Believe it or not, exterior paint color DOES matter. Unlike interior colors, exterior hues can affect the entire street — and that puts a lot of pressure on homeowners when it comes to choosing a palette. In addition, a number of factors come into play that you don’t have to deal with on the inside of a house: landscaping, hardscaping, roofing and more. Needless to say, with so many different paint colors and options available, it can be overwhelming to decide on a few specific colors. Below, you’ll get some tips on how to select the best exterior paint colors for your home’s exterior. Use these tips, along with the help of a professional, to choose a color scheme that works both for your style and for your home’s surroundings.
USE ACTUAL PAINT SAMPLES
You cannot choose a paint color from a picture, and assume it will look the same on your house. It won’t! You absolutely must sample the colors on your exterior before committing to one. Be sure to leave time in your painting process for sampling in a variety of lighting conditions.
OBSERVE IN DIFFERENT LIGHT
You’ve seen it, right? The beige house down the street that looks pink in the late afternoon, or the gray house on the corner that looks purple in cloudy weather? Most people don’t realize that certain lighting conditions can bring out undertones in paint colors that you might not expect. This is especially true when it comes to grays, beiges, and whites. Also, the direction your home faces needs to be taken into consideration. Why? Because light coming from the West is very warm in the late afternoon, which can amplify any red, pink, yellow, or orange undertones. Light coming from the North is cool, and can bring out blue and purple undertones. You can neutralize this effect by choosing cooler or more neutral colors for west-facing homes, and warmer colors for North-facing homes.
USE COLOR VISUALIZERS
Leading paint manufacturers, like Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams, have fantastic, easy-to-use visualizer tools on their websites. These are a great way to test out ideas and combinations of colors you’re considering, before purchasing any samples. Choose one of their exterior pictures (great for playing with color combinations), or upload your own for a more customized experience. Either way, these visualizer tools can help you rule out certain colors you thought might work (but don’t), and narrow your focus in on specific colors that will make your exterior look amazing.
REMEMBER ACCENTS & TRIMS
Unless you’re doing a complete renovation, surfaces such as roof shingles or tiles, stonework, pathways and driveways will remain in place. Take these into consideration as you select exterior colors.
FACTOR IN NEIGHBORING HOUSE COLORS
You know the saying, “read the room?” The same general principle should be used when choosing exterior colors. Walk around the neighborhood and get a sense of what colors are popular. A pink house might be perfectly acceptable in a beach town, or on an old victorian home, but may not be right for a suburban setting. Make sure any colors you are considering for your exterior will fit in with the overall look and feel of the neighborhood.
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