As I start this blog post, I should mention that I have not met anyone that hasn’t been challenged by trying to decide what colors to paint the outside of their home. The exterior of our homes and how they appear, makes the biggest statement of the home itself. Whether it is color of the paint and trim we choose, to the landscaping or in some cases the lack of it, speaks volumes.
So as I begin this post, I will break down the steps of what to consider when thinking about painting your home and hopefully be able to clarify and inspire the colors you choose, the ones that will bring out the best characteristics of your home. I also want to extend a big thank you, once again, to the ladies at “brick&batten” for their beautiful virtual designs that are featured in this post. You can click here to see their paint color recommendations for 2023.
The Type of Siding on Your Home
Each home built, has a specific siding that is placed on the body of the home, which contributes to the overall design. Though we are currently in a phase where siding types are changing from wood to concrete, vinyl and the varying styles of James Hardie siding, there are still many older homes that have original wood siding. Below is an example of the most common siding types:
T 1-11 siding (7.5″) above (4″) below
Beveled (cedar or redwood siding)
Courtesy of www.buffalo-lumber.com
Shiplap wood siding
Courtesy of www.shiplapdirect.com
Board and Batten
Courtesy of Wayfair
Courtesy of Forbes
From the examples of siding that you see above, you can see the contribution to architectural distinction in the designs of each. Each and every type of siding lends itself to a specific color range that can bring out the best in the features of the home coupled with the overall layout of the exterior home design. From trim size around windows, the style of windows, whether stone or bricks are added onto the home as well as the roof color, will all come into play when choosing the colors for your home.
The architecture really does matter when choosing paint colors. As I mentioned above, between the windows, the layout, the roof and whether other elements, such as stone or brick are added, all have a say in the color scheme you should consider.
A good rule to follow: The larger the trim around your windows allows for more of a contrast between the body of the home and trim color.
With smaller trim around the windows, such 2.5″ trim, having too much of a contrast between the colors can make the home colors look out of balance. The smaller the trim = less of a contrast. This will pertain to older homes with smaller trim as well as more modern designed home.
With that said, the modern homes that are being designed today are being created with more natural wood that is stained combined with a siding that is typically painted in a coordinating earth color. When I say earth colors, I am leaning towards taupes, browns, beiges, whites or creams and charcoals. The colors of blues, reds and bright greens and yellows don’t always look the best on homes. Those colors are very design specific.
If you do have two types of siding on your home, using two different complimentary colors can actually bring beautiful depth to the architecture of your home as featured in the virtual design by “brick&batten” below.
Stone, Brick and Natural Wood
These design elements add a whole dimension to the overall appeal to the home. All three have a way of grounding the features of the home, which can really be enhanced by choosing colors that either bring out tones in the stone or contrast beautifully with the wood. Shades of charcoal have become popular in home color choices for their ability to bring out rich contrast. Whether it is being placed on the body of the home or being added as a trim color, the shades of charcoal add a whole new dimension to the appeal of the home.
Accent Colors – The 3rd Color
When it comes to accent colors for the home, these colors can be placed on gutters, doors, including garage doors as well as shutters at the sides of your windows. I recently did a consultation where my clients wanted a beige home with white trim and black accent color. I made suggestions for the beige color that would show up as beige in all lighting. The white I chose was a very soft white, Benjamin Moore’s “Alpine White” which went around their windows and garage. For the black, I suggested a softer charcoal by Benjamin Moore, that would provide the same effect of contrast without coming across too harsh. This is why the charcoal shades are becoming so popular. It provides the direct statement that black can make without being too harsh.
The accent colors can be more of a contrast, but again you want it to be in the same color family. So if you are working with beiges and creams, for example, depending on your architecture, you may want to choose something from the browns or charcoals for contrast. As always, testing these colors on your home and viewing in the different lighting will tell you right away if they are a go or not.
Doors Are A Statement
For front doors and garage doors, I recommend a complimentary color and NOT painting it the same color of the home. This goes especially for garage doors. When painted the same color as the home, it feels like you have given up part of the homes’ appeal by making that door blend. I also know that a red front door was extremely popular back in the day. At this time, I lean more for either a natural wood door or one that is painted a complimentary accent color that ties in with the rest of your home.
The choosing is the most challenging part. But it is my hope, that with the information I have provided, it will give you some things to consider, which hopefully gives you a better idea of what to aim for with the painting of your home. With all that has been said, painting the exterior of your home will be the biggest paint job that you will take on, but it should last the longest. This is why you want to be careful in considering the colors you choose, as well as be able to enjoy hopefully a timeless beauty on your home.
As always, if you do need help in choosing paint colors, whether for your exterior or interiors, please do reach out to me and I would be happy to help you!