Green is hard. I heard this refrain over and over while interviewing architects and designers about their favorite exterior green paint colors. Olive greens can quickly become yellow drab, and lighter shades can look cartoonish.
Luckily, our architects and designers have made the mistakes, so you don't have to. Here are their nine foolproof green paint choices:
Swatch photographs by Meredith Swinehart.
Above: Top row, left to right: Pratt & Lambert Olive Shadow; Cabot Solid Stain in Sagebrush; Farrow & Ball Studio Green; Benjamin Moore Cedar Path; and Benjamin Moore Central Park. Bottom row: Benjamin Moore Mohegan Sage; Sherwin-Williams Yew Hedge; Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green; and C2 Paints Toadstool.
Above: San Antonio architects Lake | Flato chose Sherwin-Williams' Yew Hedge for exterior features at the Hotel San Jose in Austin. Says project architect Bob Harris, "We were looking for an old-school hill country green. The green you see painted on the back porch screen doors of old country limestone homes.” The shade has been discontinued but can still be mixed at most paint stores.
Above: Blogger Freckles Chick chose Benjamin Moore's Mohegan Sage for the exterior of her Colorado cottage. She notes, "If you were to take all the saturated colors of a rainforest and mix them together, this would be it." She chose Benjamin Moore White Dove for the trim.
Above: Architect Amy Alper painted the trim of her creekside cabin in Benjamin Moore's Cedar Path, the truest green of those recommended here. Read the full story in The Ultimate Creekside Cabin, Northern California Edition.
Above: We featured Burr & McCallum's Worthington Barn paint in our roundup of the Best Exterior Black Paints, because Benjamin Moore's Black Forest Green is just about as black as green can get. (The color is discontinued but can still be mixed at many paint stores.) The architects added more color with trim in Benjamin Moore's Essex Green.
Above: Says architect Jon Handley of Pulltab Design, "Our favorite exterior color for painted steel is a very dark, almost black, green." On a recent rooftop penthouse addition, the designers chose Farrow & Ball's Studio Green for the steel frame of the entry door and the exterior light. (The shade was also one of our recent Moody Paint Picks over on Remodelista.)
Above: Seattle-based JAS Design Build used Toadstool from C2 Paints on this exterior, with trim in C2's Amazon. Toadstool is a medium shade of sage, darker than Sagebrush but lighter than Mohegan Sage.
Are you trying to choose an exterior paint color for a facade or front door? Let us help:
- 10 Paint Picks: Jade and Celadon Green.
- Curb Appeal: A Perfect Paint Palette for a Dark Facade.
- Explore the other colors in our exterior paints series, starting with Black, White, and Gray.
- 10 Paint Picks: Perfect Greens for Shutters and Doors.