How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors


How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors

You’ve just picked up your morning cup of coffee. The sun is shining, the windows are down, the long New England winter has finally ended. Construction projects are popping up left and right. As you drive through your neighborhood, it’s abuzz with activity. Suddenly, you stop short and do an epic double take when you see one of your neighbors has painted their house. Neon. Yellow.

It’s happened to us all at some point, right? We’ve all passed homes of varying offensive shades and thought, “What on earth where they thinking?” Bright, bold colors can work (as in Cape Town, South Africa, above) – but in your classic New England neighborhood? You’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Spring is the perfect time to give your home a new look, as well as repair any damage that may have occurred during winter storms. Choosing the right color of exterior paint can be a delicate balancing act, and, done incorrectly, can lead to a costly mistake if you don’t take some important factors into consideration.

1. Choose the right professionals. Did you know a designer can help you select your paint colors? A professional designer will help you assess your favorite colors, factor in the overall vision for your home and produce a cohesive color palette for your exterior for a nominal fee. In addition, designers have great relationships with painters and can refer you to a qualified professional painter. A successful paint job is only as good as the preparation; a professional painter will meticulously prepare all exterior surfaces before painting.

2. Think you can pick the perfect neutral? Think again. It’s easy to pick the perfect beige, right? Believe it or not, it can actually be a difficult task if you don’t understand undertones. What’s an undertone? Sensational Color defines undertones as “attributes that the human eye does not immediately see.” Beiges can have a multitude of undertones including red, green, yellow and gray. Spread out over an enormous surface, such as your entire home, a beige with a red undertone can appear pink.

3. Consider your environment. Is your lot shaded? In full-sun all day? Are you in a wooded area? By the shore? Did you know that different environmental and lighting factors can completely change how you perceive your exterior paint color? What colors are your roof, chimney and driveway? Selecting a color that works in your existing lighting conditions and complements your permanent structural elements can be a challenge – but not impossible. Both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer color visualization tools where you can upload a photo of your home and digitally apply color. It’s a great place to start, and once you’ve narrowed down your favorites, it’s vital to purchase sample pots of each color. Paint a large swatch on one side of your home, and over the next week, observe how the color changes during different times of day.

4. Consider your neighborhood. As mentioned above, no one wants to be “that house.” While maintaining your individuality and personal style is important, you also want to complement the other homes in your neighborhood. Thinking of selling in the future? Some exterior paint colors will actually help your home sell faster. Designers are knowledgeable about color trends and see which colors people respond to more readily. A real estate professional can also get you on the right color track. Our good friends, Alyson Karpowicz and Stephanie Burns at Benoit, Mizner, Simon & Co. know a lot about curb appeal. These ladies can tell you which colors get rave reviews and more showings. Often, designers and real estate pros collaborate to get homeowners top dollar for their property, so finding the right people to work with in your area is always a wise investment.

Are you thinking about adding some curb appeal to your home with a spring makeover? Choosing an exterior paint color is a big decision – but don’t fear, professional help is here! Contact us today to discuss your next exterior project.

image source