While color choice is a rather personal preference for the outside of your home, cottages can be even harder to decide on.

There are so many things to consider, such as location, landscape, and neighbors’ opinions before you can even think about what you would prefer.

Cottage Exterior Paint Colors
Choosing the right color adds charm

Let’s get into it!

5 Charming Cottage Exterior Paint Colors

Cottages need to blend in to their environment while still allowing you to create your own look and feel. You might have gotten it just right with the interior.

Perhaps you even managed to track down some rustic barn boards for the walls or jaw dropping beams, but what about the exterior of your cottage?

The truth is that you can really ruin a cottage by changing the exterior too much. Dig out the climbing roses and take off the adorable little wooden accents, and you might find that your property no longer resembles a cottage at all.

The idea of a cottage is all in the mind really, it’s a perception. Each design choice you make will shape whether you and others see a small house or a cute cottage when they see your home.

The exterior color choice can turn a quaint little cottage into an eyesore. If you’re not sure what color to paint or stain the outside of your cottage, then don’t worry. Help is at hand. We have found five fail-safe paint colors for cottages.

Any one of these will accentuate the charming details of your country-style home (Pinterest) without too much effort on your part. Less worrying, means more time sitting back and enjoying your lovely cottage to the max.

1. Yellow

Image Courtesy of Pinterest
Butter Yellow

Nothing says sunny day in the countryside like a butter yellow. Just make sure the yellow isn’t too bright for your taste or the surrounding environment.

If this color comes off as being too strong it could turn your cottage from understated elegance to gaudy in a second.

Caution: some yellows can have a dash too much orange in the mix, which creates an ocher (pale brownish) color.

Soft Yellow

If Butter Yellow doesn’t quite say beachy cottage for your taste, why not consider a light, but warm yellow?

When accented with white trim on the eaves, door, and window frames, you can achieve that beachy feel in a much softer tone.

Then again, yellow in whatever shade or hue isn’t to everyone’s taste, so check out the colors ideas below.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

When yellow exterior walls are accented with a deep blue door and white window trim and railings, the look is very soft with a country feel.

2. Warm White and Cream

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – White Cottage With Black & Natural Accents

Warm whites and cream are often underrated color choices for painted exteriors. Some people may think it’s a dull or unimaginative color. We disagree. Warm whites such as Benjamin Moore’s White Dove, or Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White, can be just stunning on the exterior walls of any cottage.

A clean and crisp white rendered cottage is cute, yet sophisticated. ‘If in doubt, white it out’ is what we say. As with any light color, though, you’ll have to consider the effect of weathering and wear over time.

If you live near the coast or in a particularly windy valley, for example, then you’d likely find yourself repainting every year as well as a touch-up in the spring. That’s a lot of work, so consider wisely.

If your cottage is in a fairly protected area then, by all means, get the paintbrush out and white it out, but for the love of cottages, make sure it’s a good brand of paint with a durable and stain-resistant nature. If you’re going for white, don’t save money and sacrifice quality.

You’ll see how much more historic and rustic your cottage looks with a little stone effect or some exposed wood beams on the porch.

White can look very modern and sterile, so it’s important to add some natural effects and earthy details to make it feel less newly built. It’s widely agreed that the greatest aspect of a cottage is in the old-world charm it exhibits.

This is perhaps why English village cottages are so cute because they were built hundreds of years ago. They look like a little portal to a by-gone age.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – White Cottage With Pine & Stone Accents

When natural accents such as stones and pine beams are blended the white colored siding really makes these elements pop. Also consider dark stained wood with a rich cream shades for another option that is sure to generate neighbor envy!

3. Gray

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Gray Cottage

For a modern twist on a classic cottage-style dwelling, today’s gray options are just the ticket. With earthy, natural tones hinting at rural stone-covered cottages, we can’t think of anything better than coming home to your deep gray slice of country living.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest
Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Iron Ore Gray
Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Stone Accent

While a dark gray would look contemporary and chic next to a light gray wall on other houses, too much gray for a small house will make it look dark and pokey from the outside.

If you’re looking for a gray finish with a more natural vibe, consider natural cedar shakes with accent paint colors like this beautifully designed home below. This may be the perfect compromise that appeals to the whole family.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Cedar Shares With Dark Gray
Image Courtesy of Pinterest
Soft Gray

Lighter tones of gray are popular color choice when a softer look is preferred.

For soft gray exterior paint we suggest pristine white trim colors. This will make it look more inviting and cozy.

Light gray accent stones as shown on the left photo add warm and character to create a beautiful, never out of fashion, look and feel.

4. Stained, Natural Wood

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Nothing says cottage classic like natural stained wood, log, or cedar shake siding. This is the ideal look for those of you wanting to blend in with nature and create the ultimate cozy getaway.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Natural Tone Log Cottage
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

5. Natural Tones

Image Courtesy of Pinterest – Natural Tone Farmhouse Cottage
Natural Tones

When it comes to today’s cottage lifestyle it’s always a safe bet to use natural colors to blend into nature.

Consider warm tones in the brown or beige palates. Or even tones with a touch of gray for a more modern look.

If you can add natural elements like stone work, trees, or plants, this will enhance the natural look you’re after.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest


Hopefully, we’ve given you some color inspiration for your small house or cottage. If you stick with these colors, you can’t go wrong. Then again, if you are lucky enough to have a cottage that is decorated with stone, then don’t get too paint-happy and start running to the hardware store just yet.

Image Courtesy of Pinterest

Natural stone or brick is a beautiful exterior for a cottage. You don’t need to do a thing to it, and it takes very little maintenance, unlike painted exterior walls. Definitely think twice before you paint over brick or stone, as it’s difficult and expensive to restore it to its original state after it’s been covered.

When you’re choosing a brand of exterior paint, make sure you look at the details, not just the color. Not all paint brands or varieties are equal in quality. If you already have a trusted brand in mind, then stick with them. Just be sure to check that the paint is:

  • Durable- you don’t want the paint flaking off after a few months.
  • Weatherproof – This will be of variable importance to you depending on where your cottage is situated. But as a rule, it’s wise to get a brand of paint that claims to be resistant to weathering and sun bleaching.
  • Designed for external use – If you think you can get away with using normal indoor emulsion on the outside of your house, think again.
  • Suitable for the surface you’re painting – If you are painting rendering or plaster, then you will need a paint that is suitable for that. The same goes for wood. If your cottage is clad in siding, then make sure you have wood paint and ensure all loose flakes from previous layers are removed with a wire brush before you put the new paint on.

Thank you for sharing your time with us at Today’s Cottage Living!

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Greg Jones

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