How to Pick Exterior Paint Colors

Woman looking at exterior paint swatches.

Painting the outside of your home and choosing which colors will boost your curb appeal can be daunting. The last thing you want is to pick a color palette that will clash with your roof, trim, or other structural details. 

But don’t worry — the painting pros at Five Star Painting® have put together a helpful guide on how to pick the perfect exterior paint colors for your home:

Tips for Narrowing Down Home Exterior Paint Colors

Selecting the perfect exterior house colors can substantially impact your home’s overall aesthetics and feel. Explore the nine tips below for how to go about choosing the right color for you. 

Tip 1: Think About Your Home’s Architectural Style 

It’s important to consider the architectural style of your home before opting for a specific exterior paint color. This is because some home styles pair better with certain color palettes than others. A Victorian home, for example, may stand out more when combined with vibrant, bold colors while a minimalist, modern residence might benefit from neutral colors or a more monochromatic scheme. 

Tip 2: Evaluate Your Landscape 

Take in your surroundings, including your landscaping, the neighboring homes, and other exterior details. This can help you narrow down which colors will work best with the surrounding environment to create a cohesive look. 

Tip 3: Study Home Materials

Examine your home’s exterior materials and their texture (e.g., roof tiles, bricks, and stones) when considering which color palette to choose. Finding exterior shades and colors that complement existing materials can tie your home’s exterior nicely together. 

Tip 4: Assess Architectural Details 

Consider architectural elements like windows, doors, trim, and other details to gauge whether you want them to blend in or stand out. Then, select colors that highlight or complement these architectural details to create a balanced look.

Tip 5: Compare Colors in Different Lighting 

Paint colors typically look different in different lighting conditions, such as morning, afternoon, evening, and night. We recommend testing sample swatches of your desired colors under different lighting before settling on the right one, especially since natural light will affect how specific colors appear on the exterior of your home. 

Tip 6: Gauge Roof Color 

Your roof color is a crucial factor to consider when picking out exterior house colors, as you don’t want to choose a color that clashes with it. A good rule of thumb is to pick a paint color that’s a few shades lighter or darker to create an inviting contrast.

Tip 7: Think About the Mood You’re Trying to Set  

Generally, colors elicit different emotions, so it’s imperative to take into account what mood you’re trying to set. For instance, greens and blues tend to evoke feelings of tranquility and ease, while yellows and other bright colors produce a welcoming, inviting atmosphere. 

Tip 8: Get Inspiration 

Seek inspiration from trusted sources like home design magazines, your neighborhood, or friends and family to get a better idea of some of the more popular exterior paint trends. Look for color combos used in exterior home styles like yours to get a better idea of what the exterior of your home will look like if you choose a specific color combination.

Tip 9: Consult Professional Painting Services

If you’re still unsure of how to pick exterior paint colors, contact a professional service like your local Five Star Painting for help. These paint experts have decades of experience picking colors that harmonize with existing architectural details and color palettes. They are a wealth of knowledge and can provide insight beyond your experience. 

FAQs About Choosing Outdoor Paint Colors   

How do I choose the right exterior paint color?

Narrowing down which exterior paint colors work best boils down to your home’s design and your personal preferences (see our tips above for how to choose colors). And remember, select colors that reflect your mood and style — after all, you're the one living there! 

Should exterior trim be lighter or darker than walls?

Although there are no set rules on whether exterior trim should be lighter or darker than walls, there are a few things to consider. For example, if your siding is dark, you may want to opt for classic white trim or other pale shades. Similarly, a light wall color can create a striking contrast with darker trim. 

Is there an app to see what your house exterior would look like painted?

Yes, there are apps to see what your house may look like when painted. For instance, Sherwin-Williams, Behr, and Benjamin Moore offer excellent tools you can try. Learn more about them in our exterior house color visualizers blog post.

How many colors should you paint the exterior of your house?

The number of colors to paint your home’s exterior will depend on how many details there are to showcase, but typically traditional homes have three colors: body, trim, and accent. 

Find A Five Star Painting Exterior Professional Near You    

If you’re still undecided about which color combinations will look best on the exterior of your home, your local Five Star Painting pros can help. Our paint experts have the know-how and experience to help you choose the right exterior colors, and state-of-the-art equipment  to paint your home so it looks its absolute best. Learn more about our exterior home painting services

Give us a call or schedule a free estimate online today!