Six Things to Consider When Choosing Your Exterior Paint Color

February 9, 2017


Deciding on a color palette for the exterior of your home can be challenging. There are multiple factors to consider including taking into account: the landscaping, surrounding materials, architecture, and style of the neighborhood. Unlike selecting interior colors, which is mainly based upon the homeowner’s personal tastes, exterior hues need to show off your biggest investment. This puts quite a bit of pressure on homeowners to choose the right color scheme that will work for both their personal style and for the home’s surroundings. With these things in mind here’s our list of top six things to consider when deciding on a color that will last many years.


  1. Existing Elements and Permanent Materials – Do you have existing brick or a stone foundation, patio, or accents that would not be cost effective to replace? Some colors in the immediate surrounding of the home are already established such as the roof color or asphalt hue. These colors need to be taken into account before choosing a palette for the exterior of your home. While the colors do not need to match, they should harmonize at the very least. In these instances look for undertones of existing elements that might work. Consider paint colors that will tie these fixed elements together in a harmonious way.
  2. Consider the Architecture – Do you have a Victorian, Craftsman bungalow or a mid-century modern ranch? Use colors and accent colors that highlight the architecture of your home. Just as with interior painting, the exterior paint scheme should feel appropriate to the style. Research online or talk to our professional color consultant to help you determine the best exterior color for your home.
  3. Tour the Neighborhood – As you prepare to make your color selection, take some time to tour your neighborhood and look at houses that have colors that catch your eye. Pay particular attention to homes that have your similar architecture, size and distance from the street as your home. Note, as well, color palettes on either side and across from your home. You really don’t want to pick a color that is exactly the same as your neighbors or, worse yet, clashes with your next-door neighbor.
  4. Work with the Landscape – Take your cues from the natural environment around your home. If you live in a woodland area, you may want to play up those colors and go with natural colors like greens, yellows, and natural Earth tones. If you live in a sunny beachy area, colorful pastels may work well.
  5. Consider the Size and Location of the Home – Your home’s relationship to the street and its size should be a consideration. For example, does your home sit back from the street and need a brighter color so that it stands out. Or does it sit closer to the road so it may need a darker color to help it recede a bit?
  6. Consider Homeowners Association or Historical Home Bylaws – If your home is on a historical registry or you live in an area where there is a homeowners association, there may be rules and regulations that dictate exterior paint colors. Always ask before beginning any exterior project.


When you have narrowed your color scheme choices down to a few of your favorites, try out the colors on the house in small swatch sizes so you can see the color and how it looks in varying degrees of light from sunrise to sunset. It will also give you a chance to see how the colors coordinate with existing elements, landscaping and architecture of your beautiful home.

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