8 Tips on How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors For Your Home

Few things can boost your home’s curb appeal and set off makeovers quite like the way a fresh coat of paint and a new house color will, but how do you choose which color scheme, color combinations or type of paint? With thousands of shades, sheens, and styles available at home improvement stores, it isn’t always easy to narrow down a color palette, and the sheer amount of color choices can be overwhelming. Here are three things to consider before choosing exterior paint colors and why your exterior house colors decision matters.

Things like trim color, main color and accent color combinations are usually top of mind when picking out the house color and color scheme, but homeowners sometimes forget to also consider:

  • Roof color and shingle type
  • What architectural style home they have
  • Door color
  • Neighbor’s homes and neighborhood style
  • Undertones
  • What the paint color will look like at different times of the day
  • And more

There are many brands of paint available, some of the most popular being Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and Behr. Nearly all offer a huge selection of different colors and have swatches with paint samples and color samples to help decide your house paint colors.

Here’s 8 tips on what you should and should not do when choosing the right exterior paint color for your home:

1. Home Style

You might love the newest color trend or you might want to go with a bold color like burgundy, but the most important consideration is how that new paint looks with the style of your home? Although most people overlook architecture when they choose paint colors, the fact is that neighbors and future home buyers might have something to say about that dark red hue exterior of your house.

Before you choose paint for your home’s exterior carefully consider the architecture of your home. If you aren’t sure what style your home is considered, snap a quick picture and run a reverse image search to look for similar builds. After the results come up, check to see what other colors builders have chosen for the exterior.

You might notice that warm shades like brown, green, and beige are chosen for ranch-style or craftsman houses, while pastels are typically picked for Victorian-style houses. If your home has exterior dark wooden beams, wood shades might look best. On the other hand, if your home is modern, you might be able to get away with a much larger color palette than your neighbors down the street with the mid-century modern ranch. Using multiple brilliant and bright colors and white trim is normally found on the “painted ladies” houses in San Francisco!

2. Local Regulations

If you have ever winced in agony as you passed a home painted a fluorescent color, it might be because the residents weren’t members of a Homeowners Association (HOA). HOA’s are designed to protect home values in neighborhoods by setting standards for things like landscaping, home colors, and fence choices—protecting people from rogue neighbors with strange ideas about paint colors.

Failure to abide by these codes can result in penalties, ranging from cold shoulders from neighbors to pricey fines for each day of non-compliance. To stay on the safe side, always check with your local HOA before deciding on paint colors. While some organizations have a chosen color palette for acceptable paint colors, others simply state that colors should blend in with the rest of the houses on your street, and whether that dark brown will work, or if you need a darker color or pastel.

Some parts of your town might even have restrictions on paint colors since opting for a strange shade could distract drivers. For example, if you live in a home that is visible from your local interstate, you might not be allowed by the city to paint your home that bright blue color you have been dreaming about. Talk with your city about building codes in your area to check for potential real life issues.

3. Landscaping

Another important thing to do before heading to the paint store is carefully evaluating the overall color of your landscaping. Is your yard lush and green or have you chosen an earth-friendly xeriscape? Before you head to the paint store, take a color wheel outside to evaluate the overall shade of your landscaping.

For the greatest visual impact, choose a paint color exactly opposite of the shade of your landscaping. For instance, if the majority of your yard is filled with green foliage, grey paint or stucco will make your home pop. On the other hand, if your yard is filled with cream-colored rock gardens, a cooler shade of blue might be a better option.

There are things you SHOULD NOT do when choosing the exterior paint colors for your home.

When trying to determine the best color to paint the exterior of your home, you may want to focus only on selecting a color you like without considering other important details. However, painting the exterior of your home is an investment in the value of your home and its curb appeal.

Choosing the best exterior paint for your home is important and will be easier when you focus on five important things not to do when selecting an exterior paint color.

4. Don’t Ignore Your Home’s Architecture

If your home has unique structural features, you should draw attention to those areas. For instance, if your home has beautiful windows you want to highlight, select the window trim color first and match the exterior home color to complement the trim.

If you have a unique arched doorway you want to show off, select the color you want for your front door and then choose a color for the rest of the house that provides the best contrast without being distracting.

5. Don’t Forget About Your Neighbors

When you own your home, it might not seem fair you should have to consider your neighbor’s feelings when painting your home. However, you should consider how you would feel if the neighbor next door painted their house a loud color and you had to look at it every time you walked outside.

Do you really want your home to stick out like a glaring obstacle on a street with mostly neutral homes? Sometimes you need to keep your neighborhood cohesive and attractive. Your neighbors will likely appreciate your kindness.

6. Don’t Jump on Board with Trends

A good exterior paint job will last for years to come, so jumping onboard with the latest home trends isn’t always the best idea. Choose your home color based on something you like and what’s right for your home rather than what’s trending. Trends come and go, but your amazing exterior paint job may last a decade or longer.

7. Don’t Overlook Your Landscape

You can easily overlook your landscape when purchasing paint for your home’s exterior. Be mindful of outdoor buildings or recreational elements, such as pergolas, arbors, or sheds that may clash with a specific color of paint. Determine if you will paint these other items or if you need to match exterior paint to complement them.

Consider the type of vegetation around your home. Painting your home green may not be the best idea if your home is surrounded by evergreen trees or shrubs. Alternatively, if your lawn is sparse with little or no vegetation, a brightly painted exterior will look glaring with nothing to balance out the color.

8. Don’t Not Respect Your Roof

While driving through your local community, you’ve probably witnessed the glaring reality of a roof that clashes with an exterior paint job. This is a catastrophe you want to avoid at all costs. No matter how great your exterior paint color looks, a mismatched roof is not something you want your home to be remembered for.

Always test a sample of the paint color to see if it’s a good match for your roof. Never judge a color by what you see in the paint store, as fluorescent lighting in stores can alter the appearance of colors versus what they look like in natural outdoor lighting. Seek the opinion of your painting contractor before you make your final decision.

The best exterior paint color for your home is one that considers other vital factors in your home’s structure and in the landscape surrounding your home. Does your home have red brick, stone or other materials with a natural color? What color will your door be painted, like going with a red door or a dark color? What about black shutters on a bright white siding color, or should you consider a more light color, such as off-white and dark gray? A great exterior color enhances the unique features of your home, complements your outdoor surroundings, and fits well with your neighborhood.

Are you ready to give your exterior the renovation it deserves? Take the guesswork out of the process by working with Elite Painting KC. We have an innate understanding of the best painting practices and a commitment to same day estimates and accurate project timelines. Our team makes renovating your home’s exterior fun and easy.