Choosing exterior house colors? Think outside the beige box.
When choosing exterior house colors, think outside the beige color box.
Why is beige so prevalent in the housing industry? Picking exterior colors is a challenge that many homeowners struggle with. Unlike interior house colors, exterior house colors are much harder to change, often requiring ladders or scaffolding. This results in many homeowners playing it safe with their house color – which too often means beige. I’ve been guilty of it. My last house was beige – in my defense, it was one of the first in the neighborhood. Bolstered with new confidence, my new house is blue.
If you’re faced with the unwieldy task of picking exterior colors, I have some advice for you that might make the process easier.
4 tips to help you choose exterior house colors
1. Ask for siding color samples from a siding manufacturer.
Even if you’re going to paint the outside of the home yourself, I wouldn’t start by going to the paint store and looking at thousands of house colors – talk about overload! Instead, I recommend looking to experts in exterior colors, such as siding manufacturers, to see what colors they offer. The trick is you need actual color samples. Do not make your house color selection from the internet or a brochure. You cannot rely on your computer monitor, tablet, or cell phone to accurately represent house colors.
Yes – even if you are the painting your house, look for your color inspiration from siding manufacturers, like Ply Gem. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you have access to all their invaluable exterior color research and color marketing studies for free. Plus, you will able to narrow down your house color choices from thousands of options to a more manageable 30 – 40 house colors. I wouldn’t have suggested this approach 15 years ago because there weren’t as many siding color choices. However, new technology has given us a greater diversity of siding colors, as well as darker, more saturated tones.
2. View any exterior house color in full sunlight.
Researching house colors through a siding manufacturer will also help you get house colors suited for exteriors. Paint colors that look good in a store, often look washed out in the sun, so always view your exterior color choices in full sunlight.
3. Trust historic color palettes.
Reference historic color pallets when choosing exterior colors. And use caution when venturing outside of natural or historical color palettes.
4. Test your house color first.
Many paint stores will sell you a small test can of paint for mere dollars. I recommend painting a piece of plywood and holding it up to the actual surface that needs painting. Then you can see the effect that landscaping, shade, and the sun all have on different house colors. Don’t be surprised if the adjacent grass adds a slight green tint to the color or if the color looks bluer in the shade.
In short – take time when choosing house colors.
If you take the time to research a variety of exterior house colors outside the beige spectrum, you will not only make a lasting impression on your house but also add character and diversity to your neighborhood.