Are you thinking of changing the exterior paint colors of your home? If so, then there are a variety of factors you should consider in addition to personal preference. Use this handy guide as part of your decision-making process for best results.
Read HOA Paint Guidelines if Applicable
If you live in an area with a homeowners’ association, there are likely rules that govern home exteriors. Many HOAs limit the color options in an effort to keep the neighborhood aesthetically harmonious. Get the most recent edition of the guidelines to ensure you do not make a mistake, one that would prove costly if you had to repaint. You could even incur fines from the HOA, which has the power to place a lien on your house for nonpayment of those fines, if you choose a color not on the approved list.
Consider Your Neighbors
Even if you do not belong to an HOA, you still should consider neighboring homes when choosing exterior paint colors. Visitors and homebuyers alike will be put off if your house stands out from those around it in a jarring way. Choose colors that blend with adjacent homes or a palette that complements them.
Factor In Exterior Colors That Can’t Change
Not all surfaces on the outside of a house get painted. The roof, for example, stays the same color, as does a brick exterior if you plan to keep it original. Also don’t forget hardscaping, driveways and walkways. Use these hues as the starting point when picking out your color scheme. There may even be flecks of colors within the shingles, brick or other surface that could serve as complementary colors.
Consider the Climate
An abundance of sun or shade can change the appearance of a color. If you live in a sunny climate, brighter colors are safer as the sun washes them out to an extent. If you live in an area with more rainfall and heavily wooded lots, choose colors that complement those surroundings and keep in mind that shade darkens paint color even further.
Look at Your Landscaping
If you have flowering shrubs and trees that change color with the seasons, factor those hues into your decision. You can easily change a flower garden to work with new paint colors, but you would not want to uproot a tree come fall if you no longer like the leaf color.
Sample, Sample, Sample
The best way to see how an exterior paint color scheme will look on your home is to try it out. Once you narrow your decision to two or three, begin applying the schemes to areas that get the full range of sunlight and shade within a day. That way, you can see how they will look at different times of the day. You need not apply the colors to the appropriate trim and accent pieces, just together in one area.
Leave the samples up for a full week, or longer, so you can also see how they look in changing weather conditions. If possible, apply to an area of your home’s exterior that does not face the street. If not possible, don’t stress too much. Everyone in your neighborhood has to paint their home at some point, so they will understand if a section of yours looks like a painter’s palette for a short while.
No matter what: Do not rush the decision. A professional paint job can last 10 years or more, depending on the material and climate, so you should be happy with the results and the investment of time and money.