3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing Exterior Paint Color

House type: Ranch

The front of your house is the first thing buyers see on your property.  First impressions create the “vibe” that every potential buyer or guest will feel before they step foot inside.  Botch that…botch the entire experience.  An external makeover can cost anywhere from $2000 to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the scope of work, but will net your FAR more when done correctly.  There are many ways to do this…but none so impactful as paint.  Paint…when done correctly, will give you back every single dollar and then some.  So what’s the rub?  Well, oftentimes, home owners think they know what’s best when it comes to color…they don’t.  More often than not, they just don’t.  Even in expensive neighborhoods where it seems the budget would allow for expert help, we see color mistakes that ruin the facade. 

Here are 3 pitfalls to avoid when choosing color.  

  1. Pitfall number one:  Ignoring the fixed elements on your property.  One of the first questions we ask our clients at brick&batten is…”What color is your roof?”.  This is just one fixed element in a whole myriad of variables that will affect the way we see paint.  Color is a remarkable thing.  Changing the trim color can drastically affect the rest of the field color.  If someone has a warm flagstone porch with browns and beiges, we most certainly will avoid a cool white.  Lots of options for white, and it costs the same amount to paint the wrong white as it does the right white.  
  2. Pitfall number two:  Ignoring the surface you are painting…not all surfaces are created equal.  Stucco, brick, siding…they are all VERY DIFFERENT animals that require different care.  Paint shows up different on different textures.  And generally speaking, exterior paint shows up lighter in real life than on that tiny little chip you’ve been carrying around.  A professional has seen these colors in action and knows that Revere Pewter looks dark on the chip and in real life, it’s a stunning “off white”.  However, in the shade, it starts to get closer to the chip.  All things to consider.  Again, environment and texture will affect the way the color looks.  Textured stucco has shadows and color will appear darker than the siding right next to it.  We love when a color shows up differently creating contrasting interest on the exterior of a house…when done correctly.  
  3. Pitfall number three:  Ignoring the sheen of the paint you are using.  Different surfaces look better with different sheens depending on what you are trying to achieve and the functionality of the paint.  See our brick&batten blog on what sheens perform best on which surfaces.  Generally speaking, sheen enhances texture.  So, this is important when painting a house with different surfaces to consider.  

In conclusion, spend your money wisely on the exterior…and get every penny back on resale.  Let us show you how!