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superior exteriors

From habitat magazine - issue 37, exterior ideas

We’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing your home’s exterior colours.

A rich red timber exterior

Terrific with timber – Colour Lover. Rich red wood stain Resene Waterborne Woodsman Japanese Maple is a contemporary take on traditional barn red and looks stunning when contrasted with green foliage.

Pair with the reddish brown of Resene Woodsman Decking Oil Stain in Resene Tamarind and the roof and front door in Resene Red Oxide. Finish with fencing in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Bushtrack.


Choosing paint or stain colours for the exterior of your home can be a little daunting. It’s a significant investment and colours need to not only suit your home’s architecture and your personality, but stand the test of time. That’s why our team of Resene colour experts has created a collection of Superior Exterior colour palettes to help you with this big decision. The 30 colour palettes are organised by the house architecture type and into three colour strengths: Nice and Neutral, A Touch of Colour and Colour Lover. If you’re renovating a villa you’ll find classic colour inspiration in the Villa collection, if your cedar or wooden home needs a stain, explore the Terrific with timber palettes or if you’re California dreamin’ of some new colours for your California Bungalow the perfect colour combo is here for you.

Terrific with timber

Resene Woodsman wood stains protect exterior timber while showcasing the beauty of wood by allowing the grain to show through. When choosing a wood stain for your home, it’s important to consider that stains are semi-transparent and the colour of the stain will be affected by the type of timber used on your home. For example, pine is a pale yellow wood while cedar is a darker reddish brown colour so the same colour applied to each will look very different. There’s a Resene Woodsman product for every outdoor project.

Resene Waterborne Woodsman is ideal for weatherboards as well as a variety of other exterior projects such as fences or pergolas while Resene Woodsman Decking Oil Stain is ideal for transforming new timber or rejuvenating tired decking. The Resene Woodsman range is available in Resene CoolColour formulas with special heat-reflective technology which keeps the surface cooler to touch, even in summer.

An outdoor area with a soft and smoky colour palette

Terrific with timber – Nice and Neutral. Soft and smoky, this timber colour palette brings together on-trend brown and grey Resene Woodman stains that sit gently in the landscape.

Weatherboards in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Smokey Ash and decking in Resene Woodsman Tiri. Make a statement with a fence in Resene Pitch Black and a front door and roof in Resene Ironsand. Side table and planters in Resene Ironsand. Chair and lamp from Jardin.

Warm brown timber tones

Terrific with timber – A Touch of Colour. This palette features three warm brown timber tones to create a dynamic-looking exterior showcasing the natural beauty of the timber.

Walls and trim in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Natural, decking in Resene Woodsman Bark and fence in Resene Woodsman Touch Wood. Roof in Resene Squall. The vibrant green front door in Resene Kombi adds a touch of colour to this warm palette.

California dreamin’

As the name suggests, California Bungalows take their name from the architecture style originating on the West Coast of the USA. This style is associated with the Arts and Crafts movement and was particularly popular in Australasia in the 1910s and 1920s. Though there is a lot of variation in the style and materials used in California Bungalows, there are some universal characteristics such as large verandas, a triangular roof and often cementitious or brick balustrades. With features such as gables, window sashes and trims it pays to use a number of colours to accentuate the detailed craftsmanship.

California dreamin’ – Nice and Neutral exterior

California dreamin’ – Nice and Neutral 

This neutral palette uses varying strengths of Resene’s most popular paint colour, Resene Black White. This contemporary palette has fewer colour variations than is traditional with weatherboards and gables (at the top of the house) and rendered plaster porch and balustrades all in the same colour using Resene Double Black White, while the window trims, porch frame and soffits are in Resene Eighth Black White. The look is anchored with a roof and bargeboards in Resene Porter. Finish the look with a fence and deck in blackish brown wood stain, Resene Woodsman Crowshead. “Light and bright Resene Eighth Black White on the trims and details helps to highlight the architecture of the home,” says Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins.

California dreamin’– Colour Lover

California dreamin’– Colour Lover

Go bold with darker weatherboards, gables and rendered plaster in Resene Spanish Green paired with window frames, soffits and trims in Resene Bianca. Outer window frames, front door and windowsill in Resene Forest Green and roof and bargeboards in Resene Helium. “Off-white Resene Helium on the roof creates a greater depth of contrast and the illusion that the main weatherboard colour of Resene Spanish Green is darker than it truly is,” says Resene Colour Expert Amy Watkins.

A gentle green colour palette

California dreamin’ – A Touch of Colour

The gentle green tones in this colour palette highlight this home’s heritage features. The weatherboards, plaster balustrade and porch are in earthy grey green Resene Half Lemon Grass while Resene Double Lemon Grass on the gables and the shingles below the bay window emphasises the architecture and triangular roof in Resene Karaka. The bargeboards, windows, porch frames and soffits are in green-based white Resene Rice Cake. Fence in Resene Half Linen and decking in Resene Crowshead. Make a statement on your front door with Resene La Bamba.

Villa collection

One of the most distinctive architecture styles in Australia and New Zealand, villas were popular from 1870 until World War I. This Victorian style of home is predominantly made of native timber with ornate timber or metal fretwork and finials at the top of the gable. Although whites are the most popular colour for villas these days, traditionally villas were often more colourful, with bay window trims and details highlighted in contrasting or lighter colours.

There are 10 collections in the Superior Exterior colour palettes: Terrific with timber, California dreamin’, Villa collection, Queenslander chic, Deco decorating, Brick ‘n’ style, Paint it black, That 70s house, Stately style and Architectural edit. Explore all 30 palettes at

Neutral villa exterior

Villa collection – Nice and Neutral

For an elegant white villa style, Resene Half Bianca is a fleecy off-white that will keep your home light and bright while maintaining dimension. The picket fence, fascia, bargeboards, soffits, trims and fretwork are all in Resene Quarter Bianca, the roof, windowsills and landing step are in Resene Nocturnal, the veranda porch is in Resene Truffle and the front door is in brilliant blue Resene Deep Koamaru. “The darkness of the roof colour and the depth and brightness of the front door gives good contrast and helps to balance out Resene Half Bianca,” says Resene Colour Consultant Brenda Ngatai.

Villa collection – A Touch of Colour

Villa collection – A Touch of Colour

Resene Iron on the weatherboards is a soft and subtle grey that contrasts well with Resene Black White on the trims, bargeboards, fence, fascia and soffits for a contemporary colour scheme. Bolder greys are introduced on the windowsills, landing step and roof in Resene Steel Grey and Resene Half Grey Chateau on the veranda. Resene Energy Yellow on the front door adds a bolt of colour that connects in with the greys.

Villa collection – Colour Lover

Villa collection – Colour Lover

A splash of sea and a touch of sky, Resene Carefree is a soft blue that works harmoniously with the natural environment making it a great option for villa weatherboards. This soft green is contrasted with crisp white Resene Alabaster on the side tables, planter and lamp. “It’s a positive and approachable look, light and airy, a feeling of being by the sea,” says Brenda. Chairs and coat hook in Resene Calypso, decking in Resene Woodsman Uluru and rug in Resene Coast.


Resene Porter

Projects: Megan Harrison-Turner, Shani Luckman, Melle van Sambeek
Colour palettes: Rebecca Long, Brenda Ngatai, Amy Watkins
Images: Bryce Carleton


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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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