Roofing Color Tips From Chief Color Maven Kate Smith

kate smith davinci
March 18, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

By DaVinci Roofscapes.  

Colorful tips for how to best match the colors on your roof from expert Kate Smith. 

Smokey Gray. Mossy Cedar. Black Oak. What color looks best on a roof? For the past decade, Kate Smith has provided “Ask an Expert” advice to dozens of homeowners each month. 

Kate is an internationally recognized color expert. She serves as Chief Color Maven at Sensational Color. And, since 2012, she’s offered free roofing color advice as a service to homeowners considering composite shake and slate roofing tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes. 

To give you some color perspective for your roof, we’ve asked Kate about her experiences providing color insights to homeowners. Read along, and you’ll pick up some colorful tips! 

Q: What are the most popular questions people ask you when they connect with your through DaVinci? 

A: By far, everyone wants to know what type of roof to put on their home and what roofing color is best for their home. People truly want to know what color is best suited for their home, which is when I step in to help. 

Q: How do you help people decide on the best color for their roof? 

A: I encourage homeowners to always start by looking at the “fixed features” on their house. These are the unchangeable features, like the stonework, brick, colored window grids or other materials that will always remain with the house. Start with the colors in those set elements. Then find a roofing color that will harmonize with those common colors or color casts. 

Q: What are the regular “steps” you go through to assist a homeowner with a roof color choice? 

A: My goal is to guide homeowners toward a roof they’re pleased with on their house. I start by looking at images of their home. I actually gaze at the home from the top down. Many homes have brick or stone, which influences the roof selection. Other times, the style of the house is more of a factor. I make suggestions of colors to consider, then recommend they look at actual color samples outside their home. 

Q: Why outside the house? 

A: It’s so important to view roofing samples outdoors in the exact light settings of your home. You need to look at the samples during different times of day to see how the colors change as the light moves across the sky. Stand back about 20 feet to get an overall feeling for how the roofing color looks with the other elements of the house. I’ve actually known people to place sample boards directly on their roof and leave them there for several days to truly gain the best feeling for the colors that work well with the house. 

Q: When people come to you with color questions, are there any resources you lead them to? 

A: Absolutely. Over the years I’ve written a series of e-books on selecting exterior colors for the home, understanding the home exterior, color schemes for the house and other topics. These are all available for free at

Q: Finally, you’ve been offering roofing advice to homeowners for almost a decade now through DaVinci. Do people tend to take your recommendations…and what colors do they lean towards? 

A: I’m really pleased that people do indeed take my advice a majority of the time. Others have said that while they didn’t go with one of my suggested colors, that my insights gave them the knowledge and confidence to make a selection. As far as colors, people tend to lean toward classics, like blacks, grays and mountain blends. I believe that’s because they’re so attractive with so many different home styles. 

Have a question? AskARoofer.   

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory. 

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