It’s officially summertime and the perfect time to start thinking about your home’s exterior. If you’ve been searching for a cost-effective, easy way to update your home’s curb appeal, but without the hefty price tag, have you thought about switching out the exterior paint color? This simple weekend project helps create a mood and vibe before anyone even steps inside.
Read on for tips to pick the right color for you — and your home — as well as how to prep for this type of project.
Consider style, size and setting
If you live in a contemporary-style home, why go with boring brown? Pump up that “differentness” with turquoise, chartreuse or petal-pink. At the same time, jazzing up a traditional brick Tudor with a tri-color, dizzying paint scheme might confuse the eye. Size also dictates color. Light colors make your house appear larger whereas dark shades make it seem smaller. Stay within the architecture of neighboring homes: don’t use bright tropical colors in a sea of traditional homes. Taking a ride or walk around neighborhoods other than your own opens your eyes to ideas. Some roofs even dictate a palette, and the same for natural surroundings. If you live in the desert area; near the water; or a mountainous region, you might want to reflect these traits in the home’s exterior. Just know that climate is key: black or navy will make a Southwestern home swelter in summer.
What colors make you feel good?
Reactions to color are personal. As the homeowner, how you feel is most important. If you feel blah about an earthy green or stressed when orange or red is in your view, listen to those reactions. How do you want to feel when you turn your key into the lock at the end of a long day? If it’s energized, pick a color that gives you energy. If calmness is crucial, select a tone that’s exactly that. Not sure what color makes you feel good? Visit your local paint store and peruse paint chips, observing your mental and emotional response to various hues.
Building out the color scheme
By using a secondary shade of paint as an accent color on shutters, flowerboxes, gutters, soffits, the front door or the garage door, you’ll highlight your home’s architecture, too. Does the home have unique features that deserve to be appreciated? Even white paint can show off molding, dormers, trim, columns, fascia, brackets, the roof line and other architectural details in a way that doesn’t detract from the primary exterior paint choice.
Testing the paint
Now that you’ve honed in on your ideal paint color — and know where to apply it — select the right type of paint. Whether it’s brick, cement, stucco, vinyl or aluminum siding, different exterior materials require different types of paint to achieve long-term durability and appeal. Nothing ruins curb appeal more than chipping paint, right? Check with your local paint store for advice — and take swatches home to hold them up to different parts of the house. How the sun hits throughout the day will make it look different. This is especially important if you plan to use more than one color and to ensure it matches the roof.
Parting words of advice
This may be an easy, weekend project but it’s not one you want to redo. Use a premiere quality of paint and look to a color-previewer tool, like Benjamin Moore’s where you can upload a photo of your home to an app for a virtual tour of the finished product.
For more painting tips and video tutorials, visit Wallauer Paint & Design’s website.