Exterior colors for 1960 houses

It’s always interesting to look at mid-century paint brochures to see the color combinations that were being promoted at the time. They tend to be so much more… adventurous… than we attempt today.  I recently acquired a 1960 brochure from Dupont promoting their paint lines, and it shows a number of palettes for both the interior and exterior. Today, a look at some of the exterior colors that they were spotlighting, in case spring has you thinking about a new coat of paint for your house. Tip: Click on the first thumbnail below — it will enlarge and launch the slide show.

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  1. Elaine says

    I agree, the colors were so happy. When I was little in the early 50s, we would drive by a block of little new cement block houses, each one a different bright pastel color, There were yellow, turquoise, coral, pink, pale green and even one white one. I called them Easter egg houses. Now the block is deteriorating. Some of the houses area gone, some have had siding added and some have been painted white or gray. No more pretty pastels. Bo-o-o-ring!

  2. sumac sue says

    Whenever you see a ’60s era house still sporting colors like these, it really looks good. But, it’s important to get the right colors with the right house styles. There’s a bedford stone-and-frame split-level around the corner from us that has a color scheme similar to the house on the left in #9 above. The aqua color looks so right on that house. I’ve tried a similar color on my front door, and it’s OK. But, truth be told, I think aqua just isn’t right for the more colonial style of my house. A spruce green probably would look better. I like having some color, however. So many houses in my neighborhood have the good old black shutters and white door scheme, or white shutters and white door. As Elaine so aptly put it, Bo-o-o-ring!

  3. Kellita says

    Thank you for posting this! I’m in the process of buying a 1960s house clad in a pale pink brick and have been trying to figure out what color to paint the trim. I love the bold colors of the time period. What a great resource!

  4. Cindy says

    Thanks for posting these. My 1959 ranch in Fresno is a yellow/gold that I think doesn’t match the tones in the red brick base very well. The pallete you posted has some greens that would do the trick, but now I’m wondering if I have the nerve to paint an Easter egg pastel. OH MY, what would the neighbors think? That’s very ’60s of me in the burbs, don’t you think?

    • gavin hastings says

      Are you able to paint that white trim? Also, you might want to play around with a contrast paint on the gable…..Have fun!

  5. says

    I love that yellow, and it would be a perfect color for the NW climate.

    Those types of colors are coming around again. I’ve seen many similar in paint brands such as Eddie Bauer, Yolo Colorhouse, and others.

    With the ability to match paints these days, if someone came across the old brochures with colors they like, they should be able to be duplicated pretty closely. What fun!

  6. Googieagog says

    The house at the top of page 7 is outstanding. You don’t see that combination of colors and materials every day.

  7. Dix says

    I love vintage paint chips so much it hurts.

    There was a pink house on our block when I was a kid, in the Eighties. The little old lady who lived there had probably done so since the 1950’s, when the house was new; I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the original color, or nearly so.

  8. gavin hastings says

    Then I was a kid….

    Every street had at least one “shake” sided house that was dark charcoal (almost black) with white trim’shutteres and a carnation pink or pale yellow 3 panel door. I loved them and was sure the owners were living some charmed cocktail party life.

    I never see them anymore.

  9. Janet Gore says

    The original owner of our 1961 ranch got tired of sealing the redwood on a yearly basis, and so painted the exterior wood a “beigey” color about 20 years ago. We purchased it in 2008 and knew that beige would not be OUR choice, and since the paint was chipping, etc. and showing its age, we decided to ‘go for it’. After trying samples of a number of Sherwin Williams colors, we decided on ‘sequoia’, which is actually a stain, formulated into a paint. It’s a reddish color … very deep and quite beautiful. Reminds me of the ‘rich’ colors here.

  10. kim harrison says

    Love this site!!! renovating a coral pink stucco one story duplex. The trim is white. All I have left is to pick a color for the two front doors. Currently, they are dark green which looks really 80-90’s to me. Anyone have a suggestion? ASAP????

    • pam kueber says

      Kim – check out the Nav bar – look at Paints and Exteriors and there may be a good number of references. Good luck.

  11. Anthony says

    Love the combination of yellow and white decrative breeze blocks in the last picture.
    Im doing the same with my house i will send pics once finished . Thanks so much for posting this.

  12. Leonard Levine says

    My father and I used a DuPont label white exterior water-based flat paint in 1965. We painted over builder’s dark gray oil-based paint. Preparation consisted only of roughing up the existing surface with wire brushes. We applied two coats. The paint job lasted until 2009 when flaking, chipping, and mildew started to appear. Anyone know of a good paint that is available now that will last as long?

    • pam kueber says

      That’s pretty impressive, Leonard. Take a look at Consumer Reports — I think that their #1 recommendation for a white exterior paint is “California Paints” brand.

  13. says


    I would love to get your input on this. My house is pink. 1959 Ranch/Stucco. White trim and accents, aluminum jalousie windows.

    One of the first things I want to do this fall is paint it.

    Before stumbling on your site I had my mind made up. Due to the stone half way up and the other homes in my neighborhood, I was going to go with a nice blue/gray.

    Now I am unsure!

    I am the ONLY pink house in the neighborhood. All other homes have been painted or resided. There is a peach stucco two streets over and that is the closest to my color. I beleive mine is the Pink Corral like mentioned above, however, its in bad shape, has been patched, and its simply dirty so that it looks now like Pepto Bismol.

    I think the neighbors would love me to paint it a “Neutral” color…But now I am kind of thinking I should repaint it in the paint of its decade???? Either a new updated pink or even a blue or a green?

    Any thoughts or ideas? We will not side it. We want to keep the stucco…

    Thank you!


  14. Jacki Carroll says

    I’m a newbie to RR having just bought a 1963 ranch in Phoenix AZ, painted brick with wood veneer over block above brick. A friend said it looked like the ranch on the “High Chaparral” Y shaped posts and all if that helps. It is currently cream with dark brown trim, but it blends in with the landscaping. We need some ideas for outside and inside. FYI, desert landscaping so we really don’t want to go pastel. Inside of house is very original and painted white so need ideas for color there also (pastels welcome).

  15. Kathryn says

    Chanced upon this and so pleased we have a 1969 house in South East of UK. Lovely to see that most of the colour schemes we have used are pretty spot on.

  16. says

    So glad I found this on my first googling attempt! We have a beautiful 1965 ranch and my dream is to authentically “vintage-ize” it, inside and out. My tentative exterior color scheme, based solely on my knowledge of mid-century styles, has just been confirmed and validated by the images above. Yay! What a great site!

  17. Randy Murphree says

    If I posted some pictures of a house I’m trying to buy, would some of you help me with a color scheme?

  18. Eric says

    My partner and I recently purchased a mid-century home that is in desperate need of an exterior paint job. We want to be true to mid-century colors and we’ve fallen in love with the Dupont Live Oak Green in this brochure! We think it would look awesome!

    After much research, the only Live Oak Green paint codes we can find are for late 1940s GM car paint, but they are metallic paints. We can’t find a paint code anywhere for the original Live Oak Green exterior Dupont color.

    Does the brochure have any more info on this color? If not, do you know of any resources that can point us in the right direction?

    Thank you so much!

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