5 Tips to Choose Exterior Paint Color

photo(5)Some of us have a serious case of spring fever going on right now. If that sounds familiar and it’s been making you want to tackle some outdoor home projects that have been put off for months, let’s do this!  Now the prime season for house painting. Choosing paint color can be intimidating; it may take you weeks to decide on the look that you want for your exterior redo. So let’s start planning before the weather gets too warm!

beforeWe’ve lived in our house a little over 3 years. It was originally built in 1920 as a small raised bungalow. This is what the house looked like during the priming process. It had an {old} white paint job (not the easiest color to keep fresh, people!) and black trim.

backThe stucco was visibly repaired in a few places and in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. So how do you begin to make a paint color decision for such a daunting (yet exciting) project?

  1.  It helps if you have a focus, or at least one color that you love and must have. Personalize the look, make it your own. For me, it was the door and bright yellow was a must-have!


  2. Think about the neighborhood. One option is to coordinate with your neighbors a bit since they are part of your curb appeal. Also, think about location. If you’re near water, maybe you are inspired to create a palette based on cool blues of the sea or the beige colors of sand. Maybe you’re in a wooded area with lots of green and landscaping- then you would want to pick contrasting colors so that your house doesn’t blend in too much and get lost in your surroundings. Living in a beach-side community with close proximity to our neighbors, we decided to embrace the sand with our main color and contrast with crisp white trim that screams BEACH! We saved the bright colors for accents like the door, furniture, and a few accessories. Doing this made our house look bigger (yay!) and not stand out for the wrong reasons among the other neutrals on the block.
  3. Consider any special characteristics that you want to highlight– like ornate trim, or the ceiling of your porch. We brought in the surf with a light blue porch ceiling color. It’s so refreshing sitting under there. Maybe you want to play up the colors of your roof? After taking a good look in daylight I realized our slate roof tiles weren’t just blue-grey; they have lots of rich beige-brown in them. This totally helped with the paint decision. The main sand-beige paint color I chose for the stucco really brings out the color variations in our roof tiles. We’ve gotten plenty of compliments from people walking by who say they didn’t realize we had a slate roof until the house was re-painted!


  4. When it came time to make color decisions it really helps to just paint samples directly on the house. But painting samples on white foam core board can also guide you on what colors to choose. Have fun with it!
  5. Relax, there’s lots of other details that you can update easily if you’re not ready to tackle a full-on paint job: replace your house numbers/mailbox/doorknocker/hardware. These minor changes will create an overall makeover without breaking your budget or costing you lots of time.

We used Sherwin Williams Duration Exterior Paint (HIGHLY RECOMMEND) which was colormatched to these Benjamin Moore colors: Body- Alexandria Beige HC-77, Door- Bright Yellow 2022-30, Ceiling- Jamestown Blue HC-148, Floor- Tamarind AF-120, Trim-Frostine AF-5.

Trust me, this type of a makeover will have you feeling unbelievably fresh and happy- after all, the exterior of your house is something that you look at every day. What’s on my current to-do list? Update the landscaping below, add planters filled with fresh flowers, buy bright new pillows on the sofa to pull the paint colors together, paint a rug on the floor, and accent with some candles or mirrored mobiles.

What’s going to be your Spring Fever project? Let me know if I can help you with anything.


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