Selecting Exterior Paint Colors

One of the most common consultations I work on is selecting paint colors both interior and exterior. However, I find most home owners have the hardest time pulling the trigger on their exteriors. It is such an overwhelming task not only knowing what direction to go in, but also which paint vendor to use, and what colors to pair with your existing finishes like the brick and roof. There are many factors to consider when making such a big decision, but here are a few things to consider when selecting colors for your home’s exterior.

  1. Time period of the home. This should really be a no brainer, but unfortunately it is not. I am a big proponent for respecting a home’s architecture. Even if you don’t prefer the style or you have a less specific style home, its important to stay consistent to the style of your home.

  2. Your neighbors. Before making a decision, take a look at the houses surrounding yours. You may love the way the white brick and navy shutters look on your neighbors house, but if you want to be a good neighbor you’ll not copy them exactly. Even if you have a stack stone accent and your neighbor doesn’t, its a good rule of thumb to not use a similar color scheme past two or three houses down the street.

  3. Don’t be afraid of color! In renovating this historic home for resale, I didn’t want to scare potential buyers away with a bold color choice. I also didn’t want to play it safe and use a “greige” or white. Here I went with Sherwin Williams 9135 Whirlpool. Its a medium blue with gray undertones that stays true to its architectural style while also providing a fresh modern update. I put together some great subtle colors that will have character without being boldly overwhelming.

after

after

before

before

exterior color go to.png

4. Proportions. As a designer, I will say that this is where it can get tricky. I would always suggest hiring a designer to help in your selection of exterior paint and finishes, but especially when you have a more unique facade. If there are bump outs, multiple finishes, or an aesthetically more prevalent roof line, it can be hard to know where to start and when to stop. For example, our house that we just sold has a gable roof covered in dark blue/gray shingles. We knew we needed to paint it to be able to bring in interest and add curb appeal. Plus, I had hated the color of the home from day one, but of course we didn’t change it until we decided to move. With such a heavy roof, I didn’t want to go with a light color on the siding. We didn’t have a brick skirt or any other aesthetically heavy material to help balance the visual weight of the roof. So I went with a dark gray to not only maximize the architectural details, but to help shift the focus away from the roof. Color I went with for the siding is Sherwin Williams SW7068 Grizzle Gray.

before

before

after

after

When deciding on exteriors, I always like to use all the tools at my disposal. Specifically I love the sherwin williams color snap visual that lets you visualize how the colors will look on your own image of your home. https://www.sherwin-williams.com/visualizer#/active Selecting your exterior colors can be a daunting task, but hopefully these guidelines and tools can help!