Exterior Paint – Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Home Looking Fabulous

most popular exterior paint colors

Choosing a color for the siding

When it comes to sheer square footage, a home’s siding takes up a lot of visual real estate and is usually the most difficult (and most expensive) area to paint. Consequently, you should decide on a paint color for your siding first and then match your trim and accents to it. To start your color selection, realize your home actually isn’t a blank canvas. You have a lot of fixed elements to consider when establishing your color palette.

  1. 1. The roof

    If you have a brown roof, steer toward a warm siding color, like Sherwin-Williams’ Avenue Tan. If you have a gray or black roof, you can go cooler — Olympic’s Coast of Maine is a popular choice. Take a step back and observe any other fixed, unpaintable elements on your home’s exterior, like copper awnings, stone chimneys, and brick features.

  2. 2. Consider your neighbors

    If one house next door to yours is navy-blue and another is white, you shouldn’t veer into warm-color territory or paint your house navy-blue or white (no one likes a copycat). Instead, match their home’s color intensity. Something like Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray would pair well: It stays in the cool spectrum and doesn’t duplicate their selections. You want to have personality but not stand out in a bad way.

  3. 3. Don’t ignore local cues

    Beyond the colors on your block, do some research (you can probably just drive around your town!) to make sure your color scheme is historically and regionally appropriate. “Imagine the colors you see on homes in Key West,” says Amy Krane, an architectural color consultant. “Pink and turquoise feel natural in a tropical region but would be wholly out of place in the Midwest.”

  4. 4. Keep scale and depth in mind

    The color of your home can trick the eye. For instance, painting your home a light color like Benjamin Moore’s November Rain can make it seem larger than it is and visually brings it forward to the curb. Conversely, dark colors can make a home look smaller but more substantial and set back — Benjamin Moore’s Boston Brick has this effect.

  5. 5. Test before you commit

    Always paint a test patch and observe it at different times of day to see how the sunlight affects it. Keep in mind that all colors will always appear lighter on the exterior of your house than on a paint chip in the store. “Natural lighting makes everything appear lighter and brighter,” says paint color specialist Kristie Barnett. “Always go darker than you think you’d want.”

Click here to see how to chose trim and accent colors!

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