The Exterior Paint Files: Rusty Terracotta Reds

The Exterior Paint Files: Rusty Terracotta Reds

Susie Nadler
Mar 31, 2009
click thumbnails for larger pics
On a trip to Rome last year, my husband and I became obsessed with the rusty terracotta color of so many buildings there. As you can see, we took zillions of photos of buildings in this color family, hoping to find a shade we might replicate for our own Spanish-style house, which is currently painted a rather shocking citrus yellow. Trouble is, while any good paint store can approximate a color, even the best house painters can't replicate the sun-baked finish of the paint jobs in Rome's picturesque piazzas—and any attempt to do so would surely look as fake as it sounds. More on our dilemma after the jump...

One favorite: Benjamin Moore's Georgian Brick

Looking over the photos now, we're trying to decide whether these rusty terracotta reds are the right way to go. Possible drawbacks:

• Rusty reds look great in the sun, but let's face it—most of the time, it's overcast and foggy here in San Francisco.

• We don't want a color that's matchy-matchy with our adobe tile roof.

• So many rusty paint colors have so much pink in them; we might run the risk of ending up with something too "Sedona" (to quote a friend).

• With a stucco house in a Mediterranean style, we have to wonder if going with a clay red color is a bit too "literal."

Thoughts? House-dwellers, we'd love to hear how you chose your exterior paint. Have you been inspired by your travels? If so, did the finished product live up to your far-flung fantasy?

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