Choose Exterior Paint Color

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  • 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.

Exterior Painting – Frequently asked questions

Can I paint over aluminum/vinyl siding?
Yes. Always make sure the surface is cleaned to remove any chalk or dirt. Never apply paint that is darker than the original painted surface on vinyl siding.

Do I need to wash my house before I paint?
Yes. Surfaces must be clean before painting. Thoroughly wash with a house cleaner and water solution, making sure to remove any and all mildew. Rinse and allow to dry.

How much paint do I need?
Be sure to utilize our Paint Gallon Calculator in the Project Planner section to help you determine how many cans to buy for your next project.

To achieve one-coat coverage, paint should be applied at a maximum of 400 square feet per gallon. Rough or textured surfaces may require more paint. On these areas allow for 25-30 square feet per gallon. Some bright colors may require multiple costs to achieve sufficient hide.

How do I apply the paint?
When using more than one gallon of the same product, mix the gallons together to insure color and sheen uniformity. Two coats of this paint will provide maximum protection.

How do I paint shingles & shakes?
Shingles offer natural breaking points, paint in a vertical direction.

How do I care for freshly painted surfaces?
We suggest not washing your newly painted surface for at least 30 days. After that time, dirt and stains may be removed using a mild, non-abrasive cleanser and water.

I have never painted the exterior of my home before….?
When painting the exterior of your home always start with a clean surface; paint one side of the house at a time, starting with the highest point; apply a full even coat to one side of the house at a time and always paint the trim last.

What conditions are best for painting my house?
Generally you should only paint when the surface is between 50F and 85F. High temperatures cause the water in the paint to evaporate too quickly, while low temperatures prevent latex from covering properly. Always avoid painting in direct sunlight, strong winds, or when rain is expected within 8 hours.

What tools do I need?
Depending on your project and the type of structure you are painting, paints may be applied with a nylon/polyester brush, a paint pad or spray unit.

What is the proper way to use spray equipment?
It is always safe to operate spray equipment with safety cautions. Use respiratory and eye protection. All spray units are different and it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.