Traditionally, white and light colors were perceived to be safe choices when choosing exterior paint colors, according to the color experts at Sherwin-Williams.
However, as a broader spectrum of colors has become available for exterior use, consumers have gained more confidence with color and those “traditional” approaches are changing. Plus, the fact that color makes a first impression means it can enhance curb appeal and even resale value. A creative color scheme - versus a typical white exterior – is your opportunity to make a great first impression.
For example, tinted neutrals that play off landscaping and other building materials are increasingly being used, as are mid-tone values of neutrals.
To get started, consider the colors that can’t change - elements such as brick, slate and stone accents and roofing shingles - and use these elements as color resources since there are numerous shades and hues in most building materials. For example, a charcoal gray shingle could have flecks of gray-green or gray-blue that could be incorporated into the color scheme.
Don’t overlook interesting architectural detailing and accentuate the positive while downplaying unattractive elements. Use a contrasting or accent color to make your home’s finest features sparkle.
Be observant. Drive through a variety neighborhoods - established and new - to really see colors in action. Make notes and/or take photographs of color schemes that appeal to you so can consider how to adapt them on your own home.
Keep in mind that windows are an opportunity - they give character to a home. Outlining them lends crispness to your color scheme.
You’ll also want to examine color samples outdoors, at various angles and at different times of the day. Consider buying small quantities of desired colors and paint a section of the house where body, trim and accent colors can be viewed together.
Assuming no structural work is needed, paint color is the most cost effective method of changing your home’s appearance. Probably the safest approach to color placement is to select two tints or shades from the same color strip a few shades apart. Either the lighter or the darker shade could be used for the body and the opposite for the trim. A contrasting accent color could punctuate the door. Lighter colors on a porch will make a home feel more approachable and welcoming.