top of page

How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors

Neighboring Home Colors

Changing the exterior colors of your home can be more important than you think. It's important to consider several factors when thinking about updating your home's exterior look. Your neighborhood might even have rules you have to follow. The neighborhood or street you live on might have a certain vibe to it, and it might be by default of the people who occupy those homes, but it might be part of your HOA standards and rules. Consider this when choosing new paint colors. Even if there are no rules, being the odd ball out on the street could decrease the value of your home. What you think is fun and beautiful might not be trendy for your area, and you ROI could plummet. So take a look around, see if the houses all have a similar tone or color family, and follow suit.

The Basics to House Colors

The general house color rule is that light colors are more inviting, and make small homes look bigger, while dark colors can make your home look smaller. Now, if you have a small lot and a big home, a dark color is totally fine and might even make your home and lot look more proportional. But if you have a small house on a big lot, think light, bright and inviting. You should also consider the size of your house in comparison to surrounding houses. If you have the smallest house on the block, dark blues and charcoals might not be your best option.

Color families are another thing to learn, which can be easily done online or in a color specialty section of a building supply store such as Home Depot. Color families will help you along the way to make sure your trim and doors match correctly in the eyes of experts, and not just to your eyes.This is also a handy tool to refer to if you are only planing on changing one aspect of your home and need your new color to match your existing colors. Typically your color family has three components, a field color that is used on the majority of the house, an accent color, for medium coverage areas like post, shutters and smaller sections of siding, and a trim color which is the least coverage usually, but equally important. Check out this color swatch from the creativity exchange as an example.

This specific color family works well on tradition home, but color families for all home styles are available. Check out HGTVs website for more color ideas.

Buy Samples!

Testing Samples on your house is important because the lighting outside your home is probably different than the lighting inside the paint store. This will also help you to see how different colors dry on your specific materials, as the color swatch in the store probably isn't the same materials or as porous as your home. You'll also get to see the new color samples next to your current colors of the property that you don't plan on changing.

Mistakes to avoid

Accenting the parts you want to hide, in order to make them more appealing, is actually going to do just the opposite. These items include gutters, downspouts, air conditioners, wells, piping etc. Hide them, don't make them stand out.

Not considering your surrounding colors is another mistake. Surrounding colors might be your roof, landscaping, sheds, and neighbors. If you have lots of greenery in front of your house, don't choose green. Keep in mind the season changes and the color of blooming flowers and trees in your yard. Anything that could camouflage, blend, or even clash with your new home exterior color options should not be included in your color family. The tones in your siding and roofing, or any other surface you don't plan on changing, should be incorporated or matched in your new exterior colors. Color families can help with this to make sure everything meshes well. Other materials that you can't change might include your walkways, brick, slate, stone, fencing, fountains and other decor. The photo above is a great example of how they chose the siding color, and the teal on the door and shutters, to match the blue hues in the stone.


Choose a safe color family. Safe colors with just a little spunk are best if you are planning to put your home on the market. Having pops of color in small amounts, where you can easily repaint them are okay, like a door. You do not want anything to bright or out there. Safe colors will appeal to a larger purchasing market than bold contrasting colors. Stick to whites and lights to be safe. Consumers are gaining more confidence in colors as styles of architecture are modernizing, but generally, shades and light colors win more hearts. A buyer could like everything about your home, but if the exterior was recently redone, and the potential buyer doesn't like the colors, redoing the project could deter them from making that purchase.

Z double B Inc. in Lakewood, Colorado has expertise in home exteriors and can walk you through the right choices for your siding, window, and door replacements. Don't hesitate to contact a professional for free advice and quotes. Call today at 303-997-8168.

Recent Posts
bottom of page