Choosing Exterior Paint for the Home

Color impacts every part of a person’s life. From the way they think to the way they feel, color may play a role in their mood, actions, and more.

Choosing Exterior Paint for the Home

Color impacts every part of a person’s life. From the way they think to the way they feel, color may play a role in their mood, actions, and more. Many people fail to take this into account when the time comes to paint the home’s exterior. Color adds both value and personality to a home, so the homeowner needs to evaluate all color choices.

How can a person differentiate their home using color? According to house painters, the basic principles of color theory become of help as the selection process moves forward. How should the color wheel be used at this time?

Using the Color Wheel to Pick Exterior Home Colors

The color wheel has 12 distinct sections. When picking exterior home colors, look for two colors next to each other on the color wheel. Artists refer to these as analogous colors. Choose three colors that sit side-by-side and use them for the home. One color may be used to paint the home while the other two are reserved for the trim and accessories. Using this color scheme limits contrast, creating a calm and serene feel to the home.

Complementary colors, on the other hand, provide significant contrast when used together for a home. These colors sit opposite each other on the color wheel and work best when used in their purest forms. Red and green are good examples of complementary colors. Think of Christmas decor and how the red stands out against a green backdrop. This same effect can be achieved by choosing complementary colors for the home.

A third option involves using a triad. This method combines elements of both analogous and complementary color schemes. Start with a color and find its complement. Next, look at the colors on either side of the complementary color and use those in the color scheme. This results in a low-contrast color combination that is pleasing to the eye.

Regardless of what colors are selected, the homeowner needs to follow one guideline. One color must take center stage in the overall scheme. The other two colors should not be dominant in the overall picture.

Warm or Cold?

Every color is either warm or cool, depending on where it falls in the color spectrum. Colors found in nature, such as yellows, reds, and oranges, fall on the warm side of the spectrum. Blues, greens, and purples, on the other hand, are cool colors. How is this information of help when choosing exterior colors for the home?

Warm colors do exactly as the name suggests. They make people think of warm things, such as sunlight, and evoke excitement in the viewer. These colors look as if they advance or come closer, which is why interior decorators often recommend using them in large rooms to make them feel cozy. People often associate warm colors with passion and joy. They stimulate the viewer in some way.

Cool colors, on the other hand, relax and calm a person. When a person sees these colors, they often think of water, snow, or ice. Cool colors used in a small room make the space appear larger than it is. Decorators often choose these colors for bedrooms and bathrooms.

The location of the home plays a role in which colors are commonly used. Warmer colors frequently appear on southern homes, while northerners typically prefer cooler tones. When a homeowner combines warm and cool tones, the warm colors appear larger and more prominent. They will be easier to view than the cool shades.

Classic Color Schemes to Consider

When painting the exterior of the home, a person should not go with the latest trends. Doing so could leave the homeowner very unhappy in the coming years when this trend fades from fashion. They will either be forced to stay with the colors they no longer love or repaint the home, which comes with a high price tag.

Certain color combinations, however, never go out of style. A homeowner may wish to choose one of these combinations. The house painter plays a role in the owner’s satisfaction because no color combination can overcome shoddy work.

Choose buttercream yellow as the main color for the home as it creates a happy tone. Use white for the trim and accents. To show off the beauty of the yellow and white colors, invest in a black roof. The contrast is extremely appealing.

Many people today choose white as the main color of their home. They dress it up by using aquamarine for the trim and shutters. However, they take it a step further and paint the front door tangerine. Colonial architectural styles benefit greatly from this color scheme.

Stormy gray serves as an excellent main color for a home. Use paprika red for the front door, window frames, and trim to provide a nice contrast. Finish the look with bright white for the window sashes.

Additional Factors to Consider

When choosing exterior paint, consider the architectural style of the home. What features should be highlighted? New homes or those that are larger might benefit from the use of over three colors. Look into using two colors for the trim to add visual interest. When doing so, choose colors that are adjacent on the color wheel with only a minimal change in value.

If there is no natural way to split colors in the home, don’t force it. It’s best to stick with a simpler color scheme. Look into using the roof as the third color, such as the buttercream-yellow color scheme outlined above. Regardless of what color scheme the owner chooses, ensure it coordinates with the intensity level of other homes in the neighborhood.

Research historic and regional color schemes when choosing exterior paint. Learn about any HOA requirements regarding paint colors. If the home is in a historical district, learn about any restrictions in place regarding paint colors, as well. Nobody wants to paint their home, only to learn they must redo it as they violated some ordinance or law.

Color Options for the Trim

Homeowners want to know whether the trim should be lighter or darker than the main color of the home. Light trim colors typically work best because the human eye naturally gravitates to the lightest color in any combination. The trim typically highlights the architectural features of the home, so this is what the homeowner wants people to see first. Use different colors for the trim if desired.

Consider different color combinations for the trim. Many homeowners with horizontal or vertical banding select a color different from the one used for the trim surrounding windows. The color of the window trim may also differ from the color of the soffits and eaves.

Don’t overlook the garage door when choosing exterior colors for the home. Avoid painting the garage door the same color as the trim. The goal is to have the door blend in with the home rather than serve as an accent piece. Painting the door in the accent color will make it look bigger than it is. Consider painting the garage the same color as the house. If a slightly different shade is desired, go one shade darker or lighter.

Home and Lot Size

Homeowners should take the size of the house and compare it to the size of the lot when choosing a house color. A dark color will allow the house to appear more proportional to the land if the house is very large and sits on a small piece of land. A homeowner can achieve the same effect by using colors that strongly contrast or light and dark colors together. Compare several color combinations to find one that enhances the design.

When using deep colors, avoid white trim unless the goal is to make the house look smaller. Choose a mid-tone color for the trim. Doing so enhances the primary color and allows it to appear brighter.

Sticking with Neutrals

Some people don’t want color for the home’s exterior. They prefer to stay with neutral shades. There is nothing wrong with a house that is all white. The color will reflect light and appear to vary in tone as the day progresses. Having an all-white house also allows the homeowner to decorate the house using a bold color for the front door, colorful plants in the yard, or bright and bold porch furnishings to ensure the house has ample curb appeal.

Selling a Home

The exterior house color increases in importance if the owner plans to sell the home in the coming months. Experts recommend certain shades when a person is selling their home. Popular colors with potential buyers include white, off-white, taupe, and putty. Other popular options include gray, yellow, and light blue. Look at homes that recently sold in the neighborhood. Look to those listings when choosing which shade to paint the home.

Experienced house painters work with clients to choose the right colors for their homes. Ask for help if this decision seems overwhelming. The paint crew can provide suggestions on what colors work together and which don’t while considering the unique characteristics of the home. They are a wonderful resource that every homeowner should use when possible.

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