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Let Your Gray Show: What’s Trending in Roofing Colors

What’s old is new again. That appears to be the roofing color mantra for 2019.

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What’s old is new again. That appears to be the roofing color mantra for 2019.

When it comes to shake roofing products, homeowners have a “love/hate” relationship with real wood shingles. They may love the look of aged cedar shingles on their homes, but they hate constantly maintaining the wooden shakes. Plus, there’s the ever-present headache of mold, algae growth, splintering and splitting with cedar shakes. While the various colors of aging shakes are in demand, the challenge of dealing with real shakes wears out homeowners.

In 2019 the roofing industry can expect consumers to request everything from orangey/brown tones of aging cedar to darker tones of black oak for their roofs. In addition, they’ll lean toward sun-bleached grays for homes located in coastal areas.

Colors Crafted From Nature

In 2019, national color expert Kate Smith believes that looking backwards may point toward our future roofing color trends.

“This year, trends dip into the past to find materials that were perfect when new, that have been made even better with use and wear,” says Smith, chief color maven at Sensational Color. “Surfaces that are ‘perfectly imperfect’ are emerging to give added meaning to the products we buy.”

According to Smith, DaVinci Roofscapes was one of the first to see this trend coming and responded by giving customers exactly what they desired in the Nature Crafted Collection.

“The Black Oak, Mossy Cedar and Aged Cedar colors offered on these roof tiles capture the look of natural shakes at a moment in the aging processes allowing the beauty to be retained for years to come,” says Smith. “These colors celebrate an instance in time when cedar shakes naturally take on a rich aged tone from exposure to the elements, and are aged to the point of perfection.”

Shades of Gray

Of course there are homes without shake roofs across the county. For those roofs we can expect to see tones of gray continue to serve as a trendy color in 2019.

Universally identified in 2015 as a “hot color,” the range of grays on top of homes reflect everything from dark charcoal to light cobblestone. Undertones of green, cool blue and black can pop out in different gray roofs, giving homeowners the ability to work from the top down to add unifying colors to their siding, window trim, and entry door.

Year after year, shades of gray on the rooftop attract the attention of homeowners. Perhaps it’s a mental kickback to the hardiness of real gray slate on a roof, or maybe it’s because gray has a sexy appeal to people.

“Women openly sigh over the gorgeous gray locks of George Clooney, Richard Gere, and Jon Stewart,” says Smith. “And I’ve seen jaws drop on men when they see pictures of Jamie Lee Curtis, Diane Keaton, and Blythe Danner. People are embracing gray on top… and this includes the top of the home.”

Smith, a trends color forecaster, relates that grays work beautifully on the roof because the neutral tones complement nature and come in so many different shades. A look at any roofing manufacturer’s product offerings shows options of gray including flint, granite, natural stone and even silver fox gray.

“A gray roof has a stately, refined look without being dull,” says Smith. “And, a blend of grays is a wise choice that will live up well over the years and allow a homeowner to change out the colors of their siding, trim or main entry door. The universality of a multi-hued gray roof means it will look just as regal in 50 years as it does the day it’s installed.”

Roof Colors with 2019 Trendy Colors

As Smith adds her insights into roofing colors for 2019, she relates that color trends this year are all about connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting.

“Top paint brands seem to be identifying color trends that leap into three unique categories for 2019,” says Smith. “People are bonding with these popular colors in their many day-to-day experiences. We’re seeing them incorporate these colors on the exterior of their homes, which means roofing colors will be selected that complement these popular shades.”


One of the growing trends in America is for people to connect with their roots. Whether purchasing a DNA kit or going online to track their genealogy, it’s now easier than ever for people to connect with their ancestors. According to Smith, exploring our heritage and celebrating a person’s lineage shows up in the colors they gravitate to on a regular basis.

“The colors of this ‘Connect’ palette have a well-worn look,” says Smith. “It’s almost like they are ‘comfort colors’ handed down from another generation. Each hue is a toned down version of a color that was once brighter, but has now mellowed with time.

“These ageless hues blend past, present, future and cross cultures. It’s easy to see how a home exterior could reflect these colors. For example, starting at the top of the home, you could have a composite shake roof in a rich Black Oak blend, which is a very trendy roof color right now. Then, working your way down the home could be softer, neutral tones. But, when you get to the front door you can connect the entire exterior with a powerful punch of Cavern Clay or Dark Hunter Green.”


For many people, handheld devices have fooled us into thinking we can continually multi-task. However, Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen, authors of The Distracted Mind and other studies, show that true multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains focus on one thing by shutting out others.

What does this have to do with color trends and roofing? As people begin to understand the need for fewer distractions, they disconnect and gravitate to softer hues and more subtle tones.

“At the intersection of high-speed connections and calm minds, we find inspiring neutral colors that defy being easily named,” says Smith. “They’re not quite gray or taupe or tan, but have an almost magical ability to blend with an unlimited range of colors.

“Again, think about how popular tones of gray have become in the past several years. Whether a warm or cool version, grays have exploded in everything from roofs to interior quiet spaces in the home.”


Like hamsters on a wheel, many aging homeowners are getting tired of seeing the same scenery in life. The current world situations and political conflicts can be overwhelming. When the world around us feels like it has gone crazy, we turn to family, friends and homes to find happiness.

According to Smith, comfortable surroundings in upbeat, happy colors make us smile. “Golden yellows, earthy light terracotta and sky blue are just some of the colors that help people reconnect,” says Smith. “These are joyful, nurturing colors that remind us to take a deep breath—and that everything and everyone is going to be okay.”

People wishing to create a more welcoming, upbeat exterior to their homes can use many of the colors Smith identifies in her “Reconnect” color palette.

“Again, choosing shades of gray to top off a home is a winner,” says Smith. “Then homeowners can play off the gray roof and paint the entire exterior in a sunny yellow or fern green. For less color, a neutral light gray can be used for the siding, but add a pop of color on the front door, shutters or trim. People should not be afraid to select a color like Wild Lilac or Summer Sunset. These may be just the right splashy colors to help a homeowner ‘reconnect’ in 2019!”

Wherever you’re located, the winning colors for roofs in 2019 are shades of gray, plus gaining natural woods. Focus on those colors and you’ll create ageless looking roofs that will stand the test of time.