What to consider when choosing exterior house paint colors.

You went out and got 2-3 estimates to paint your home, met with every salesman, compared prices and pros and cons of each company. After you finally decide which company is the best for the job comes the job of picking colors. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem at first when you’re staring at a swatchbook of over 1000 colors.

Follow this advice to achieve picking the best possible colors for your home.

A few points to consider before starting:

  • Be conscious of the texture of your wall, whether it is smooth or textured or you have brick or stone plays an important role in picking a color and finish.
  • Find out if your HOA (homeowner’s association) has color schemes that they require you to choose from and their guidelines for which schemes you can choose depending on your neighbors color schemes.
  • Consider the pros and cons of choosing a light color or a dark color scheme.

What kind of texture is on your wall?

Most houses in South Florida are either smooth (orange peel) or have texture on the walls. A few will have brick or some kind of stone on the front part of the house and some will have wood across the walls as well.

Smooth Wall considerations:

The benefit of using a flat finish on your smooth walls is that it will hide most structure imperfections. although it may look fine to you before painting, if you apply a satin finish it will show the imperfections of the wall since it is almost impossible for the contractors to construct a perfectly flat wall. As soon as the sun hits it the shine in the satin finish will cause the wall to show the imperfections by the shadows that the imperfections reveal, meaning it’ll look darker or lighter in different areas. The house pictured below is smooth and the white color has a flat finish while the doors, accents and trim have a bluish gray color with a satin finish.

Smooth Wall exterior house painting in a flat finish in Miami, Florida

Textured wall considerations:

There are many benefits to using a satin finish on your textured walls. The color will look more vibrant due to its shine when the sun hits it. A wall with a satin finish is also easier to clean and maintain. Satin walls prevent the paint from getting chalky faster, the best way to maintain your paint is to have the walls pressure cleaned at low pressure at least once a year.

Textured wall with satin finish

Do you have an HOA (home owners association) ?

Normally, if you have an HOA then you already know what a pain it can be dealing with their guidelines. Before starting your search for colors, contact your HOA to see if they have schemes and guidelines they might require for you to paint your home. Some HOA don’t care about what colors you choose but most have schemes and guidelines that they require you to follow. You don’t want to pay twice to paint your house so make sure you and your HOA are on the same page.

PROS and CONS of LIGHT colors

Light color exterior house painting

Pros of light colors:

  • Your house will appear bigger with a light color
  • The accent second and third colors if chosen correctly allow for an impactful contrast
  • paint color holds up longer since dark colors fade faster
  • House temperature will be slightly cooler

Cons of light colors:

  • Paint gets dirty faster
  • can appear dull and boring if not paired correctly with an accent color

PROS and CONS of DARK colors

dark color exterior house painting

Pros of dark colors:

  • A dark color completely changes the aspect of the house making it feel like a new home
  • More color schemes are available with darker colors
  • dark colors can sometimes hide imperfections or accent structural pieces

Cons of dark colors:

  • Color will fade faster
  • House will be slightly warmer than a light color

Additional Tips:

Consider that painting a 1 story house a dark color will make it look smaller while using a light color will make it look bigger and a bit more modern. this also applies to a 2-story home but its difficult to make a 2-story home look small. Apply paint samples on different walls on the house to see how the color looks on different walls and see how they look dry at different times of the day. You can make a relatively boring house look modern and awesome by painting the front door a bright red or a dark blue.