6 Rules Pros Always Follow to Choose the Best Exterior Paint Color for a Home

Match Materials Already in Place

When it comes to choosing a paint color, it's important to think about the existing cladding and roofing materials as much as they should. Hannah Yeo, a senior manager of color marketing for Benjamin Moore advises to conduct a thorough visual assessment of surfaces not slated for painting like the roof, brick, or stones.

Make a Grand Entrance

“Colorful doors often top wish lists for homeowners wanting to infuse playful hues into their exterior space without overwhelming the color balance of the home,” Sue Kim, director of color marketing for Valspar, says. For an uplifting aesthetic, she recommends Valspar’s Renew Blue 8003-37D because it adds a welcoming charm to any exterior. Yeo also suggests adding a pop of bold or unconventional color to the front door. Just ensure that the hue shares or complements the undertones of other colors used in the exterior. Alternatively, you can apply unexpected colors to shutters if your home has them.

Complement the Architecture

A house’s architectural style can often help point homeowners in the general direction of the ideal exterior color scheme. For instance, is it a period style or contemporary? A minimal contemporary home that’s painted rather than clad in timber or brick might fare best in an equally minimal white, black, or gray. Arts & Crafts style houses can sport several different types of palettes ranging from earthy to cheery. And a Tudor revival home tends to call for brown tones.

Go Timeless

Classic and timeless neutral shades are a safe choice across various architectural styles, from cottages to Cape Cod to colonial homes, Yeo says. She adds that gray tones transcend trends and time periods and complement a wide range of building materials. While one can’t go wrong with white, Kim suggests trying a creamy white with warmer undertones for a softer, more welcoming alternative to stark white. “It’s a modern take on a timeless staple,” she says.

Think Warm and Cozy

Speaking of neutral and earthy palettes, Karen Frome, founder of Rise Projects, points to two trends that likely won't be going out of style anytime soon: White exteriors with a dark trim, which combined create a crisp and clean aesthetic, and incorporation of browns and caramels. The latter are still neutral and very much a part of nature, Frome says. "Earthier tones feel lived in and relaxed." Frome explains how the shift toward these styles reflects bigger societal feelings toward clarity and homey warmth during uncertain times.

Put It in Context

Make sure to consider the neighborhood context when building a new home. For instance, stark minimalist construction can be considered either an eyesore or a bold new statement in a historic neighborhood full of turn-of-the-century period houses. The same approach applies to repainting your home. But, think beyond just the neighboring structures and look to the surrounding landscape and nature. “Whether it's the verdant greenery, the azure coastline, or the hues of neighboring houses, observe your surroundings and take note of the colors enveloping the home,” Yeo says. Yeo recommends choosing colors that will blend well with the similar undertones to those surroundings. "Opt for complementary colors that are opposite on the color wheel to make your house stand out," Yeo says.

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