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Advice for HomeownersColour lessonExterior ColourRenovating my House

The Right Colour to Paint your Deck

By 04/07/2013September 25th, 201711 Comments

Blue deck

The ONLY surface that I did not paint in the house we bought and renovated last Spring was the deck. Now that we’ve worn a couple spots running back and forth between the house and the office (below) I can see that it was formerly forest green. Had it still been that colour, it would definitely have been on the list to re-paint ASAP.


And now I’ve come to the conclusion that when I get it re-painted it doesn’t need to be far from the colour it is now. It’s a pinky/butterscotch colour (P&L 8-20/DE 5264/BM 1140) that actually relates really well to my Rustic Maple floors. So when I look out my windows, there’s a seamless flow to the colour of the floors vs. the deck that’s outside the kitchen and family room.

The other reason why I think it works is because it does have the same colour tone as a stained wood surface.  In two weeks everything is coming out, front and back. And since it truly pains me to show my yard on this blog without an ‘after’ picture if you want to see it all it’s untouched glory, check out my flickr images here.

I am so happy that Maryanne White my landscape designer from New York is helping me on the entire plan. Check out her suggestions for trees and plants here. I’m so excited, can’t wait!


So that’s one way to choose the colour of your deck. Now this works really well for the deck or porch in your backyard because it won’t be visually as important as the front of the house.

If you think this would be a good way to choose the colour of your deck, lay your colour chips on top of the floors and choose the one that is the closest. Then paint a large sample and lay it outside your window on the deck so that you can see if it works.

Since my floors aren’t exactly orange, there’s a range as to what colours would work with it. I just posted these images because it happens to coordinate even in the tone that it currently is painted.

Keep in mind, if this deck had anything to do with the curb appeal at the front of the house, it would most likely not be this colour. But in the back yard, it works.

Here are some more ideas on painted decks:

Gray Porch Floor

For years, standard, off-the-shelf porch and floor paint came in this battleship grey (in other words blue undertone) colour. I have seen many, many foundations of homes and concrete front steps painted this colour and it always bothered me until I discovered my system of Understanding Undertones ®. Well, let’s be clear, it still bother me but now I know why.

In this house (above) the steps actually seem to relate to the roof so it seems to be the right choice although if the risers were painted white to match the railings (below) it would have looked more custom.

Gray porch



You can’t go wrong with white or cream paint to coordinate with the trim on your house but we are back to the high maintenance factor of white.

white porch

 Beautiful white perfection!

PorchThis combination of white risers and treads and deck/porch the same colour as the house is also a nice, coordinated look. Also a secondary accent colour will work too as the porch floor colour.

Okay, so it’s still the beginning of exterior painting season. My first exterior webinar was full of the same useful, no-nonsense information you have come to expect from my blog.

As I was writing it, and gathering all my thoughts and experience with choosing colour, I had some brand new aha moments that I was so excited to share with everyone!

Here are a few comments from the last webinar:

Thank you. I watched the webinar today and liked it very much. I am actually selecting colors and learned some good concepts. The house is a 1952 built house with an orangish/ red brick and a new roof that is gray that I think you would call heather and has reddish orange, light and dark gray. White vinyl windows a peak and shutters.The owner does not want red orange on the door. I have been struggling but now have some direction. I have listed the colors in the fixed elements so will try again. Thank you. Your team has excellent customer service and are so helpful. Linda B

Maria has amazing talent! And I know how much work it is to put one of these together (pre- and post-) and how many folks must be involved. Thanks to all of you for making it happen. It was really a great webinar. Warmly, Kay

How to choose Exterior Colour for your Home

So I’m holding it again Thursday, May 2 at 11:00 am PST time. The cost is $99.00. The webinar will be live and include question and answers via live chat. It will last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on the number of questions.

As I promised before, if you sign up within the next 3 days you’ll receive my special report on how to instantly reduce the thousands of colours available down to a manageable number. It’s a process that took me hundreds of consultations and years to discover.

Sign up here.

And don’t worry, if you can’t be there for the live version, you will get the download to watch later.

And when I show you a house with a colour you need to know, I’ll list it in Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Farrow and Ball, so if you are overseas but have access to Farrow and Ball colours you can also follow along.

What colour is your deck or porch?

Related posts:

Clean Colour ALWAYS Trumps Dirty Colour

Is White Worth the Extra Maintenance? Yay or Nay

How to Choose Exterior Colour: Webinar with Maria Killam


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  • Debbiecz says:

    Lovely plant selections. Jealous over the stewartia…gorgeous bark and fall color but not hardy here in Chicago. Design looks lovely, your yard will be a great escape. Question? Will you have to deliver large items to your office? We have a similiar situation and realized we had closed off the back access. Delivery guys trekking thru the house isn’t fun for the carpets. I couldn’t tell what was on the side yard. Enjoy!

  • Maggie S says:

    I can’t wait to see the finished landscape. The plant selection is wonderful.

    I had an all white garden at my last house and I loved it –so calm.

  • mrsben says:

    First of all Maria, congratulations on the success of your first extrior Webinar.

    Re the subject and your question; have a large backyard upper ‘deck’, not a porch and due to its Southern exposure and our climate have opted to leave it au naturel. It is cedar which grays by itself which I far more prefer than being concerned with a lot of maintenance. (i.e: Painting/staining it every two to three years for aesthetics and/or when the occasional board needs to be replaced.) Plus have learned that ‘open’ painted or stained surfaces in particular have a tendency to be treacherous underfoot if given the right weather elements. (Our lower deck is interlocking stone as is our front porch which do not present the same challenges.)
    Totally agree with you though with your advice in choosing and co-ordinating colour but I also feel one should also weigh their options before they paint or … even stain. Speaking for myself, our Seasons are short and I prefer to enjoy the outdoors when I can and not be a slave to upkeep or for that matter high maintenance landscaping. The latter which I took my cue from that which is used in commercial design and not necessarily residential. -Brenda-

  • Karen Dyck says:

    The plant suggestions look lovely. Landscaping is one of my passions. I am just wondering whether or not you have a deer problem, as many of us do in rural BC. If so …. they will love many of those plants.

  • wendy says:

    Hi Maria
    Plants sound wonderful but I thought I would forewarn you in case you haven’t heard that the ornamental pear tree is a lovely tree when it blooms but terrible for the mess it makes. It has small hard fruit which drops non stop once it blooms and because mine was close to the driveway I had to sweep and rake almost daily in nice weather. Bags of those things. The squirrels loved the fruit but tore it apart to get the seed and then threw the skins on the driveway along with the mess that had fallen. Needless to say, I finally had it cut down last fall. Just adding this for thought. I also have a Chinese Dogwood which is fabulous when it blooms as well as the fall for the bright red color.

  • Kim says:

    First, I loved participating in your first exterior webinar! My eyes were opened to so many good ideas to consider when painting my home. I re-read your e-book over the weekend on how to choose paint colors, and it all just keeps making more sense to me. Thank you, Maria!

  • susan says:

    Schizophragma “Moonlight” is among my favorites, white plants. Leaves are lovely, and the white flowers are glorious and long lasting.

  • jon anne winstead says:

    OMG!! Our home is white siding, it’s lowcountry design. We are adding a sunroom off the four french doors from kitchen and living room. floor is true mexican tile but we have gone with new granite in kitchen, white cabinets, Gauntlet Gray SW7019 kitchen with elder white SW7014 trim all through; living room Dorian Gray SW7017, ceilings repose gray SW7015 all over. Sunroom will have brick floor, wood walls, mostly windows with pergola out to left overlooking pool. (Brick and windows are from an old school) what color would you paint the decking that is around the sunroom plus sunroom and trim, please!! Please!!

  • jon anne winstead says:

    Looking at the trees you are considering, we had four absolutely beautiful river birch trees outside but cut down because of the mess they made on the deck and into the pool even to the point of clogging the pump when we were gone one weekend. Loved, loved the trees but not the mess!!

  • GaBi says:

    One of the best selection of the plants, made by a very good taste.
    Flowering pear is absolutely stunning, till will start to loose the flowers and fruit. I would plant flowering pear only somewhere on the top of the meadow in mass planting just to watch from distance.
    I hope you are also going to use the mass planting scheme in your garden because use one shrub here, one shrub there is very funny looking. Mass planting create a very strong and effective picture in the garden to watch,admire and enjoy.

  • Jane says:

    We saw the photo of the green home, white and dark grey trim, (above on this page) and fell in love with it for our home, which has lots of trim and is just perfect for this color combo. Last week we had it painted. the color combo was bold for our New England neighborhood; at first neighbors didn’t think they’d like it – it’s so different – but then they fell in love with it. And we have absolutely. It’s like a living organic home. We have lots of red in our foliage: Japanese maple, dogwood, pink and red azelea, plum bush, and the colors are just brilliant against each other, and it’s like our home is an extension of our garden. I really recommend Maria’s eye and thoughtfulness, and her ability to see something new and different and that works!!

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