If you’ve ever walked into your local Sherwin Williams full of hope, vision, and optimism, ready to find the perfect exterior house paint, only to exit an hour later, feeling dizzy, confused, and frustrated, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. With such a vast palette at your fingertips and an infinite number of possible color combinations, finding the right color scheme for the exterior of your home is a daunting task.
Fortunately, we’ve painted a house or two in our time and are happy to share a few hard-learned (but tried and true) tips.
Be Patient, It’s Not a Race!
Once you’ve made the decision to repaint your home, the urge to “get it done” is strong. Slow down, dear homeowner! You’ll thank us later. Fight the urge to check the task off your “to do” list and think of repainting your home as a process.
Start by driving around your neighborhood and taking photos of homes you adore. Then, make a trip back to the paint store and grab an embarrassing number of paint samples. Or, work up the courage to chat with the homeowners of the homes you envy and ask them for samples. Tape the samples to your home, gaze at them under different lighting conditions, and live with the idea of the colors for a few days. Imagine how you’ll feel as you drive into your driveway and see your home awash in the new colors.
Take Note of Your Surroundings
One of the great things about Nashville is architectural variety and the distinct personalities of our many neighborhoods. What might work well on a quirky East Nashville Craftsman may not work so well on a stately Bellevue mansion. While you’re patiently living with your paint samples, consider how the colors work with your home’s existing features and surroundings. There’s nothing worse than repainting the exterior of your home only to realize that it clashes violently with your neighbor’s house or your shingles and doors suddenly look like mismatched afterthoughts!
If you live in a historic neighborhood, you may want to consider paying homage to your home’s roots by finding a historically appropriate shade. While you’re at it, consider your landscaping. As the seasons change from winter to spring and into fall, how will they play off your color scheme?
Consider the Sunny Side
If your property is exposed to intense sun for most of the day, be aware that darker colors may fade over time and that intense sunlight can make even the boldest color choices appear washed out. Select a color that works well under your primary light conditions.
It’s a Matter of Perspective
If you live in a tiny home, but want to make it appear larger and more imposing, consider lighter paint schemes. If you live in a large home that dominates your lot, you may want to select a darker color that makes it seem more compact, yet a more natural part of the landscape.
Not all Colors are Created Equal
Award-winning Nashville home stager, Kristie Barnett, recently noted on her blog, The Decorologist, that “Exteriors painted greige sell for more (+1.5K), while those painted taupe or brown sell for less (-2K).” Barnett, an expert in residential paint color and home staging, cites findings from Zillow to support her belief that “color evokes emotion and is pressed into memory more than any other aspect of design.” So if you’re thinking about your resale value, you may want to put some greige on your list of finalists.
Don’t be Afraid of Color
Greige and other neutral colors are safe choices for many homeowners but don’t be afraid to play with color. Accent colors can transform a forgettable house into a real show-stopper. Many paint companies offer exterior color scheme suggestions based on architectural style and geographic location. Use these combinations as a starting point to find the colors that work best for you and your home.
Don’t Limit Yourself!
The experts at Nashville’s Bynam Residential Designs encourage homeowners to try six to eight different colors for the primary color. Once you’ve settled on your main color, finding complementary shades becomes so much easier! We encourage you to purchase small sample containers of exterior paint and experiment with color until you find the shade that works for you.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
If color isn't your thing, and you just can’t seem to get it right, don’t be afraid to as a pro for help. We’re happy to point you in the right direction or share resources with you to find that perfect exterior paint color. Contact Nash Painting for expert insight.