Thursday, July 10, 2014

Six Steps to Choosing the Perfect Exterior Paint Color

Man, it's hard to come back from vacation. I was getting used to this…

and this...

and this…

But, alas, I am back to reality.

And that means I need to stop messing around and pick an exterior paint color for our house.

I'm not gonna lie. Choosing a new exterior paint color is no simple task.

So, in hopes of helping others who may be facing this same difficult decision, I will share my process for finding the perfect exterior paint color.

Step 1: Log onto and search for photos of home exteriors. There are approximately 8 million pictures to peruse. Okay, maybe only 626,076. Tomato tomato.

When you find a house color that you think might be perfect for you, scroll through the comment section to see if the designer/architect has provided the paint color info. Please note: if it truly is the perfect paint color, the name will not be noted. At this point, you can choose to hunt down the paint color information by every means necessary (Google, Pinterest, e-mailing the architect, etc), or you can move on. For the sake of sanity, I recommend you just move on.

Step 2: Go for a drive. Face it. After all the hours you've just spent online, you need to get out of the houzz, er, house.


Take note of any house colors that grab your attention (in a good way). Pull out your phone and snap some pictures. And, if you have no shame the guts, ring the bell and ask the homeowner for the name of her paint color. She will probably be flattered that you asked, and call the police back to tell them there's no need to come and apprehend a stalker.

Step 3: Get paint samples. When you have the names of some colors you'd like to try, go get some sample pots from the paint store. Yes, they'll set you back a few bucks initially, but they can also save you from making a very costly mistake down the road.

Plus, you can make cool pyramids with them.

Paint some swatches on your house. You might want to start with small swatches, because some of the colors you will inevitably hate right away. "What? This didn't look mint green in the picture!" Remember that paint looks different on a computer screen than it does in real life. It also looks different on a paint chip than it does covering the side of your house. It's a tricky little bugger!

Step 4: Paint large swatches on your house. When you've narrowed down your paint choices, start painting large swatches on different sides of your house. Check them at different times of day, so you can see how the colors look in various light conditions.

Stand back and stare at the paint and see how many neighbors stop by to weigh in on the decision. This could either be helpful, or confuse you more than ever. Good luck.

Step 5: Ignore your husband when he says, "Why don't we just keep the color we already have?"

Take a deep breath and recognize that he is trying to be helpful. The fact that he is not, is irrelevant.

Step 6: Make a decision. If you like the large paint swatches at various times of day; If it blends well with your landscaping, your roof, your brick/stone; If no one has stopped by and begged you to reconsider; then you are ready to make a decision.

When your house is painted, looks beautiful, and receives tons of compliments…. post a picture of it on Houzz.

And, please, include the name of the paint color.


  1. So many things to consider - it's no wonder that it's an overwhelming decision! I'm sure whatever you choose, it will look great! :)