«  View All Posts

Posts | Videos | Post Video | Building Tips | Building Design

Color Combination Tips for Your Pole Barn

May 13th, 2019 | 12 min. read

Cori Lane

Cori Lane

Cori grew up on her family's small grain and livestock operation in Northwest Indiana. In 2018, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration & Marketing from Marian University Indianapolis. Having shown beef cattle for 12 years at the county, state, and national levels, Cori chose to pursue a career in agriculture. Today, she serves as the Marketing Content Creator on the FBi team. In her free time, Cori enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching sports, listening to live music, and traveling.

Print/Save as PDF

Building a pole barn is a big decision. Arguably, a bigger decision is how to design your pole barn.

Lately, your spare time has consisted of scrolling through online galleries for inspiration. You didn’t realize how well some paint colors pair up, making it harder to narrow down your options.

After all, a pole barn is a permanent investment. You want to make sure that your decision fits your personal or professional taste.

Luckily for you, we compiled a list of helpful tips for selecting the perfect pole barn color combination.

Don’t have time to read this article? Watch this video to find out which paint colors are the most popular in post-frame construction.

4 Tips to Help You Choose a Pole Barn Color Combination

1) Select a Superior Pole Barn Paint System


First, paint systems play a significant role in helping your pole barn look “fresh” year after year.

Paint systems are identified by their resin type. Three primary resins are used for coating metal panels: polyester, silicone-modified polyester (SMP), and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). The latter two are standard options in modern post-frame construction.

We recommend using PVDF, also known as Kynar 500® since it’s the premium resin for post-frame construction. 

Its unique formula contains one of the strongest bonds known to humankind. A mixture of fluoropolymer resin and ceramic pigments produces excellent resistance to fading and weathering.

Most post-frame builders use a PVDF paint system. Some competitors offer metal panels coated with SMPs or Kynar 500. If given a choice, you should specify that you’ll only accept steel finished with the latter.

The end result is a durable structure that withstands abrasion, ultraviolet radiation, extreme weather, chemicals, and solvents.

To prove this statement, we traveled with McElroy Metal to Sherwin-Williams' "test fence" facility in Fort Myers, Florida. Watch the video below to better understand the benefits of a PVDF (Kynar 500) paint system.

2) Choose Your Pole Barn Colors (Wisely)


Before you start selecting paint colors, you should consider your surroundings. 

Do you have an existing structure (e.g., house) on the property you’d like to match? If so, ask your post-frame builder for swatches that closely fit your color scheme.

Editor’s Note: “Close” doesn’t mean “exact.” Often, it’s easier to use a complementary color rather than a match.

If you’re the type of person who needs everything to be “exact,” ask your post-frame builder about custom paint colors. This upgrade will (most likely) cost extra.

If you’re not worried about coordinating with an existing structure, then your options are wide open.

We recommend looking at other pole barns, whether online pictures or taking a Sunday drive, for design inspiration. You should also ask your post-frame builder if they have any planning resources (e.g., brochures or online tools).

FBi Buildings, Color Chart CTA

3) Follow the Pole Barn Color Selection Guidelines

Next, customers make their selection based on one of the following color schemes:


Trim (including doors, windows, corner trim, track cover, rake, fascia, gutters, and downspouts) is the same color as the wall.


All trim is the same color as the roof.


A mix of blended and accented. A third color may be used as an accent.

Editor’s Note: The designer wall, commonly referred to as wainscoting, isn’t considered trim. Typically, it’s the same color as the roof, whether blended or accented. More on this building feature in a moment…

4) Other Pole Barn Color Questions You Should Consider

Below, we provided the answers to our frequently asked questions (FAQs) about pole barn colors.

Don't have time to read the rest of this article? We created a handout of our FAQs for easy reference (or later reading). Please click the link below to download this document.

New call-to-action

A) What color choices do I need to make?

Pole Barn Homes_Eagle Lake Pole Barn HomeOnce you choose a color scheme, it’ll be applied to the following areas:

    • Doors
    • Primary walls
    • Roof
    • Trim
    • Windows

You’ll want to make sure that your color combination complements these building components.



B) How many colors should I choose?

Most customers select two paint colors, while some only choose one (e.g., Regal White). A small percentage use three, with the third color used as an accent.

Ultimately, the number of colors used in your building design is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer.

C) If I choose two colors, should I put the darker shade on the roof or walls?

Most people prefer light walls with a dark roof and trim. Again, color fading isn’t an issue with the Kynar 500 paint system.

D) Do you have any advice on using a third paint color?

Proceed with caution. Although three-color combinations look sharp, they're challenging to perfect.

If color selection isn’t your forte, it’s best to stick with two hues. But if you’re willing to give it a try, a third color should be close to one of the main accents.

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings

E) Which paint colors look best together?

That’s a great question! Color preference is subjective. The key to an eye-catching color combination is ensuring sufficient contrast between the two shades. 

Listed below are some two-color combinations that customers have enjoyed over the years.

If your walls are...

Consider one of these colors for the roof and trim...


Almost everything looks good with white, but the darker colors are generally preferred.


Autumn Red, Black, Brandywine, Copper Penny, Forest Green, Patrician Bronze, Slate Gray, and Terratone

Light Stone

Autumn Red, Black, Brandywine, Charcoal, Copper Penny, Evergreen, Regal Blue, Sepia Brown, and Terratone

Ash Gray

Black, Brandywine, Charcoal, Copper Penny, Forest Green, Patrician Bronze, Regal Blue, and Slate Gray

Surrey Beige

Brandywine, Evergreen, Forest Green, Patrician Bronze, Sepia Brown, and Terratone


Autumn Red, Black, Brandywine, Evergreen, Forest Green, Patrician Bronze, Sepia Brown, and Terratone

Editor’s Note: This list is a starting point and doesn’t list all possible pleasing color combinations. As mentioned above, there is no right or wrong answer.

Pole Barn Gallery_Pole Barn Pictures_FBi Buildings

F) Are some colors more expensive than others?

Please check with your post-frame builder to see if all standard colors are the same price. It shouldn’t have a dramatic effect on your pole barn cost.

G) What is the purpose of a designer wall (wainscoting)?


Wainscot is a wooden panel used to boost interior appeal. Many homeowners and interior designers use wainscoting as a way to enhance plain-Jane walls.

Similarly, a wainscot is used as a decorative steel panel in pole barn construction. 

The height varies. A 3’ or 4’ strip of steel is added along the exterior base of your post frame building. You can have one-sided, two-sided, three-sided, or four-sided wainscoting.

Moreover, a designer wall enhances curb appeal by providing a visual break. It helps tie the pole barn together.

Owners can upgrade their steel wainscot to something more unique, such as versetta stone. Other exterior options include: 

    • Brick
    • Stucco
    • Various siding products (e.g., aluminum, cedar, and vinyl)

Furthermore, wainscoting serves as a protective layer. 

Repairing a wainscot is easier and less expensive. When the metal panel is damaged, it’s usually in the lower portion. Replacing a 3’ panel is cheaper than a full 16’ panel.

We recommend installing pole barn wainscoting. Trust us; it’ll save you headaches and money in the long run.

Editor's NoteWhen you're ready to select your pole barn colors, your Project Sales Consultant (PSC) will send you a Color Selector form to fill out. You'll need to specify the paint color of each building feature. We highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the following illustration.

Screen Shot 2022-02-03 at 3.15.38 PM

Which Pole Barn Colors Will You Choose?

Do you want to see how certain colors will look on your dream pole barn? You can design your post-frame building with our online 3D tool. Save, print, or email your floor plan to family and friends.

Are you ready to request a quote? Submit your building design to us, and a member of our sales team will give you a call to begin the estimating process.

Pole Barn Quote_FBi Buildings

Have more questions about pole barn colors not covered in this article? Please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you are ready to get a price, click here to request a quote and a member of our sales team will call you.