Choosing Your Exterior Paint Color

Great Exterior Paint Choice Tips


The color of your exterior paint should reflect an awareness of the colors around your home and blend with them, or at least not clash with them. The terrain your home is in will contain a variety of colors and not only those of buildings themselves.

After a while most of us take such colors for granted. But the introduction of new colors to your home will be noticeable once they have changed, even if the existing colors have only been “refreshed” with essentially the same colors. It probably goes without saying, but the colors you would use, say, in Arizona, would differ greatly from the colors you would use in Vermont or California.


Choose Colors to Match Region


Colors differ greatly from region to region, and not only the colors of existing structures such as dwellings and other buildings, but also those found in trees, shrubs and other plants, and the color of the earth itself. The color of stone and soil in your area as well as the color of walls, roofs, trim and other materials should be taken into consideration when choosing your exterior paint color.

You’ll probably want to blend in with or complement existing or prevalent colors rather than clash with them. You can introduce a great deal of variety and interest by using color tones that are derived from a major color, but which are subtly different and complementary. The same “tonal” strategy can be used for window and door frames and jambs and doors themselves, but that’s not all.


Tonal Looks & Shades of Paint


Roof fascia and even exposed areas of roof rafters can get the “tonal” treatment and add interest to your home. The “cultural” environment makes a big difference. Both the architectural style of homes and commercial buildings as well as paint schemes will differ drastically from one geographical and cultural region to another. The “painted ladies” of San Francisco would be drastically out of place in Tucson, AZ, as would the low-to-the earth, “earthy” look of Arizona homes if they were in “The City.”

One approach that has been around for, well, “forever,” is to emulate what has been done “forever.” Charleston, South Carolina, is a good example of a city that has more or less stood still over time, at least architecturally. Homes and other buildings resemble each other and have changed very little in appearance over more than a century. If you live in such an area, that is, one whose homes and architecture are considered “classical,” or of historical importance, your task is both simpler and more important.


What Colors Reflect or Absorb Light?


White (or shades of white) are “de rigeur” for large buildings, including trellises, pillars and columns, and especially for window and door frames, exterior and interior columns, and even for brick and stone wall surfaces. How long will a paint last? The longevity of the paint you choose and use will depend not only on its application but also on how bright (or glossy) it is to begin with.

Bright and more intense colors will fade over time. Dark colors will absorb more light, which is to say, they will absorb more heat than lighter colors, and will, therefore, be warmer in temperature and more prone to fading and moisture problems than lighter shades of paint. Paints also come in both glossy and flat sheen, and an “in-between” sheen.

Flat sheen paints are more difficult to clean but they make imperfections (including scratches, and brush marks) less apparent. Glossier sheen paints are slightly more resistant to scratching as well as being “brighter,” but they also make dirt and other soiling more apparent than a flatter sheen paint.


Paint Sheen Can Make a Difference


If you have the time and the desire to clean and maintain your painted surfaces, you might want to use a paint with a glossy sheen. If you lack such time, or do not care as much about the appearance of a particular surface, you might opt for a flatter sheen for it. Even if you plan to have your entire house painted, take a critical look at what the existing paint scheme is.

Ask yourself if any areas “make sense” as is, or if only parts of it do. Ask yourself what condition the existing paint is in and whether nor not areas of the existing paint would fit in with your plans. Then make a decision whether to remove and / or replace the area’s paint — or keep it.

One of the best resources you have is a top commercial painting contractor, they have seen and applied all types of paints and have a thorough knowledge that can make the paint selection process so much easier and stress-free. Be sure to give Whit’s Painting Inc. a call at 925-429-2669 for a free estimate anywhere in the nine Bay Area counties or fill out our contact form and one of our painting professionals will be in touch promptly to answer your questions or to schedule a free estimate and consultation. Whit’s Painting Inc. is known for excellence throughout the Bay Area for both commercial and residential painting.

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