3 Tips to Select the Right Exterior Paint

When you repaint the exterior of your home, you can make your home the talk of the neighborhood, and it’s important to make the right impression. Unlike an interior paint choice, the exterior paint that you choose will affect every home on your street. This can introduce a great deal of pressure into the decision making process because most people don’t want to upset their neighbors. It’s also important to consider other factors, such as the color of the roofing, hardscaping, and landscaping that will all affect your color palette choices. Let’s take a look at three tips that will help you to make the right exterior paint choices.

1. Consider Things That are Hard to Change First

There will be exterior elements to your home that would be very hard to change unless you’re planning a major renovation project. Any surfaces, such as driveways, pathways, stonework, wall tiles and roof shingles, should always be considered first. The exterior paint palette that you choose needs to work with these existing elements. Look at the surfaces closely, are there any common undertones that could be used in your color palette? Warmer surface colors (brown, rust and beige) or colder colors (gray, black and blue) could influence your paint choices. Choose an exterior paint that will tie these exterior fixed features together into a consistent whole.

2. Factor Your Homes Architecture and Era into Your Paint Choices

It’s hard to give comprehensive advice regarding every age and architectural style of home. After all, there are many different types of homes, and they all need to be considered carefully if you want your exterior paint choice to work. As an example: imagine painting a New England saltbox home is a bright green color; the effect would be very jarring and unnatural to look at. Paint manufacturers understand this, many of them now offer a range of historically accurate colors and this can be very inspiring. If you’re still unsure, you can consult a color consultant, a local specialist painter or an architect to find a color palette that will work for your home. It’s usually not necessary to strictly adhere to a historical color scheme, but some neighborhoods have codes that specify your available color choices, and it’s a good idea to check before you start painting. However, even if there are no codes, it’s often a good idea to stick to some of the colors used in neighboring homes if you want a historically accurate effect.

3. Use Different Paint Shades for Visual Interest and Depth

Every exterior color scheme is composed of three major parts:

The Field Color: This is the dominant color used to cover the majority of the exterior wall surfaces.
The Accent Color: This will highlight smaller areas of interest such as doors, window frames, and shutters.
The Trim Color: This will offer some contrast to the field color on surfaces such as door casings, window casings, railing, roof edging, and other trim.

Many designers use a trim color that strongly contrasts with the field color, but a color scheme that features only two colors can give you a very modern monochromatic look. If your field color is darker, consider using a paler or classic white accent shade. If you use a light field color with a darker trim shade, you can give your home a dramatic look. Bold accent colors can work well, but resist the temptation to go overboard, a bright red door or a yellow window frame may be just enough to get the effect that you want.

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