Four Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Color

Consider the exterior of your home a first impression. It’s the first and sometimes the only part of your home that others will see. Your exterior paint color choices make a statement about you and could even come into play when determining the resale value of your home.


When choosing a color scheme for the exterior of your home, use these four tips to help you with your selection.

1)  What do you like? The first thing to consider when choosing paint color is your own personal preferences. What colors do you like? Have you seen examples of homes – while driving or browsing the internet – which you really like? Gather examples of exterior designs that appeal to you, and determine the features in those examples that you like including color choices, placement of colors, etc.

2)  Look at your existing colors. It’s important to determine which colors are already present in your exterior.  What colors exist in some of your fixed features that you cannot change? Look at walkways, patios, chimneys, stone elements, decks and roofing. Choose paint colors that complement the existing colors. For example, if you have brown roofing with some red hues mixed in, you may want to choose warmer colors like Farmhouse Red (217). If your roofing is gray with some elements of blue, you may want to go with a cooler bluish gray color like Williamsburg (227) or Hearthstone (216).

3)  View your surroundings. Although your house should be a unique expression of yourself, it should fit in nicely with the surrounding houses. Look at the color schemes in your neighbors’ houses. Determine a color that will not clash, but will complement the other houses. Light source is another important element of your surroundings.  Color can change in different lighting – depending on the time of day or even the seasons. Consider painting a sample board like a Small Wall® and viewing it in different lights. Testing a color in different light sources before painting the whole house could save you from disappointment.

 4)  Ask for help. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask paint professionals for help.  Your painting contractor or the full time staff at your local McCormick Paints store can help you in your color decision process.  Pick up an Exterior Color Card at any of the McCormick Paints stores or view it online. You might find the exterior color palettes and featured color combinations a source of inspiration for your own home.

 What other tips do you have for choosing exterior paint colors? Share your tips on our Facebook page or mention us on twitter @mccormickpaints.