How to pick paint colours for the outside of your home.

Paint Doctor Roof And Wall Coatings

Everybody wants a great looking house, and you can imagine it in your head ‘the way the colours fly off the palette!’, but real life can be a different game sometimes.

Do you ever remember walking down the street as a teenager and screaming in laughter at a crazy pink house?

Or seeing a house, so dim-drab grey as you rode past it it just knocked you into the cold recessions of your consciousness?

There are a number of problems to deal with when painting your house in a neighbourhood, being too bland or colourful or but just a few.

These are not the only problems; there are other hurdles as well. Like landscaping, hardscaping and roofing, not to mention homeowners association guidelines or not stepping out onto your pavement and getting that ugly look from Goerge your (not so funny) neighbour because you painted your house the wrong a colour that doesn’t suit theirs or entertain the neighbourhood’s taste.

Where do we get home from here?

There are a few simple rules to observe.

The truth is painting your house the right colour will not only bring out its best characteristics, but will also hide its design flaws and elevate its market value.

Three in One

Generally a paint scheme has three major shades: field, which dominates (most of what you see at first when you look from the street), accent, which brings all the little areas of your house to life, like doors, shutters and etc. And your trim, which highlights your roof edging, railings, window and door casing.

Your field colour should dominate your choice of accent, and trim.

Are you wanting your house to look more prominent on the street? Then you want to go with painting it a light colour. Light colours can add a sense of size and dignity to your house. There’s a reason why many grand estates are painted white.




Do you want more drama?

Then you want to paint your house a darker colour. Darker colours will shrink your house, but give it a stronger, more solid appearance.




Your trim colour is also very important.

Usually, you want to paint your trim a different colour, and a colour that contrasts strongly with the field colour. But this is not always the case, and in some instances people do paint their trim colour the same as the field colour but sometimes, this is not to work and it gives the house a a rather ‘unfinished’ look. Your safest bet is most always keeping the trim lighter than the field.

Although for stunning little effects:

You can either (a) touch your light field with a dark trim, giving it an ‘eyeliner’ kind of effect on your home.

Or (b) paint your light field with a dark trim giving your windows a ‘picture frame’ effect and making them look like they were hung up. Also very visual.

So, what should we do with the accent colours?

Accent colours can be fresh and exciting. Feel free to go bold with them, but don’t go overboard.

Remember that, a door, a shutter or a window frame painted in of those fresh and exciting colours can look very enticing, but not so much when you start to extend it to all the other little places that shouldn’t have it. Remember when your little one drew something lovely in that bright colour, and you thought it was just too adorable? But then they started to draw it on the walls, the kitchen and all the other very valuable surfaces that you call a home.

Good places for accent colours, are doors, shutters and window frames.


What are the most important things to remember when choosing a colour scheme?


Whether you have a Victorian, Tuscan or Modern style home, it is good advice to generally observe the style and era guidelines. This is not to say, that every house shouldn’t have its own personality, but not all houses look good in ‘party dress’ all the time.

If you’re a little confused about this, remember that many paint dealers offer a great collection of accurate colour combinations. There are also excellent professional services that specialise in this area, that you can call on anytime.

Neighbourhood awareness is also a big thing. Remember that your neighbourhood, in some instances will have a certain style and a cultural feel. It might be a good idea just to adopt a tip or two, from that. Before your neighbours come running down the driveway with long sticks in their hands. In other cases you might have upset your neighbourhood homeowner’s association rules, and guidelines. Not every neighbourhood has one, but you would do your best just to check it out.

Look for the unchangeable.

Many people don’t take into consideration certain foundations of their home when painting, and don’t think they will play a part in the colour, but they do. For instance: Have you ever thought about the effect the colour of your roof would have on your painting your house? Do you plan to paint your roof over, again? Or are you just going to keep it the same colour? What about your driveway?  Do you have a brick or a stone driveway? What colour are those bricks or stones? What kind of property do you have? Are there a lot of trees and rocks on your property? Have you taken those into consideration? Nature can be a great informant to your palette. You may find underlying tones undertones of brown and green.

Try it first!

Painting the outside of your house is a bigger deal than painting a room, so you will want to be extra diligent with the colours you pick, the way a paint colour looks on a chip inside a store varies greatly from the way it will look in the natural light or an a large surface.

Painted on large surfaces paint begins to look lighter, natural light also changes the way paint colour looks. Chances are you’ll need a much darker colour than the one you first picked.

Get a colour wheel and choose a few colour schemes, then buy a quart of each colour – and a quart of several other colours that are nearby on the colour strips (due to above reasons). Buy quarts before you buy gallons. Most paint stores sell quarts of paint at reasonable prices so you can try out several colours or colour combinations before you commit to a scheme. Find an inconspicuous area (the larger the better) area of your house first, and try them out. Let them sit in different times of the day and night (also in varying weather conditions) so you can see how they look.

Extra Tips

  • Contrasting colours can be nice, and this can draw attention to architectural detail, but at times can clash so badly that it actually retracts from the detail. Be flexible and be willing to experiment, but remember that staying within one colour family is the safest. Instead of using a different accent colour, why not use a lighter or darker shade of field colour?
  • You can find inspiration in the inside of your home for a colour scheme too. Look at your living room and your furnishings. Harmonizing the inside and outside of your home can be a great way to find a match that works.
  • Sometimes flying in the face of the past can be just what you need. Painting your old architectural a house a bright and vivid colour can bring effective and astonishing results to detail. Check out older houses who have done this for the cue..
  • The more intense a colour is the more likely it is to fade, sometimes even change colour altogether. On the other hand, dark colours absorb more heat and suffer more moisture than light colours. These pose more of a maintenance threat. But they don’t show dirt so easily. Think about how you can add longevity to colours when choosing them?

No matter how you feel about picking paint colours, there is always a mass of help out there. Most of paint stores have pre-selected colour palettes arranged by style and colour range that specify just the right, necessary field, trim and accent. Some paint stores even have online programs that show you how to pick the right colour. Visit your local friendly paint store today for top advice!

We look forward to seeing you there..