We’re so excited to help you on your color journey!
The first step is to determine whether you are sticking with your current colors or planning to change paint colors.
A paint color change can make a huge difference when it comes to the look and feel of your home. Choosing colors can be a challenge though, especially if you’re not sure where to start. We recommend beginning your color journey with the main color on your home. This is often referred to as the body color and you can use this color as a foundation for choosing your trim and accents.
Before you can choose your paint colors, you will want to determine the overall tone of the fixed features on your home. Fixed features refer to things on your home that you won’t be changing. This can include brick, stone, roof shingles, flooring, tile work, and so on.
In order to keep this simple, you will just be looking to see if these features are cool toned or warm toned. Cool tones will typically have a blue, green, or purple undertone while warm tones will be in the red, yellow, and oranges.
Once you know the general tone of your home you can begin looking for a paint color that is within that same tone family. The good news is, nearly every color comes in both cool and warm tones so you have a ton of options!
Test Your Colors Before You Sample
There’s no substitute for purchasing paint test samples and painting swatches on your home. This is true for both exterior and interior projects but sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin with paint colors. To get a general idea of which colors go well together we love using the Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer.
This online tool gives you the freedom to “test” colors on an interior or exterior space. You can use one of their preset templates or upload a photo of your home!
If you need HOA friendly colors OR if your HOA has Sherwin Williams preferred colors schemes you’ve got to check out the Sherwin Williams HOA Archive. This tool is great if you’re struggling to pair paint colors together or if you just want to get an idea of what your HOA allows.
Hoa Color Approval
Whether you plan to change colors or refresh your current colors you should check with your Homeowner’s Association to understand their guidelines and requirements. Many HOAs do require for you to submit for color changes as well as repaints with your current colors.
Get a jump on your HOA’s approval process as soon as possible to ensure there are no project delays! Most HOAs take anywhere from 7-60 days for approval.
One of the best ways to know if you’re going to love a paint color or not is to actually paint a small swatch on your home. We always recommend at least a 1’x1′ swatch but feel free to go up to 2’x2′ if the space allows for it.
Painting some test samples allows you to see the color on a larger surface area and to observe it throughout the day. Colors will change depending on the light and the things around them. Your garage door is a great place for samples but you can also paint them on your siding or trim. Just make sure you don’t have smooth trim or siding before painting samples on there as this can add texture. NEVER paint samples on your front door for this same reason!
If you plan to refresh the colors currently on your home, you’ll still need to provide your painter with your color name and color code (i.e. Pure White SW 7005). This ensures the correct paint is ordered for your project.
There are a few ways to determine your current colors…
Check any old paint cans to see if they have a sticker that lists the color name and code. Keep in mind, if you see Custom Match listed on your can you may need to have that can matched. You can also check your home purchasing paperwork, or even contact your Homeowner’s Association to find the names and color codes of the paint colors currently on your home.
If you’re not able to locate the color name and code fear not! If you were able to find the old paint cans then you can take those to any Sherwin Williams or a Benjamin Moore retailer to have those custom matched. That match will then be on file so we recommend that you ask them to put it under your home address for future reference.
No paint cans or access to your paint colors? You still have the option to select colors that are similar to what is currently on your home. We recommend making a trip to your local paint store to look at color options or consider hiring a professional color consultant to help you find comparable paint colors.