Choosing Your Barndominium Exterior Colors: 11 Tips (2024)


Putting the finishing touches on your barndominium can be the best part of designing your new home. Choosing barndominium exterior colors is part of that.

But, picking colors for a barndo is a lot more complicated than for a standard home. After all, many metal building kit manufacturers have up to 60 different paint options for panels.

That means you’ll have dozens of exterior color options – and that can be overwhelming. 

The good news is that with a bit of research and a few mockups, you can easily get a feel for what it is you like.

These 11 tips for choosing your barndominium exterior colors will get you started and on the right track to designing a home exterior that you truly love. 

11 Tips For Selecting Your Barndo Exterior Colorways

Your barndo can be as colorful as you want it to be. In fact, many manufacturers can easily make your barndo multi-colored. This means the only thing holding you back is your preferences, your neighborhood, and what looks good.

Let’s look at some tips for choosing the right exterior colors for your barndo. 

1. Dark Colors Are Low Maintenance 

Barndominiums can come in almost any color you want. However, many people pick barndominiums because they’re low maintenance.

Here, a darker color for your paneling will ensure that stays true. For example, light colors like cream, white, and pastel colors are popular and trendy.

On the other hand, they also show dirt very easily. Picking a lighter color means that any dirt will show up extremely quickly, which could mean washing the exterior of your home more frequently. 

Does that matter to you? Maybe.

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Just keep in mind that soot (e.g., if you have a firepit) dust, and other materials show up extremely quickly on light colors. Blacks, grays, and even dark colors like dark reds and greens won’t have that problem.

If you want to see this in action, go to a parking lot and look at how dirty different cars look based on color. 

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2. You Want a Color Palette, Not a Color 

Your barndo doesn’t have to be a single color. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Instead, you should pick colors that complement rather than match. That means different colors for trim, window frames, doors, roofing, etc. 

That could potentially be a lot of colors. However, it could be just two. What you do with it is up to you.

However, having that freedom means you can put together a color palette and then play around with the design to see what you like, e.g., if you want a terracotta roof with darker red paneling and dark brown wainscotting, windowsills, and roof flashing.

You get a color palette that compliments the home with the trim to pull everything together, rather than a single-colored home. And, that will generally look a lot better, will look more on purpose, and will have a more designed end appearance. 

If you’re not sure where to start, going on Pinterest or even Google Images and looking at color palettes in different colors (e.g., color palette, dark green) will give you a good idea of how to build those together.

In general, darker colors work better for trim. In addition, in warm areas, you generally want the roof to be a lighter color so it reflects heat. 

3. If You Want Light Colors, Go for Muted Ones 

No one wants a giant reflective building for their home. For that reason, you probably want to avoid reflective metallic colors or bright whites. That’s especially true if you’re living in a very sunny area.

Opting for muted colors also means you’ll have fewer issues with dust and dirt. What does that mean for your color choices? Consider looking at colors and adding a sepia or greyscale filter them with your phone. 

For example, instead of white, opt for cream, opt for darker grays instead of bright ones, and opt for dark rather than neon colors, even when they’re pastel. Otherwise, your building will be reflective.

The brighter your color, the less you want to use it. So, you can have the bright colors as trim without it looking awful, but for the whole building, your neighbors will probably think it’s an eyesore. 

4. Mix Color and Natural Materials for a Sophisticated Look 

Most homes use greyscale, white, and cream colors. Barndominiums give you a lot of freedom to escape from that boring palette.

However, if you still want to keep your home looking sophisticated, you can always add in natural materials to complement the colors. For example, dark green with wood paneling and trim. Or stone facades and columns.

Not every barndo budget will account for actual natural materials.

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However, if you don’t want to pay for wood trim or stone facades, you can often get stone-look paneling as well. That allows you to play with textures and the look and feel of natural material without the expense. 

5. Consider Trim 

Trim is optional on most barndominiums. However, you will want it. In fact, adding the right trim can take a barndominium from looking like a metal box to looking like a well-designed home.

Trim includes:

  • Wainscotting – The bottom third or lower of the panel of the home. This is normally done in darker colors than the rest of the home as it’s the most likely to be damaged. You can match this to the rest of the trim if you want. 
  • Flashing – These panels cover the seams on your panels, adding further wind resistance and color contrast. 
  • Corner Covers – These are normally required to cover the corners of your paneling. However, they can be the same color as the panels. Choosing a different color adds contrast and interest to your home 
  • Frames – Door and window frames will vary a lot depending on the metal building manufacturer and you may not be able to match them to the trim. Here, you should pay close attention to complementing everything else. For example, if you know you won’t be able to match your window frames to your trim, consider using two different colors of trim such as different colors of flashing and corners and different wainscoting, so the color differences look more on purpose. 
  • Roof Flashing – This covers the cap on the roof and may be called the roof cap. It’s usually a good idea to match it to the corner covers. However, if your roof is a different color than the paneling, you might want to match it to the gutters instead. 
  • Gutters – Gutters are a functional item but can be chosen in a wide range of colors. Choosing to complement or match the roof and the roof flashing is a good idea. 

Essentially, there are a lot of trim items that you can and will add to your barndo.

Much of it is also functional. This means you can play with color and contrast with those items, so even a large red building can have functionally interesting elements. 

6. Play It Safe If You Want to Resell 

If you’re planning to live in your barndominium forever, feel free to do whatever you want.

However, if you’re planning to sell it in 5-10-15 years, while the current paint is still good, it’s a good idea to go for a more neutral or safe choice. That means looking at other homes in your area and adopting colors that fit in.

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This may also be important if you live in an area with a Housing Association that may actually regulate color. 

7. Try Out Mockups First 

It’s always a good idea to look for a barndominium software designer, even from your metal building manufacturer, and try out mockups of your options before settling for them.

For example, many metal building manufacturers offer online tools where you can add all of the trim options in all of the colors they have so you can get a good feel for how the final result will look.

That means you’ll get an idea of what looks good in the mockup and will have a better basis for choosing your colors for the rest of the home. 

8. Mix Up Neutral Colors 

If you want a visually interesting barndominium but don’t want anything too bright, try mixing up neutral colors. That means working with a palette of grays, creams, or even black and white to add contrast, visual interest, and design elements to your home.

A solid gray barndominium might look boring. But, add darker flashing to the seams, darker window frames, and cap it with a black roof and you have a visually interesting home.

You can do the same thing with a cream home, with darker paneling, brown sills, a brown roof, etc. Just consider which neutral colors you like, how they combine, and what you can do with them. 

9. Consider Your Environment 

It’s generally a good idea to look at your lot and look at the buildings around it and behind it.

For example, your home will probably look out of place if it’s the only colorful home on the block. A bright green home might also look bad against a bright red building in the background.

Consider how colors will look in your environment and then go from there. Not everything will work.

However, you can generally get a good idea of what will and will not work just by looking at things and comparing colors and how they work together. 

10. Research Your Options

It’s always a good idea to try to find examples of the style you’re working on before running with it. For example, if you want a green barndominium, look up for examples.

Getting a look and feel for what others are doing with the color palette.

You can always do your own thing, but doing some research, putting together a mood board or a Pinterest board, and seeing what professional designers have done will always get you started off on a better track.

Plus, seeing what others have done should inspire you with ideas you might not have thought of on your own.

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