What color does my pink stucco house want to be?

Guest post by Dawn Bininger

In March of this year I fell helplessly in love. Head over heels, knee-buckling, palm-sweaty LOVE. With a house. My house. My FIRST house.

Hi. My name is Dawn and I am obsessed with my 1959 Ranch house. Obsessed in a good way. Not the creepy Craigslist stalker kind of way.

It has been a life-long dream of mine to own a REAL house. I had spent my entire life in apartments, trailers, and condos. No. There is NO harm in that, but for me, a house signified something; as a child raised by a single mom, I assumed if you owned a house, you had money. It mattered not to my child’s brain that the house might be really small, or in disrepair. I only knew it was NOT an apartment.

I had to own a house someday. It took me 38 years to achieve that goal.

Anyway, I could bore you all with the love story of me and my house. How we met. How she told me she was mine. But you would most certainly turn and run.

So let me get down to business. My house is PINK. Pink stucco. Its been pink since the day it was built. And no, it’s not a fabulous HOT pink, or a sweet, pale pink, its actually a fairly nasty coral-looking pink. It’s dirty. And I don’t think its EVER been repainted. I don’t live in Florida where a pink stucco house is acceptable and common. I live in Central Ohio, where pink houses are a bit harder to come by.

It needs to be repainted desperately, and it’s one of the next major renovations I am going to do in the spring.

My fiance and I promised ourselves that we would do our very best to keep the architectural integrity of our house while updating her to this century. To that point we have kept a lot, and ripped out little. I guess I was thinking MOSTLY of her interior. I didn’t think much about the outside.

When I first saw the house I knew I would paint it anything OTHER than pink. I assumed my neighbors would be thrilled. It is the only pink house in the neighborhood, and one of the few remaining stucco ones. Most of them have been sided. I even got two estimates! I was so gung-ho on doing this!

I was thinking a nice sage green, OR a nice deep gray blue. It has stone all around it, which I have NO INTENTION of removing, I had to pull colors out of that stone. I also have white accents. So I was heavily leaning towards the gray blue.

Until I started really thinking about the house. And how long it’s been pink. And maybe I should paint it a newer, hipper pink? Would she be sad if she was no longer pink? Would me changing her color somehow tilt the universe a little bit? So I started being wishy washy about painting her again, especially after I read Offbeat Home’s post about houses of unusual colors. I thought how much my neighbors would probably hate it if the house remained pink. I thought about the brownstone that had been painted pink. And although I loved it, it looked so out of place. It was not meant to be pink. My house was built to be pink.

I’m so confused! What do I do? I don’t mind living in a pink house. Not really. I am a bit kooky that way anyway. But, is it logical to repaint her in a nicer shade of pink? Or is okay to paint her a new, more modern color? Am I tempting the architectural Gods by changing her color after 50 years?

Decisions. Decisions.

Comments on What color does my pink stucco house want to be?

  1. Is it possible to have stucco cleaned? That might make the current color look better. I, personally, like that pink, although I vote for either cleaning it, if possible, or repainting it with a very slightly brighter version to compensate for any fading. I do like the look of the minty green, though.

  2. When I first started reading, I was like “Pink stucco? What’s the big deal?” but I’ve lived in South Florida all my life.

    In any case, KEEP THE PINK!

  3. And as for the neighbors…. they chose to move in next to a pink house a long time before you came along. Maybe before you were born, so don’t sweat that part even a little.
    PS. I vote pink.

    • I agree with CheapBubbly’s note about your neighbors. Additionally, they probably use your house as a landmark. “We’re 3 houses down from the pink house.” In the winter, I say, “turn at the house with the siezure-inducing lights.” I wouldn’t want those lights to go, because they are a landmark for me.

  4. If you still want the vibe of pink without having it actually be pink, you could take another popular color from the era it was built and go aqua or turquiose. Or if you want to stay in the warm, pinkish family then maybe a more peach shade?

  5. Why don’t you play around with a picture of the house and photoshop and try to come up with a color that feels right? (I’d lean towards a nice inconspicuous shade of yellow, but I have always wanted a yellow house, so maybe that is not for everyone. ^^ )

  6. I totally agree that no one else can tell you…you have to decide. BUT – upon reading your story and looking at your photos, I immediately thought: kind of a deep gorgeous turquoise bluey greeny with a RED door. I can can completely see this colour combo working on your house….especially given the last photo on that page of colours you tried. Definitely something close to that is what I was thinking but even bolder and richer. Then you can go as red as you want with the door! 🙂

    • I agree. I might do what another reader suggested and get several samples. Paint the stucco in small patches and let it sit with me for several weeks to see which one grabs me! And I sooooooooooooo want a BRIGHT red door. I have no idea why, I just do!

  7. I don’t feel comfortable telling someone I don’t know what color they should paint their anything, but I’ll give you my two cents on making the decision yourself:
    Cent, the first: Provided you have a good relationship with your neighbors (i.e. they won’t think you’re choosing a color to spite them) and no neighborhood or development ordinances dictating what colors you can paint (some housing developments have a pre-approved palette) you should choose the color based only on what you and your house want.
    Cent, the second: Don’t feel obligated to keep something the same just because it’s always been that way. The universe loves change. Whether you decide to stay pink or go with something different, know that change is a positive force when it’s made with the proper understanding and intention.

    Spend some time communing with yourself, you fiance and the house and the three of you will come to the answer on your own. Oh, and bonus cent: Choosing colors for painting anything can be so fun, so enjoy the hell out of the process!

  8. I was thinking the slate blue would be nice, but then I read the comments about the overhang making things look dark, and they do have a point.

    Maybe see if you can get a few sample size paint cans, and try out a couple of different colours in not so conspicuous parts of the house, so you see what it looks like?

  9. You know, I’ve always loved a yellow stucco house. With blue roof tiles. Or a warm cream or beige, with red roof tiles. But I live in the southwest, and stuccos are vibrant like that here.

  10. Personally…..I would totally stay with pink…but I like pink, and I like offbeat house colors….I also reuse to buy a home with a home owner’s association that could tell me what color I could paint the house I own; I own it, I can paint it whatever color I want, damn it! And my mom’s house is purple, so there’s that….

  11. I hate to rain on your pink parade but there might be a reason the house was never painted. We painted our stucco a little over 10 years ago and recently I had to have it chiseled off and re-stuccoed because regular paint does not breathe and the stucco ( which does need to breathe ) was cracking like crazy in certain parts of the house. The cracking was bad enough but what’s worse is that because moisture is trapped inside the underlying wood can rot. Now THAT is a big problem.

    If you Google painting stucco online you get all kinds of responses. Some people say it’s OK and others say never do it. I’m sure where you live is a factor as well.

    I know there are products available that allow the stucco to breathe, provided it hasn’t already been painted. If you don’t want to use these products I would look for other stuccoed homes in your area that have been painted for > 10 years.

    • Thank you. I will do some research for sure. There are several other stuccos in the neighborhood that have been painted, maybe 5? But the rest of been sided over. We do NOT want to side the house. I suppose we could contact a stucco guy and see what he says. Maybe thats why its never been painted?? Thanks for the heads up!!!

      • Ahh..about that…

        When we contacted the painter he said “I paint over stucco all the time” and in the same way, the stucco people said, “Never paint over stucco!”. These opinions aren’t actually helpful because they represent the extreme case on either end. Also you have to consider the fact that the source may be, uh, biased as well.

        When I was researching the painting stucco question, I came to the conclusion that it always carries some risk to do it and you need to depend on other data to assess the risk for your house.

        That’s why finding somebody in your area whose stucco house has had paint on it for a long time is ideal. Failing that I would talk to a couple of general contractors, preferably ones that have been in their business a long time.

        If I had to do it all over again I would look into the special paint that is undoubtedly more expensive and doesn’t have the full range of colors either. [sad trumpet]

        Gee it’s so nice to set difficult guidelines for somebody else to follow, isn’t it? LOL! Scour your neighborhood for old homes! Find many general contractors to talk to! Move that bus! I could give Ty Pennington a run for his money.

        • Re-painting a stucco house is entirely possible, but you can’t use just any kind of paint. Don’t even think about the acrylics and other “plastics” coats available on the market. Use a mineral based coat and remember that the oldest paint used on stucco is lime based which has been used for thousands of years. Says something of what you can and can’t do with this façade technique.

          In Europe we have plenty of stucco houses and we do re-paint them from time to time. The trick is to use the right kind of paint, that’s all.

          ETA: And no, I’m not selling paints or working with this in any way.

  12. I like the pink, but I think you are right it needs updated. BUT if pink isn’t your color, I am sure your house would be happy showing off what ever represents you! I myself am living for the day I can have my Eggplant colored cottage in the woods! Good luck!

  13. I think your house is gorgeous as is! Maybe it just needs a good power-wash? If you paint it, I’d say stick to the pink, it looks so of its era in pink, which is great! Find a more current pale pink, but keep it similar. Anything too bright will overwhelm that lovely gray stone.

  14. So not to rain on your parade, but it’s possible that painting stucco is a bad idea.

    Stucco is made to breathe, so that the wood underneath it is ventilated. Painting it can block it from breathing, which can cause all kinds of moisture problems.

    Make sure you talk to an expert about it before you paint it.

    We bought a house where they had painted the stucco, and when an exterior wall got wet, a huge portion of it bubbled off.

  15. Personally, I think older houses like that LOVE to get a new color! It’s exciting and its not like you’re changing the core of the house anyway, just her clothes. 🙂

    I also kind of hate that shade of pink.

    I think a very light blue-grey would look fabulous with everything else, and you could do the red door then, too. It would have to be kind of a light blue-grey, but even though I’m not usually a fan of blues OR greys, I think that would look great. I really liked the lighter-blue picture.

    You could also choose to paint the lower half in the back a different color than the top half, in case you were still worried about too much of one color.

  16. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful feedback. I will definitely do samples before I do anything, and now I think I will contact a stucco guy to see what he says about painting. At the VERY least I think we will give her a good powerwash to see what that does, and if we CANT paint it then we will just have to rethink everything. We love her though, as is, we just want to make sure she is at her best!!!

  17. As someone who looks at the house every day from our kitchenette, I’ve always thought the pink color was cool and unusual, but also agree you should do your own thing. Best wishes on the fix up, it appears to be going great!

  18. Hi! We are also pink stucco home owners and would like to freshen it up in pink again. When we’ve held paint colors next to our house and found out that our pink isn’t really “pink pink” but has a hint of terra cotta in it. I’m afraid to take that step and decide on a color for fear that it will be wrong even if we paint some small sections with test colors to make our choice. Pink is a tough color to pull off but our house is also meant to be pink. After all, we live in Florida!

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