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11 Exterior Paint Colors For Desert Homes

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Choosing just the right paint color for the exterior of your desert home may seem like a daunting and challenging task. After all, it's the first thing people notice about your home.

Changing your exterior paint color is a big job, and it isn't something you will often be doing, so you want to get it right the first time.

When you live in the desert, choosing your paint color isn't just about choosing a beautiful color. The hot desert sun can cause premature fading of your fresh new paint. Additionally, the bright sun can make colors appear more brilliant than they are against the desert landscape.

Finally, a dark hue can increase your energy bill because the sun will be absorbed into the paint color, unnecessarily heating your home.

It's best to stick with a more neutral palette, filled with earth tones and natural colors surrounding the region. Our experts have created a list of 11 of the best exterior paint colors for desert homes.

While you don't have to stick to this list, these colors are the most traditional and common colors of homes found in desert regions.

Always check local regulations and with your HOA if you have one before painting the outside of your home. There may be a particular color palette you have to abide by. Now, look at some of the best paint colors for desert homes.

Sedona residence, Arizona, 11 Exterior Paint Colors For Desert Homes

1. Terra-Cotta Orange

Terra cotta is a quintessential color when you think of a color that belongs in the desert. This stunning color will hold up to the hot sun and stand out beautifully against the blue desert sky.

The photo above shows how much this gorgeous color stands out against the desert landscape filled with cactus and succulents.

This color is a favorite among houses in the desert for a good reason. It will remain timeless and never go out of style. You can't go wrong choosing a terra-cotta orange color for your desert home.

2. Classic White

White Palm Springs house with aqua blue door

While this color might not seem very exciting. A classic white house can look both modern and traditional. White is very energy efficient and will hold up in the sun.

You may find white rather dull, but choosing fun accent colors gives you a chance to have a little fun.

You can accent with other neutrals such as grays or browns but can also incorporate fun pops of color to create a more interesting look.

As you can see from the above photo, this house is very clean and light, with a fun pop of teal on the door. This white house is brighter against the browns and grays in the landscape.

3. Warm Beige

stucco home

Many of the homes you see in the desert will be painted a warm beige color. These homes seamlessly blend in with the desert background.

Shades of beige such as sand and oatmeal work well because they don't absorb heat, aren't too bright, and stand out too much in the sun.

Beige desert homes harmoniously blend in with their surroundings. Don't be afraid to use different shades of beige as accent colors on shutters or trim.

You can also break up the monotony of the color by using a different color on the roof.

4. Light Yellow

A soft, muted shade of yellow will go perfectly in the desert.

It will repel any sun rays and won't be over-bright in the sun. A creamy yellow will add a touch of color to the outside of your home without being obnoxious or too much.

Bright yellows may be too overpowering and will even be enhanced when illuminated by the sun.

Sunflower and mustard color yellows will be too strong for the desert environment. Pale yellows are ideal for desert homes.

5. Off-White

If you think a bright white home will look too stark against the desert background but still want a crisp, clean look, opt for off-white. Just like white, it will not absorb the sun's UV rays.

The photo above shows a stunning off-white home paired with modern black framed windows.

Like white houses, off-white exteriors offer a blank canvas on which you can add more neutrals or pops of color. Off-white pretty much pairs with any color under the sun!

Warm colors like gray, green, yellow, and orange pair beautifully with off-white on a desert home.

6. Shades Of Green

You can bring in elements of the earth and warmth by painting the exterior of your home a shade of green. Choose a light green if you want to keep it airy and light. You can also use olive green.

However, a darker shade of green can be subject to fading and will absorb the heat of the sun. Use high-quality paint and consider hiring professionals if you lean toward a darker green.

7. Brown

Swimming pool with hot tub and terraced patio at a luxury home in a desert environment.

Many shades of brown are available; no matter what shade you choose, you can't go wrong. Shades ranging from chestnut to cinnamon to caramel will all look magnificent against the desert backdrop.

Again, select darker and lighter shades of brown to pair with one another to prevent the house from looking too flat and dull.

The stunning brown exterior on the home above works well with brown desert mountains in the background. The flowers and pops of green stand out beautifully against the neutral brown home.

8. Light Gray

Arizona-style house design common to the region

Light gray can give a desert home a modern feeling without standing out too much and being too bright. A light gray color will marry well with the natural colors of the desert.

White also partners with light gray perfectly, as do other shades of gray.

The home above is a light gray with white trim around the windows and other parts of the house. As seen in this house, Stonework is the perfect accent with the light gray exterior.

9. Tan

Arizona-style house design

Like warm beige and brown, tan is a muted warm color that compliments the desert mountains and landscape.

Again, this color will not absorb heat and will be energy efficient. Like with brown, many shades of tan exist, ranging from lighter to darker.

Selecting tan as your exterior color on your desert home is a safe bet, as it is one of the more common colors of desert homes.

10. Dusty Blue

Detail of grey design house with big agave plant

You might be going out on a limb by selecting dusty blue as the paint color on your desert home. It is not the most common color, so your home will stand out.

However, the touch of blue adds vibrancy and color to what could otherwise look bland and neutral. If you arent' afraid of color, try this.

You can see from the house above how much the blue stands out against the desert mountains. It also looks lovely with the landscape's bright green cactus and sage-colored plants.

11. Dark Gray

Contemporary architectural style luxury home exterior, front stairs view

Light gray was mentioned earlier, but if you want something more dramatic, consider painting your exterior dark gray. You won't want to go too dark, as it will absorb heat from the hot desert sun.

A stone gray color would be perfect, paired with white or light gray trim. Natural Stonework incorporates seamlessly with a dark gray exterior.

The ultra-modern luxurious home shown in the picture is almost a concrete gray. The stone waterfall and green desert plants bring warmth to what could be considered a cool tone.

To Finish Up

When selecting the perfect color to use on the exterior of your desert home, consider several factors before deciding on just the right shade. Ask yourself whether the color will absorb or reflect heat, making your home hotter or cooler.

Keep the desert landscape's colors in mind when choosing your color. Desert homes are often painted with the same neutral earth tones found in the surrounding area.

If you want to stand out, bright whites and other bold colors can be an option. You are not limited to the colors of the desert.

The colors on the list are recommendations, but ultimately the decision is yours. Whatever color you choose, you want it to reflect your personality, and it should make your house feel like a home.

For more information on painting the exterior of your home, click on the following links:

Can You Paint A Stucco Exterior? 

What's The Best Finish For Exterior Paint