Durability, Appearance, and Visual Appeal Determine Exterior House Paint Choices

Published September 13, 2017

The visual curb appeal and overall appearance of a home are important to every homeowner and neighborhood.

No one wants to be that house down the block with sun-faded colors, peeling paint or “ugly” paint colors you were stuck with when you purchased the property. If you are over “ugly” and planning a spring painting project, a consultation with your painting contractor and a bit of time now spent on color selection and preferred paint brand will help guarantee an exterior paint job that refreshes and updates the home’s appearance, enhances visual appeal and increase the value of the property.

So whether it’s the first painting of a newly constructed home or repainting to remedy a tired tint or sun-bleached trim, choosing the best house paint for durability, appearance and visual appeal can seem a daunting task. It's important to use the best quality of paint your budget will allow. Quality products have proven durability, retain their tone and brilliance and withstand the blazing sun and cold of winter.

The most popular exterior house paint colors in 2014 include a diverse palette of traditional light shaded wall paintings and dark shaded trim. White, beige and cream were the most used colors for walls with slate gray and deep blue the most popular trim colors. Southern Living offers a helpful style and color guide to help your get started in picking just the right colors for your look.

If you are racked with indecision as you pursue color swatches, there is a reason. The human eye can distinguish more than 7 million unique shades of color. If you are painting your home to prepare it for sale, it is wise to stick with popular neutral colors in order to appeal to the greatest amount of potential buyers.

However, when you are picking out colors for the home that is to be your family’s domicile for decades, you are only limited by your imagination and personal color preferences.

With that said, selecting the “wrong” exterior paint colors is a whole lot easier than choosing the right ones. Many home builders and homeowners make a decision on a whim without much thought given to the long-term consequences, opting for universally appealing neutral tones that end up looking bland and boring.

Before Selecting Exterior House Colors, Determine The “Look” You Want To Achieve

Prior to embarking on a painting project, it is important to know how you would like the result to look when the painting job complete.

Are you seeking a soft, subdued look or a bold and dramatic statement? The exterior colors of your home are an integral part of the first impression family, friends, guests, and potential buyers experience when first seeing your home. You want to make that first impression a great one.

The majority of paint stores and paint contractor’s showroom have software that can show you how different color schemes appear when applied to your home.

With an app downloadable to your smartphone, tablet or laptop you can “paint” your house online. Using a clear photo or photos of your home uploaded to your computer, you can designate the areas to apply your color preference. It’s fun, quick and easy to see how your home would appear if trimmed in shades of sunshine yellow, forest green or fire engine red.

It’s important to remember that all the exterior house paint colors you consider should compliment and blend with the color of the roof. Earthy colors blend best with wood shingle and composition roofs while Spanish terra cotta red tile roofs calls for another color approach.

Consider the colors already present in your home’s natural setting and the direction your house faces. If your home faces north, colors will appear cooler. Applied to homes with a southern exposure, paint colors look warmer because of the higher amount of UV light.

Keep in mind that house paint colors look different in all four seasons. What seemed like a bright and cheerful blue in the bright sun-wash of summer may appear drab and dull on dark winter days. Remodelista.com helps you sort through all the different shades of gray with a review of architects top picks.

You may wish to choose a color combination that complements the natural landscape features, established colors on neighboring homes, or other permanent features visible when viewing your property from a distance. When choosing exterior house paint colors it is also wise to keep in mind the region in which you live. The attractive combination of hot pink, aquamarine and oyster white that looked so nice on the cottage you rented on the beach in Florida could look like an “eye-sore” in an upscale urban Vancouver townhouse.

If you live in the woods with lots of evergreen trees in your landscape, choosing natural earth tones of forest green, chocolate, butternut, eggplant plum, and brick red help your property to merge seamlessly with its surrounding adding a sense of seclusion and privacy.

If your home’svistaincludes the spectacular fall foliage for which the Midwest is famous, a bright and cheerful trim color that compliments the signature oak tree that dominates your front yard is an excellent choice. Selecting trim colors for your home is much like selecting make-up. You want to use colors and tones that enhance your home’s best features and plays down the flaws.

Choosing Exterior Paint Products And Colors

If you are selecting paint for a smaller home, it’s a wise choice to choose a light color that will make your property look a bit larger. Light colored paint also presents a cleaner and fresher appearance. Take a good look at the surrounding environment and choose a base color that complements and blends with the same. Contrasting or variations in the shade of the base color will emphasize shutters, window trim, and roof molding. Avoid using black as a trim color. Black is the paint color that fades the fastest and soon looks dull, gray, and unappealing. Also, high gloss paints with an excessive sheen have a tendency to look “cheap” and are best avoided.

When selecting a house paint color palette for trim and accent of the exterior of your home, you will need to choose at least two or three possible colors. First select the main field color and then select colors for window trim and rooflines and possibly a third or fourth color choice for shutters and main entrance door.

If you are working with a color palette, paint chips or color swatches, be sure to compare samples against a pure white background in natural light. Samples selected at the paint store under florescent light will look different in natural light.

When choosing a reputable painting contractor, select an established contractor with local references. Depend on your contractor’s recommendations as to the type and brand of paint for your project. A local contractor’s knowledge of what works on exterior surfaces with your region’s climate challenges.

Paint is best applied when temperatures are above freezing, so relax. You have all winter to dream about possible color combinations and painting contractor to make your home’s exterior appeal the envy of the neighborhood.