Tips for Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Colors for Your Home

Painting the outside of your home increases its resale value and curb appeal. The problem though is that selecting exterior color schemes isn't always easy. Choosing colors for exterior paint can definitely be a little more tricky than choosing colors for interior painting and since the new colors are visible by everyone, it pays to spend plenty of time picking out the right colors. 

Style of the house

It's a good idea to go with exterior house paint colors that aren't going to clash with surrounding neighbors. That doesn't mean that your house has to look like every other house on the block, but it's a good idea to choose a sensible exterior paint scheme that isn't the complete opposite of the general paint schemes found in your neighborhood. Unusual colors could definitely impact your resale if you plan to sell your home in the future.

Some factors to consider: What is the architectural style of your home? Victorian? Traditional? Ranch? Cape Cod? One great way to get color ideas is to simpy drive around the neighborhood in search of an architectural style similar to your home and make note of the paint color schemes. 

Color and Size Perception

Painting a small house with lighter colors will give the illusion that the house is bigger than it really is, while painting the same small house with darker colors will make it appear smaller in size. Darker colors also fade faster from the sun than lighter colors.

Use the roof color on the house as a starting point for selecting paint colors. A house with a dark roof is best painted with colors lighter than the roof, not darker. The paint doesn't have to be lighter than the roof color, but take a look at the homes on your street and you'll find that to be very common.

Choosing house paint colors similar to the color of the roof will cause everything to blend together too much without any contrast. It might look a little odd. This is also a problem if the house already looks small from the outside, because a dark roof would make the small house look even smaller.

Colors for Resale

Exterior paint schemes using neutral colors are best if you're trying to sell your home. Colors like blue, red, green and pink are not embraced by the general public. Exterior painting is expensive and a buyer will be less likely to buy a house in need of a major repaint.

The easiest way to choose exterior paint schemes is to visit your local paint store, preferably Sherwin Williams, if you have a store in your area. Take a look at the brochures for exterior color schemes. Each sample brochure will include three or more colors arranged in a proper scheme for exterior painting. This is much easier and faster than searching through the color deck for each individual color.

Buy Exterior Paint Samples

Many people buy exterior paint without buying a small paint sample first and testing it. Paper samples in a color deck aren't always accurate either, especially solid stain samples. I have found that to be the case. This is because the sample cards fade, especially the ones in the paint store that have been sitting there for a long time.

The small size of the sample card also makes it difficult to see the true color in full as it would appear on the exterior of your home. If you have chosen a few exterior paint colors you really like, buy paint samples for a few bucks and paint a small inconspicuous area in the back of your house before spending hundreds of dollars on paint. Sherwin Williams sells paint samples called Color To Go. 

Understand Color Schemes

Read about the three basic house paint color schemes and review the color wheel on the Internet. The three basic schemes used most often in interior and exterior painting are monochromatic, complementary and adjacent. Monochromatic is very popular. Monochromatic exterior paint schemes use three or more shades of one color.

Complementary uses two colors opposite from each other on the color wheel and adjacent uses two to three colors directly next to each other on the color wheel. Understanding the color schemes will help you decide how you're going to divide the colors between the shutters, front door, siding and trim.  


Schedule Your Free Estimate!  


"I called Advantage Painting for an estimate on removing wall paper in my home. Matt the owner was on time for the estimate and was very friendly. He was very professional and did the job in less than a week! I was amazed with how clean and great of a job he did! I felt very comfortable with him being in my home and he is defintely is someone you can trust! I highly recommend you give him a call, you will not be dissapointed!"

--Jacqui Majesky

Island Lake, IL

" I would absolutely recommend Matt and anyone from his team at Advantage Painting Services. Great job, great price and flexible around my tight timeline."

-- Brad Miller

Crystal Lake, IL