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How to pick an Exterior Paint Color

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Matt Stone

Choosing the best exterior paint colors for your home can seem like a daunting task. There are over 1700 colors available from Sherwin Williams alone. You may be choosing one color to compliment your home’s brick, or you may be choosing a complex color palette for a victorian home. For each of those projects and everything in between, Hometown Painting would like to help OKC homeowners make the best paint color selection for their home’s exterior.

From our years of experience with exterior painting in the OKC metro, we have gathered some tips for you to keep in mind for your next exterior painting project. Use these as a guide to help you select your next paint color. Keep in mind that we are always here to help and you can contact us with your paint-related questions.

Look To You Own Personal Style

Your style is unique to you and your paint color choices should reflect that. One way to get inspiration is to see what colors you have already chosen in other areas of your home. From the interior walls of your home, to your personal decor items, your eye will typically be drawn to a certain color palette.

If you tend to like bold striking colors you may want to carry this trend to your home’s exterior. If on the other hand, you like a softer color palette, using neutrals on your home may be more appropriate. Using your personal style is a great starting point to choose a few color options you may be drawn to.

Look For Inspiration From Other Homes

exterior of a house in okc painted blue and white color

One great (and free) way to get exterior paint color ideas is to see what others have used on their homes. There is no need to copy someone else’s colors. You can use their color schemes as a jumping off paint for your own inspiration.

One great place to start is in your own neighborhood. Take a look around your home at what other homeowners have done and see what you like. These homes will likely be a similar style to your own and will give you a good indication of how the colors would look on your home.

This is also a great time to consider whether you want your home to stand out or blend in with your neighborhood. Which way you choose will probably depend on your personality. Either way, taking a good look up and down your street will help you in deciding which colors to consider and which to avoid.

Use Pinterest to Find Ideas

exterior paint colors search screen from Pinterest

Another great place to look for color inspiration is Pinterest. By searching for exterior paint colors you will find many example pictures. If you have already narrowed down to a few color options you can search for those colors specifically.

Match The Other Elements Of Your Home

There are going to be some elements on your home’s exterior that you can’t change. This might include exterior brick or stone. Your house may need to coordinate with your fence stain color. You will also have to consider the roof color as well. It is important to check if the exterior paint color you are considering will coordinate with these parts of your home.

One way to test whether the colors will coordinate is to match warm colors and cool colors. If your brick or stone is a warm color or has a warm undertone, painting a cool color next to it will likely clash. You can learn more about warm vs. cool colors here. Also, consider reading this article on identifying undertones in exterior surfaces.

Test The Colors Before You Commit

It can be difficult to get a true idea of what an exterior paint color will look like on your home from a picture alone. You really need to see what the color will look like on your home. A good first step is to take color swatches home from the paint store. You can hold these small cards up to your home to see what the color will look like.

  • Make sure to hold the swatch next to each element of your home’s exterior. This includes brick, stone, roofing, and other paint colors if they won’t be repainted.
  • Hold the Paint swatch up on all four sides of your home. Each side will get different lighting and the color will look slightly different each time.
  • Check at different times of the day. A color that glows in morning light might look garish in the brighter afternoon sun.

Color swatches from the paint store are often too small to get a good idea of the color. A better solution is to purchase paint samples of the colors you are interested in. You can also buy an inexpensive paintbrush and use it to paint a larger area of paint on your home. This larger swatch of paint will give you an even better idea of how the color will look.

Keep in mind the same principles mentioned above about testing color swatches. You will want to paint a test area on all sides of your house and check it at different times of the day to get a true feel for the color.

Enjoy Your Newly Painted Home

There is no need to stress about getting your exterior paint color exactly right. If you have followed the steps outlined above you will have a color that will work great for your home and that fits your style.

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Author: Matt Stone
Matt is the owner of Hometown Painting. He has worked in the painting and construction trades for over 10 years. He has a passion for teaching homeowners so they can make the best paint choices for their homes.

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