Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors
I love this time of year! The sun is shining, the neighbors are barbecuing and I’m doing what I love best – helping clients choose colors for their homes. With every paint contract, I offer a complimentary color consultation. I have to admit this is the part of my job that I enjoy the most. It gives me a little extra time to build a relationship with my clients. And, I learned early on that no matter how expertly we’ve applied the paint, the client gets the most enjoyment when the color is perfectly suited to their taste and lifestyle.
Along the way, I’ve learned some tried and true tips for choosing exterior paint colors. Here we go…
Be a pioneer – think outside the box
Occasionally, I check in on the big-name painting sites to see what they’re saying about the latest color trends. On one such recent visit, I read some really poor advice: consider your neighbor’s house and make sure your color selection doesn’t clash.
I couldn’t disagree more! In my experience, when the time comes to update your exterior paint colors, chances are the majority of homes in the neighborhood are also using outdated colors. Painting provides a great opportunity to make a bold move and bring in some contemporary colors… or select a color scheme that you just love, regardless of what the neighbors are up to. Don’t let the fact that so many people choose run-of-the-mill beige stop you from moving into a more interesting or vibrant palette. With a little guidance and reassurance, we can bring in an improved palette with current colors to set a new and refreshing trend in the neighborhood. Chances are, the neighbors will appreciate it as much as you do!
How to choose colors – look for inspiration – it’s all around you
Does the house have a brick or stone facade? Consider the landscaping features and the roof color. Look at pictures in magazines, online or in brochures provided by the paint stores; these are great resources for paint colors. I often ask my clients to take pictures of houses they like when they are out and about. The Houzz.com website is another great place to collect ideas and inspiration.
When choosing exterior colors go darker – don’t be afraid
Natural lighting washes out color, so you can hardly go wrong by going darker. I can’t remember a client ever saying they wish they had chosen a lighter color, but I’ve heard many remarks about wishing for a darker palate. When selecting colors, even in the darker palettes, it pays to consult with a professional who understands which colors are best with regard to fading.
Add emphasis and accent to your exterior
The house will look bigger if the garage door is painted the same color as the main color on the house. This strategy works great, unless you have a custom, fancy garage door that is a beautiful accent all by itself.
Give your front door a pop of color
I love red doors; they are just so Portland!
Black doors are classic, but there’s risk of blistering if the door gets too many hours of full sun. There is an endless selection of fun colors and palettes to match or compliment your house color, which can create a unique and beautiful focal point.
A little is enough – don’t overdo
It’s tempting to add splashes of color here, there and everywhere, but this approach is only really effective with certain architectural styles such as Victorian, craftsman or bungalow. The most common and best combination for most homes is 1) a base color, 2) a trim color and 3) a door accent color.
When in doubt, call in a professional to consult. Most of all, remember that the colors you choose say a lot about you… so don’t be afraid to let your style and preferences show!
You never need to go it alone. Give me a call and I’ll bring my color swatches over.
Until next time,