Exterior House Painting

by Jane VanOsdol on February 2, 2011

The thought of choosing paint colors for the exterior of your home can be a bit paralyzing. The last thing you want to do is choose a color that will make you the talk of the neighborhood for all the wrong reasons. So how do you go about choosing a color that will fit your home and neighborhood to a T? Let’s consider a few suggestions.

1.     One tip painting contractors will tell you is to consider the history of your home. If you happen to live in a historical home, see if you can locate any old photos of your home when it was originally built. You may be lucky enough to have had a few passed down to you. If not, you may try contacting the historical society of your city to see if they have any pictures of your home or at least similar homes. The pictures are probably in black and white, but they may include descriptions. It’s worth a try. Also, do a search on the Internet. Many Web sites suggest color choices for historical homes based on the home’s design.

2.     One consideration to keep in mind for this home improvement is to choose a color that will harmonize with the color of your roof. About.com conveniently lists possibilities based on the color of your roof.

Green roof – Gray, green, or white house colors

Black roof – Gray, blue, or white house colors

Brown roof – Brown, tan, yellow, or white house colors

Gray roof – Gray, blue, green, black, or white house colors

Red roof – Gray, black, or brown house colors

3.     One tried and true choice for exterior house colors is to stick with a neutral color for the outside walls of the house.  Choose any shade of white, off-white, beige, tan or taupe. If you really want to keep it classic, choose white for the trim around windows and any structural elements. However, if you’re feeling a little braver, choose a brighter color for the trim work. Let your plantings or flowers be your inspiration here. What color of flowers do you have in your yard? Blues, yellows, reds or greens could all work for your trim work.

4.     A final suggestion for choosing a paint color for your home is to choose colors opposite each other on the color wheel. These are called complementary colors and serve to enhance each other. You would use one color on the walls of the house and the other color for the trim work. For example, red and green are opposite each other on the color wheel. However, you don’t want your house to appear garish, so you will want to choose toned down versions of these colors. Instead of a primary green, perhaps look at an olive green for your home and then a deeper burgundy to complement it.

If you still feel stuck, tap into the expertise of the painters who will be painting your house. They should be able to give you some sound advice and suggestions for your home. Soon you’ll have a home that will be the talk of the neighborhood—for all the right reasons.

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