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Top Tips for Choosing Exterior House Paint Colors

Top Tips for Choosing Exterior House Paint Colors

If you think painting a room is stressful, then picking the exterior colors for your home is downright intimidating. Use these carefully considered tips to help you pick the perfect palette.

Recognize Your Home’s Style and Neighborhood

Although you don’t necessarily have to be bound by tradition, the style of a home does lend guidance when it comes to considering house paint colors. For example, a soft pastel color scheme may not best fit a ranch-style home, while bold hues are generally not as effective on a Victorian home.

In addition to looking to your home for inspiration, make it a point to assess your neighborhood as well. Does your area have a lot of historic homes? Or do you reside in a newer suburb with a dominant theme? Your surrounding area makes a strong starting point.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

As you work your way through deciding on house paint colors, don’t be afraid to drive around and take pictures of exterior color palettes that you admire, or homes that are similar to yours. Conversely, take note of color combos or design features that look out of place.

Don’t Get Swept Away By Trends

Just like fashion and interior design, home colors are subject to color trends. What may be hot today, may not be so hot tomorrow. Avoid falling for the latest trend. You may love it now when the color is popular, but as soon as the trend runs its course, you’ll wish you chose the next hot color.

Look to Your Home for Direction

Does your home already feature colors that should be included as part of your exterior palette? Think natural brick or stone on the foundation, a window trim color, or roof color. These already existing hues should serve as the base to build on. After all, you cannot ignore what’s already there and go for an exterior hue that doesn’t relate at all.

In addition, the size of your home also influences how colors appear. Large residences that are painted a darker color may come off as ominous in the landscape, while smaller homes with a color scheme that is too light might make the home feel ungrounded.

Landscape plays a role as well. A formal landscape design may prescribe stronger colors and accents with clear style definition. Similarly, a more natural landscape might inspire colors that are more recessive, such as pastels and soft neutrals.

Lean on Color Wheel Rules

It isn’t uncommon for successful home color palettes to use three hues — a dominant shade and two accents. One color is sometimes brighter or richer than the other two. When adopting this approach, look for guidance from the tried-and-true color rules of the color wheel. Colors in the same family, like varying shades of gray, work together well and are called monochromatic. Colors that are adjacent to each other (analogous) also work well together, as do those opposite one another (complementary colors).

No Matter What: Test, Test, and Test Some More!

Once you’ve started narrowing down your exterior color possibilities to a few choices, go ahead and get color samples and paint them in large swatches. Look at them during different times of the day so that you get a true representation of them in sun and shadow. If you still are unable to decide, consider hiring a designer or enlisting a friend you trust to look at them with you.

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