Trying to choose exterior paint colors for your house can be super stressful and overwhelming. There are so many choices that it can be difficult to pick one.
Here are my tips for choosing the best exterior paint color.
How To Choose Exterior Paint Colors For Your House
Last Summer we had our house painted. The colors we ended up with turned out beautiful and I would choose them over and over again.
However, that isn’t always the case. I have heard several versions of the same story from others: they picked a color they thought would look one way and it turned out looking totally different.
That isn’t uncommon at all. Exterior paint colors can look so different from the tiny paint chip you pick up at the store. Very often, colors seem to change when they are in direct sunlight, partial sunlight and shade.
To make sure you really understand what your exterior paint will look like, here are some important things to do.
Number 1 – Scout Your Colors
With the help of Pinterest and Instagram you can find so many examples of paint on real houses. The color we ultimately chose was from a girl I saw on Instagram that painted her house the same. It’s probably not a color I would have thought much of just by looking at a tiny sample, but on her house it was beautiful.
Take advantage of people that have already painted their house to decide what you like or don’t. What’s a better way to test a paint color than to see the exact match on another house?
This is my color scheme that was inspired by Laine and Layne.
A side note: driving around to scout paint colors does not work. This is only good to give you an idea of the general direction you want to go (light colors, dark colors, shades of green, etc). Unless you have the exact paint number or name, you will never be able to match it.
Number 2 – Look At The Undertones
Each color has undertones and those undertones can really change the way a paint color looks in different lighting. For instance, have you ever painted something you thought was grey but after it was all said and done it looked blue?
Paint undertones determines whether a color looks really warm or really cool and whether you see a hint of red or green or yellow.
Every paint number can be looked up online and will tell you the undertones that are being pulled. You can see below in my test painting I did, there are definite blue undertones on some and yellow on others.
One of the reasons we chose the color we did, is because it had very little undertones. Exterior is tricky because very often the front of your house versus the side can look very different depending on where the sun is in the sky throughout the day.
Number 3 – Test, test, test
This is probably the most important tip of all. Whatever you do, don’t select a paint color for your entire home based on one 2-inch paint chip. Buy samples of the paint colors you like (these are about $2-3 at Home Depot) and try them on your house.
Try the paint colors on different parts of the house so you can see what they look like in sun and in shade. Plus, you can really see how those undertones pull.
Take your sweet time choosing a color and test as many as you possibly can.
Collingwood Paint Color
Our ultimate decision was Benjamin Moore Collingwood. We chose a basic white for the trim and Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black for the front door.
We also added black gutters and went with black lighting.
I think the next addition should be black board and batten shutters.
I hope this was helpful to you if you are looking to paint your house exterior soon. Remember, the best thing you can do is give yourself plenty of time and just test colors out until you find your favorite.
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Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.
Afton Jackson says
It made a lot of sense when you stated that undertones and exterior colors are tricky to pick since the time of day can change the way they look. We live in a particularly sunny part of the country, so I might end up picking a color that will look too bright most of the time. To prevent this, I’ll keep your points about undertones and paint colors in mind when I work with a professional painter in the area.
I need help !! We have a light grey siding ( saving to update someday to a dark dark grey ) Also in the works if getting copper gutter and roof. Painted porch a black grey and stained the wood an orangey-yellow. Tried to color match the foundation to the stain and have gotten sooooo many hateful comments about how ugly it is, but they loved the porch. What color should I use ?? I’m trying to plan for the end result, even if the process is slow. Any advice would be appreciated thank you. Ps. I don’t know what color to paint the door. It is black as well as garage doors. Should it stay
Dainel Leonardo says
I loved reading your blog post on how to choose exterior paint colors for your house. I really appreciate the tips you gave on the last paragraph and would love to read more about your experience with choosing exterior paint colors for your house.
You are correct that driving around to scout paint colors may not be the most effective approach when it comes to choosing the right paint color for your home. Here are a few reasons why:
The lighting outside is very different from the lighting inside your home, which means that the color you see outside may look very different when applied to the walls of your home. Indoor lighting can also affect how the color appears, making it important to consider the lighting in each room when selecting colors.
This is such a helpful guide for anyone looking to refresh the exterior of their home. The article offers great advice on how to choose the perfect paint color that will not only make your house look beautiful but also increase its value. It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look of your home. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the options out there, be sure to check out HomeSolutions for expert guidance and hvac repair services to help you make the best decisions for your home. Their team of professionals will work with you every step of the way to ensure your vision becomes a reality.