Tips for Choosing Exterior Home Colors

When you’ve decided to paint the exterior of your home, the entire project can feel overwhelming. After all, not only is it a large space to paint, but it’s also something that everyone will see.  Considering it’s a much bigger job than painting a room inside your home, it’s important to choose colors that you will enjoy looking at for years to come. But apart from selecting specific colors, which is a personal decision that can be hard to provide advice on, there are a few tips to follow when choosing paint colors for the exterior of your home.

The victorian home is noticeably bright in colorConsider the Style or Architecture of Your Home

One thing that may help influence your decision is the style or architecture of your home.

There are many different home architecture styles to keep in mind when choosing paint colors—for instance, Victorian-style homes often feature brighter colors, particularly San Francisco’s famous “Painted Ladies” homes. To paint a Victorian-style home in a drab, dull shade will stick out and look ill-fitting.

In the same vein, it would be strange to see a Southwestern-style adobe home painted, say, blue, since adobe is more of a terra cotta color naturally.

Another type of residential architecture that has very distinct color schemes include tudor homes, which are usually contrasting shades of ivory or tan and black or dark brown – the trim on a tudor home should be much darker than the body .

The trim on a tudor home should be much darker than the body which has contrasting shades of ivory or tan.

Georgian homes, traditionally more common in the South, may look best using sunny colors, like pale yellows and other demure shades. Of course, you need not rigidly adhere to architectural style expectations, but it is something to take into consideration.

A georgian home are familiar in the sunny south does use pale yellows and other demure shades to decorate the exterior.

Before Committing to a Color Scheme, Always Paint a Large Swatch

Colors will often look different on a computer screen, a paint swatch, or in a paint can than they will on your actual home. Colors will especially look different during different times of day, depending on sunlight and time of day. Once you have narrowed down your color choices, paint a large swatch (roughly 2’x3’) near a spot on the side or back of your home, in an area where you can also swatch the coordinating accent colors—for instance, near a window. This way, you can get a feel for what the colors will look when they’re on your home, as well as what they will look like throughout the day.

Consider the Rest of Your Home

When painting your home, it’s important to consider the colors of other parts of the home, like the garage door, roof, fence, and more. For instance, if the roof color is a rusty brown color, painting your home a deep orange may be a bit overwhelming. Likewise, if you have a black roof, painting your home dark gray will look gloomy.  You may also want to consider the color of things like the fence—fences may be repainted relatively easily, but it might be a hassle you don’t want to take on.

Don’t Be Afraid of White and Off-White

Oftentimes, homeowners shy away from painting their homes white or off-white for fear it will look like a blank canvas, too plain, or will get dirty easily. Don’t be afraid of going for a bright white or rich off-white—choosing the right accents can make the blank-canvas base look more visually interesting and can also invoke a classic look—we’ve all seen white homes with dark shutters and red doors – it’s a popular look for a reason.

When you’re choosing a color for the exterior of your home, don’t rush the process. You can use software to try out different color combinations on your home, but always be sure to test it out on your home before committing—you don’t want to end up choosing a color you like on a screen or paint chip but hate when it’s in real life.