How to Select Home Exterior Paints

Step 1 Find out if there are local restrictions on color

Before you fall in love with "Brilliant Blue", "Gauche Green", or any other paint color, check to see if any local authority restricts the colors you can use.  This is especially important if you live in an historic area, newer subdivision, or townhouse community.  It's not uncommon to find a list of "approved" colors in these types of neighborhoods.

Step 2 Look to the natural environment for inspiration

Try to choose a paint color that is compatible with the appearance of your local environment.  While bright pastel colors may look great in Florida, they may not be appropriate in the Great Northwest. Consider the colors of your neighbors' homes.  This is an important, but often overlooked, factor in color selection.  Most people want their home to be distinctive, but it should also be compatible with colors used in the neighborhood.  So, take a long, hard look at nearby homes before choosing your paint color.

Step 3 Consider the colors of your neighbors' homes

This is an important, but often overlooked, factor in color selection.  Most people want their home to be distinctive, but it should also be compatible with colors used in the neighborhood.  So, take a long, hard look at nearby homes before choosing your paint color.

Step 4 Take into account the style of your home

There are some paint colors that work best with specific architectural styles.  For example, white works well on formal colonial or Greek Revival homes, while bold colors seem to enhance the appearance of Victorian homes.

Step 5 Consider the "fixed" colors on your home

When selecting a paint color, factor in the color of any brick, stone, or unpainted masonry on your home.  Also make sure your paint color works with the color of your roof and any other prominent surface that won't be painted.

Step 6 Go with what appeals to you

Now comes the fun part.  Even after following the first five steps, you should still have a wide variety of exterior paint colors to choose from.  Pick a color that you love – and enjoy!

For more information on selecting colors, click here.

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