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.

Exterior paint colors

Exterior colors of a home that relate to each other. (Color palette by Color Confident Home)

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.

 

Brick and siding don't relate

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!