If you’ve built a home, remodeled a home, or you’re in the process of either, you know that choosing an exterior color for your home is one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make. Your home’s exterior is the first thing you’ll see when you come home, the first thing guests will notice, and it sets the tone for the rest of your home – it’s a big decision, so you’ll want to weigh all of your options carefully. You’ll also want to know what goes into choosing the perfect color so you can make an informed decision.
The pressure to choose the best color can feel like a lot to handle – but it shouldn’t have to be that way! When you start to feel anxious about making the big decision, the first thing to remember is that it’s just paint – with a little extra cost, you can change it if you don’t love it. The second thing you’ll want to remember is that you don’t have to do this alone. You can hire a professional designer to help you out, or you can read all the professional resources (like this one) to learn what makes a great exterior so you can feel confident in your decision.
We created this guide to help you choose the best exterior color for your home that you’ll love for years to come. Here are a few things you should know and consider when you’re making your decision.
Narrow it down
If you’ve been taking your fan deck around with you everywhere for the past few weeks trying to decide on the perfect color, set it down, take a deep breath, and narrow your options down. It’s overwhelming trying to figure out what you want when there are thousands of options in front of you, and it becomes unproductive when you’re analyzing every color on the spectrum.
Before you look at another color swatch, decide whether you want a dark, mid-tone, or light color. Doing this will allow you to narrow it down without going back to colors you know will be too dark or too light for what you’re looking for.
When in doubt, go neutral
Neutral is always a good choice. With so many different color options, you might start to gravitate toward brighter colors like yellow and blue. Unless you’ve thought long and hard about painting your exterior a bright color, going neutral is the safest choice. Bright colors are fun and can be incredible if you’re 100% committed, but if you have any doubts about it, you will most likely be happier with your outcome if you choose a neutral.
Using a neutral color for your home’s exterior also opens up more opportunities to add in pops of color and switch colors out seasonally. There are so many possibilities when it comes to home decor when you have a neutral-colored home, so keep that in mind when making your decision as well.
Don’t go too white
Did you know that a lot of homes you see that are “white” are actually “off-white?” Because your exterior is always in natural lighting, bright white paint isn’t typically the best option. If it’s too bright, it can reflect the colors around it and look totally different depending on what time it is. For example, it could look green from the grass, gray from the neighbor’s house, or simply blinding from direct sunlight.
When you’re painting your exterior white, choosing an off-white color will give you the best results. Some of our favorites are Alabaster by Sherwin Williams, Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, and White Dove by Benjamin Moore. Of course, it’s always a good idea to work with a professional designer.
Look at areas that will remain unpainted
Most houses have multiple elements, whether it’s hardie board, batten board, brick, rock, stucco, or other materials. If you’re leaving any elements unpainted like brick or rock, you’ll want to take their coloring into consideration when you’re choosing a paint color. For example, if you have warm, brown brick, you probably wouldn’t want to paint the rest of your house a cool dark gray. You’ll want to keep a nice contrast while making sure the colors complement each other.
If you’re renovating your home and decide to paint the exterior, you might consider painting over your existing brick, rock, or stucco. This can give beautiful results, but just be sure to have some contrasting elements (trim, doors, etc.) so it’s not all one solid color.
Get samples from the paint store
If you choose to follow just one piece of advice from this post, this would be the most important one. Get samples from your local paint store and see what they look like on your home! A color on someone else’s house is going to look different on yours depending on the angles, landscaping, configuration, shadows, and time of day. The best way to know what your house will look like once it’s painted is to look at samples from every angle of your home.
Paint sample squares on the front, sides, and back of your home. Once you do that, leave them up for a few days and look at them at different times during the day. One will definitely stand out as your favorite, so you’ll know you’re making the right choice.
Consider your trim and doors
We touched on this earlier in the post, but you’ll want to consider the color of your doors and trim when you’re deciding on an exterior color. If you have light doors and trim, it’s best to go with a darker color. If you have dark doors and trim, it’s best to go with a light color. And if your doors and trim are somewhere in the middle, you can really go either way – just make sure the colors compliment each other.
There are situations where this rule won’t apply. If you’re not sure what to do, talk to a designer and get their professional advice. Once it’s done and you see your new house, you’ll be glad you had an expert involved in your decision.
Choosing a paint color for the exterior of your home can feel like a daunting task. It’s the first thing you’ll see when you come home and the first thing people will see when they come to visit. However, when you feel confident in your decision, the best way to know if it’s the right choice is to move forward. You have the tools to make an informed decision, so trust yourself – you’ll more than likely be thrilled with the results. And if not, it’s just paint! You can always paint over it if it’s not quite right.
For more design tips and inspiration, follow our blog and our Instagram page @splitrockcustomhomes. We love staying connected with our followers!