• Home
  • How To Choose Trim Color

How To Choose Trim Color

By LaytonLast update: 2023-10-27

When decorating a home, one of the important decisions is choosing paint colors for details such as doors, windows, and walls. However, an even more challenging decision is choosing a trim color - the outer border of doors, windows, wall corners, and other details in the room. To choose a suitable trim color, you need to consider many factors such as the color of the walls, architectural style, decorating style, and overall space of the room. In this article, I will provide some useful tips to help you choose the right trim paint color for your home.

Why do people often find it difficult to choose trim colors?

There are several reasons why people find it difficult to choose trim colors. One reason is that trim colors need to complement the overall color scheme of the house, which can be challenging to achieve. Additionally, people may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of color options available. Another reason is that people may not have a clear understanding of the effect that different colors can have on the look and feel of their home. Finally, people may lack confidence in their ability to choose the right color, which can make the decision-making process even more daunting.

So how can you choose the right trim color that enhances the decorative style and increases the architectural value of your space? The following methods will help you find an effective way to choose the perfect trim color.

Consider for the existing color scheme

When it comes to choosing the right trim color, one important factor to consider is the existing color scheme of your home. Take a close look at the colors of your walls, roof, and other exterior features to determine the dominant hues in your overall design. You want to choose a trim color that complements and enhances the existing colors, rather than clashes with them.

For example, if your home has warm, earthy tones, you might consider choosing a trim color that is a shade or two darker or lighter than the dominant color. If you're not sure which color would work best, consider consulting with a professional or seeking inspiration from other homes in your neighborhood with a similar color palette. By considering the existing color scheme, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing look for your home.

Choose a contrasting color

Another effective strategy for choosing the perfect trim color is to opt for a contrasting hue. This approach involves selecting a trim color that is distinctly different from the primary color of your home's exterior. For example, if your home's walls are a neutral color like beige or gray, consider selecting a trim color in a bold shade like navy blue or hunter green. This can add visual interest and create a dramatic contrast that makes your home stand out. However, it's important to choose a contrasting color that still complements the overall style and design of your home. A professional color consultant can help you choose the perfect contrasting trim color that will make your home pop.

Stick to neutrals

For those who prefer a more understated approach, sticking to neutral trim colors is a reliable choice. Neutral colors such as white, beige, and gray are versatile and timeless, and can work well with a variety of architectural styles and color schemes. They are also low-risk choices, as they are less likely to clash with other colors or become dated quickly.

If you're unsure about which neutral color to choose, consider taking a sample of your exterior paint color to the paint store and holding it up next to different neutral swatches to see which one looks best. Remember that even within the neutral color family, there are variations in tone and shade that can make a big difference in the final result. By sticking to neutrals, you can create a clean, classic look that will stand the test of time.

Consider for the architectural style

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a trim color is the architectural style of your home. Different architectural styles often have distinct color palettes and design elements that can influence the selection of a trim color. For example, a traditional-style home may look best with classic, muted colors like cream, navy, or forest green for the trim.

On the other hand, a modern-style home may benefit from bold, contrasting trim colors such as black or bright red. It's important to consider the overall aesthetic of your home and choose a trim color that complements the existing design elements. By doing so, you can enhance the beauty of your home and create a cohesive look that ties all the design elements together.

Look at the lighting

When choosing a trim color, it's essential to consider the lighting in the area. Lighting can significantly affect how a color appears, so it's important to take the time to evaluate how the trim color will look under different lighting conditions. For example, a color that looks great in natural daylight may appear too bright or washed out under artificial lighting at night. Consider taking color samples home and looking at them under different lighting conditions, such as in bright sunlight, in the shade, and at night with artificial lighting.

Additionally, think about the direction your home faces and the amount of natural light it receives throughout the day. Choosing a trim color that works well in different lighting conditions can ensure that your home looks great no matter what time of day it is.

Test paint samples

One of the most effective ways to choose a trim color is to test paint samples. Paint samples can give you a better idea of how a color will look in your home's lighting conditions and next to existing design elements. Before purchasing gallons of paint, consider buying a few paint samples and testing them on a small section of trim or on a poster board. This way, you can evaluate how the color looks in different lighting and how it complements other colors in the room.

Don't be afraid to test multiple colors and shades before making a final decision. It's better to spend a little extra time and money on testing than to end up with a trim color you don't like once it's already painted on your home. Testing paint samples is an excellent way to ensure you choose the perfect trim color that fits your personal style and enhances your home's overall aesthetic.

Ways to maintain the color of trim paint

Avoid abrasive cleaners

To maintain the color of your trim paint, it's important to avoid using abrasive cleaners. These types of cleaners can scratch the surface of the paint, causing it to lose its luster and fade over time. Instead, choose the mild cleaners that are gentle on the surface. When cleaning your trim, use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid scratching the surface. Additionally, avoid using rough materials such as steel wool or abrasive scrubbers, as they can cause damage to the paint. By avoiding abrasive cleaners, you can help to keep your trim looking like new for longer and maintain the integrity of the color.

Protect from the sun

Another way to maintain the color of your trim paint is to protect it from the sun. Over time, exposure to UV rays can cause the paint to fade and lose its vibrancy. To prevent this, consider using window treatments or UV-blocking film to shield your trim from direct sunlight. If possible, position outdoor furniture or other objects to provide shade to areas where your trim is exposed. Additionally, choose paint products that are specifically formulated to resist fading due to sun exposure. By taking steps to protect your trim from the sun, you can help to preserve its color and extend its lifespan.

Address moisture issues

Moisture can be a major enemy of your trim paint color. If you have moisture issues in your home, such as leaks or high humidity, it can cause the paint to peel or discolor. To maintain the color of your trim paint, it's important to address any moisture issues promptly. Check for leaks in your roof or windows, and repair them as soon as possible. Use a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity, such as basements or bathrooms, to help reduce moisture levels. Additionally, consider using paint products that are specifically designed to resist moisture, such as mildew-resistant paints. By taking steps to address moisture issues in your home, you can help to maintain the color and quality of your trim paint.


In conclusion, choosing the right trim color can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your home. There are several factors to consider, including the existing color scheme, the architectural style, the lighting, and personal preference. It's essential to test paint samples and choose a color that complements the rest of your home's exterior.

Once you have chosen the perfect trim color, it's essential to take steps to maintain it properly. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, protect from the sun, and address any moisture issues promptly. By following these tips, you can ensure that your trim color stays vibrant and beautiful for years to come.

Related Articles