Choosing Exterior Paint Colors
Now that spring is officially here, homeowners are calling me for help choosing their exterior paint colors. Many factors go into narrowing down colors that work. When choosing exterior paint colors, factoring in the overall look, the individual elements, and the neighboring houses enables me to empower homeowners to choose the right colors the first time.
Consider the Overall Look
In my area, so many homes are brick with siding on the upper level or only on the sides and back. Some also have stone and brick along with siding. When paint colors don’t relate to the brick or stone, or worse yet, when the brick and stone don’t relate to each other or look too busy, the house looks like there are two different houses stuck together. If you have a new build, all the materials and colors must be chosen at the same time to create a look that is styled. For a partial renovation or a new coat of paint, the existing elements must be considered.
The upper house and lower house are two different styles. The siding color and window trim on the upper windows does not relate to the brick. (Photo by homewithkeki)
Assess the Individual Elements
To help homeowners narrow down colors from the thousands of choices available, I begin with the shingles, brick, stone, pavers, landscaping, and neighboring homes. Considering the hues in the architectural materials is the first step in creating a cohesive color scheme. Just as with interiors, creating harmony and flow around the house as well as in the neighborhood is important.
The siding does not relate to the brick or the stone, and the stone and brick do not relate. In addition, the green is too bright for the brick. (Photo by ashiyasediet.info)
Remember the Neighboring Houses
When considering the look of their exteriors, most homeowners want a distinct look without their home screaming flashy or garish. Builders usually vary the types and colors of brick and other elements on houses in a subdivision. Thus, a look that is different enough from the house next door or across the street can be accomplished by looking at the unique hues in a home’s shingles, brick, stone, and landscaping. By creating a color scheme with coordinating hues, homeowners can have a look that is unique yet harmonizes with the neighborhood.
Choosing Exterior Paint Colors that Make Sense
When I assess the exterior of a home, I make note of all the colors and hues in the brick, stone, and shingles as well as any pavers. I also consider the color of the window and door frames. A white window limits the trim color you can use around the windows and most likely the majority of your trim. Note that a house with brick looks best with windows and a trim color that is not stark white. Once I establish the trim color options, I then pull a color from the brick or stone for the siding that coordinates and pulls together all the fixed elements. In the past some homeowners painted the trim and siding the same color. For a fresh, updated look choose a trim color that contrasts with the siding color. In addition, a front door color can announce the entrance and give your home a unique look. Beware of choosing bright, saturated colors with a more muted color scheme, unless you’re consulting with a designer trained in color. Your door will not only pop, it will look like it belongs on a different house.
A yellow door that is too saturated and bright for the brick. (Photo by Edward Jones, Clarksville)
A door that coordinates with the hue families of the architectural elements.
If you’re interested in reading about other options for choosing color with brick, read this article. For help choosing your exterior colors and color schemes, contact me for help choosing the right colors the first time!
Photo by Cheryl Adams
If you’ve decided to remodel or paint your home before the holidays, plan paint colors NOW! Whether for the interior or the exterior, now is the time to start thinking about your color scheme and paint colors. Painters, builders, and color consultants need time to work you into their schedules and order supplies before the work starts.
For painting, allow a couple days to test paint colors under different lighting conditions. Buying small samples and painting two coats on a large piece of foam core board allows you to move the board around to each side of the house or room at different times of the day and in sunny and cloudy conditions. Seeing the paint on a larger scale and in the lighting in and around your home will help you choose the right color the first time. Please do not make the mistake of choosing a paint color at the paint store! For exteriors, assess the undertones of the whole house, the roof, any stone or pavers, the landscaping, decks, and neighboring houses. For interiors, look at undertones in all fixed finishes such as stone, countertops, tile, fireplaces, fixtures, and flooring. All these need to be considered before you choose a paint color.
When doing a total remodel or replacing cabinets, countertops, tile, and flooring, plan paint colors in conjunction with these elements. The total time to design, schedule contractors, order supplies, and execute the work can take between four to six weeks for a kitchen or four to eight months for a whole house renovation. Check with your builder for more exact times.
Keeping these starting points in mind will help you complete your project well before the holidays and with much less stress. If you need help choosing your paint colors or color scheme for interiors or exteriors, contact me. I will help reduce your stress by using my Certified Six-Step Color Read Process to help you choose the right colors the first time!
Find Your Color Inspiration
How to choose paint colors:
- Begin at the Beginning – When you choose paint colors, be sure to have a starting point, whether it’s the fabric on your dining chairs or a pattern in your window treatments, a favorite area rug or a favorite piece of artwork. Define your color scheme by choosing two to four colors from the furnishings and finishes that are already in your home and will be staying.
- Know Your Likes and Dislikes – have fun noticing which colors you love in other homes, in restaurants, in magazines, and online. Knowing what you like will help ensure you use colors that you will love to come home to.
- Analyze the Undertones – Even whites have different colors underneath when compared with a true white. The key to creating a look of harmony is to match the undertones of your new paint colors to your existing undertones. Floors, countertops, stone, and fireplace surrounds count!
- Consider Mood – in addition to making your space visually beautiful, decide on the mood you want in each room. A mood is a feeling. For example a peaceful, calm room will help you recharge, restore, and relax, which is perfect for a bedroom. In a dining room where you entertain, you might want an energetic feeling that stimulates conversation. Think of how you want to use each room then use colors with personalities that match the mood you want.
- Consider Your Color Scheme for Remodels – When doing a total remodel or replacing cabinets, countertops, tile, and flooring, choose paint colors in conjunction with these elements. If the undertones in your granite are in the beige family and you want a gray color scheme, you will likely need to choose a different granite.
- Narrow Down Your Choices – Paint samples on large posterboard or foam-core
- Take Your Time – be sure to test the colors and sit with them, ponder, view them in different lighting conditions at different times of the day.
- Choose Paint Colors – Once you go through these steps, you will then be able to choose the right color the first time! If you want a professional consultation, click for Certified Color Expert help.
For more ideas, see my idea book at Color Confident Home – Houzz. Also, follow me on Facebook here. For a consultation or a quote contact me.