DIY September 5, 2018

How to Pick Exterior Paint Colors

How to select an exterior paint color in BellinghamHave you ever struggled with what color to paint the exterior of your home?!  Guess what?  You aren’t the only one! I’ve been getting asked for suggestions on how to start this process a lot lately- so here you go! Here’s my system for outside and maybe, just maybe I will have a special guest tell us how to approach the inside walls of a home.

How to select paint colors for the EXTERIOR of your home:

  • Make a list of new construction neighborhoods around town (not sure? I can pull you a list of new construction in Bellingham), grab the person who you have to agree on this decision with, and a pumpkin spice latte  (sorry, I couldn’t resist) and hop in the car!
  • Drive through these neighborhoods and point out the ones you like the colors of. Find a few you agree on and then take a few photos of them (make sure you write on your list the address of the homes you are taking photos of – and the color next to it… I’ll come back to this later). Keep in mind your style of home. If you need 3 paint colors (house, trim and an accent color) look for other homes that are using the same number of colors. Many homes in the Bellingham area are craftsman style with shingles and natural wood posts. You may have to consider stain colors for any wood elements as well.
  • Bring those photos home and PRINT THEM. I know, weird to think you’d print a photo in this day and age. If its been a while since you’ve printed one and you get stuck on this step, just upload to your closest @walgreens and pick up in an hour!
  • Take those printed photos outside, stand on your street and hold them up so you can see the colors and your home in the same line of sight. Order them by your favorites.
  • Now, go for a walk. Walk both ways down your street and make sure that that color won’t be a total eye sore with the surrounding homes. If for some reason #1 doesn’t quite work with the neighbors, then consider #2!
  • Alright, now you have decided on a color and possibly a trim color-so you might be thinking how do I know what color it actually is?! Guess what-there’s an app for that! Most major paint brands (for sure Sherwin Williams, Behr and Benjamin Moore) have an app that you can use to take a photo of a color and it will identify the hue and pick the closest shade in that brand. It’s not the smartest idea to use the app to take a photo of the printed color- so go back to your list and drive to the home you wrote the color you chose next to and get as close as you can to the house without being a weirdo and use the app to identify the color! If you took your picture from new construction, you may also be able to contact the builder to get the exact color codes for the paint.

Before you paint, if you’re part of a home owner’s association, have your association review your paint colors to make sure there are no conflicts with your HOA rules.

Happy House Painting!