Exterior House Paint Ideas

Exterior house color schemes can show off detail, minimize poor appearances and increase curb appeal. Selecting the right house paint makes all the difference.

There are many factors at play when choosing house paint, and coordinating the exterior house color schemes. The age and style of the home, personal homeowner preference, the condition of the home and the neighborhood where the house is located can all have a hand in deciding what house colors to choose. Weighing each component separately and together will produce the right pallet.

The Age And Style Of The Home

Begin by taking into consideration the type of home to be painted. Historical homes can usually work well by using period colors and styles, but depending on their location, it may be possible to produce startlingly beautiful results by painting an older home in modern colors.

If deciding to follow the home’s natural guidelines, it can be an easy job of narrowing down the paint color choices. Victorian paint colors usually have some black mixed into them and are more somber. This results in burgundies, grays, forest greens, and even violets. Homes that have a great deal of trim and woodwork can make use of two or three coordinating colors that have a similar feature or tone about them.

If the home has a change in cladding, such as horizontal wood siding, to shingles, then it is more than acceptable to paint the home in two or more colors. Change the color of the paint with the change in material. This can mean painting one portion of the home a blue-green, while sections of trim are white, moldings are red or burgundy and the face of steps are violets. Follow the home’s clues; if there is a band of trim around the center of the home, then the colors need to change there.

Foursquare style homes will often have a contrasting or bright shade of trim. Outline the edges of the house and window sashes in white, while the house itself is yellow. Or try using a blue-gray house color, with a creamy trim.

Check Out The Neighborhood

If considering painting the home either in historical or more modern colors, it helps to see what the rest of the neighborhood looks like. While it can certainly be attention-grabbing to be the only house on the block with lime green trim, this can be off-putting to the neighbors, and even to potential home buyers.

This is not to say that every home on a block needs to have identical colors and details, but if a variety of homes on the block are painted in period colors appropriate to the type of building, then it makes sense to continue this theme. Eclectic neighborhoods, with a mix of newer and older homes, may be able to handle an older home painted in newer colors, but take care to preserve the style of the home, even while using modern colors.

Take The Roof Into Consideration

Many older homes had roofs that were anything but gray. Green shingles, lavender slate and even red were not uncommon in many homes. If re-shingling the roof at the same time as the painting is being done, consider using a color on the roof to contrast and highlight the rest of the house colors. A green roof on a yellow home with a bright red door and white trim provides a cheerful cap to the home.

Likewise, a slate roof in tones of lavender and gray will work well with a deep green home with yellow trim and a blue door.

The final and most important factor to consider when painting the house is the homeowner’s preference. If bright colors are preferred, but the house is a Victorian style, consider using a brightly colored front door in red or blue, to provide a bright pop of color against the more somber siding.

Likewise, there is nothing wrong with using deep colors in a more modern home. Pay attention to detail and what the house is saying, and the color scheme will be perfect.

Safety

•    Safety is important, and no one should work alone on ladders and scaffolds, should an emergency arise.

•    A safety harness should be used when working on two-story structures.

•    No one should work underneath scaffolds.

Time Saving Tips

If a scaffold or ladder is being used in a spot that is difficult to access, it is possible to finish all of the painting in one pass. Depending on the drying time, this can be accomplished in a relatively short time. Painting the soffit, then the fascia, and finally the wall, in that particular order, and repeating the process for the second coat is one way to keep consistently working on a section while waiting for the paint to dry in other sections. In this manner, the scaffold does not have to be moved back and forth multiple times.

If time is of the essence, then with a steady hand, trim can be painted when the wall paint is dry to the touch. If a spot is particularly difficult to get to, this may be the best option. It is, however, preferable to wait until the wall paint is completely dry.

Touch-up Tips

When touching up the final coat, a brush can be used to fade the edges out to a thin featheredge, which will prevent highly visible spots of lighter or darker paint shades, as paint can sometimes appear lighter or darker in places with multiple coats. Even relatively large areas can be faded in this manner, if necessary, such as when the paint was not mixed properly and there is a slight variation in color or shade.

Painters tape can be used to clean up trim if freehand efforts have failed.

Brushes And Rolls

Brushes should be kept in a bucket of water when not in use. This will prevent the bristles from clumping together. If they are allowed to dry with paint on them, they will be next to useless. However, they should be dried well before painting.

At the end of the day, rinse the paint rolls and brushes quickly, and leave them in a bucket of clean water overnight. If they are not going to be used for several days, wash them carefully until the water runs clear and leave them to dry.

Paint rolls can also be kept in a plastic bag, even overnight. A paint roll holds a large quantity of paint, and washing it unnecessarily consumes both time and paint.

Miscellaneous Tips

Always mix your paints well before application to maintain a uniform color. A small paint mixer bit on a drill works best for this purpose.

The weather plays an important role. It is not a good idea to start a painting project when rain is expected. Most paints should not be exposed to water within the first 24 hours of the application.

Any sprinklers that spray the wall should be turned off.

Although painting is rather easy, it can also be slow and tedious as there is usually quite a bit of surface to cover. Any homeowner can manage the project and it is certainly worth the effort, but it will not be extremely fast. Multiple days should be reserved for the project, and finding extra help is definitely a good idea.

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