Should Trim Be Darker Or Lighter Than Siding?

When it comes to choosing the best trim color, the option to either go lighter or darker can be a bit of a headscratcher. Do darker colors work better? Or are lighter colors better for this small area of a home’s siding? We have researched how to develop the best color scheme when it comes to trim and siding, and in this post, we will answer these questions for you.

Though it's a matter of preference, many people choose to place lighter-colored trim around their homes. This is likely because most home siding colors tend to be neutral-colored, and light trim helps these colors stand out.

However, if the home's siding is a lighter color, a dark-colored trim can help to accentuate it, making it appear more contemporary. Overall, you'll want the trim to either complement or accentuate the home's siding.

Considerable thought should go into the trim color for your home, as it can make a huge difference in its appearance. And if you're planning to sell your home soon, ensuring that the exterior siding and trim are up to date can go a long way in making it attractive to buyers. Continue reading to learn about how to choose trim colors and other ideas about the best exterior colors for your home.

Choosing the Right Trim Color

The exterior of a green cape cod clapboard horizontal wooden board style siding house with orange and cream trim windows and steep dormers. - Should Trim Be Darker Or Lighter Than Siding?

Dark trim tones

Though dark-colored trim is not as common as light-colored trim, it is becoming more trendy. This bold look can definitely make your home stand out, and it can help to accentuate light-colored siding. If your home has neutral siding colors such as tan, light charcoal, or off-white, a dark trim can add a sense of depth to it and create a sleeker profile.

Another great thing about dark-colored trim is that it can help to hide dirt, grime, and any damage on the corner areas of your home. These areas often become home to birds, spiders, and other wildlife.

Upscale executive house

Light trim tones

Light-colored trim tends to be the go-to choice for most traditional or classic home styles. This choice goes well with the most common siding colors and can help to highlight strong architectural features.

It's also worth mentioning that light-colored trim is more universally acceptable no matter what color siding you have on your home. It can make your home appear brighter overall, and if it's freshly painted or brand new, it'll definitely make the siding of your home pop out.

Blended trim tones

You can also choose to blend your trim with your home's siding. This isn't a common choice, though it is always an option if you want to go for a very simple look. You can also choose a trim that is only slightly darker or lighter than your home siding for a less subtle appearance.

This works best on homes that have warm-colored siding such as light charcoal, blended beiges, and eggshell tones. Cool-colored trim can work well on warmer tones and complement them for a modern and sophisticated look.

If you have a newly remodeled home and want it to stand out on the block, blended trim options may be ideal. However, with this option, you'll always want to consider the exterior doors of your home as well. Will they match the trim and siding, or will they be a contrasting color?

Lastly, be sure to consider the color of the roof. For example, if you have a dark roof with dark trim and siding, this can make the home look a bit flat or cave-like. It helps to have at least one or two neutral colors to accentuate any dark tones.

What colors make the outside of a house look bigger?

Maintenance free home with covered porch

Light and neutral colors such as charcoal, beach blue, beige, and eggshell work best for making the outside of a home look bigger. Not only that, but they can also make the home look more inviting and just brighter overall.

Other colors include pale gray, ivory, sage green, and off-white. Light colors work best on home exteriors because they reflect the light from the sun, giving the home a more vibrant appearance. Not to mention that they also help reflect the sunlight to divert heat away from a home during the summer and spring months.

If you're worried about the outside of your home appearing too dark, it's best to stay away from dark siding colors, especially when it comes to the lower exterior of your home. While darker colors can emphasize shadows and details such as doors, porches, and railings, they can also make your home appear smaller and more subdued.

Dark colors can also turn off potential home buyers, as these aren't the typical colors used on most homes. Not to mention that they can cause your home to absorb more heat, making the interior reach higher temperatures in the summer than it would with lighter exterior colors.

If you prefer to use dark colors on your siding but want your home to look bigger, try only using them on the trim. This way, they'll provide an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the siding, and they won't make your home look uninviting.

What are the most popular exterior house colors?

Houses in suburb with Spring Blossom in the north America. Luxury houses with nice white and pink coloured landscape.

The most popular exterior house colors are usually creams, warm white, light greens, grays, eggshell, and off-white. These tones are very easy on the eyes, they add depth and size to the house, and they're more aesthetically pleasing than darker tones.

Should exterior corner boards match siding or trim?

The exterior corner wall of a vibrant yellow colored wood clapboard siding. There's a single double hung window with green and white trim in the house. The corner of the building is thick green board.

It depends on the colors of the trim and the siding. Typically the trim will be a lighter color than the siding, as it helps the home stand out more. Often, homeowners will choose exterior corner boards that match the trim, as you can't tell the difference between the two a lot of the time.

However, if you want to make the exterior corner boards a bit darker than the trim, this would be a great choice to help accent it.

It's generally not recommended to make the corner boards too dark, as it can throw off the aesthetic if the trim is already lighter than the siding. It's best to go with only two different shades when it comes to siding, trim, and corner boards as opposed to three.

Three different shades can make the exterior of your home look a bit like a puzzle and can be visually off-putting. So, for example, if your home has light-colored siding with darker trim, it may be best that the exterior corner boards are also dark-colored as well (or the same color as the trim) so they can blend in with the trim. 

However, if you are unsure what color to paint the trim and exterior corner boards, try driving around a few nice neighborhoods to see the various options homeowners use for these areas.

Also, take note of the most common colors used for the siding and how they relate to the tone of the trim and boards. This can help give you some ideas of what colors work best and why.

Should my front door match trim?

Home with green door, porch and flowers

The front door doesn't necessarily have to match the trim. Many homeowners choose to paint their front door a completely different color than the siding, trim, and other areas of the home. Not only does this allow the front door to stand out but it can make a bold statement and distinguish the home from others on the block.

Common colors for front doors include greens, blues, reds, and various shades of brown. You can also use different colors for your home's front and back exterior doors, or use one color on all exterior doors to create more consistency throughout the entire house.

However, when painting the exterior door, be sure to use exterior paint, as the outside of the door will be exposed to elements that may cause it to peel, crack, and fade.

Wrapping Things Up

The exterior of a stark white cape cod clapboard horizontal wooden board siding wall with multiple blue trim double hung windows. There are vibrant green flowers in front of the vintage windows

Choosing the best colors for the exterior of your home can seem like a daunting task at first. However, once you decide on the main color for the siding, finding trim tones that'll work will typically come fairly easily.

The most important thing to remember is that contrasting colors work best. You'll rarely go wrong with light, neutral-colored trim.

Before you go, be sure to check out these other posts:

How To Convert Sliding Doors To French Doors

4 Best Paints To Use On Aluminum Siding

A big custom made luxury house with nicely trimmed and landscaped front yard, Should Trim Be Darker Or Lighter Than Siding?

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