5 Best Exterior Paint Colors for Your San Francisco Home

5 Best Exterior Paint Colors for Your San Francisco Home

When you think of San Francisco homes the image of brightly painted Victorian row houses probably comes to mind.  While the vibrant and pastel rainbow of colors is memorable, not to mention historically significant to the San Francisco area, they are not the only colors that are popular with San Francisco homeowners.  Homeowners in San Francisco, California are experimenting with colors that mimic their surroundings and make a bold statement.  These are five of the best exterior paint colors for your San Francisco home.

Soft White

Bright whites were once the go-to exterior paint color for homeowners across the country.  After all, bright white is the perfect contrast to green grass and the blue skyline.  But recently, homeowners in San Francisco have taken to a softer, more understated white.  Examples of soft white paints include Shaded White by Farrow & Ball as well as White Dove by Benjamin Moore.  These colors offer lighter, creamier versions of white.  Using these muted versions of white opens up the option for a variety of accent colors.  For a stark contrast, the shutters and decorative areas can be painted black.  If you are searching for a more understated appearance you can go with a soft gray or even use a light wood stain to bring a natural feel to the home.

Vibrant Greens and Blues

The ever-present desire to bring nature into the home is just as apparent in San Francisco housing as it is in homes around the nation.  In order to complement the surrounding nature, many homeowners are choosing earthy tones as their exterior paint color.  In San Francisco, this color may be green but is also seen as blues.  Shades of green such as Green Smoke or Studio Grown from Farrow & Ball represent a shade of green that is not as muted as former favorites like sage.

In addition to green, vibrant blue is a bright cheerful color that reminds homeowners of the not too far away Pacific Ocean.  Bright blues can appear cold if you choose a blue that has too much of a gray undertone, so stick with blues that are warm and have yellow undertones.  With either green or blue colors you can pair white trim or for a more natural look stick with light wood stains or natural stone accents.

Deep Charcoal Gray

Yes, San Francisco is known for its bright cheery colors and clean white homes, but there is nothing wrong with going for the opposite color: deep charcoal gray.  Benjamin Moore’s Kendall charcoal is one of the most popular grays, especially for modern homes.  Slate and charcoal are two very dark shades of gray that make a bold statement especially when paired with a bright or pastel door.  In addition, you can make a huge statement with bright white trim that will serve as a severe contrast to the gray.

Muted Gray-Greens

Unlike vibrate greens that draw the eye directly toward a home, muted gray-green colors blend in with their surrounding environment, creating a serene atmosphere.  The most popular gray-green colors have olive tones.  Colors such as sage, dried thyme, and forest green mirror natural elements.  Because of this, muted gray-green colors pair well with natural elements.  Stone veneer, brick, stone pathways, and light wood trim all work with gray-green tones.  The calming colors are also perfect compliments of soft whites, beiges, and light gray. Darker tones that are closer to deep gray pair well with lighter greens and whites to create a full earthy eye-catching color palette.


Yes, the Victorian homes of San Francisco’s historic areas are known for their beautiful pastel colors, but the use of pastel as an exterior paint color is a popular choice among San Francisco homeowners.  The most popular pastels are light yellows, baby blue, and soft pink.  These colors are eye-catching so you want your home to be perfectly manicured.  Pastel colors look spectacular next to dark green grass, large blooming trees, and a variety of shades of colorful flowers.  Most commonly, pastel homes are trimmed with white, but you can choose any color that works with your favorite pastel.  Just make sure not to go overboard as too many pastel colors will make your home look too over the top rather than an ode to San Francisco’s historical Painted Ladies.   If you are interested in adding a pastel color to your home but are concerned about taking the plunge into a full-painted pastel home, you can begin with a pastel door.  The most popular pastel door is a soft pink door on a dark gray or soft white house.

Choosing an exterior paint color for your home is a big project.  If you are unsure of what color to choose you should reach out to a local real estate agent that can direct you toward the most popular colors as well as colors that future homebuyers would be interested in.