Choosing Paint for Your Home Exterior – What You Need to Know

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February 2, 2018
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Choosing the right colors for your home is fun! Whether your building or renovating, a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference for your home’s look and feel. But this task can also be a little challenging, too. Unlike interior colors, exterior hues can affect the entire street — and that quite a bit of pressure on homeowners to choose an appealing palette. There are a number of factors come into play that you don’t have to deal with on the inside of a house: hardscaping, landscaping, roofing and more. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when picking exterior paint.


Plan Around the Elements.

The outside elements surrounding your home are often the hardest attributes of your home to change. Unless you’re doing a complete renovation, surfaces such as roof shingles, tiles, stonework, pathways and driveways are there to stay. Making sure that the color you choose works in harmony with these colors, textures, and overall feel, is important.

Also, make sure you look for undertones between these elements of your home that might influence your color palette. Are they warm colors like beige, rust, brown and khaki? Maybe they are cooler colors, such as black, gray, and blue? Whatever they may be, consider paint colors for your home that will tie these fixed elements together.


Consider Your Home’s Architecture.

Architecture style or era should be considered when you’re shopping around. Whether you have a Queen Anne Victorian, a Craftsman bungalow or a midcentury modern ranch, your exterior paint scheme should be appropriate to the style. Imagine a classic federal-style home painted bright orange, or a New England saltbox in pale green. Doesn’t quite fit well, does it?

There are many paint manufacturers that offer pre-selected collections of historically accurate colors, which can be an excellent tool for selecting your palette! Not that you have to adhere strictly to these guidelines (unless codes for your home and neighborhood have regulations in place that state otherwise) but for the most pleasing effect, don’t stray too far.


Choose Three or More Different Paint Shades.

Often, we see that exterior paint schemes have three major parts: field color, which dominates; accent color, which brings doors, shutters and other smaller areas to together; and trim color, used for window and door casings, roof edging, railings and other trimwork.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that the trim should strongly contrast with the field color. If your main hue is dark, consider bright white trim or another lighter shade. A pale field color can look stunning with darker trim. It produces a crisp, dramatic effect.


So, there you have it. Basic tips for making your home look beautiful. And remember, have fun with it!

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