7 garage color ideas – plus expert advice on how to include them in your exterior scheme

Find out how the best garage color ideas can boost your home's curb appeal, with tips from design experts

three garage pictures
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore/Alamy/Ballard+Mensua)

Choosing the right color finish for your garage is a key part of your home's curb appeal. 

When choosing a house exterior color scheme, be sure to include the garage as part of your color plans. Whether you match the garage color to the paint colors for the exterior of the house, its window trims or shutters, or pick a contrasting shade to make it stand out, your garage color ideas will help to give a tailored look to your home exterior and deserve careful thought. 

We've spoken to color and design experts, to find out what colors they advise and what we need to take into account before making our garage color choice. 

What are the best options for garage color ideas?

It's not an exact science and there's not a one-size, or rather, one color–fits–all, approach for garage color ideas. The designers and color experts we spoke to offered a range of suggestions depending on the garage's location, style and setting. 

However, by identifying the scenario that best describes your garage and home and, of course, taking personal preference into account you will surely arrive at the best choices for garage color ideas. 

1. Opt for a natural wood finish

wooden garage doors with gray clapboard house

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

You can't go wrong with natural wood for garage doors. It's a safe and stylish option in so many settings and works particularly well alongside wooden front door ideas

The medium wood garage doors pictured above are the perfect choice with the gray-painted heritage-style home, the warmth of the natural wood emphasized still further by the neat white window trim and arched detailing of the garage doors.

Arianna Barone, color expert at Benjamin Moore says  'A more natural garage door color can be a great option for an exterior palette that leans towards off-whites and earth tones. Natural wood tones bring a more rustic and easygoing feel to the color palette.'

2. Try darker shades for a contemporary look

double garage doors painted in gray

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

Choosing a darker shade of the same color as the house exterior walls can be very effective indeed and creates a smart, harmonious look that works particularly well for modern exterior house color ideas.

This kind of considered look is not one that happens by accident, as Arianna Barone from Benjamin Moore explains. 'Deeper colors, like a dark gray or black, can put a modern twist on a classic garage color. Typically, if I’m using a bolder color on a garage door, it is the same color on the front door, shutters or another surface on the exterior,' adds Arianna Barone. 'Choosing a more saturated color for the garage door will immediately draw attention to it and make it a focal point of the exterior. Think about the architecture of your home and how much of your exterior is occupied by the garage.' 

Interior designer Vani Sayeed also advocates this layered approach. 'You can add contrast to your home by painting the garage door to match the exterior trim color, which is often a lighter contrasting shade,' she says. 'For example one of my favorite combinations is to use Benjamin Moore's Mountain Peak White for trim against Templeton Gray for the body of the house.'

3. Harmonize the colors even if your garage is detached

garage storage space

(Image credit: Alamy)

It's all very well coordinating the garage color to the home's exterior finish if it's an integral garage, but what if it's detached? Does that give you free rein?

Clearly, the single garage pictured above is separate from the main part of the property, but it's all part of the same dwelling and on the same plot, so tying the look in with the house exterior, is still the preferable option. Choosing a color scheme for the whole home is key. 

Arianna Barone agrees: 'Regardless of whether the garage is attached to the home, you want it to all feel cohesive,' she says. 'I am more likely to opt for a different color on the garage if it is detached from the home, but I still try to choose something that is within the color palette. That could mean a color a few shades lighter or darker than something on the home’s exterior.'

4. Inject a strong pop of color to contrast with the rest of the house

house exterior with cream painted brick with trees around

(Image credit: Ballard + Mensua Architecture)

We're all for coordinating and creating harmonious color schemes, but there's a time and a place for contrast and a splash of color. It doesn't have to be bright, or startling. It can be as classic as dark blue or deep green but it can still make a strong statement.  

Seth Ballard, principal of Ballard + Mensua Architecture in Washington DC. says, 'We enclosed a porch on the side of this heritage home above the garage and decided to paint the house brick Revere Pewter before adding a pop of dark blue to the carriage house style garage door.' The shade contrasts with the brick color, but ties in with that of the front door. 

5. Coordinate with the shutters or window trim

blue house with garage and garden

(Image credit: Alamy)

For the house exterior to look good as a whole, you need to take every element into account when choosing a color for the garage. Think about the colors of the window trim and shutters, as these are often a good steer for your garage color ideas. 

'For the best effect, the garage door color should match the shutter colors (if one has shutters) or the window trim,' says Wayne Adams, principal of BarnesVanze Architects

'I typically recommend using three to four colors for your home’s exterior palette. Matching the garage door color to the front door, trim or shutters is always an option,' agrees Arianna Barone. 'Step back and look at the entire home. Don’t choose the garage color in isolation. If you find there are a lot of colors and textures on your home’s exterior already, opting to repeat a color is always a good option.'

And if you want to ring the changes on a traditional white? 'Classic colors like black or a very dark green (Charleston green) are often a safe choice,' adds Wayne Adams. 'The sheen on the paint also plays a significant role in the overall aesthetic. But it is important to look at the other materials on the house and pull all of those different colors together.'

6. Match to the shade and tone of the walls

house with garage painted to match ochre stucco

(Image credit: Alamy)

If you're going bold with the house walls, well it makes sense to go bold with the garage color too. This stucco finish for this house in Tucson, Arizona, has been painted in a striking, but still very earthy, shade of ochre, with the garage painted to match. 

When the garage is integral to the home like this, it risks becoming its focal point so painting it the same color helps it to fade into the background, adding curb appeal and ensuring the house gets noticed before the garage. 

'The uninterrupted color flow can create a more seamless look and help blend the garage with the home so it doesn’t distract or take attention,' adds Arianna Barone.

7. Try a pastel shade with climbing plants to complement the softer look

garage and gate with roses in front yard

(Image credit: Michael Derrig/Landscape Details)

'Consider the extended surroundings around the garage and home as you plan your garage color ideas,' says Jennifer Ebert, Homes & Gardens' editor. 'Think about the hard landscaping, but also the softer elements such as plants and any containers, and take advantage of any climbing plants too.'

The pastel blue shade chosen for this garage is beautifully complemented by the pastel pink climbing roses framing the arched doors and the old-style white gate. Taking existing front yard landscaping ideas into account in this way will add oodles of curb appeal. 

Whatever garage color you choose, the experts agree, it should coordinate with the rest of your home's exterior, so you treat the entire plot as one harmonious scene. To boost curb appeal still further, add extra color with plants and containers, keep the front yard tidy and ensure boundary fences and walls are in good condition. 

For more exterior inspiration, we explore, what adds the most curb appeal to your home in our dedicated feature.

Karen Darlow

Karen is the houses editor for homesandgardens.com and homes editor for the brand’s sister titles, Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors, and an experienced writer on interiors and gardens. She loves visiting historic houses for Period Living and writing about rural properties for Country Homes & Interiors, and working with photographers to capture all shapes and sizes of properties. Karen began her career as a sub editor at Hi-Fi News and Record Review magazine. Her move to women’s magazines came soon after, in the shape of Living magazine, which covered cookery, fashion, beauty, homes and gardening. From Living Karen moved to Ideal Home magazine, where as deputy chief sub, then chief sub, she started to really take an interest in properties, architecture, interior design and gardening.