How to Pick a Paint Color for a Home’s Exterior

How to Pick a Paint Color for a Home's Exterior

Homeowners paint their home’s exterior for two reasons: to protect the cladding and to blend in with the neighborhood. Interior colors are about expressing the homeowner’s personality. The exterior makes a huge statement, so the heat is on to choose the right colors.

You’ll be considering the three faces of a house’s exterior: the bulk of the house, the accent portions like the shutters and doors, and the trim. You’ll want three complementary or contrasting colors that go well with the architectural style of the house. You’ll also want to choose colors that blend well with the stone, driveway, walkways, and other things that won’t change.

Consider The Structure

Unless you’re completely renovating your house, some things won’t change. For example, is the house partly natural stone? Is the house entirely brick? Are there pavers for walkways, gravel around the landscaping, or retaining walls along the property?

You’ll choose colors that pull out some of the subtle colors in these things like grays, browns, or russets. For the trim and accents, you have choices in which you can go with lighter to deeper shades of gray, brown, and russet red. Alternatively, you can go with jazzy colors like turquoise, red, or sunny yellow, which mainly goes for front doors.

Consider The Structure’s Architectural Style

The architectural style of a home has a lot to do with color. Painting a mid-century modern house or a Craftsman bungalow a bright, eye-catching color like bright blue or pink would look better than painting a dignified Colonial house the same color. Modern homes, beach houses, and cottages all look well painted in colors that make you notice them.

Remember to take into account the homeowners association. Many neighborhoods have homeowners associations that dictate exterior colors, with an eye toward respecting both the architectural style of the structure as well as the neighbors’ sensibilities.

Tip: Some paint stores have experts and/or consultants that will help you match your home’s style to the proper color.

Paint A Sample Of The Color On The House

Paint looks different in different lights and from different angles. Buy a small amount of the colors you want to use on the house, trim, and accents. Paint a swatch of the colors on the back of the house or somewhere no one will see it but you.

Visit that part of the exterior at different times of the day. Look at it from different angles. Some paint stores use computer technology to match colors and paint types to your needs. Take a picture of the house at different times of the day to the paint store. The technicians there will help you computer-match your paint color ideas to your house.

Consider The Home’s Setting

If you look at your house as if it were a painting, then you’d see its relation to what’s around it. Does your house sit in an open field with nothing around it? Was your house built in the middle of a forest? Does your house back to water?

You can see how a house’s colors blend in with its surroundings. You’ll want colors that correspond with the green of trees such as peach, blue, gray, and purple. If you live on the water, your house would look good painted any shade of blue, mint green, yellow, teal, or redwood.