Finding Your SLO County Color: A Guide to Painting Your Architectural Gem

Finding Your SLO County Color: A Guide to Painting Your Architectural Gem

San Luis Obispo County boasts a rich architectural heritage, from classic Spanish Colonial to modern farmhouses. Choosing the perfect paint color to complement your home's style and the surrounding landscape can be daunting. But fear not, fellow SLO resident! This guide will explore popular paint colors for various architectural styles, considering the beautiful natural settings our county offers.


  • Sun's Impact: San Luis Obispo County enjoys ample sunshine. Consider colors with UV protection to prevent fading.

  • Natural Harmony: Let the Central Coast's rolling hills and golden fields inspire your color palette. Earthy tones often blend seamlessly.

  • Light and Space: Lighter colors can maximize natural light, creating an airy feel, especially for smaller spaces.

Architectural Style and Color Matchmaker:

1. Spanish Colonial

  • Signature Features: Stucco walls, clay tile roofs, wrought iron accents, arched doorways.

  • Color Palette: Warm and inviting colors that evoke the Californian sun-drenched landscape.

  • Sherwin-Williams Picks:

    • Hacienda Gold SW 6414: A rich, golden yellow that complements the warmth of stucco walls.

    • Terra Cotta SW 6321: A deep, earthy red reminiscent of clay tiles and adds a touch of rustic charm.

    • Adobe White SW 7507: A clean white that balances the warm tones and emphasizes the architectural details.

  • Benjamin Moore Picks:

    • Golden Straw 1460: A sunny yellow with a touch of warmth, perfect for creating a welcoming facade.

    • Burnt Brick 2136-10: A rich, reddish-brown that reflects the clay tile accents and adds depth.

    • White Dove OC-17: A crisp white that provides a timeless elegance and highlights the architectural details.

2. Ranch Style

  • Signature Features: Single-story layout, low-pitched roofs, open floor plans, large picture windows.

  • Color Palette: Mid-century modern and natural tones that create a sense of connection with the outdoors.

  • Sherwin-Williams Picks:

  • Agreeable Gray SW 6174: A cool gray with a hint of green, perfect for a modern feel and complements natural surroundings.

    • Crushed Ice SW 7621: A light and airy blue-gray that reflects the California sky and creates a spacious feel.

    • Westcott Taupe SW 6209: A warm taupe that adds depth and complements natural wood accents often seen in ranch-style homes.

  • Benjamin Moore Picks:

    • Gray Owl 1476: A versatile light gray with a touch of warmth, ideal for a modern ranch aesthetic.

    • Hale Navy HC-154: A sophisticated dark blue that creates a dramatic contrast with lighter tones and adds a touch of coastal charm.

    • Muslin OC-11: A warm and inviting light beige that complements natural wood accents and creates a sense of openness.

3. Farmhouse

  • Signature Features: Simple lines, wraparound porches, shiplap siding, exposed beams.

  • Color Palette: Classic and inviting colors that evoke a sense of comfort and nostalgia.

  • Sherwin-Williams Picks:

    • Pure White SW 7005: A timeless white that creates a crisp and clean look, perfect for highlighting the architectural details.

    • Black Fox SW 9005: A bold black for shutters or doors that adds a touch of contrast and farmhouse charm.

    • Hale Navy HC-154 (from Ranch Style): This sophisticated blue also works well for farmhouse accents, creating a pop of color against white shiplap.

  • Benjamin Moore Picks:

    • Chantilly Lace OC-65: A bright white that provides a clean backdrop for the farmhouse aesthetic.

    • Black Ink 2136-10: A classic black for shutters or doors that adds a touch of farmhouse charm.

    • Hale Navy HC-154 (from Ranch Style): Similar to Sherwin-Williams, this blue can be used for farmhouse accents, adding a touch of coastal flair.

4. Mid-Century Modern

  • Signature Features: Clean lines, geometric shapes, large windows, open floor plans.

  • Color Palette: Bold pops of color alongside timeless neutrals that reflect the optimism and innovation of the mid-century era.

  • Sherwin-Williams Picks:

    • Shocking Pink SW 6584:

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