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How to Pick Your Exterior Paint Color

Curb appeal is quite a big deal in today’s home design, so making sure you have the right exterior paint colors is important. There are plenty of “stock” options that will give you a nice, monochrome feel, but they will feel quite cookie-cutter. So instead of being like everyone else, add some personality to your home, and here are some great tips to help you choose the right paint colors for you (and a bonus tip from an HGTV executive)!

Before you get to colors, put the time and money into the right paint! Houses are big, and repainting the entire exterior is an expensive and time-intensive venture. For that reason, make sure the type of paint you choose covers well, is stain resistant, stands up to weather, and (ideally), is paint and primer all-in-one. This means that once you choose your paint, it’s a single installation.

Take your permanent, exterior materials and features into account! Porches, patios, roofing, built-in planters, and a number of other permanent elements of your home come in materials that are hard to change without a full renovation (brick, stone, concrete, etc.) Use their colors and patterns to help determine between warm and cool tones, and also which colors will work and not work for your home.Take the architectural style and era of your home into account! There is such a thing as the wrong color for a specific type of home, or rather, there are colors that will just feel odd, and that defeats the purpose of painting to improve curb appeal. Just hop on Google or ask a paint store for historical color pairings for your home’s style, because that is a great place to start your paint journey.

Focus your energy on picking the right field and accent color! The field color is the main paint color for the exterior walls of your home, and will make up the majority of the painted surfaces. The accent color is for your doors, shutters, and other external design features. Keep these colors different so that the home gains depth and each feature stands out.

Let your trim color be a perfect, lighter complement to your main exterior color! Trim served a construction purpose for a home, but is also a perfect way to frame the field and accent colored areas of your home. You can go with a stark color, like white or grey, which will cause your other colors to pop more, or do something more subtle, like taking your primary color and lightening it by a few shades, which will let your accent features really stand out.

BONUS: Never rely on paint chips or a single paint sample to pick your colors! No two homes will take paint or stain in the same way, and what you see on a paint swatch may not reflect what the color actually looks like on your home. Start by asking a paint professional for help. And remember that they make small paint cans just for testing too!


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