Choosing exterior paint colors for your home can be nerve-wracking. Nowhere else is so much paint used, and nowhere else does it make such a big impact as the exterior of your home. If you get it right, your home will look naturally beautiful. If you get the color wrong, your home will become an eyesore in the neighborhood. With so much pressure, how can you get the color right? Follow these tips for a beautiful exterior home color.
Honor Your Home’s Style
If you have a historical home, think about the era in which it was built when you’re considering paint colors. Bright colors will seem inappropriate on a federal-style home or mid-century modern ranch. Choose from palettes that are similar to the original palettes of the day. If that seems overwhelming, look for a paint manufacturer that provides a collection of historically-accurate colors.
Pay Attention to Architectural Elements
Some aspects of your house likely won’t be changing when you paint your home’s exterior. You’ll probably be keeping your roof shingles, stonework, and pathways as they are. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing a paint color. Make sure your color doesn’t clash with the elements that are going to remain. And take a cue from the remaining colors to help you choose your exterior color. Look for their undertones, and choose a paint color for the house that will harmonize all the elements.
Look at the Neighborhood
It’s true that your home is yours. Unless you live in an HOA with strict rules, you are free to infuse your own style on the exterior of your home. However, it’s in your best interest — as well as your neighbors’ — to choose paint colors that blend in and harmonize with the neighborhood. If you want to stand out, do it in a way that is unobtrusive. Keeping the neighborhood beautiful benefits everyone.
The Rule of Three
Think in threes. Your home should have three main colors:
- The field color, which is the main color of your house
- The accent color — this is for doors and shutters (and any other small areas)
- The trim color — this color is for roof edging, door casings, and other trim work
The trim color almost always looks great when contrasted with the field color. If you choose a dark color for the biggest part of the house, the trim should be light. Make sure you don’t accent the unattractive elements of your home — the downspouts, uneven windows, air conditioning units, etc. Instead, these elements should blend into the background.
Major paint brands have color palettes that use coordinating colors. This is a great way to get inspiration, while feeling confident that your choices will create an eye-pleasing affect. You can also hire a color consultant who is an expert at selecting color schemes that work well together.
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