The names are enough
to make your head spin. Choosing a paint color becomes even more baffling when
you consider that most homes use at least three different shades -- one for the
siding and two or more for trim and accents such as doors, railings and window
selection of contrasting trim and accent paint colors can draw attention to
architectural details and disguise design flaws. A poor selection can make a
house seem flat and featureless -- Or so garish that the color overwhelms the
architecture. But, how do you decide?
Here are a few
pointers to guide you as you choose house paint colors.
If you are planning to paint an older home, you have three options.
You can hire a pro to analyze old paint chips and recreate the original color.
You can refer to historic color charts and select shades that might have been used at
the time your home was built.
Or, you can fly in the face of history and choose bright modern colors to dramatize
third option can produce startling and exciting results. But before you buy 10 gallons of bubblegum pink, it's a good idea to look at what your neighbors are doing.
A fluorescent colored Victorian that looks splendid in San Francisco will seem
wildly out of place in more conservative neighborhoods. Even if you are opting
for a more subtle scheme, you'll want to make sure that your house colors are
compatible with the houses next door.
Existing Paint Colors
Your house is your canvas, but it is not blank. Some colors are already
established. What color is your roof? Is there mortar or other siding that will
not be painted? Will doors and railings remain their existing colors? New paint
does not need to match existing colors, but it should harmonize.
It may seem comical to paint entire house based on the pattern of a pillow
case, but this approach does make sense. The color of your furnishings will
guide you in the selection of your interior paint colors, and your interior
paint colors will influence the colors you use outside. Once again, your goal
is to harmonize.
Depending on the size and complexity of your home, you may be choosing two,
three or as many as six colors. In addition to the color you select for siding,
you'll want to select accent colors for trim and details such as shutters,
moldings and columns. This can be tricky, because too many colors will
overwhelm your house and too few will make it seem two dimensional.
Darks and Lights
Light colors will make your house seem larger. Dark siding or dark bands of
trim will make your house seem smaller, but will draw more attention to
details. Darker shades are best for accenting recesses, while lighter tones
will highlight details which project from the wall surface. On traditional Victorian
homes, the darkest paint is often used for the window sashes.
Contrasting colors will draw attention to architectural details. But, extreme
contrasts will clash and actually detract from details. To be safe, consider
staying within a single color family. For some accents, try using a darker or
lighter shade instead of a different color.
A burst of a single color on just one part of your home may give it a lopsided
appearance. Strive to balance colors over the entire building.
The more intense a color, the more likely it is to fade. After a few years,
vivid blues and deep reds will seem more subdued. Dark colors also pose more
maintenance problems. Dark colors absorb heat and suffer more moisture problems
than lighter shades. And because dark paint fades, it's difficult to touch up.
You thought you only had to pick colors? Sorry! In addition, you'll also need
to decide on the sheen of your paint -- glossy, semi-gloss or flat. The
glossier the surface, the more likely it is to show imperfections, brush
strokes and touch up marks. On the other hand, glossy surfaces are easier to
clean. Many homeowners opt to use flat paint for walls and semi-gloss or glossy
paint for columns, railings and window sashes.
Color swatches look very different when they are brought out of the store and
viewed in natural sunlight. Also, colors appear lighter on large surfaces than
they do on small samples. It's best to test your selected color in one area
before buying gallons of paint.
Article source : http://architecture.about.com.
Wouldn’t it be great to preview color combinations on your house, before spending a lot of money on paint?
You can, with a virtual painting program called Color Style Studio. Just point and click to see rooms,
furnishings, and house exteriors in so many different colors. Use this program to explore possibilities,
then test spot your chosen paints in a small area. Visit the home page of this software for more information.