ended up mostly preferring the colors we had already selected. It is a big decision and we want to make sure that we (ok, me) won’t want to change the color later, like after the paint is purchased and going on the house.

We have run out of room on the front of the house so the side is our new testing ground. Our house looks like it has a case of the chicken pox.

1) I found a beautiful shade of brown that I really like (almost enough to change my mind from green). It glows in the light. It looks like mud in this photo but trust me, in life it is beautiful.

2) This is David’s favorite green. We have been at this so long that it is starting to grow on me.

3) My favorite green, behind the flowers. This isn’t the best photo but the color is a wonderful muted green with a gray undertone.

Any favorites between these 3 colors?

Comments { 13 }
  1. Mark

    Hey Heather and David,

    We’re about a week away from painting our bungalow here in northern Utah and have found that the way to convince oneself of a color is to put a lot of it up, on all walls, in all light and shade variations, framing the windows with it, etc. (We’ve nearly killed the sample quart we bought.) And we actually painted our garage doors, with trim, and that was the clincher, seeing it covering such a big area with trim involved. Though maybe you’ve already done that…. p.s. I like the sage green.

  2. heather

    Mark, thanks for the good advice! I think we will follow it, anything to move forward… :)

  3. Beth

    Ugh! I am in the same boat and have taken the plunge. We went with a dry sage from Sherwin Williams mixed by BM. It looks so dark! We have just one gable painted. I really like #2. Is that the mount villaricca? We are using BM navajo white for our trim and the fatigue green for window sashes. Just do it and enjoy the transformation. I think I will have doubts no matter what. I was second guessing my decision on the way home from BM after having my house look like the chicken pox for weeks. If the house color isn’t perfect I will make my porch furniture and other things perfect and it will all be OK. It is just too hard of a decision when you want it to be perfect. Know that you are not alone,
    AL resident painting a 1928 bungalow

  4. Kristen

    While I voted for green over tan in your poll, I’m intrigued by this new brown. What colors were you considering for trim? Could you incorporate Dave’s favorite green (a bit bolder than your favorite, and I think his might work better in that case) in the trim and/or accent? I spent weeks agonizing over chips, but I’m realizing now I never painted a stroke until I had gallons and gallons already bought. I don’t know why I didn’t on something as big as the exterior, except that maybe I didn’t know any better. (Yet at this moment, my bathroom has giant swatches of about five different colors!) Thanks for the gratuitous Simon pic. He’s getting big (well, as Corgis go)!

  5. Cheryll

    Hi Heather! I am a perfectionist and I understand your agonizing over the exterior colors. Remember the color of your roof and make sure the colors you do pick harmonize with the roof color. What color is the roof? I can’t make it out. It looks like a gray blue in the photos. And don’t go all dark colors or house will look dark and gloomy. Blues, greens and creams go good together. Maybe use roof color on porch floor to tie things together. Usually 3 colors for exterior is enough. I really like the natural shingles on the dormers. Really nice contrast. Maybe you should have someone at paint store lend some suggestions. If they can’t come out and actually look at your house…take photos of house to them at store and ask for their favorite color combinations. They can be really helpful sometimes and can come up with some really sharp and unique looking color combination. Good luck! Cheryll

  6. Elsie

    We have very much enjoyed our “mud” color for about a decade. We repainted last summer and used it again, though it was the obvious time to change :) It is SW Downing Earth. Our trim is Rookwood Blue Green and the other accents are Renwick Rose Beige. These are on the Victorian palette (for my older house) but mostly what I am reinforcing is that the “mud” has been easy to live with and likely be with us for a very long time. I still get a charge when I turn the corner and see my home. Hope it works this way for you also.

  7. heather

    Thanks for all the good suggstions and comments. Hopefully, we’ll make our decision soon!


  8. Chelsea Toller

    What is the name of your favorite green…the one with the muted grey?
    I stumbled across your site. We just bought a smaller version of your house in February and will be painting soon.
    I love green!

  9. heather


    My Favorite green color is from the Ralph Lauren line and is called Mount Villa Rica. What a great name! I had the color mixed into Benjamin Morre paint. The formula on the outside of the can is: B-25, C-18, E-8, KX or KY (hard to tell) – 30. I really like the color because it is green with a gray undertone. It is dark but not too dark.


  10. bonnie

    you know what.. this is the same kind of house i have.
    They look richer with dark muted colors..
    i would use the brown. With bulky trim color..
    bulk up the windows.. with shutters. Use a white or off white color.
    and a nice bright door.

    just my opinion.
    Personally, i would reface the front of my house to a more modern look.
    bungalows are so square and plain…
    send me a pic of finished house.
    [email protected]

  11. Wendy

    What was this “mud” color that you really liked? I know it’s been forever – but I’m trying to find new siding colors to go with our red brick bungalow, and that brown looks like it might be a good match. Thank you!

    And I love your new bathroom, great job! Gotta love the clean, white and simple look.

  12. Heather


    Hi! That was quite a while ago. I don’t remember the exact color I sampled but I have some hunches. I sort-of remember it being a Farrow & Ball color. I think it was “Mouse’s Back” which is kind-of a greenish brown color. The other colors it could have been would have been from Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection: Whitall Brown or Middlebury Brown. I hope this helps!

  13. Jason

    I too would like to know exactly what color that ‘mud’ brown paint is. I have mixed red brick accents and I think this would be a great color to paint the siding and stucco.

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