Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern paint colors: #1 for 50s style retro paint palette

sherwin williams mid century modern paint colorsI love the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern paint palette. I’ve used a couple of the colors in my house, and they’ve always been spot on. Note, they have separate interior and exterior palettes – but don’t let that stop you from using an exterior color inside your house, and vice versa.

See my post on using these colors for retro kitchen cabinets. And importantly note: These scanned image do not really get the colors exactly right; please pick up the printed palettes from your local dealer — and keep them on hand at all times!

You can also check out their web pages – and be sure to download the entire brochure – it’s a great feature and let’s you see good-sized color chips, I’m really impressed. When I buy their paint, I’ve always purchased the best quality possible. If you want to save some money, wait for a holiday weekend, it seems like there’s always a decent sale.

  1. Kozie Bartow says:

    Do you know Benjamin Moore has the exact same color palette as Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern? It is in theirHistorical Collection, and also called Suburban Modern. I think most people consider BM the better paint. The guy @SW didn’t believe they had the Suburban Modern Interior until he looked online; he, then, found a card for it in the stack of old cards in the back.

  2. Becky PS says:

    BillHubby and I just rented a 1965 ranch house duplex. Sounds crazy right? We are over the moon with a tan tiled and a gray tiled bathroom and a landlord who said paint as you like!!

    I headed straight to S-W. When I asked for the Suburban Modern color palette the clerk looked at me as if I was speaking a foreign language! I added “You know, colors appropriate for a mid-century, 1950’s – 60’s house.” Still nothing.

    Then she had the nerve to say Sherwin Williams never had any such collection but “we have the Colonial Williamsburg colors. That must be what you mean.” Whaaaaattttt!!!????!!

    I played along cause I was being nice that day 😉 She shoved a bunch of color cars in my hands and then hovered as I looked through those. In the bunch was Appleblossum and Holiday Turquoise. I snagged a few cards, said thank you and left.

    Needless to say I won’t be going back to that store. But I am excited to take the samples to another vendor and have them computer match and mix colors for our new home!

    1. pam kueber says:

      Yes, Sherwin-Williams discontinued the standalone cards a while back. But yes, I think that some of the colors have been folded into other brochures.

      See this story: https://retrorenovation.com/2011/05/31/sherwin-williams-suburban-modern-paint-collection-download-the-discontinued-brochures-here/

      And this one, too: https://retrorenovation.com/2012/01/30/20-historic-paint-color-collections-from-colonial-to-20th-century-available-today/ — I think that if you can get yourself in a place that sells California Paints, their collection is excellent as well.

      Our entire archive of stories about paint and paint colors is here: https://retrorenovation.com/category/period-accents/paint-colors/

      Good luck.

  3. samantha says:

    sorry for such a silly question, but I downloaded the brochure and love the paint palettes! my question is how do you pick the trim and accent?
    I assume the trim is the trim around the closets and doors and floorboard trim, but the accent is leaving me stumped. I have a 60s home and the only trim is along the doors, closets (which are sliding) and floorboard trim. The ceilings are wood beamed tongue and groove. Would you paint the closet doors and doors the accent color?
    all advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks for this amazing blog, Pam, and for all the contributors, I love reading it!

    1. pam kueber says:

      samantha, I usually paint my closet doors and rooms doors the trim color — such as, white. Usually a room interior only has two colors — the wall and the trim, with the “default” on the ceiling usually white — or in your case, you have wood. Does that make sense?

      1. samantha says:

        Thanks Pam!
        Yes, that makes sense, it’s just that I really like the three color pattern they provided on the brochures, and was wondering how people worked that accent bit in their paint schemes… I was trying to visualize how that would work! So, I guess I should just pick two, then?
        Thanks so much, I’m so honored you answered my question, such a busy gal and all!
        Your website is SO inspiring! Thanks again!

  4. kittymommy says:

    I recently chose the Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern exterior color “Beige” for the stucco exterior of my ’61 ranch. I have to say that I was really disappointed in how that color ended up looking painted on as compared with the color chip on the card. It actually looks like ladies’ makeup; very pinky peachy, not really beige at all. I had my primer tinted that color and I ended up switching to another color for the top coat (Realist Beige, which is, as the name implies, more of a true beige). Just thought I’d share that, in case anyone was considering using that color.

  5. karmi_woolfe says:

    Pam…I wanted to let you know that I went to Sherwin Williams then ran down to API (the place with the color swatches from every car and appliance ever made) and compared “Apple Blossom” to their charts. Apple Blossom is dead-on Tappan Pink! It was also very very close to Mayfair Pink. You’ve got a good eye, sister! By the way, you just have to see the color choices for a ’57 Lincoln!

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