Dear PoPville – What Color Should I Paint my Row House?

Dear PoPville,

I’m considering repainting my townhouse. Do you have a collection of awesome two-color house/trim
combinations? Is there a website or portfolio somewhere? It’d be great to have paint color names too if possible, but any ideas would be appreciated.

Back in Dec. we took a look at a great transformation on the 2200 block of Champlain Street, NW. And some folks liked this one on the 500 block of Florida Ave, NW. What colors do guys think would work for the house in the photo above?

30 Comment

  • I think, given the colors of the houses next to you, you should stay in the blue family. There’s a house on 13th, about two or three houses just north of Kenyon in the east side, that has a lovely shade of blue that I like a lot—almost a dark periwinkle (?) with a terracotta-ish trim. Thinking about it for my own house. There is also a nice row of color in Mt. P at the intersection of 19th and Kenyon.

  • How about whatever colors you like best?

    • +1. Go bold! Purple & pink – or lime green. Pick something that will make you happy as you come home every day.

      • unfortunately, that can land you in trouble with the historic society people. my next door neighbors went for a hideous color scheme. that lasted a week before they were told to change it.

        • saf

          Only if you are in a historic district.

          • In DC? I didn’t think hisotric districts care about color. At least mine doesn’t (14th St)

          • saf

            I’m not sure. I assumed they did, since the general concept is “visible from the street.” Would have to look it up.

            And I just tried to look it up. Can’t find a mention of it at HPO, so I guess not.

          • saf

            And more – painting does not require a permit, but previously unpainted brick should not be painted in a historic district. Obviously, as this is already painted, that would not apply.

  • Take a walk down 12th Place NW between W Street and Florida Ave. Lots of teensy-tiny two-toned rowhouses with funky colors. All of them are different.

    My favorite is one from there is deep dark turquoise with gold accents. It’s pretty awesome.

  • I like the color of your house as is.

  • I think it looks great the way it is! Someone on Lamont between 11th and Sherman (a couple over from Arthur’s corner store) just painted their place a navy color, but a little bit brighter blue, not super dark/black. It looks great with the bright white trim. It’s happy looking, but classic.

  • Some people down the street from me painted 4 or 5 test swatches, put out some chalk, and let the neighbors weigh in by writing hatch marks o the one they liked. It was a good welcome-to-the-neighborhood move.

  • I also like the current color. I agree with the others who said that too many colors can get crazy, but think adding one color to the minor trim (maybe a dark red? or yellow?) could add a little pop without going over the top.

  • We just went through this several months ago, and the Bejamin Moore tool at the link below was so helpful and easy to use. Basically, you take a pic of your house and in a matter if minutes can see what endless color combinations will look like. Was highly representative of our finished project. Hope this helps!

  • I read somewhere that light-colored houses are the most appealing and sell the fastest. So, something like cream or pale yellow could be nice. But, of course, getting the right shade is important! My parents painted their house yellow (I thought they were crazy for doing so before they did it) but it really looked wonderful.

  • I remember a picture book from childhood about a family trying to decide what color to paint their house. There was a “spring” color, “summer” “fall” & “winter” – all of bright colors. Then dad or some dunce put all the colors on a wheel and spun it around to “mix” all the colors, and came up with white. And it was then I realized that most people are dull and our species doomed .

  • What about removing the paint and repointing the brick? It’s an expensive proposition but one I’d consider.

  • I agree with those who said it looks nice the way it is! Unless the paint is in bad shape (it doesn’t look to be from the picture), I wouldn’t bother painting the whole house.

    Maybe choose a contrasting color for the trim or replace your door with something a little more decorative to change the look without the major expense. I think window boxes with colorful flowers would also really give a great inexpensive face lift (but only if you don’t mind the added work of keeping them up).

  • In all seriousness, google color theory and get some ideas of what colors will go together to send what messages/emotions. It will give you a jumping off point at least.

  • I like a bright color (dark orange for example) and cream. Also I think the same color in two tones say lighter blue paint and darker blue trim looks good

  • this is on my block! welcome new neighbors! i haven’t met you yet.

  • you could paint it in redskins colors.

    • Ah…you beat me too it! This block needs another house with a Redskins theme!

      What you can’t tell from the picture is that this house needs to be repainted because paint from a job at a neighboring house was splattered on this house.

  • I say an emerald green would contrast nicely against the neighboring brick red and beige colors — or a slate blue (almost what you have) with a brick orange accent color. 🙂

  • pablo .raw

    The official color of Popville houses is glossy red! Seriously, I hope this helps

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