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Choosing an Exterior Paint Color You Can Be Excited About

Choosing an Exterior Paint Color You Can Be Excited About

There is nothing quite like the feeling of pleasant surprise when your home has received a new coat of exterior paint, especially when you apply a fresh color scheme! However, the sheer number of possible colors and combinations can cause anxiety when it should bring joy. Row upon row, rack after rack, the color cards present us with infinite potential. How do you break through the paralysis to pick exterior paint colors you will love?


Consider Your Neighborhood

Within a given community, there is generally a certain style or feel that is predominant. While you want your house to stand out in the crowd, you want this to be in a good way. Take a careful look around your neighborhood, and try to choose a category of colors that will harmonize well.

Another neighborhood factor to consider is whether or not there is a Homeowner’s Association. Often, an HOA will impose certain limits on the color choices for your exterior paint. You definitely want to know if this is the case beforehand, so that you don’t discover it after you have already made the investment.

Ponder the Style

Here in the San Francisco Bay area, we have an amazing variety of classic and modern architectural styles. When you choose your exterior painting colors, you want to have the architectural style in mind. Color schemes that make a Victorian home look gorgeous might look horrendous on an Art Deco style home. Likewise, the Southwestern colors that are so engaging in Spanish Eclectic homes would be supremely out of place on a Tudor Revival home.

To get help with narrowing down the potential paint color schemes for your house, there are a number of ways to inquire:

  • Perform an online image search for homes in your architectural style, and look for color schemes you like.
  • Talk to a residential painting company that has a lot of experience in your community. They will have a very good idea what colors work well on homes like yours.
  • Visit a quality paint store and ask for a color expert. Don’t try the nearest big-box home improvement or department store, but rather a store dedicated solely to premium paints.

Keep Things in Proportion

Most decorators recommend a 60-30-10 ratio for determining an exterior paint color scheme. Here is a breakdown of what that means:

60% of the home exterior is a single, dominant color. This would generally include the house siding. It is best for this to be a color that fits well with your neighborhood and matches easily with a wide variety of other colors. Save your adventurous ideas for the next two categories.

30% of the surface of your home should be a second color, and this one can be a bolder choice that contrasts yet compliments the color mentioned above. This may be your roof color, or the garage doors, the shutters, or some other significant feature of your home exterior.

The final 10% of the exterior painting surface includes the attention-grabbing details that get another contrasting color. This may be the front door, or the window shutters, a gable vent, or another similar architectural feature.


Paint Color and Application Experts in the San Francisco Region

For expert help with choosing the perfect exterior paint colors for your home, MB Jessee is the company you can trust. We have been painting fine homes in the Bay Area for well over 20 years, earning a reputation for fine service and excellent results.

MB Jessee is based in Oakland, CA. We provide premium house painting services, including exterior painting, interior painting, plaster repair, kitchen cabinet repainting or refinishing, and much more. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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Customer Reviews

“Thank you for the support you have given the Women's Cancer Resource Center over the past year!”

— Margo - Director Women's Cancer Resource Center

“Hello Matt,Just another notice of thanks to your wonderful crew, Rigoberto, Javier and John. They did fantastic work, with Rigo providing meticulous and conscientious attention to the details and excellent woodwork finishing, as evidenced by the beautiful fireplace. Javier did a fantastic job in the bathroom especially, it looks "brand new," and John always does quality work, both with the interior and exterior. I can tell they care about what they do. Rigo's "punch out" was very thorough, too. I will call again when I need some more work and will definitely recommend your company and fine crew. I also felt as a homeowner, I could leave my house in their good hands during the day and that took a lot of worry from me, they were honest, prompt and reliable. They were also very kind, respectful and clean in their work, very professional. Thank you.”

— Beth Marx & Melissa Kirsch

“The completed 'Client Satisfaction Survey' we sent in only modestly reflects our total satisfaction with the work. As a retired small business owner, I compliment you on setting 'best practices' that are consistently followed. Everything described in your marketing materials was a reality! The crew is a super bowl team and our neighbors commented on how quiet they were. We are very happy to be a client of MB Jessee.”

— Richard

“I loved working with M.B. Jessee from start to finish on a relatively small paint job that grew a bit. I felt in very good hands from the moment Matt Jessee came out to give me the estimate and talk about my job. He was very easy to talk to and he handled my changes very well. Then the actual work done by Rigoberto and Mario was impeccable. They were neat and meticulous and the paint job looks beautiful. I could not have asked for more and when I did, they accommodated me 100%. I will not hesitate to call M.B. Jessee again and to refer them to friends.”

— Nancy Kurkjian

“I highly recommend MB Jesse Painting to anyone looking for a professional team that does an impressive job. They are on time, efficient and clean up well each and every day they are on site. They pay attention to detail and listen to the needs of their clients. In addition, they give back to the community. A Five Star team all the way around.”

— Erin Troy

“Matt, Julie & Ricardo, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the three of you for the wonderful job you did in hosting the SFBA NARI Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening. Everything was perfect from beginning to end. Members and guests alike walked away with a truly positive experience. The "painter for a day" and the cookies in the paint cans were an absolute brilliant touch and received rave reviews. What a wonderful way to do such positive marketing. Thanks again for a truly memorable experience for our members and guests. You are valued as a NARI member.”

— Judy Tufo, SFBA NARI Executive Director

“The people at M.B. Jessee are great – from the painters to the office staff to Matt. Talk about leadership from the top.”

— Kevin Ames, Mark Becker Homes

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“I just wanted to send you an email to say that John did such a great job over here today. He is truly a hard worker. He has the perfect balance of friendliness, honesty, and professionalism. I trust him. He takes the time to do the job to the best of his ability and that is what sets him (and your company) apart from the competition. He didn't make me feel rushed. He really made me feel like our job was the most important thing in the world. Thanks again!”

— Jo

“MB Jessee painters are stellar! As a designer I've worked with numerous companies over the years, and MB Jessee is a top-notch firm. From the first phone call to the final clean up, every person is courteous, professional, and hard working. The owner, Matt, is a charitable leader who has instilled his team with integrity and honesty providing the customer with a first class experience at a fair price with a paint job that is guaranteed to last. I highly recommend MB Jessee. Thank you Matt and your STAR crew-Daniel, Rigoberto, Vicente, Edy, Pedro, and Mario, for a job well executed! Cynthia Brian, ASID, Starstyle® Productions, llc”

— Cynthia Brian
Morgan, CA

“Many thanks to Rigoberto and Damon and the extraordinary team who transformed my castle in the skies.They are magicians. I appreciate their work very much.”

— Kathleen A
San Francisco