Advice and learnings

Choosing your external paint colours


There you are at the paint shop, staring at an entire wall of swatches in every shade of paint imaginable. Just when you thought you’d decided on a colour, there are twenty different shades to choose from!

Choosing the right colours for your house exterior is definitely an overwhelming and expensive project. Chances are, you’ll be looking at those colours for the next decade, so you definitely want to get it right the first time.

Even if you’re not going to live in your home long-term, choosing the right colours will enhance the curb appeal of your home for resale. So where to start? We’ve put together some helpful information to help you choose the right colour scheme for your home.

Start by understanding the basics of colour
Depending on their undertones, colours are either in the warm or cool family. Choose colours from within one family only.

Light colours can make a house seem larger and dark colours make it seem smaller. Although, darker colours will draw attention to lighter trim details creating more of a dramatic effect.


Image credit: Houzz – Photo by Christopher Templeton


How many colours to choose
Usually an exterior colour scheme features a minimum of three colours – wall colour, accent and trim colour. The wall colour is the largest expanse of colour and generally the trim and accents contrast with the wall colour. The combination of colours you choose form the ‘colour palette’ or the ‘colour scheme’.

Do you have existing colours that won’t change?
Consider the other exterior elements of your façade that won’t be changing eg. roof tiles, gutter colour, driveway colour. Choose a colour scheme that harmonises with these colours, especially the guttering or visible roof surface.

The big paint companies have made things easier for us, taking the guesswork out of choosing colour combinations. You can explore hundreds of professionally designed colour combinations and see colour schemes used on real houses. Most of these websites now offer a virtual painting tool, enabling you to experiment with colour combinations. Being able to visualise the colours on your house will help you narrow down your choices, and save you time and money.

Important tip: Never rely on colour swatches alone. Buy sample size pots of paint to test the colours somewhere inconspicuous where you can see them in different light conditions.



Work with your home’s style
The architectural style of your home can influence what aesthetic will suit – coastal style, Hamptons style, contemporary etc. You will find there are colour palettes that suit one style more than another. For example, for heritage era homes, typically, traditional colour schemes are used. Many era homes have more details like trims, fretwork, and window hoods. With so many details, it’s usually better to use a simple colour palette with one contrasting colour. This is why white and lighter colours are often used on traditional homes. In saying that, these days some heritage home owners are now opting to modernise their colour schemes.

While light colours work on all styles of home, darker colours are usually chosen for a more dramatic, modern look. If in doubt, play it safe with a lighter palette and add abit of personality with a pop of colour for your front door.


Image credit: Houzz – Photo by Cunningham Designs


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *