Tudor Lite – Exterior Paint Colors

Tudor style (or Revival Tudor style) architecture is often marked by half-timbering, steeply-pitched roofs, pillared porches, mullioned windows, and a mix of wood, stucco, and brick.

Tudor light paint colors


Many of the older neighborhoods around Nashville feature these homes reminiscent of medieval cottages and country houses. The interior and exterior of this home was dark and forboding:

2012-10-16 12.32.33



The couple who bought the home wanted to bring in a more contemporary look. Below is the same room after an interior paint color consultation. Don’t be shocked – but, yes, we painted the stone!  If we had left it in its natural pinky stone color, it wouldn’t look nearly as fresh as it does now.  The now-white fireplace and chimney breast create a fresh and light focal point over the new, lighter gray paint color on the walls. 

white fireplace



After choosing colors for the interior of this 1920’s home, the homeowners asked me to determine a paint color scheme for the exterior. Not surprisingly, they were not interested in the typical dark brown or gray Tudor exteriors, nor did they want high contrast between the stucco and half-timbering.  They wanted “light,” they wanted “fresh”.  Could they get that and still respect the architecture?  




Hmmm . . . I imagined what a young French woman who purchased a dark little English abode might do after deciding it was too dark and dreary for her perky little self.  I suggested they consider a Tudor-lite effect, and we selected a warm white body with a light, tanned gray trim.  




This is a shot of  the back of the house towards the back covered porch before the new paint scheme.  




We added a blue ceiling to freshen it up even more:

haint blue ceiling



And here’s the complete back side of the house (it’s actually more impressive than the front!):

tudor lite exterior paint colors



So here’s the front of the house before the new exterior paint colors:




And here it is after:

tudor exterior paint colors



If you want to learn more about choosing just the right paint colors, check out my Color Workshop Video available for purchase online. 

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48 thoughts on “Tudor Lite – Exterior Paint Colors

  1. applehillcottage says:

    Well, I live in a stone tudor. And I gotta say, though I usually love your ideas and your posts — I even listened to your paint interview the other day — I don’t like this one at all. But then, I would never paint stone. Brick, maybe, but not stone.

    And I wonder, if they didn’t like the style of the house, why did they buy it? Okay, that said, we are painting the interior of our house to sell it, and yes, we are changing the color of the 16-foot ceilinged living room to White Dove. But are we painting the stone fireplace? Never in a million years. Are we painting the dark timbers on the ceiling? Never in a million years. If people don’t like it, they won’t buy it. And I don’t want them to — I want someone to buy it who has fallen in love with its charm…

    So ask me next year after the house has been on the market for awhile…. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      This couple bought this house for the neighborhood and proximity to work. They like a lot of its charm, but it felt pretty dark and heavy for a newly-married young couple. That’s the beauty of paint – this exterior can and will be repainted in 15 years, at which time it could go back to a more traditional, darker, high-contrast Tudor exterior. Of course, the stone fireplace can’t go back – you are right about that. I’m not saying you should always paint stone, or brick, or whatever – it totally depends on the situation and the colors involved. Are you sure you’d NEVER paint stone? Check out what we did here to keep the owner from ripping the dated stone fireplace out: https://thedecorologist.com/how-to-make-a-dated-fireplace-fabulous-and-then-some

      Thank you for your input – I appreciate getting lots of viewpoints on color and design! 🙂

      • Lisa Lucas says:

        This reply was one of the few that made me proud of another designer who showed that there was a lot of thought and planning in the decisions made and was so well written. I like that while you differ in your viewpoints, you conveyed the thought process behind your design process and stand behind them. A great reminder of what keeps me coming back to your blog. I am an interior designer and own a staging company in the Seattle area who keeps finding myself returning to read your experiences because they are often very universal and relevant for my work.

        • Kristie Barnett says:

          Wow, thank you so much for that, Lisa. I appreciate you reading the blog and also giving your own insight here. Will you be attending the Real Estate Staging Convention (RESA) in Vegas in January? I’ll be presenting there and look forward to meeting many more home stagers from across the country.

      • applehillcottage says:

        I was hoping you wouldn’t be offended! I really like your blog posts! 🙂
        It’s a matter of taste and letting your own personality be part of your house, I think. And yes, I can appreciate the stone fireplace that was painted in the above link. But pains were taken to make it look like real stone.
        I guess I just think that real stuff — like stone, granite, brick are the foundations of what is there, and maybe foundations shouldn’t be messed with. And then again, maybe I’m just old-fashioned… Maybe it will have to be in the contract of whoever buys my house that they aren’t allowed to paint the fireplace. 🙂 There’s one in the basement too; they could paint that one instead!
        I’m working on a post called Thoughts on painting wood (from a carpenter’s wife) ; maybe I’ll change it to Thoughts on painting wood and stone ???
        And just for the record, the exterior of the house does look great!

      • C Smith says:

        Hi Kristie! I just came across this posting as my husband and I have fallen in love with a home for it’s spacious interior and beautiful neighbourhood, but we aren’t huge fans of the stark black and white Tudor style exterior of the home. I’ve really enjoyed looking at photos of what you call the Tudor Lite colour scheme. I’m wondering if you do online consults? Is there a way I can reach you by email? You can contact me at [email protected]. I hope to hear from you!

    • Linda says:

      I love the color. I am not a fan of greens but this house ” wears green” quite nicely. The whole home, yard is so open and refreshing. Your eye travels with the dark your eye just stopped. Did not know a chimney had a breast. I will have to tell my husband that when he paints the chimney next yr. 🙂

  2. Natalie says:

    I think it looks great! Hopefully they trim back or remove some of the shrubbery fortress next so folks can see it. Pops of colorful plants/bushes would do wonders to complement the lovely paint job.

    • Barbara says:

      Kristi, I think the fireplace and living area looks fantastic after your transformation. Once again you have proved what a difference the right paint color can make. Can you share the white and grey paint color used in the living room?

  3. Mary says:

    I absolutely LOVE this – especially the blue ceiling. The before pictures look so dated after seeing what you’ve done – it appears that you achieved everything you set out to do. On a scale of 1 – 10 is an easy 11 IMHO. I have a friend who lives in a tudor and I have recommended your blog to her. I have another who lives in a historic home and she said that your blog has given her a lot of inspiration as she chooses a new interior color palette. Thanks so much for sharing your talents with us – I have taken many of your ideas and put them to use, and am enjoying my home more each day as a result.


    painted stone “rocks”!

  4. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    I didn’t mind the before exterior but I personally would like the after for myself as well. I love lighter colors/looks. Like another reader, I think a little “brighter” landscaping would be nice too. But it’s a bit unfar to compare the before with bare trees (and maybe an overcast day?) to the after with everything in beautiful growing green on a gorgeous sunny day 😉 It looks so inviting in the after 🙂

    About painting stone, brick and wood….Sure it is a VERY controversial subject. On the other hand, they’ll all still be stone, brick and wood after they’re painted 😉 Naturally one cannot easily get back to the original look with stone but on brick and wood, it can be done with elbow grease and the right products.

    I love, love, love the after look of the room as well! I’m so loving gray/white color schemes these days.
    Would you mind letting us know what color of gray you used on the walls? I’m currently searching for a’ ‘perfect’ gray. Oh I know, different rooms, different lighting, different furnishings all make a difference in how a paint color reads. But it still would be nice to know the paint color 😉

  5. Max says:

    Wow! What an instant update! I have to admit, I’m not too much against painted stone, especially not when it makes such a difference in a room! And I love the blue painted ceiling! Fresh and clean! Job well done! 🙂

  6. Paula Van Hoogen says:

    First Tudor house ever i would consider buying if i were looking! Beautiful job,
    Kristie! I too love the blue porch ceiling!!!

  7. Pam dunn says:

    I am one that usually doesn’t like to paint the “real” stuff–but ugly is ugly and sometimes paint is a great solution. I live in a brick ranch and can’t wait for my ship to come in so I can paint it! Usually, people don’t want to paint brick because of the maintenance, but it fades into the brick and makes a nice look for a long time.

    I actually liked the before and the after in this post. Very different looks but both are nice. The house has great charm which is kind of hard to find in Nashville.

  8. sarah mitchell says:

    Great post! I am also curious to know the greige color you used in the front room for the walls. The white stone fireplace is fresh and beautiful yet the room is still very charming.

  9. Jen Duchene says:

    I love how fresh and crisp the house looks updated in lighter colors. It feels like the home has lightened its heart. Personally I am all for painting what doesn’t work for the owners and their lifestyle while keeping it in character. Wonderful translation in color.

  10. Beth says:

    I like the lighter exterior very much. And the color of the walls in the living room is great. But that stone was beautiful before……

  11. Sylvia says:

    I love what you did with the colors. I also love that you know the names for structures and use those names. The haint blue ceiling? Well, it doesn’t get any more Southern than that. Whether or not the color is the Southern Living official haint blue makes no difference; it is haint blue to me.

  12. Kristi says:

    I can’t believe you painted a stone fireplace. The stone added charm and character to the room and it was appropriate to the style of the house.

    The painted stone really makes the room look cheap.

  13. mrsben says:

    IMHO, I feel you did a marvelous job freshening up both the interior and exterior however must admit I also liked the before and would have been tempted just to add some colour to the front door. That said, what it really all comes down to is, the homeowners are happy and that is what counts. ☺ -Brenda-

  14. shelley says:

    Stunning interior and exterior….dont suppose you want to share the colour codes for the interior and exterior. Canada (Montreal) is a place where our 4 feet of white snow make people think the home needs to stand out… in your choice of colour the home will just stand out… enough to be beautiful with a carpet of while around it…. promise to share when we are done…

  15. Shannnel says:


    can you please tell me the specific colors used for the white fireplace and light grey walls?

    I love how that turned out!

  16. B clemons says:

    I realize I am late to this post but I LOVE th exterior transformation. I have a slate roof and ugly brick I want to paint and think these colors would work well. Any chance you would share the exterior colors?

  17. Ginny says:

    Help!!!! We have a orange brick tutor, I have no idea what color to paint it. The painter wants to do a dark color on the whole thing! No light boards and darker boards. Just solid color, can you help me with color ideas?

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