Tips for Choosing the Perfect Deck Color for Your Home
If you’re unsure how to select the best paint, stain or deck material for your outdoor space, use these tips to find colors that complement your home’s exterior perfectly.
When done well, deck colors will add to your home’s exterior by bringing visual interest and ultimately complementing your home. Choose the wrong color, and you turn your deck into a distraction and possible maintenance nightmare. Here are some tips to help you find the color and material that works best for your home.
Your ultimate goal is to make your deck be a cohesive part of your home’s exterior color scheme. In order to accomplish that, one solution is to consider the existing shades of your trim, siding, and other exterior elements. You can then choose to either pull out one of those colors to use on your deck, or find an accent color that will blend with them. If you’re giving your home’s exterior a complete update, make sure to include deck colors when choosing your new color palette.
2. What is Your Deck Material?
Your deck material is a big factor in determining the amount of flexibility you have with your deck colors. For example, composite and wood decking can be stained or painted in a wide range of hues. Concrete decks are also stainable, but those made of brick pavers are generally unchangeable when it comes to color choice. If the ability to easily change your deck color is something you value, then wood decks are probably the best solution for you. They typically offer the widest variety of paint and stain color options, as well as the simplest application.
3. Keep Wear and Tear in Mind
When considering deck colors and finishes, keep in mind that different areas of your deck are used differently. Stairs, for example, see way more traffic than railings, so may require a more durable seal or need more frequent restaining. It’s important to remember that all decks, regardless of material and finish, will need regular cleaning, periodic maintenance, and occasional paint or stain re-application.
4. Follow Color Wheel Rules
To ensure the best house and deck color combo, try a color palette that is made up of three colors: a dominant, a secondary, and an accent color. These three colors can be used on new or existing trim, siding, doors, decking, outdoor furniture, and other exterior elements. To create a winning palette, simply follow the rules of the color wheel — either an analogous combination or complementary. When it comes to your deck colors and design, try going with the same setup, with a dominant color as the main tone, and then two additional supporting colors used for things like outdoor pillows, planters and other accessories.
5. Consider Surrounding Landscaping
You can also use the landscape surrounding your deck to influence your color choices. If your landscape appears mostly green, then it makes sense to choose deck colors like red or orange to complement that dominant hue. Alternatively, a colorful outdoor landscape might inspire you to pick a more neutral deck palette of browns or grays to balance it out. Another option, for those who have a deck that connects directly with their home, is to take cues from your indoor flooring when choosing the best color for the deck.
6. Test Colors First
Before finalizing your decision on a paint, stain, or other finish, be sure to try it out on a small, unobtrusive area of the deck. View it from a distance, at different angles, and during different times of the day to get a complete idea of how it looks. Some retailers also offer an online tool that allows you to try out colors virtually. Remember that some deck materials can impact the deck color. For instance, wood decking sometimes carries an inherent tint that influences how a stain color appears.
Color and opacity are other factors that can change how stain looks. Just keep in mind that a more opaque finish typically requires more frequent reapplication. Clear stain allows the wood’s natural color and grain to come through, while tinted stains supply a bit of color. Semi-transparent stain brings color and a more consistent finish. A solid stain acts more like paint, allowing very little of the wood’s inherent color to show through.
7. Possible Deck Color Ideas
Dark Blue: A classic shade that pairs well with a wide range of secondary tones like cream, beige, lighter blue, and even playful purples and pinks. A great choice for cottage or Cape Cod-style homes.
Green: Very popular as an interior paint choice, green also makes a great deck color. It works well with both traditional-style homes and those that are more contemporary. Especially impactful color pairings include black, taupe, and red. Shades range from soft sage to deep forest green.
Dark Gray: An excellent pick that can successfully pair with either cool or warm color schemes. Keep in mind that a darker shade will be better at hiding dirt and footprints.
Black or Chocolate Brown: Mostly neutral colors that work well in smaller spaces due to their dark tone. They can be overpowering on larger decks, and typically absorb more heat from the sun.