Using Exterior Paint Colors to Improve Your Curb Appeal

Whether you live in a quiet residential neighborhood, a busy sub-division, or a rustic rural setting, caring about your home’s curb appeal is part of the responsibility of home-ownership. Don’t wait until you are ready to sell before you give thought to how passers-by view your property. Keeping your house and yard beautiful and attractive says as much about you as it does about your home. Fortunately, adding exterior paint color is a relatively simple and cost-effective way to update your property, increase its value and keep the neighbors happy. A new coat of paint can give your entire house an exterior facelift, but choosing the right color is important, and there are several factors to consider:

Location—Home-owners in northern climates usually choose more muted exterior paint colors such as Benjamin Moore’s “Stratton Blue” or Sherwin Williams’ “Simple White.” Actually, white is a universally appropriate color for any house in any location. Northern ocean-front properties are often decked out in muted fog and water colors. Popular choices for woodsy homes are dulled greens, browns and grays. The sunnier southern climates are more suited to brighter colors such as Benjamin Moore’s “Windham Cream” or Sherwin Williams’ “Faint Coral.” Clear-water and sandy colors are often seen on beach-front homes, and brighter greens, browns and beiges decorate houses in the woods.

Neighborhood—While fresh, eye-catching colors seem more cheerful and suited to urban areas, being the only house that “stands-out” on the block is not usually a good thing. Maintaining some level of conformity presents a sense of community and oneness that is highly desirable in most neighborhoods. Fitting in with the neighborhood on the exterior of your home still leaves you free to express your own personality on the inside. Painting your front door, the focal point of your property, a bold color is always a safe way to draw attention without overdoing it.

Architecture—Large Victorian homes can often handle as many as five or six separate exterior paint colors. However, colonial homes should probably be restricted to two or three, and most homes built in the last 50 years will look best in one subtle color with minimal monochromatic trim. However, painting an older home a brighter modern color can instantly make it look years younger. Smaller homes will look larger in one quieter color. Painting the trim the same color or a shade that is close in hue will also create a bigger visual appearance. If the garage door is closest to the street, paint it to match the body of the house as well. Any less-attractive architectural features can also be hidden this way. If your home has stone or brick walls, choose a color that coordinates with the shades in these natural features. If the roof is not going to be replaced in the near future, consider its color family in your choice as well.

House painters recommend that the body, which is at least 60 percent of your home, should be painted one color. The trim work should account for another 30 percent. Only 10 percent should be devoted to stand-out accents such as the front door, and this color is usually most effective when concentrated in one area.

Always choose the best-quality paint you can afford. Sherwin Williams’ Resilience Premium Exterior Paint has lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dries quickly, covers almost any exterior surface and is available in many color choices. To help you choose the best exterior paint colors, some manufacturers offer tested and proven sample color combinations. Special websites also have virtual design tools that can help you. Keep your eye on your home’s curb appeal, and you’ll be proud of what your home says about you.