When choosing colors (exterior or otherwise) try to select the tones, hues or shades that complement or enhance items that the colors will be associated with. Especially when those items are permanent or long lasting fixtures. As an example, house shingles can last a number of years and if the intention is to not replace them in the next decade (give or take) then use your shingles as a starting point to create a color palette. Below you will find a number of tips for finding your homes exterior colors.


The outside of your home is, of course, what everyone in the neighbourhood sees and represents who you are. With that said, try and stick with colors that work well with the homes in your block. Then, again, if you're one of those rebels the heck with them. A little hot pink never hurt anyone......right.

  1. The number one way to select your exterior paint colors is to check out different residential areas of the city or town that you live in. Newer neighbourhoods would, of course, have the most up to date color combinations to choose from.

  2. Keep in mind that some homes in certain neighbourhoods require colors (exterior paint type) to be approved by an entity such as a home owners association. You don't want to end up painting your siding and then have no choice but to paint it again.

  3. As mentioned above, use colors from un-movable items or fixtures that are on or around your home. Shingles, a deck or masonry are examples along with vinyl or metal window/door trim and fascia/sofits. The entrance door or landscaping such as flowers, trees and brickwork etc. should also be considered to pull colors from.

  4. Another idea is to test your chosen colors prior to buying. Most retailers sell small quantity of colors. Once you apply your colors (exterior paint) have a look at them in different lighting just to be on the safe side.

  5. Once you have decided on a color your paint dealer can help you make matching or complementary color selections that can be used on your siding, woodwork or doors etc.

  6. In fact you might want to go to the paint dealer to get color sample brochures or a color fan that you can use to find the color that's closest to those items that are permanent fixtures of your home.

  7. Whether you're using it on the trim or entire home, white can be a very stark or dated color. White does have an advantage though as it tends to last longer than other paint colors.

  8. Darker paint colors on the other hand do not to last as long as lighter ones especially on certain types of surfaces (eg. vinyl siding). Be sure to ask your paint retailer for advice regarding your particular exterior painting project including tools and the proper products and materials to be used.

  9. Some retailers can also sell you a picture painter (software program) that uses a picture of your home so that you can try different colors on your homes trim, siding or gable ends etc.

  10. Or if your a little more frugal, try drawing your home then coloring it in using felt pens or pencil crayons. Your paint colors won't match exactly but by doing so you will have a basic idea as to color coordination once painted.

You can either take an item (such as a shingle or brick) to the paint store so as to find the same color family to match your paint to. When it comes to areas of the home that can't be removed then match colors using color samples from your paint retailer. Most paint stores have color fans that you can borrow as long as you leave a deposit. Your color fan color match doesn't have to be exact just somewhat close as you will be using colors that are in the same color family along with other tones, hues and shades that coordinate with your matched colors/s.


When you do decide on a paint color keep in mind that most colors tend not to look exactly the same as those on the paint store fans or samplers etc. Types of paint formula's, paint sheen, color of items, the color you selected and lighting can all play a part in what a color will or will not look like. You might be interested in this book to get you started.

Also, here's another page that talks about choosing exterior paint colors.

Do keep in mind though that resources for color selection (books, Internet or otherwise) are specifically there for suggestion purposes. In the end the, only way your going to know what a color looks like is to apply the color to your home.

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