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The Colors of Exterior Southwest Stucco

Sara John

Southwestern home styles often incorporate themes common in the prairie home design. This style was made popular during the early 20th century and was widely used in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Homes of this style usually feature long horizontal lines and pitched roofs outdoors and open floor plans inside. Their exterior colors, frequently completed with stucco, aim to create a cohesive feel with the surrounding area, and, as such, are kept earthy and simple.

Earth Tones

Stucco is a plaster-like substance used to finish homes in the Southwest.

Stucco is a material similar to plaster, comprised of aggregate, binder and water, and is combined with paint and applied wet to walls. Once it dries, it becomes a dense solid with a texture close to that of plaster. Proper prairie style homes have exteriors that are consistent with those found in the environment. These colors are from the earth tone family, a group that embraces shades of brown, white, green, yellow and gray. The main part of the home is often one color while soffits and other accents are generally white or beige.


Shades of brown and tan are among the most widely used stucco colors for southwestern homes. These colors are considered neutral, which means they will be visually appealing and unobtrusive against the environment. You have dozens of shades to choose from, ranging from dark sienna to light tan. Each will fit well in the Southwest and are easily accented in traditional white, cream or a similar light shade.


White and its derivatives -- cream, off white and eggshell -- are particularly favored in warm weather areas of the Southwest. Light-colored stucco may aid in keeping houses cooler in the summer and won't fade with the constant sun exposure like other color options. Accenting with light colors is frequently done with darker colors; shades of brown, green and even gray are common. As with other neutral earth tones, shades of white will blend in well with the surroundings.

Green and Gray

Both shades of green and gray may be used in stucco for Southwestern style homes. Though these shades are not widely used and are more commonly found on siding for Craftsman style homes, in certain circumstances they may be ideal for stucco. Mossy green tones are preferable to deeper options and may be accented with another neutral like pale yellow or cream. Gray is generally accented with cream, black or burgundy.