Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your Home

April 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

Have you stopped to look, I mean really look, at your exterior color scheme lately?  What do you see?  Maybe you have worn out white paint with faded black shutters that you painted so many years ago that you can’t even remember doing it.  Or maybe you only have two shades of beige going on on your home’s exterior – boring!  So if you are ready to shake up your home’s image and improve the curb appeal, here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

First, determine what kind of house you have.  Is it a Colonial, an American Ranch, a Cape Cod or maybe it was built in the Arts & Crafts style?   That piece of information can help you decide on an authentic exterior color scheme that fits the era of your home.  For example, if you are lucky enough to live in a “painted lady”, or Victorian style home, you can go wild with your colors – but within reason of course! Just stop by at your local paint store and look through some examples of exterior painting ideas to find an appropriate one for the style of your home.

Second, decide how much color you can live with.  You don’t want to go to all the effort and expense to paint the walls a rich burgundy, and then find it’s not really the look you want to convey.  If possible, purchase sample sizes of the paint colors you like, paint some boards and prop them up against the house.  Eliminate the boards one by one (after keeping them up for a few days and viewing them at different times of the day to see how the colors change with the light) until you get down to a color you love.

choosing exterior paint Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your Home

Another thing to take into account when selecting exterior wall colors is the landscaping in front and around your house.  The color of your trees, flowers and bushes can influence what shade or tone you should choose.  For example, a bright, colorful exterior paint will work well with landscaping that can stand up to intense colors, while a delicate, pale wall color may look washed out. And unless you are deliberately trying to disguise your house, don’t use a green paint color on a home buried in lots of greenery.

In the end, choosing an exterior color scheme is a compromise between blending with the neighborhood while making a statement by being just a little bit different.

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