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Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

Consider Existing Elements of Your House When Choosing Paint Colors

When choosing exterior colors that will compliment your home make sure you pay attention to elements on the house that won’t be changing, for example the roof shingles. Use any stone or masonry work as a starting point for picking colors. Don’t forget to consider the color of your gutters and downspouts.

Pay attention to your landscaping, trees, shrubs, and flower gardens around your property. Use the nature around you for inspiration. Your house color should work well with the surrounding landscape.

Dos and Don’ts of Exterior Paint Colors

Don’t pick colors that will clash with neighboring houses. If you want to express yourself with a bold paint color, try it on the front door. This is where you can make a statement of your own.

Don’t highlight or draw attention to unattractive features, make them disappear by blending them in with the house. These are elements such as eaves troughs, downspouts, dryer vents and utility boxes.

Attractive architectural details can be painted in different, but complimentary colors to stand out from the main body of the home.

Dark colors can also tend to fade, especially in harsh sunlight. They might not be the best option to paint on large surface areas or on wood doors where they can attract a lot of heat and cause warping.

When choosing exterior colors, it can be an appealing look to use several shades of the same color or to use two or three complimentary colors.

Be careful in your decision, depending on the style of our house not enough color contrast can have it looking boring and flat and too many colors can become overly busy.

Keep the style of your home in mind. Southwestern style stucco colors might not look very appealing on a Cape Cod style house. If you have an old house, you may want to do some research on historical colors. Most paint stores have brochures with colors coordinated for different house styles.

The photos below are a great example of using paint colors on an exterior of a house to blend in undesirable features.

Before painting -

After painting -

Where To Get Exterior Color Help and Inspiration

Look for color inspiration in the neighborhood where you live or surrounding areas. Take note of houses that have appealing color schemes. If you see something you like, try to envision if those colors would work on your home. Utilize the paint stores brochures that are specifically designed for exterior painting. They have thoughtfully arranged color combinations and pictures of homes you can look at.

Many paint companies have websites with excellent decorating information. Some have sophisticated software programs for you to try out color schemes. You can look at several different house styles and change the colors to see what they would look like. You might be able to upload a photo of your house and try out different colors on it.

Look through magazines, watch decorating shows for ideas and search through the endless images available online. Just punch in exterior house paint colors into a search engine. You can look for specific looks such as west coast exterior house colors or popular house siding or Hardy board colors.

Applying Exterior Paint Samples

When you get your color choices narrowed down, don’t hesitate to go to the paint store and purchase some of their sample testers. Most companies offer small sample sizes. If they don’t have this option, it is still well worth the expense of buying a few small quarts of paint. This will ensure you are going to like the color once it is applied to your entire house.

Pick a spot on your home where you can put a sample on the body and trim or where accent colors will be. Do this on a few different areas of the house. This will allow you to see how the colors will work together.

View the colors at various times of the day. Changing light will cause the color to look different by either casting a warm or cool light onto your house. Expect it to look quite different when comparing early morning, afternoon, and early evening light or during a bright sunny day compared to an overcast one.

If you are not comfortable in doing the color sample painting yourself with our accepted quotes, we can offer this service. Small fees may apply to recover the cost of what we must pay for the paint samples. We can also offer some assistance in the way of giving suggestions or opinions on what colors will look appealing on your home.

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