The Perfect Exterior Paint Colors

Picking house paint colors isn’t just difficult. It can be terrifying! Choose colors that are blah, and your house will seem flat and featureless. But if the paint colors you pick are too bold, they might overwhelm the architecture — and upset the neighbors. Choosing the right exterior house colors and exterior house color combinations can change your life. Here are some tips on how to do it.

The best paint colors will highlight the most beautiful features of your home. That’s one reason to know a little bit about architecture. Skillful use of color can even disguise design flaws, boosting the curb appeal and market value of your home. How do you find that magic color combination? Check out these exterior paint ideas.
If you’re planning to paint an older home, you’ll probably want to use a historically accurate color scheme. You can hire a pro to analyze old paint chips and recreate the original color. Or, you can refer to a historic color chart and select shades that might have been used at the time your home was built. The more simple your house is, the fewer colors you’ll need. For an elaborate Victorian house style, plan to use four to six colors. Do some careful observation of color combinations by visiting some historic homes . Think about the history of your own house, because you and what you do will become part of that history.

In some neighborhoods, homeowners fly in the face of history. Instead of choosing historically accurate colors, they paint their houses modern colors to dramatize architectural details. Using bright colors on old architectural details can produce startling and exciting results — if your local historic commission approves. But before you buy 10 gallons of bubblegum pink, it’s a good idea to look at what your neighbors are doing. A fluorescent colored Victorian that looks splendid in San Francisco will seem wildly out of place in more conservative neighborhoods of the Northeast. Bright pink stucco in Florida might give a homeowner in Washington State a startling insight — one way or the other. Houses of similar ages may have regional variations of exterior color.

Lastly, for goodness sake, don’t buy a paint color because it’s on sale or your contractor can get you a deal!
The house next door can give you paint color ideas, but don’t copy your neighbor exactly. Choose colors that set your house apart, without clashing with nearby buildings. Look around your neighborhood. Does your house architecturally look like the house next door? Are you in a suburban development or are your neighbors the trees? Or does your house stand apart, like the original large farmhouse that is now surrounded by newer ranch styles mid-century homes? Choose colors that coordinate with what is around you.
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