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Before and AfterExterior ColourGray

Painting the trim Black; Before & After Exterior in Vancouver

By 06/10/2009January 26th, 201726 Comments

There were so many large windows on this house that I recommended painting the trim black. This repeated the already black railings and black roof.

I also suggested that the garage doors be painted to match the house (they are a darker gray-green than the house) so that they stopped being the focal point like they were in the before photo [below].

Would anyone like to guess when this house was re-painted? 7 years ago before the brown trend started! Had I picked the colours in the last few years, the client probably would have asked for some shade of brown!

By the way, this is the only time I would use a Colour Viewer to sample colours on your house. It’s fine to see what your house looks like with dramatic trim; however it will not show you how the colour changes the look of your house once the sun comes up!

Sometimes, if a client does not have a strong opinion of the colour they already want, this kind of house (with no existing stonework or any jumping off point) can be challenging. It’s when a client really needs help in making the final choice. People want to know WHY the colour they are choosing is the right one, and sometimes you have to walk through the entire colour wheel to eliminate the colours they don’t want in order to narrow down the colour that they will be happy with in the end.

If you would like to schedule an on-line Exterior Colour consultation please email me at [email protected] or call 604.318.9725.

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  • DesignTies says:

    I love the dark trim on this house. I think dark trim around windows in particular is a great look. It gives the windows more presence, I think.

    Great sunset shot!! 🙂


  • Terri says:

    Love your new header Maria! It is gorgeous!!!

    Now, I have to go read your exteriors posts!!

    xo Terri

  • Authoritaters says:

    Shazaaaaaaaaam! I love your new header! In fact, I already forgot what your old one looks like XD The new one looks care free but not losing that professional appeal XD

  • Anonymous says:

    Stunning facade, it's amazing how those garage doors now just blend in and the eye is drawn into the lovely landscaping!
    i've only just recently discovered this world of Blogs~ Maria, yours is amazing; the generosity with your knowlege both technical and real world experience is beyond what i'd ever hope to find on the internet. This whole community seems so warm and generous.
    I must go back and thank the ladies at Designties for inticeing me down this path (and blog roll)
    Oh– and the header is spectacular!
    Don't know what eslse to say except ..thank-you

  • Christine says:

    I love the look you created, the windows just pop. And the garage does blend in more. It's funny you mention garages standing out, because it was a huge pet peeve of my husband's when we were out house hunting.

  • Awesome Sara says:

    sorry i missed your last post i was really sick from something i ate. never eat a frozen burrito. i really like your new header thingie!!! so chic!!! and i'm sorry i stole your paint chip post!!! it was a spur of the moment thing no planning. anywho i am shocked you choose black trim. i like black like you don't understand! love it!!!

  • Awesome Sara says:

    i would love to guest blog for you!! you were suppose to guest for me remember!!! i have to think of something. i will tell you what i have done. hmmmmm…. you think of one for me too! a lot of my bloggers live in small rentals and need help with that, thats a hint if you get stuck on something to guest about.

  • Cristin says:

    OK, i am hooked and a new follower.

    keep inspiring us!


  • Ideezine says:


    Great show and tell. I use photos often to get a point across to my clients as well. I'm very patient with an individual's learning curve. As I see it, we were all 5 years old at one time and we didn't understand a thing. So thank you.



    Maria, thanks for stopping by! Great post. Im not sure if my client reads my blog…I did however change names to protect privacy. But I had no choice. I had to write about it because it's just too funny.Too often people assume that our job as designers is filled with fluffy, pretty things with a dash of glitter and all things great! They have no idea what designers jobs are really like or what we are exposed to; ie: condoms in the bedroom hahaha That was a great post!

  • Struggler says:

    I've very much enjoyed the last couple of postings on exterior colors. Interestingly, it's one thing I don't have to worry too much about, as our Home Owners Association dictates paint color – fortunately the designated shade looks OK to me.

    I do wish, though, that they'd update our options for front doors – there are about 6 choices, all of them chosen (I suspect) in the 80s, and even when freshly painted, they look faded and drab!

  • Kara says:

    I hate white garage doors – always have. Or when people use the trim color on the garage instead of the main body color. I always think – why are you drawing attention to the garage?

    Great post.

  • joanie says:

    Your blog is great — so much terrific info about color. I have always wondered why some combinations look great while others that are similar look "off." Your explanations of undertones, and of "clean" and "dirty" colors are so helpful. I have been trying to select new colors for rooms that need repainting and now feel more confident with what I've learned from you. I definitely will be back to read more or your entries.


  • Under a Green Roof says:

    looks great! the black trim did wonders! so did painting the doors. fantastic!

  • Haven and Home says:

    Wow Wow Wow!

    Where have I been? I love the new header!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brillante Home Decor says:

    Definetely more sophisticated look and the garage doors disappear.
    Amazing Maria!

  • mrsben says:

    Re the garage doors; now you see them… you don't. "Maria, The Amazing Magician."

    Brilliant and impressive. -Brenda-

    P.S: Cute header!

  • Renae says:

    The house went from looking like it was built in the 90's to more current. Always amazing what a little paint will do eh?

  • Lisa says:

    Oh gosh Maria,
    I thought this was about interior trim which i see painted black now & then.
    I am so glad to find that you are talking about exterior. Hmmmm. This could be very interesting as we have a home with tan siding & white trim but I painted the shutters & front door black. Now i'm wondering if I might paint the trim black too..You always have me thinking.
    XO Lisa

  • Anonymous says:

    I know this is a old blog but I have a comment. I am a little confused about the choice of black trim with the obvious white vinyl windows. I thought if you have white vinyl windows you should stay with white or very light trim color.To me the white really stands out against the black trim and make the windows look smaller .I have never liked the way a darker color trim looks with the white vinyl windows. Am I the only one that thinks this doesn't really work? The colors are great but the black with the white on the trim is what I don't like.
    Newbee and loving this blog!

    • bvisailor says:

      Sorry for the delayed response- just found this blog while searching for “black exterior trim”. We’re in the process of designing a new house & I’d love to paint the exterior trim black but we’re using vinyl windows & black ones are DOUBLE the cost of white. I agree that black trim with white vinyl windows just screams, “look! we used white vinyl windows!” Hubby disagrees based on the price, so I’m at a total loss. Does it look bad enough to justify an extra TWENTY GRAND? Would like to say yes, but that’s a LOT of money, I just don’t know……

      • Maria Killam says:

        You need to repeat the white so it doesn’t look like white screaming windows. I would spend that extra money on DECORATING. That’s where the real look and feel of your house comes in. If you move in and don’t have great furniture, accessories and lighting, who cares if your windows are the exact perfect colour. I would never do anything but white windows anyway, just do it right. Maria

  • Maria Killam says:

    Hi Anonymous,
    I don't think this is the 'ABSOLUTE RIGHT' way to do it. I think it's a preference thing. Some people like the high contrast look and some don't. It really depends on the house.
    Thanks for reading my blog!

  • Helen Braun says:

    Hi Maria, I love your blogs!!
    I have a paint color question. We recently bought a traditional looking stucco home with charcoal grey trim and white windows. We’d like to paint the house and just can’t decide on a color. I love darker colors, would this work with dark trim?
    Thanks, Helen

    • Maria Killam says:

      It depends on which colour you choose. Stick to colours over neutrals and it will look great. Maria

      • Helen Braun says:

        Would you have any color suggestions that would look great with the charcoal?
        Thanks so much!!

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