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1950s Exterior Paint Colors

Sherwin-Williams 1950s Exterior Palette

Sherwin-Williams grouping: Harvest Gold for the body, Acocado for trim, and Superwhite for accents.

In the 1950s, Americans were ready to enjoy prosperity in simple forms. The war was over, and people set out to build smaller homes and adorn them with brighter colors. At the least, many homeowners updated the exterior of their houses with new paint colors that reflected the country’s newfound optimism.

In later years, we would resort to neutral shades that blended with nature. But those with great appreciation for Suburban Modern design hung onto the unique color palette of the ’50s. Today, such homes tend to stand out amongst ones following community “themes” or those painted with neutral palettes in an effort to keep homes cooler.

A few paint companies continue to offer authentic color schemes of the ’50s, and their palettes are truly nostalgic. With popular golds, avocados, sages and corals, these exterior color palettes are a ’50s-enthusiast’s dream.

Sherwin-William’s offers a Suburban Modern Preservation Palette. In each group, the large block is for the overall body; the upper-right block is for trim, and the lower-right block is for accenting.

Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern Exterior Colors

Sherwin-Williams Suburban Modern Exterior Colors


California Paints features a 20th Century collection, which features more than 20 colors from the ’40s and ’50s, also known as Mid Century Modern colors. The site also features historical information about each color and also states times of use (some of the colors picked back up in later years).

California Paints Mid Century Modern Colors

California Paints Mid Century Modern Colors


There’s also a 1950s color palette for England, offered by Little Greene Paint & Paper. These colors are brighter and bolder, yet their foundation is similar to Mid Century Modern American color themes.

1950s Paint Colours (England)

1950s Paint Colours (England)


Do you have a favorite ’50s exterior color? Have a palette to post? We’d love your input.


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About Pamela

Pamela is Retro Planet's Webmaster & Social Media Director. She posts on retro memories, home decor, design basics, retro advertising and more. She grew up in the '70s and has many fond memories of "simpler toys" and playing outside.

  • Della Monk

    Hi Pamela. Love your site! I am living in a small city in Nova Scotia, and am planning on renovating the exterior of my home. My house is a 2 storey duplex, built in the early 50s. Any ideas for colour scheme?