Colors of Roof Shingle Granules

Homeowner Question: What colors are the granules on a shingle? Do I need to match them exactly?

Chad’s Answer: While some roofing shingles may look like a solid color with only one color of granule, they are usually a mixture of a few granule colors that just look like a solid color when you view it from a distance. 

Architectural shingles are typically covered in various, more intense roofing granule colors that blend together to create an overall illusion of color and dimension.

Multiple granule colors are mixed to become blue, red, yellow, and black tabs on this shingle in the color Summer Harvest
Close-up of Summer Harvest granules and what they actually look like on a house

Essentially, the mix of granule colors on roofing shingles are like the brush strokes in impressionist paintings – you need to stand several feet away to get a better sense of the overall color and understand how they will play with the other exterior design elements of your home.

In the Owens Corning® TruDefinition® Duration® Designer line, for example, the roof shingle color Merlot looks like it has some purple tones when it’s really a mixture of red and blue granules in a specific ratio to make it look like purple. 

Red, blue, and black granules mixed to make purple tabs on this shingle in the color Merlot

Depending on the color of your home and natural lighting, however, certain colors of the roof may be pulled out more than others. Merlot on a red brick house may look redder, when it may seem bluer on a house with navy siding.

As a tip, go to a paint store and request a paint color deck—they may charge you a minimal amount, but this is like having the entire wall of paint chips in the palm of your hand, whether you are painting or not.

Colour swatches book. Rainbow sample colors catalogue.

The point would be to use the paint deck to isolate granule colors, if you want to be precise.  However, you really can match a roofing shingle by color ranges, as shown below.  And, as you start referencing the paint deck more and more, you will train your eyes to see the differences between ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ tones in each color (see my other blog on this).

Matching the exact granule color on Black Sable isn’t necessary – it goes with a range of colors

If you found a roof color you love, and you want to change other colors on your home’s exterior, you can pick colors that match exact granules or that match the overall color when you look from a distance.

More from Chad Esslinger

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Design Inspiration from Owens Corning

Looking for design inspiration? Explore the many tools and content Owens Corning has to offer:

2021 Shingle Color of the Year - Aged Copper
Learn more about our 2021 Shingle Color of the Year, Aged Copper
Not sure what color shingle will work with your roof? Explore our Style Boards
Upload a picture of your home and “try on” shingles with Design EyeQ®
Explore the many shingle color options from Owens Corning with Pick Your Shingles

About Chad Esslinger Design

Chad Esslinger
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Chad Esslinger Design is a full-service design company focusing on residential interior design, decorating and remodeling. Chad loves partnering with homeowners to create beautiful and functional living spaces.

Chad Esslinger Design is committed to beautiful and creative design as well as unparalleled service. Chad believes that great design is contemporary but timeless, simple but elegant. The goal of any project is to create breathtaking beauty, innovative functionality, and a truly enjoyable design process. Learn more about Chad.