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10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Exterior Paint Colors For Your Home

photo of an exterior of a home painted blue

While there are many ways to improve your property’s curb appeal, repainting the exterior of your home is the best and most convenient way. One of the most difficult things to figure when painting is what colors to choose. Keep reading to learn about the 10 factors to consider when choosing exterior paint colors. 

Exterior painting is an efficient way to attract many potential buyers to your home as well as generally make it more pleasing to the eye. 

Choosing paint colors is the biggest struggle most homeowners run into when painting their exterior. As a Denver painter, we know how difficult it can be to narrow down your colors. Painting your home is a big investment and you want to get it right! 

If you do not plan on selling your home, painting can also extend the longevity of your home’s exterior surface and improve the aesthetic appeal. 

Read more: How Much is the Cost of Exterior Painting in 2022

So, as you give more thought to how you will paint your home’s exterior, consider these factors in choosing your exterior house paint colors:

  1. Honor history by considering the age of your home.

Consider an exterior paint for an old home that reflects the house’s history. There could be buyers of your property that are attracted by the rustic nature of the home, and deciding to paint the exterior in an outlandish color could ruin that mystique.

This doesn’t mean that the exterior painting should be limited to black and/or white, but you could choose a color that depicts the historical significance of the house.

One trick to choosing paint for an old house is to refer to a historic color chart and select shades that the house was originally painted with or a shade that was common when the house was built. 

In the link above you will see paints from paint manufacturers that Kind Home doesn’t utilize as we work exclusively with Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore. You can always do a color match at Sherwin or Benjamin Moore. If they can’t do an exact color match you can always find a paint color that matches very close.

Photo of  a kind home painter painting a denver exterior

      2. Consider jazzing up the past with more modern colors.

If you are not a fan of being stuck in the past, you can choose a more modern paint or a neutral color that is both good for historic and modern design. Modern colors that match the design of your ‘old’ house can be used to dramatize architectural details.

Just make sure that a modern twist of paint color on your ‘old’ house will not ruin the historical heritage of the house.  

A unique blend of modernity and heritage could be a great selling point for your property, but swinging too far in either direction could hurt you more than it could help. 

Consider this applicable quote by The Spruce:

“What’s deemed as an acceptable color scheme may be dictated by region and neighborhood, not just historic architectural style.”

There is no one size fits all. Historical significance is important, but not THE most important factor when choosing exterior paint colors for the house.

       3. Look around the neighborhood and consider the color of your neighbor’s houses.

When choosing your paint colors, be sure to take into account the exteriors of all the houses in the neighborhood. Choose paint colors for the exterior of your house that are not exactly the same as your neighbor’s, but that does not entirely clash with their house’s exterior paint.

Be mindful of colors, designs, and aesthetics so that you compliment and blend in with the houses in your neighborhood. 

The key to this tip is to keep an eye on the overall color scheme of the neighborhood so that your choice of external house paint color will not appear to be accidental.

photo of kind home employee and painter going over painting details

       4. Check your HOA guidelines to find acceptable colors for your home

To add to the advice above, be sure to check your neighborhood’s HOA guidelines for accepted paint colors. As a Denver painter, we run into a lot of homeowners that neglect the advice of their HOAs. It’s awful when you finally find colors you love only to have your paint colors denied. 

To narrow down your paint color options, your HOA preferred colors are a great place to start.

Try to get a head start on your color approval with your HOA. It can often take quite some time for your HOA to approve your paint colors. 

You may be able to find your neighborhood’s HOA color archive on this HOA directory  through the Sherwin Williams website.

      5. Consider the material of the house’s roof.

The material of your roof can help dictate what color is best for your home.  Some roof types have natural colors already, and you do not have to paint them. 

Roofing materials that have their own colors include asphalt, shingle, metal, terracotta, slate, and clay. Each roofing material has a different array of colors that compliment it.

For example, beige/cream colors can be a great compliment to exterior house color for darker shingled rooftops. 

All in all, when you choose the exterior house paint color for the siding, consider the color of your roof.  You don’t need to have the same colors for both, but they should always complement each other.

      6. Consider the color of the pavers and driveway.

Similar to choosing external house paint that complement the natural color of your roof, you should also consider the colors of pavers and driveway. 

While having a holistic property that is aesthetically in harmony is important, an added benefit is that coordinating colors is cheaper than changing the pavement and driveway. It is easier and cheaper to choose external house paint that matches the natural color of existing structures in and around your house than to change/rebuild these structures.

      7. Unpainted materials may not need to be painted.

One incorrect assumption by many homeowners is that you need to paint all parts of the home’s exterior. This is not the case.

There can be some features that are beautiful in their natural color.  For example, if you have materials that are made of brick, stone, or wood, choose colors that compliment them.

This means you will have to choose a paint color that harmonizes with their natural color.

This not only allows for the natural beauty of the materials to shine, it also helps save time and money on labor and painting materials!

photo of kind home employee talking with home owner before painting

      8. Start small – narrow down your paint options to your top three colors and go from there.

There are thousands of colors to choose from. With hundreds of whites, grays, blues, etc. and it can be overwhelming. 

We suggest that you narrow down your color choices to three colors for your body and go from there. You want to start with colors that you’re instinctively drawn to. 

If you need help and validation with your color options, we suggest you consider a professional color consultation. 

Professional color consultants see clients every day that just can’t pull the trigger on their colors. It’s a big decision to make, and as mentioned above, it is where most home owners struggle. 

If you would like the guidance of a certified color consultant, check out Colorado Color Consultants for some more tips and tricks.

      9. Remember your goal for painting the exterior of your house.

The purpose of painting your house’s exterior should influence what exterior paint color you choose.  Want to make your house look larger? White or pale cream color is the classic color for this purpose.

If you want to go for drama, outdoor paint colors that are dark for the siding or dark bands of trim will draw attention to them and will make your house look smaller.  A tip from Spruce on choosing exterior paint color:

“Large surfaces always make paint colors look somewhat lighter, so consider selecting slightly darker shades for expansive areas, rather than relying on the apparent colors of paint samples.”

Don’t just paint for the sake of painting, it’s important to always keep the end goal in mind.

      10. Consider the interior paint colors of your home and the paint color of other features outside your house.

Exterior painting is only half the battle. You want to make sure that the ambiance of the inside of the home isn’t starkly different from the ambiance of the outside. 

For this reason, you can use the existing interior paint color of your house as inspiration. Complement the existing shades of your living room, kitchen, bedroom, and other features inside your home with the color of your house’s exterior.

This is not to say that the paint colors need to be exactly the same, rather the experience of going from the exterior of the home into the interior should be seamless.

When it comes to choosing paint colors for the exterior of the house, it’s best to talk to professional exterior house paint contractors for guidance. They can give you more detailed information on the best options for exterior house paint that you can choose from. 

Don’t Limit Yourself Too Much with Exterior Colors

Choosing the right paint color for your home can seem like a daunting task. However, we are sure you’ll be able to find a shade that will brighten and improve your curb appeal. If you would like more advice on where to start when choosing your paint colors, check out this other article we wrote, How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color. Thanks for reading about the 10 factors to consider when choosing exterior paint colors. 

You can also refer to our Instagram for more color inspiration. Best of luck!