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My 3 Favourite Colours for a Pretty Church Exterior

By 05/30/2018August 7th, 202210 Comments

In our travels all around the country leading my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops, often, when we drive by a beautiful church I think back to one of my first exterior consultations as a brand new colour consultant.

I was asked to consult on the exterior of a church in New Westminster.

The church was white with a hot pink awning at the entrance.

Because I was brand new and had no opinion whatsoever on what the new colour could or should be, I arrived armed with exterior brochures with suggested colour combinations from a paint store.

These were well before the days that I painted up curated large colour samples to use in all my colour consultations.

All I had back then, was some false bravado, my teeny, tiny paint samples, and an exterior combination brochure, hoping it would somehow choose the colour for me (it did not).

I spread out all my brochures on a nearby picnic table that warm sunny day, as the pastor and a few of his aides studied the church.

In the end, I chose a pink (that wasn’t in the brochure) that related to the hot pink awning because I sagely advised that the pink should be repeated if it was to remain a part of the colour scheme.

I’ll never forget that consultation, because when I drove by weeks later, they had indeed painted the intricate carvings all around the church the pink I had suggested.

Fast forward to today, if I had to do it all over again, my first suggestion would have been that the awning be replaced.

I always warn students in my colour workshops that when they have completed the course, they will always view the world through a filter of undertones. Everywhere you go, in your head, you’ll be thinking ‘green grey’, ‘blue grey’ or ‘taupe’ (for example), your husband and children will get good at colour as well. You won’t be able to help it, it’s an occupational hazard.

And the easiest place to start is by observing exterior colours. It’s rare that I pass an exterior that makes me come to a screeching halt to take a photo.

Since that day when I chose pink for that church, I have noticed that often they are painted some version of the current trendy neutral just like the exteriors of a lot of homes.

I started my colour consulting business in the 90s and back then there were a lot of church exteriors that were sage green. Now there are lots of brown and grey ones as well.

However, if it must be painted, what colour should a church be?

White is the best colour choice.

I grew up with this photo in our house. {source}

Not because white is trendy (because it currently is), but because white represents Purity, Innocence, Angels, Godliness and Holiness.

Woodman Christian Church in Nashville

When we were in Nashville for our colour workshop this April, we drove by a beautiful white church so I asked Terreeia to stop so I could snap some photos.

This was a large church with beautiful outbuildings attached to it.

Everything was so pretty with the fresh green of budding trees and Spring blossoms!

A Church with a Brick Exterior

A church with a brick exterior along with plenty of white trim, windows and siding is also a pretty choice, here’s another one I passed in my travels in Chicago:

What’s my third choice?

A church built of stone.

It seems so permanent and like it’s been there forever.

The prettiest stone church of this wedding season was of course St George’s Chapel where the Royal Wedding took place:

If the yellow/gold beige stone didn’t match the white dress, all the greenery and flowers around the steps certainly did.

Harry and Meghan (source for all three above images) One of my favourite pics!

We were in Dallas when the wedding aired and we woke up at 6:15 am to watch it right before they exchanged vows! My Mom said she just watched everything and anything about the wedding for two full days afterwards it was so magical.

Of course when choosing white is NOT a good idea for the colour of your church, is if the stone or brick is really earthy and white would look too stark. The same rules apply for the interior as the exterior when it comes to introducing WHITE.

Which colour scheme is your favourite?

If you need help choosing a white or cream for your exterior, check out my Choose Exterior Colours with Confidence online training or check out our eDesign packages here.

PS. What time did you wake up to watch the Royal Wedding? I loved the parties I heard about where English tea and crumpets were served!

PPS. My Fall Specify Colour with Confidence dates are up on the site, see them here.

This was my fabulous Dallas group! We loved the location so much, we’re going back in October!

Darci Foshay a colour consultant in Peaks Island, ME, attended my New York (Long Island) in April and here’s a post she wrote about the course.

Related posts:

How to Get the Perfect Creamy Exterior

5 Reasons you Cannot Paint Your House Art Gallery White

Trend Alert: All White and All Black Exteriors

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  • Karen Aamodt says:

    Hi Maria!

    I LOVE the dress you’re wearing in the group photo. The colors are all the ones you love and they look good on you too. AND you look like a colorist SHOULD look! Very modern and in LIVING COLOR! YAY! for you!!!


  • Kay says:

    The most important thing you said was why white is the best color for a church. Symbolism is the paramount consideration. Too many people want to paint the interior or exterior of a church a color they personally like, when symbolism and beauty matter much more than personal preferences.

  • Janet says:

    I was excited when I read hot pink awning and how I wish you had a picture of it?

  • Norma Fournier says:

    My husband and I watched the Royal wedding in real time in our hotel room just 20 miles from Windsor! It was amazing! Loved the green and white!

  • Lucy says:

    Fun post! You always have such great subjects! I will now be aware of every church and its color. I do love St. George’s Chapel! There is just something beautiful about old churches in Europe and England. They used a lot of stone.

    What a nice looking group of new TCE’s! I wish you had some men join you because they need your teachings too!

  • Sonja Bermingham says:

    I favour the crispness of white! We weren’t church goers, but my mom always said her church was in her heart❤️…

    I woke up at 4am and cried like a baby throughout the ceremony. The beautiful setting, music and of course the “bit lip” thing was so romantic – – and lovely Meghan, the envy of us all.

  • Sonja Bermingham says:

    I favour the crispness of white! We weren’t church goers, but my mom always said her church was in her heart❤️…
    I woke up at 4am and cried like a baby throughout the ceremony. The beautiful setting, music and of course the “bit lip” thing was so romantic – – and lovely Meghan, the envy of us all.

  • Pam says:

    I’m certain that is Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville Tennessee. Thanks.
    Enjoy your posts.

  • Samantha says:

    I would love to have my wedding in an old chapel made of stone with vines on the walls… It’s such a romantic scenery.

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