Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

Selecting exterior paint colors is a big and often expensive decision, but the right colors will turn your house into a home. These simple tips will make the process easy, and will have you brushing on the perfect palette.


[BLANK_AUDIO] Hi. I'm Jennifer Kopf, Homes Editor at Southern Living. Selecting exterior paints is a big decision, and often an expensive one. The color of your house is one of the biggest overall style determinants, making or breaking it's curb appeal. [MUSIC] Ideally, your want your home to blend seamlessly with its immediate surroundings. Consider neighboring homes as well, especially if they are in close proximity. If you have a lot of green foliage surrounding your home, earthy tones work well. An off-white or cream-colored home pops against a lush backdrop. [MUSIC] While brown shutters and trim keep it firmly grounded in its setting. A taupe or brown colored exterior takes the backseat to nature completely. A good choice, if your house is situated in the mountains, on a lake, or shrouded by trees. White trim maintains the classic look and keeps brown exteriors from becoming too bland. [MUSIC] For a subtle hit of color, try muted golden tones as an accent. They coordinate but add just enough color to give the look a kick. If you want your home to take the backseat entirely to Mother Nature, go with a monochromatic brown scheme using varying shades for minimal emphasis. If your home already has a focal point, such as a red roof or brick work, utilize a palette that works with existing hues and does not compete. Cream exteriors are understated but aren't overshadowed by a vibrant roof. Dark green shutters emphasis architectural features and balance the roof's strong color. For a stately and classic look, consider white, it works well on traditional homes as well as contemporary ones. Punctuate the look with color-on accents, such as shutters, doors, or trim work. Black and dark green are timeless accents on a white facade. A stark white is not typically not the best choice for exteriors. Instead, opt for whites with a hint of cream or taupe to tie your home more closely to its environment. Soft grays and blues offer a classic cottage look that never goes out of fashion. [MUSIC] Pump up the charm factor with white trim and opt for a timeless taupe on windows and doors. Another classic color combo is cream on cream. Paint the body one color and then add emphasis with a darker shade of the same hue on shutters and trim. Soft yellows always make a sunny statement. Perfect for shingled bungalows or clapboard cottages. White, black, and red make a nice complement to a yellow base. If you live in a coastal environment, there's opportunity to be a bit more bold. Consider an exterior that really screams from the street. Citrus hues combined with strong blues set the stage for good times in a tropical climate. For a more classic coastal look, tone it down and look to the ocean and the sand for inspiration. If you want to be daring with color, but don't wanna paint your entire house, consider your front door. Painting your door bright colors is an easy inexpensive change that adds lots of personality. Blue, red, turquoise, yellow, or even green, all make a welcoming statement. [MUSIC] Regardless of what scheme you choose, spend a few extra dollars on high quality paint to avoid premature peeling and spotting. For more exterior pallet inspiration, visit
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