Tips for choosing an exterior paint color

Changing the color of your house is typically one of the least expensive ways to give it an entirely new look. It can be challenging to choose the exterior paint color that’s right for you. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make a short list of the top color choices you’re considering, and then identify which ones evoke the positive emotions you want to associate with your home. For example, the crisp look of white may make you think of order and cleanliness, whereas yellow may suggest joy. Whether you plan to resell or stay in your home, remember that the color is essential to someone’s first impression of your home.
  • Choose several options and paint a swatch of each in an unnoticeable section of your siding. Revisit the options over a couple of days at different times of the day, and a clear winner is likely to emerge.
  • Consider the colors of your neighbors’ homes and the color trends throughout your neighbor. Talk with immediate neighbors about any plans they have to repaint. You don’t want your house to clash with theirs.
  • The style of your home such as Craftsman, Georgian, Colonial, etc. may suggest an appropriate palette.
  • Consider the numerous shades and hues of the other permanent features of your home, such as roofing shingles, stone accents, and concrete surfaces, so that all the colors of your home’s exterior complement each other. For example, a dark brown shingle may have flecks of red, gray, and tan.
  • Coordinate your exterior paint color with your landscaping if you have ornamental or colorful trees and other plants around your home. If trees surround your home, you may want to avoid green so that your house stands out. If trees cast a lot of shadows on your home, you may want to stick with lighter shades.
  • Dark colors tend to make a house look smaller, whereas white and other light colors can make your home look larger. If you have a small lot, you may want to go with a dark color so that your home doesn’t overwhelm its surroundings.
  • The ultraviolet rays of the sun break down the paint skin over time and cause the color to fade. Houses painted with bold, bright colors fade more noticeably than those painted with neutral tones.
  • When in doubt, go with a neutral color for the main surface area of your home. You can add a brighter or contrasting paint color to accentuate your home’s most attractive details such as porches, windows, shutters, and your front door. Or, add bold color through elements that are easier than exterior paint to change, such as landscaping, porch furniture, or lawn art. Of course you want to avoid accenting any unattractive elements such as unevenly placed windows with paint.