Tips For Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

By: Ed Waller and Budda Oliver

1. Style is everything. Some styles, like Victorian, lend themselves to elaborate multi-color schemes. Others, like Georgian or Colonial, are better suited to two or three colors.

2. What won’t be painted? Consider the colors of things that won’t be painted such as roofs, wood, masonry, or stone.

3. Get nosey about your neighbors. Examine the color of surrounding homes. How do you want your home to stand out?

4. Maintenance minded? Intense colors are more likely to fade. They absorb heat and are more affected by moisture than lighter hues. And when you need to touch it up, it’s difficult to match.

5. Follow the rules. Some communities actually have restrictions on color palettes. Be sure to consult your community or homeowners association to see if such rules apply.

6. Buy the best. The best paint will withstand the elements better than a cheaper type and in the long run may actually save money. The same goes for brushes and rollers.

There are many reasons why you may be considering repainting the exterior of your home. Perhaps you are trying to sell your house, your original exterior paint is fading or damaged, or you may just be in the mood for a new look for your home.

New paint can add curb appeal to your house, and if selling, a new coat of paint on the exterior will have a tremendous effect on the value of your home. Remember that, in addition to increased house value, the value of your entire neighborhood will rise with a new exterior paint job.

Choosing the correct paint colors will be critical in determining the final outcome of your decision. In other words, taking the time to consider the effects of your color choices can be the difference between a stunning home and a tacky house.

Color Popularity and Rankings

According to a recent survey conducted by the Rohm & Hass Paint Quality Institute, the most popular color choice of homes across America is white or off-white. Second is beige, tan, or brown with 28% of people claiming those colors as their home’s colors. Next is gray, followed by blue, then green and yellow. Coming in last on the list is red and pink.

A similar study conducted by Realty Time Magazine offers slightly different results, with white again having the majority of votes, but followed by gray, then blue, tan/brown, cream, beige, green, yellow, and red in last again. It may be obvious that white is the most common color, because white is actually the color with the most shades (even though white is not actually a color, but a neutral).

Choosing Your Home’s Exterior Colors

Prominent Colors of Your Home

There are many factors to take into account when deciding on new colors for the exterior of your home. Firstly, consider the colors that will be remaining on your home, such as the roof color, decks, or any brick or stone walls or structures. Narrow your options first by finding out which colors will go well with these prominent, fixed features.

Surrounding Neighborhood

Next, be sure to take into consideration the rest of the neighborhood. It is typically a good idea to stay within the same relevant context of colors as your neighbors. Remember that your home’s color scheme will have a direct effect on the value of your neighborhood.

In fact, some restricted communities, homeowner’s associations, and historical neighborhoods may have restrictions on what colors you may paint your home, so be sure to research any constraints your community may have.

Color Style Studio

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.

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