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March 15, 2010

Tips On Choosing Exterior Color For Your Home

It's what's on the outside that counts when it comes to picking paint and color for the exterior of your home!  Have you started thinking about exterior painting yet?  It's the right time to start considering colors, paint, or stain.  I've shared my take on house painting and color in the current Better Homes & Gardens Exteriors: "The exterior of a home is public art.  What you put out there gives people the first glimpse of your design sensibility.  It tells the story of who you are and projects your image."  What does your home say about you? 

Exterior House Paint

Many of us procrastinate on this project, but just imagine the Jones' trying to keep up with YOU once the job is done!  Now is the perfect time to start planning ahead for the exterior of your home.  Depending on your taste and needs, let's figure out the project that's right for you. 

If your home's exterior is in good shape and just needs a touch of color, your front door can be a great place to use some bold and interesting color choices.  Think of your front door as a piece of jewelry on an outfit.  Let it be unique, intriguing, and unexpected if you want to make it memorable.  Here are three tweaks on the classic red, blue, and black door.  Deep Rose has a hint of orange to update it.  Gentlemen's gray is a deep blue with a teal tint underneath.  Kendall Charcoal is just gorgeous because it's a rich deep gray rather than a traditional black.

Front door colors

How do you know if your house is ready for a fresh coat of color and paint?  If it's been a few years since you've painted anything on the outside of your home, this is a great year to get to it!  Since we're coming out of such a harsh season, your house deserves a little spa treatment.  A new coat of paint will make you feel like you've moved to a new house!  Not only is it a whole house makeover, it's also an important step in protecting your home from rough weather that's surely ahead of us, too.

Remember These Four Important Tips For Choosing Exterior Colors:

Listen to Your Mother-- Mother Nature, that is!  Pay attention to your natural surroundings and use the colors in them as inspiration.  If you have a very colorful landscape, you may choose to let the house be more neutral.  Or you may take to colorful camouflage and use one or two of the saturated colors borrowed from your surroundings.  The two approaches say very different things about the person who chooses them.

Exterior Neutral

Exterior Fall Colors

Work Within the System-- This is a project that's meant to be last a few years and look great, too.  So be as selective about the paint product as you are about the color itself because they work together as a system.  The most beautiful colors can be disappointing if you use a paint that wears away too quickly.  Read, ask contractors and your friends for the most honest advice on what works where you live.  Benjamin Moore has a great stain called Arborcoat that has just launched this season.  Also, many of you have used Aura on the interior, but have you tried Aura Exterior?  It's designed to live up to the Aura name and protect your house on the exterior, too

Consider the Neighborhood-- Look at your neighbors and decide if you want your colors to fit in or stand out.  It's always nice to compliment the neighbors with a palette that may be similar in tone, but still unique in color choice.  There are also many other factors to consider like light, architectural style, and weather.

Designer Trick--   Here's a major rule of thumb about getting the right color.  Color will usually look lighter on the exterior than on a chip.  Our natural environment is filled with light that makes the color appear a bit lighter than you may expect.  That means that we can confidently select deep or dark colors when it comes to the outside.  Whenever possible, paint a sample of the colors your considering on a more hidden part of your house before you decide so you can really see the combination in your environment.

Over the next few posts, we'll gathering color advice from regional experts who will help us discover what colors are classic and which ones are trend-worthy in many areas.  What are your favorite colors for exteriors in your area?


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consider the neighborhood, thats a great one to add. so many people dont do that and their house stands out to much and almost looks out of place.

Very nice! Roof color should always have a darker shade to ring a strong home. House exterior is the mirror of what is inside the house and sometimes tells what kind of home a family had built. So, in picking color combination for your house, consider the atmosphere that your family creates and what they want.

Good color combination, huh! Hmmm… Do you have any idea about the best color for roofing? My wife wants to paint our roof, but we don't know which color is suited for our house.

Different color combination adds excitement and freshness to the house. It also makes the home more personal. There are already a variety of choices in colors available in the market that would really hit the trend today.

Great post! Thank you so much for these very useful tips. It was really perfect for me especially now that I'm thinking of what would be the best paint color that best suit my house.

I've followed a lot of these tips to the letter and it's never come out the way I imagined it. I ended up contacting a professional to do the job right the first time so I stop wasting paint.

We are actually having our house painted this week and ended up going with Gentleman's Gray for the main body! It's a lovely color.

Call it whatever you like since color is in the hand of the paint brush holder! :)

I really like those combinations, i think I like the grey/blue one the best. Sorry I should say Charcoal.

What a gorgeous combination, Julie! Gettysburg Grey is a very confident choice and must compliment your MI natural terrain nicely, too. Thanks for sharing and reading along, too!

We had our Michigan cape cod painted last year in Gettysburg Grey with a crisp white trim and a chocolate mahogany front door. The contrast added so much depth and interest and drew attention the home's character (dental trim, etc), which had been lost on its previous white-on-white scheme.

So true, Marie! Do you find that lots of people forget about such an important (large) surface-- the roof?

Great ideas! Also consider the roof, walkway colors and any other colors that can't be changed such as vinyl windows.

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