Choose Exterior Paint Color

There are so many things to consider when repainting the exterior of your home. After you choose a painter and decide on the type of paint you want to use, you then have the task of deciding on a color. For some people this comes easily, for others, decorating or changing the exterior of their home is daunting.

Here are some tips for choosing exterior paint colors:

Stay true to the traditional color scheme for your type of home. For example, a New England Salt Box looks great in blue-gray tones. Victorian homes can have a variety of colors, look at the bottom layer of paint for a clue to your home’s original paint scheme. If your home is in a wooded area, you might want to choose earth tones.

Many paint stores now offer computer imaging so you can get an idea of the look of the colors you are considering. This way you can avoid a surprise after buying hundreds of dollars worth of paint.
If, for example, you like a bright yellow or blue color, consider selecting a color in a slightly muted tone. A large area of bright color can have a larger impact than you may want.

Look at homes in your neighborhood or in decorating magazines. This is a great way to find paint colors. If you like the color of a house in your neighborhood, ask the homeowner if he or she would share the color name and brand of paint they have used. If you find a color scheme you like in a magazine, it is fairly easy to have the colors matched at your local paint store.

Use pre-selected color schemes from your local paint store. Many paint manufacturers will group complimentary color pallets. These are suggestions for trim, accents and the body of the house.

COLOR Frequently asked questions

How do colors effect room size?

Generally, warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows close in a space. Blues, greens, and violets tend to make a room look larger. Dark colors have a diminishing effect. Whites are always a good choice for making a room look larger.

My room has a chair rail and I am using two colors….?

This depends on the look you want to achieve. If you want an open, airy look, always paint the portion of the wall below the chair rail darker allowing the lighter color to dominate.

Should trim work be painted the same color as the walls…?

Use the same color to hide trim work, use a lighter or darker color to bring out the trim work and add highlights.

Will the paint I choose look lighter or darker on the wall?

Larger surfaces make the paint appear darker. As a general rule, always choose colors that are a shade or two lighter than what you want. Do keep in mind that colors can also appear lighter or darker depending on surrounding colors and lighting.

What is the best way to decide which color is best for my room?

Take color chips home to determine the color of your room. A nice technique is to hold the color chips in the daylight and at night so you will see how lighting will effect your color choices.

What color should I paint my ceiling?

White or off-white colors will create the illusion of having a higher ceiling and more open space. Whereas medium to dark colors will create the illusion of lowering the ceiling. Customarily, white or off-white tend to be used.

Will the paint actually match the color chip?

As a general rule, paint on a color chip will appear slightly lighter than when applied in a room. Always take into account the sheen of the paint, the lighting in the room, and other colors that are in the room.