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HOW Do You Choose An Exterior Paint Color?

HOW Do You Choose An Exterior Paint Color?
HOW Do You Choose An Exterior Paint Color?

Painting the exterior of your home is a major undertaking.  There’s the time and cost involved, of course.  Beyond that though, it is the choosing of the color scheme that can really be a scary prospect for many of our clients. You want to choose colors that flatter your home and bring out its best elements.  At the same time, you hope to camouflage any imperfections.  You want your home to stand out amongst neighboring homes, but not be an eyesore.  Choose the wrong shades for your home’s exterior though, and it can all go so wrong.  But painting your house's exterior doesn’t have to be such a nightmare!  There are some things to keep in mind as you’re thinking about repainting that can help you make the perfect choice for your home.

The first thing you’ll need to do is go outside!  Take a walk around your home, stand at the curb and really look at it.  Note any aspects of your home that you really love and want to play up.  Ditto for anything you’re not so fond of and wish you could erase.  Then, take a look at items that you won’t be painting.  What color and material is your roof?  Is there any brick or stonework that won’t be painted?  These will affect your color scheme too. 

What type of home do you have? Owners of traditional homes in the San Francisco Bay Area often choose to honor and reflect the history of their home by choosing colors of the era in which the home was built.  Benjamin Moore has a Historical Colors line that is geared towards traditional homes and color schemes.  But a traditional home needn’t always be painted so. Many homeowners choose to spice it up a bit and use brighter, more vivid colors to highlight the decorative and architectural details of older homes.  Using unexpected colors in this way can produce an exciting and modern result for daring homeowners.

If your home has clean lines and a more tailored, modern shape, you might choose colors that help your give your home balance and blend into its natural surroundings.  Gray tones mixed with smooth whites, off-whites and sands give a modern home a calm and unfussy appearance. Sherwin Williams has a palette called Simplified that is geared toward contemporary styles.  Modern homes often have quite a bit of glass and concrete, warm neutral and earth tones can give them a warmer look and feel. 

You will also need to consider how many colors you’ll be using.  Depending on your home’s architecture, you may decide to go with a more monochromatic scheme or you may decide to use four or five colors – or more!  You’ll need to choose hues for your siding or stucco, for your window sashes and gutters, and for porch and deck.  Using darker colors add drama to your home and draw attention to details, while lighter colors make a home seem larger.   Discovering what color family you are most drawn to can help you steer clear of pairing colors that are too much of an extreme contrast. Beware, colors can seem very different in a tiny chip from the paint store or an 8 and ½ by 11 brushout from MB Jessee than when held up against your home in the sun.  It is a good idea to have our painters test your colors on the wall before you spend a lot of money on several gallons of paint! 

Choosing your exterior paint colors need not be scary, so take the first step and get on outside.  Following these tips can help you find the perfect colors for your home!

---Matt Jessee

Visit MB Jessee's profile on Pinterest.

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