Now that you have decided to paint your house, ahead of you lays the huge task of deciding on the right exterior paint colors for your home. This is a big decision, not to be made lightly without some serious forethought.
If you pick to bright or loud colors, you house will stand out like a sore thumb and it won’t win any points with the neighbor.
If you go with a bland neutral color without any pizzazz, your house will be ordinary and boring. The right colors can make even the plainest of homes beautiful. It can draw attention away from your homes shortcomings, disguise the flaws, and accentuate the positive aspects giving you home what the realtors call “curb appeal.”
If this is your first time painting your house, you could probably use a little guidance finding the perfect color combination of exterior paint colors that will transform your home from flat to fabulous!
- Choose colors that will blend in nicely in your neighborhood
If you live in an older area full of period houses, it would serve your purposes best if you stayed with the tried and true colors of the past. You can just guess at an approximate color match , even going a shade or two off to add a bit of a modern look, or you can find some old paint chips that haven’t been faded by years of sun and weather, and take those chips into your paint store for them to be matched. Either way, the neighbor will be please and so will you.
If your neighbors are all about the design of the day and color of the week, you can be more imaginative with your color combinations. Some old homes look stunning when deep or bold colors are substituted for the conservative look preferred by our forefathers.
Take a walk, see how the houses down the block are colored, how they go well with the rest of the homes and while you don’t want to be a copycat, working on the same side of the color wheel is widely accepted. You want to step away far enough that your house will stand out in a good way, not clash with the house on either side of it. Choose your exterior paint colors with a friend who has a good eye for design and good taste, if you don’t trust your own judgment.
- Work with what you already have
Take a good long look at the natural landscape; the colors that are predominant in nature will be a good guide for choosing exterior paint colors that will be complimentary and harmonious. If you live on the shore, blues, corals and the colors of the sunset will work well, but in the desert, you may want to keep in the beige and sand colors. The mountains and green fields of the farmlands call for greens and browns with bold dashes of primary colors like red.
Look at the roof, whether you realize it or not, not all colors work with every roof color, no matter how neutral it seems. Find colors that compliment and look good with the color of your rooftop, even if they aren’t in the same family.
What color do you see in the walls and fences in the area. Sandstone, concrete and brick need different groups of color to blend well with what you can’t change or paint over.
A lot of things on your house won’t be painted, but will be left in the original state. I mean the vinyl window treatments, or awnings, wooden doors or fireplace brick walls.
It is important that before you even begin to finalize your decision that you look at the big overall picture of how your home will look in that scene.
- Bring the inside out
Just like you worked to coordinate your interior colors with your furnishings with the goal being a harmonious pleasant look, you should let your exterior paint colors be a continuation of that theme. The key to bringing your colors and your home will be what combination of colors you choose for your primary and accent colors. You aren’t limited to the amount of colors you can use, but be reasonable. Too many different colors on different parts of the house will just end up looking crazy and confused. Don’t be afraid to use 3, 4 or even 5 colors, but keep it consistent. Using just one color or a trim color that is too close to your main color will leave your house looking dull and washed out.
- Use the correct colors for the desired effect
If you want your home to appear bigger, the exterior paint colors that will give that affect are the lightest and whitest of all colors. It is the traditional favorite of the grand mansions of the past and present. A look of elegance can be achieved with pale, creamy colors.
Dark colors will make the house look small, so to avoid that effect, it is better to just use the darker shades for accent is a better choice. The dark accent colors draw attention to details and can make certain special features stand out. A popular Victorian look uses dark colors to paint the window frames and sashes. Good general rule is to use a light color on features that stand away from the walls surface, and use dark color to give a more dramatic affect to recessed areas.
Learn to work with color families. While using contrasting colors can set details apart too drastic of a difference will make the house look disjointed and unappealing. You are much safer staying in the same color family, using darker shades for your trim.
Try to keep your look balanced, meaning don’t go heavy on the accent colors in one area of the house and leave the rest all one color. You want the look to flow, not lopsided, or like you ran out of paint for the rest of the trim.
If you think you have all the info you need to pick the right exterior paint colors, you aren’t ready quite yet. There are some basic things you need to know before making the final decision. Here are some little know facts to keep in mind when you are ready to get going: The darker, more intense the color, the more it is likely to fade. Dark colors have problems caused by moisture that develops because they tend to absorb more heat; moisture is trapped beneath the paint’s surface damaging the integrity of the paint. This leads to more regular maintenance or repairs and matching old paint is not picnic either. On the plus side, the dark colors don’t show the dirt, grime or stains that plague the lighter colored homes. And besides, there is something stately and dignified about a dark color house. Be it light, dark or a color in-between, a freshly painted home done with tasteful, complimentary colors is a home you can be proud of and an asset to any neighborhood.
- Paint Color Deceptions
Color swatches look very different when they are brought out of the store and viewed in natural sunlight. Also, colors appear lighter on large surfaces than they do on small samples. Chances are, you’ll need a much darker color than the one you first picked. Always test your selected color in one area before buying gallons of paint.