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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?

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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.

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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

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walkthrough experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3-year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch-up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua J.
Oakland, CA

“High quality work from a pleasant and qualified staff. Thank you!”

— Paul Markovich

“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

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“I can't say enough about how courteous and professional my foreman was. He was on time every morning and arrived cheerful and ready to go. He is highly organized and very thoughtful. He was extremely careful and respectful when moving my belongings - a mature professional.”

— Nora Robinson

“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

“I cannot imagine finer painters--and I have worked with many. They work exceptionally hard. It is a joy to see their workmanship!”

— Alicia R.
Oakland

“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

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen

“Just had MB Jessee paint the interior of our house and they did a wonderful job. They tackled some crazy wallpaper as well as painted some very high ceilings and walls. The whole process was quick and they did a great job! We are very pleased. I was also very impressed by the crew. They were very personable, kind and actually took pride in the work they were doing. In one of our conversations with the lead Ricardo, he actually told me he was very proud of how the rooms had turned out. I agree sir! It turned out great and it's not often you hear someone thinking of your home like they would theirs, and putting that level of work and quality into it. That made a huge difference in how I viewed this company. Ricardo, you were fantastic and thank you for the great job, we will be using you again.”

— Jeff M.
Danville, CA

“Matt, We are very happy with how all of the painting worked out. We were extremely impressed with the quality of the work in the bathroom. I liked working with Victor, he and Marvin were extremely conscientious about doing a great job, not just the minimum. I know the front door took a lot longer than you'd expected. But they did it PERFECTLY. We never thought it could turn out like that! Thanks again for the great work. We'll be calling you again in the future!”

— Craig
Alameda, CA

“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
Orinda