How to Choose the Best Exterior Paint Color for Your House

The color of the exterior of your house says a lot about your personal taste and sensibilities. But choosing a color that reflects your personality is not all. There are many other things you need to think about when choosing your exterior paint color such as any applicable bylaws, the local climate and weather, and the architecture of your house. These and many other factors are discussed in this article to help you choose the best paint color for your house.

Go with the street

Before choosing the paint color for the exterior of your house, have a nice look at the other houses on the street. Consider the colors they’ve used and avoid repeating the ones directly close to your house. Generally, there will be a pattern or unspoken code that all homeowners follow to keep a certain color scheme going throughout the street. Try not to break from it. For example, if most houses on your street are painted in muted colors, you should go for similar colors. Otherwise, your house will stick out like a sore thumb.

Architectural style

Consider the architecture of your house. If it has a simple design, you should consider conventional colors to complement the basic design of your house. The general rule is to select colors that complement rather than overwhelm the architecture of your house. If your house exterior has an attractive architectural feature such as swirls or decorative molding, go with a color that contrasts with the color used in the rest of the house. You can use a bold or dramatic color to enhance that specific feature.


In some localities, there are bylaws about the paint color that can be used on houses. You can visit the office of your municipality or browse their website to learn about these bylaws. In addition, there may be a homeowners’ association in your neighbourhood that might have their own rules that allow or restrict certain colors to be used. It is advisable to go over these rules before shortlisting the colors for your exterior paint. In some cases, there won’t be any such laws restricting any choice of paint color. If no such bylaws or rules apply to you, then you can go with any color that goes with the theme on your street or neighbourhood.

Fixed features

Your paint color options will vary according to how extensively you are changing the appearance of your house. Most of the time, you will have to work with certain givens. For example, unless you’re going for a complete renovation of the house, you will have the same roofing and landscaping features from the original design. If you are not going to paint the roof shingles, you will have to consider the present color when choosing the paint color for the rest of the house.

Professional advice

This is a very useful tip for first-timers. If you are going to get your house painted for the very first time, you must consult a painter to identify what will work well with your house. Perhaps a certain brand or paint colors are not available in your area, or the kind of plaster used in the construction of your house will be unsuitable for certain paint colors. These are the kind of things that a professional can advise you on.

Select three shades

When choosing a paint color for the exterior of your house, you need to create a color scheme of three colors. The primary color is the field color which will be the most prominent color of your house. It will go on all the walls and major features of the design. The second color is called the accent color and tends to be bolder but not of a contrasting hue with the field color. The accent color is used to paint the doors of the house. Finally, the trim color contrasts with the field color and is used on the minor architectural details such as railings, door and window frames, edging, and so on.

Test it

No matter what color you choose, the overall look of your house will vary on a lot of other factors, such as the weather, the time of day and climate. Certain colors weather these elements better than others. The best way to make sure you choose the best color is to test it for some time on one portion of your house. This could be half or quarter of a portion of an exterior wall. Apply the color to this area and observe how it changes according to changes in daylight, water and snow exposure, temperature differences, pollution, and so on. If the color still looks suitable, you can use it on the rest of the house.

Choosing the color for the exterior of your house might be the first step but it is a critical one. If you’ve followed the tips given above, you can be assured that you’ve made the right selection and will continue to enjoy a beautiful house that blends harmoniously into your neighbourhood.

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