Out of all the different exterior siding materials to choose from — brick, stucco, wood, just to name a few — cedar is one of the most coveted. Not only is it among the most durable wood types (thanks to its natural oils that make it resistant to insects and rot), but it's also sustainable, has natural sound and weather insulation properties, and imparts hard-to-replicate warmth and beauty. However, all of these characteristics come at a price: Cedar is among the most expensive types of wood and will require regular maintenance.
Cedar siding is available in a range of forms — including planks, layered bevel, shingles, shake, board and batten, and tongue and groove — which allows it to work well with many different architectural styles. The type of siding you select will have a direct impact on your home's overall aesthetic. For example, shake and shingles are commonly used on traditional and Cape Cod-style homes, while streamlined planks imbue a modern look. For added dimension, opt for board and batten which is an appropriate look for farmhouse, midcentury, or rustic style homes.
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Additionally, cedar comes in various colors — red, white, and Spanish — as well as different grades. The lowest grade has the most visible knots, giving it an inherently rustic appearance. Not surprisingly, the higher the grade, the more expensive the material. White cedar develops a beautiful gray patina over time and is common with East Coast cape-style home exteriors. All cedar grades and colors can be painted, but most people prefer to let its beauty speak for itself — leaving it unadorned other than a coat of sealer or a natural stain.
While cedar has its own unmistakable beauty, most homeowners opt to complement it with an accent color on the front door, window trim, shutters, or even gutters. Selecting a color scheme that will go with a cedar home comes down to preference, but most people choose to let the surrounding environment dictate the accent hues, while still retaining a distinct personality. For example, cedar homes by the water often showcase trim in shades of blue while homes located in the mountains might favor earthy shades of green, brown, or gray.
Now, if you're ready for a little inspo, read ahead for some of our favorite shades to pair with the beloved material.
10 Exterior Paint Colors That Go With Cedar Siding
Navy blue accents imbue unmistakable coastal charm to exteriors, especially those with cedar shingles. It's a combo oftentimes seen near the water, thanks to the telltale nautical vibe. For this home's facade, Blakely Interior Design selected a dark shade of blue for the more substantial architectural details — like the window shutters and front door. The trim was painted in a crisp shade of white to create more contrast.
Get the look: Sherwin-Williams Azure Tide
The color black is a universally adored hue that works with all architectural styles. For example, the team over at Elizabeth Roberts Architecture gave this mountain getaway contemporary flair by painting the doors and window trim in a deep ebony hue. Pairing the color black with unadorned cedar planks results in a minimalist curb appeal that's equal parts welcoming and sophisticated.
Get the look: Glidden Black Magic
For an enduring look, it's hard to beat cedar siding with crisp white trim. It's a classic combination that highlights architectural features without being visually jarring. For this sprawling home, Chango & Co. used white to create subtle contrast with the cedar planks, drawing the eye to the plentiful windows. The lush foliage adds an organic pop of color.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Ultra White
4. Hunter Green
With its connection to the great outdoors, green is the ideal accent color for homes located in pastoral settings. There are so many shades to choose from and each one will impart a unique look and feel. In this cozy example by Patrick Ahearn, a rustic cedar-clad exterior is adorned with hunter-green window trim, planter boxes, and doors that blend in seamlessly with the woodsy backdrop.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Hunter Green
5. Cobalt Blue
Put a unique stamp on cedar siding by pairing it with striking neon details. It's not an obvious combination, but using a vibrant hue sparingly is a clever way to create a singular focal point. In the case of this streamlined home by Peter Dunham, the modern facade gets a boost with the addition of an Yves Klein-inspired, cobalt blue front door that allows the rest of the home to recede into its surroundings.
Get the look: Backdrop Blue Is The Coolest Color
If you've been dreaming of a color that brings together the calm of blue with the tranquility of green, a cool shade of teal could be the perfect fit. When paired with cedar shingles it imparts irresistible charm, as proven by this enchanting home from Peter Dunham. The Nantucket cottage ups the quaint factor with perfectly weathered siding, lush greenery, and a stylish Dutch door.
Get the look: Benjamin Moore Teal Ocean
If you're partial to neutral colors, but long for something a bit more understated than black or white, consider taupe. It's a warm shade with brown undertones that blends seamlessly into the background while still offering a bit of contrast when paired with gray cedar shingles. Interior designer Sarah Scales selected the earthy shade for the trim on this perfectly weathered coastal cottage exterior.
Get the look: Dunn-Edwards Desert Suede
8. Olive Green
Follow the lead of Danica from Nadine Stay, and pair cedar wood shingles with an earthy shade of green for your home exterior. Here, the dark olive-colored board and batten paneling really amps up the drama and contrasts beautifully with the warm wood. The combo looks right at home surrounded by nature.
Get the look: HGTV by Sherwin-Williams Subterranean
9. Charcoal Gray
Gray offers the elegance and versatility of black and white while feeling a bit more unexpected. The color comes in a variety of different shades — ranging from blue to brown to green — so there is a gray hue for everyone. Allison Merritt opted to use charcoal gray, a timeless selection, for the front door of this charming Cape-style home. The dark door color pops against the muted cedar siding and brings out the gray undertones.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Tar
10. Sage Green
If you're anything like us, you can't get enough of the color green in all of its varying shades, including sage green — and with one look at this idyllic exterior by Anna Evans, it's not hard to see why. Here, the light hue (used on the window shutters) is paired with cedar shake siding and white trim resulting in a timeless color combination that complements the home's architecture. The verdant landscaping bolsters the neutral scheme, and makes the facade even more charming.
Get the look: Farrow & Ball Vert de Terre
Paint Colors That Go With Cedar Siding
If you're partial to wood siding, it's hard to beat the beauty and durability of cedar. Prized for its natural insulation, environmentally sound properties (it's the only tree that grows faster than bamboo), and innate resistance to mildew and insects, cedar offers unparalleled warmth and versatility.
It can be installed in different ways, including planks, shingles, board and batten, shiplap, bevel, or tongue and groove. Plus, it's available in different colors so don't forget to take that into account when selecting an exterior color palette. Even though there aren't any hard and fast rules when selecting shades of paint that will go with cedar siding, here's a list of some of our favorites:
- Navy blue
- Hunter green
- Cobalt blue
- Olive green
- Charcoal gray
- Sage green