How to Win at Exterior Paint and Curb Appeal

Garden Hills client After

Do you want to question everything you know about exterior paint? March on down to the local Lowes and start picking out samples of paint for your exterior.  Better yet, grab an alternate color for the trim and door.  To really spice things up… bring your spouse!  Yeah! Do that!  Just to really keep you guessing, make the paint swatch you are picking from less than 2 inches and drag it outside. 

After dragging the paint swatch outside, tell me…how’s that working for ya?  It’s a bitch.  I said it.  Total bitch.  Confusing the situation even more, are you painting brick or siding?  Oh yeah, forgot to mention, that changes things a bit.  Wait…wait…did you say your roof is brown?  What?  Brown?? Go back to Lowes.  These aren’t gonna work.  Not even close.  

Am I exaggerating?  Unfortunately no.  But, I can tell you this, there are some rules to follow and there are places and people who know and can help.   Generally speaking, it’s nearly impossible to see a color on a friend’s house and have it work for you as well; therefore, you feel frustrated and alone.

Here’s why exterior paint can be frustrating:

  • roof color
  • environment
  • facing direction
  • stonework, brick, siding, concrete

First, you need to recognize your fixed elements.  As a matter of fact, these elements all play a part in how we see color and how the undertones work together.  If you fail to look at these components, you fail, period.  As we’ve said countless times, it costs the same amount to paint the wrong color as it does the right color; however, there is hope!

So, brick&batten wants to take you behind the scenes on a paint color picking adventure and show you how the pros do it!  

  1. Stand back and evaluate the entire facade.  What is the dominating force on your house?  Is it your roof or possibly the brick color?  Maybe it’s  a massive concrete parking pad and drive way.  What stands out?  Are these colors warm or cool?  Consequently, brick tends to be warm.  Concrete can be cool.  
  2. Look at your roof…every house has one.  What color is yours?  Brown?  Red?  Black?  Gray?  Weathered Wood color?  
  3. Are you looking to lighten your exterior?  Or feeling a darker scheme?  Somewhere in the middle?  
  4. From these observations… proceed with choosing colors that can live with the fixed elements.  For example, if your roof is brown, we want a warm color that will flow harmoniously.  With a gray roof, usually there are brown tones in it as well to open up the field for more color options.  

Next, after selections are made, see our previous blog on TESTING.  This is such an important step and one that will pay dividends in the long run.  Colors can show up much lighter or darker on your house than the paint chip.  Revere Pewter is a popular color with Benjamin Moore and a gorgeous color in real life.  I’ve seen this color show up almost white on an exterior that got a lot of sunlight.  Colors morph and reflect light in different capacities. 

Finally, test samples like crazy and drive everyone around you nuts with, ”Do you see yellow?  I see yellow” and “That’s way darker than I thought it would be…” and my personal favorite… “That’s green!  Not gray!”  Happy Painting!  When you’ve had enough…call brick&batten and let us take the guesswork away.