5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color

Painting your home is a big deal.  After all, it’s not something that you can change “real quick” if you change your mind or your style. It can be a challenge to make the right decision.

While it’s not a bad idea for your home to stand out, you probably don’t want people to think of you in that “Oh, it’s those neighbors” kind of way, either.

Color trends can be a volatile assistant when it comes to long-term color choices for your home. Exterior paint trends have a life cycle of about 10 years, and similar shades return after about 30 years. This might be one of the reasons why more and more homeowners free themselves from ‘style rules.’

Whether you’re into subtle beige, or craving canary yellow — if you want it (and your homeowner’s association permits), you can get it.  Dare to think outside the box!!

At HISBIZ Painting, we’ve noticed that urban neighborhoods and residential apartment complexes have become more bold in their color selection. Dark, rich shades and large, contrasting color blocks give suburban homes a modern, yet inviting twist.

Meanwhile, most homeowners in our beach communities tend to stick with a classic Northwest Island palette of gray, blue, and tan.

Whatever you choose, here are a few tips to guide you through the process of paint color selection for your home. Keep in mind that our HISBIZ project managers stand ready to assist you with ideas, samples and color choices.

 HISBIZ Painting - 5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color


Your home has its own personality and feel. Whether it’s stately, trendy, sleek, or beachy – paint can accentuate your home’s look and feel.

Stately homes maintain elegance and style with a refined and subdued color palette.

Mediterranean and Tuscan style homes go well with yellow ochres, warm beige shades, or sun-kissed terra cotta.

Colonial homes look stunning in all shades of white. Explore warm and cool tones, and consider weather, light, and time of day as you make your choice.

Own a historic home? Ask your local Chamber of Commerce or Historic Association for your neighborhood’s authentic colors: Rich and not-too-bright blues, greens or maroon shades are a nice compliment to historic architectural detail.

Living in a brick home?  Don’t be stuck with brick brown. Brickstone naturally comes in shades ranging from almost white to charcoal gray.  Paint your brick, or opt to go natural and look specks of color in the stone to accentuate and contrast with the surrounding surfaces.

Northwest style homes look great in all shades that make the Northwest — the Northwest. Warm grays, grayish blues, fir greens, browns and tan mirror the beauty of the rugged nature around your home.

Or, be inspired by your favorite island vacation destination. Yellow, turquoise or lavender bring that happy feeling right back.

Feeling bold and trendy? Bright out-of-the-box statement colors are fun and sassy. But remember: Quality workmanship on surfaces and trim is essential when you choose to go bold.


HISBIZ Painting - 5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color


What color is your driveway, roof, fence, landscape, vegetation? Will the trees lose their leaves and if so – what’s behind? What color are the blossoms in the spring?

Would you like your home to pop or blend in?

Your home’s surroundings play a big role when it comes to color selection.  A lighter color will set your home back visually if it’s built close to the curb, while a darker color will give it more presence.


HISBIZ Painting - 5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color


Take a walk and see what your neighbors are up to…in terms of curb appeal and home exterior, that is.  If you choose to go yellow on a street with mostly grays and blues, how will it feel to stand out?

This brings us to an important topic: Homeowners Associations. If you’re a member of a Homeowners Association, be sure to read up on rules and bylaws that pertain to look and style in your neighborhood.

Strive to blend *just enough* in with your neighbors, while adding that unique twist to let you stand out.


HISBIZ Painting - 5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color


When painting your home, think in terms of three colors:

– Field Color  (which dominates) for large areas and siding

– Accent Color for smaller areas like doors or shutters

– Trim Color for railings, door and window casings, and roof edging


Choose similar shades for a monochrome look, or go bold and select colors that pop.  Easy-to-paint front doors lend themselves well for color choices that might be a little more “adventurous” and create a drastic change with less effort. But remember: the more bold you go, the more dramatic the effect, and the smaller the dose.

A bright orange door might make just the right statement, but adding shutters and trim in the same shade might be too much.

Also, create visual interest by contrasting warm and cool hues: A honey-colored wooden door pairs well with cool blue siding.

HISBIZ Painting - 5 Tips to Help Select Your Exterior Paint Color


Do you think “white” when you think “trim”? Consider a dark neutral (navy blue or forest green work well), or black for your window casings and other trim work. Dark trim not only hides imperfections, but can also add a rich, unexpected twist to your home. Dark trim is especially flattering on a Craftsman style home.

Tip: If you have French Pane windows, avoid surprises by taking into consideration the color contrast between the French pane and the window trim framing the window as you make your color choice.

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