Choosing Exterior Colors

Choosing exterior paint colors for your home can be nerve-wracking. Nowhere else is so much paint used, and nowhere else does it make such a big impact as the exterior of your home. If you get it right, your home will look naturally beautiful. If you get the color wrong, your home will become an eyesore in the neighborhood. With so much pressure, how can you get the color right? Follow these tips for a beautiful exterior home color.

Honor Your Home’s Style

If you have a historical home, think about the era in which it was built when you’re considering paint colors. Bright colors will seem inappropriate on a federal-style home or mid-century modern ranch. Choose from palettes that are similar to the original palettes of the day. If that seems overwhelming, look for a paint manufacturer that provides a collection of historically-accurate colors.

Pay Attention to Architectural Elements

Some aspects of your house likely won’t be changing when you paint your home’s exterior. You’ll probably be keeping your roof shingles, stonework, and pathways as they are. Keep that in mind as you’re choosing a paint color. Make sure your color doesn’t clash with the elements that are going to remain. And take a cue from the remaining colors to help you choose your exterior color. Look for their undertones, and choose a paint color for the house that will harmonize all the elements.

Look at the Neighborhood

It’s true that your home is yours. Unless you live in an HOA with strict rules, you are free to infuse your own style on the exterior of your home. However, it’s in your best interest — as well as your neighbors’ — to choose paint colors that blend in and harmonize with the neighborhood. If you want to stand out, do it in a way that is unobtrusive. Keeping the neighborhood beautiful benefits everyone.

The Rule of Three – Your home should have 3 main colors

  1. The field color — which is the main color of your house
  2. The accent color — this is for doors and shutters (and any other small areas)
  3. The trim color — this color is for roof edging, door casings, and other trim work

The trim color almost always looks great when contrasted with the field color. If you choose a dark color for the biggest part of the house, the trim should be light. Make sure you don’t accent the unattractive elements of your home — the downspouts, uneven windows, air conditioning units, etc. Instead, these elements should blend into the background.

Look for traditional exterior home design inspiration

Major paint brands have color palettes that use coordinating colors. This is a great way to get inspiration, while feeling confident that your choices will create an eye-pleasing affect. You can also hire a color consultant who is an expert at selecting color schemes that work well together. At Matthew Rathgeb Painting, our exterior painting services come with a free color consultation with a color professional. You don’t have to cross your fingers and hope your choices will turn out OK. You can have confidence in your choices even before your project begins.

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Dr. O’Connell - Philadelphia, PA
"Everything went GREAT from start to finish! We have a small pediatric medical office and wanted to do some renovations. We contacted Matt to do the interior painting and wall repair. He came right out and did an estimate. He is very personable and friendly and ...

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Jake S - Center City Philadelphia
"We cannot say enough good things about Matt and his professional crew. We had the 2nd floor of our townhouse painted and needless to say, we are very pleased with their work.  They were prompt, neat, courteous, friendly, and very conscientious with an obvious focus and ...

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Dr. James - Glenside, PA
"First, I would like to say that Matt was incredibly professional and responsive.  The crew was the same.  Very good people and cared about the quality of their work.  Matt did a great job of fitting in the job even though I know he was ...

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Maria G. – Fort Washington, PA
"A very professional contractor. Paid attention to details. Excellent craftsmanship. Nice finish work. Good clean-up. Competitive pricing. Great Quality. Personable. Punctual. Overall, a hassle-free, pleasant experience."

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E. Paist - Newtown, PA
"I have had nearly every room in my house painted by MRP. The painters were always on time, were courteous and responsive to my requests, and were very professional. The quality of work was outstanding and the job was completed on schedule. I wholeheartedly and ...

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