Bringing historic Tudor style homes (or in our case, a vintage 70s Tudor) up to date isn’t easy! You’ll of course want to preserve the charm of your home, but give it a fresh new look with the perfect Tudor paint colors.
Learn how to bring that old world style into the modern world with tudor home exterior colors that are fresh, subtle and fabulous!
Take a photo tour of our updated English Tudor home exterior with a soft new exterior paint color palette.
Originally published October 27, 2014 and updated with fresh content and inspiration April 21, 2021.
I had it all backwards. I’ll admit it… I’m not always right, and in fact, I’m always learning. When we painted our Colonial, it completely changed my perspective of the entire home. It was so wonderful to pull up to a house we felt proud of.
We waited over two years to paint it, focusing on the inside first. I don’t regret doing so, because we spent countless hours inside those walls, but I always felt myself apologizing for the exterior.
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As they say, “first impressions are everything” and there wasn’t anything impressive about the exterior of our old colonial home – before we painted it. When it was complete, I felt complete.
We had a sense of pride and accomplishment. I loved driving home and pulling into our driveway, and I wanted that same feeling for our Tudor here in St. Louis. To see the full before and after of this home, come take the full tour!
When we purchased our yellow and brown Tudor, I felt that same feeling in my gut. Seeing an exterior that needed so much work, I was immediately overwhelmed every time I entered our home. We decided to do it a little different this time, painting the exterior first.
Okay, we painted the interior first, but we committed to painting the exterior before we did any major renovations inside and I’m thankful we did!
Taking care of the exterior issues and painting it to a pristine and neutral color palette set the tone for inside our home – similar to an invitation. It lets guests know what to expect on the inside and creates a sense of calm from the outside in.
Choosing Exterior Paint
I do not take color palettes lightly. It’s a huge commitment that takes a lot of consideration. Tudor paint colors are tricky because the trim is equally as important as the base color.
I may have tested seven combinations, putting something like 12 paint colors onto our home before finally making a decision. Combined with yelling at woodpeckers all day, I’m sure our neighbors think the new people from Kansas are one flew over the cuckoo’s nest.
What color did we decide on? Paint combo #2… you know, the colors we selected the first of four times to the store.
Exterior paint colors vary significantly with the time of day, depending on how the light hits it and the colors above and below it were too gray, which originally made it stand out in a negative way.
I worried, I texted, phone a friend and finally decided before Chris gave up on me. I wanted to retain the original character of the brick, but also had to tie in the grey roof with green undertones.
When I pulled in the driveway last night, I realized it was exactly the color palette I had hoped for. Whew! What a sigh of relief!
Traditional Tudor Paint
Historically, an English Tudor will feature traditionally light and dark contrast with wood timbers being dark and paneling or stucco a light, neutral color.
With dramatically pitched rooflines, asymmetrical style, diamond windows and half-timbering as the identifying features, Tudor-style homes often feature a combination of brick or stone, plus stucco and wood trim.
Tudor homes built during the Tudor era in England (generally considered between 1485 – 1603) were traditionally black and white. In the 70s, Tudor style experienced a resurgence in the US, and often the color scheme was more of a yellowed cream with brown timbers.
Modern Tudors are often light in color or utilize two lighter colors with a hint of contrast.
Tudor House Colors
For a soft and subtle Tudor home paint palette, consider one of these color combinations.
- Sherwin Williams Realist Beige and Sherwin Williams Everyday White
- Benjamin Moore Lafayette Green and Benjamin Moore Going to the Chapel
- Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter and Sherwin Williams Extra White
- Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray and Sherwin Williams Extra White
- Benjamin Moore Victorian Garden and Benjamin Moore Going to the Chapel
Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors
First, take some deep breaths. I know choosing paint can be a huge investment and you don’t want to get it wrong. Here’s a few ways to narrow down the perfect exterior paint palette for your home.
- An easy method? Find a house you LOVE the colors of, and ask the delightful neighbors for their colors. This is the best way to visualize an exterior paint palette: see it on someone else’s home.
- Get help from a specialist at your local paint store.
- Research! Start pinning on Pinterest and save your favorite looks. You might quickly identify a palette you are drawn to.
- Consider roof color. For example, you might not want to paint your house black and white if you’re dealing with a muddy brown roof tone.
- Consider the lighting. This is where things get tricky… just because you love a neighbor’s west facing home color palette, doesn’t mean you’ll love it for your north facing home. Yes, lighting really can make that much of a difference!
- Get samples. In my case, maybe get 12 samples. View them at different times of the day and on different sides of your home.
Our Tudor Paint Color Palette
To make the Tudor a little more timeless and charming, we chose base and trim colors that were only slightly different.
To save money, I had Lowe’s make them with Valspar’s satin exterior paint. Read more about Eggshell Paint here.
Of course there’s always plenty to do, but I feel more at ease knowing that our home reflects the care and thought that we put into it.
I can’t wait to add a new front door very soon… we are planning on a soft, white oak door with windows. Something classic and timeless to match the style of our home, with a Brass Door Knob, of course.
Since painting our home several years ago, we’ve added all new landscaping, Copper Light Fixtures and Planters. Since updating the exterior, we’ve focused on the interior step by step, one project at a time.
Often, it’s the dated appearance of very dark wood that can hold a Tudor home back. While these cottage style homes can ooze character, they need a fresh paint palette to get with the modern times. Consider a soft, subtle palette of beiges or greens for a less stark contrast from the stucco paneling of your Tudor home.
In another way, many people are bringing their Tudor homes into the modern era with a bold black and white look! This is an exterior home color palette that feels fresh and contemporary – it’s varies from the original style because the dark trim is focused in different areas.
If you’re getting ready to paint your home to sell it, you’ll want to appeal to the widest range of buyers that you can. Neutral paint colors like beige, gray, and white are the most popular options, no matter the style of your home.