The facade of your home says a lot about you and your household to everyone who sees it. An unkempt house with an overgrown garden, trash scattered, rusty gates, and chipping paint suggests that you are neglecting your home and do not care about appearances. It’s an eyesore, but it’s also a nuisance that lowers your property value and your neighbors’ property value.
Applying a nice coat of paint on the exterior of your house can do wonders in improving your home’s facade. But what is the best exterior paint for your home? Here’s a guide to help you decide from the paint color to the paint brand.
Check with Your HOA or Landlord
If you live in a community with an HOA, you may have limits to the colors you can pick. Around 1 in 4 Americans live under an HOA, which means around 30 million houses are subject to HOA rules. Some HOAs are not as particular about house color and won’t mind whatever color you choose.
But some HOAs may have restrictions on exterior paint colors because they want to keep a community aesthetic uniform. And a house with neon pink paint can definitely stand out in a sea of beige houses. As a precaution, be sure to check if there are pre-approved colors or guidelines on colors you can or can’t paint with.
For those renting their house, be sure to check with your landlord before you start your painting. Some landlords are OK with their tenants painting the property, but they may ask you to paint it back to its original color before you leave, or else they may use your part of or your whole deposit to pay for the repainting.
Consider the Community
Even if your HOA has no qualms about you painting your home’s exterior in a certain color, you still have to consider the bigger picture and how your home will look next to all the other homes in the area.
It is possible to pick a color unique to the other homes without inadvertently turning your home into an eyesore or ruining the general curb appeal. But consider the overall appeal of your area, not just your own home.
Use Online Color Tools
Not sure about which colors look good in your home? Consider using color apps or other digital tools used for interior and exterior wall paints. Here are a few affordable and free apps to help you visualize what the color will look like on your home’s exterior.
- Loomatix – Allows you to take a photo and capture a color into a digital code. It’s great if you see a specific shade you want but are having a hard time describing the shade. Then, you can find that color in hardware stores or provide the digital code to a paint mixer.
- Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer – Register for an account, upload a photo of your house’s exterior, and see what your home would look like with different colors.
- Color Muse – If you don’t like how certain color tools limit their options to a certain brand’s available paint colors, Color Muse may be what you’re looking for. Upload a picture of the color you want, and it will show you all the brands that have that specific paint color.
Consider Size, Light, and Architecture
Lighter colors can make your home look bigger and have an effect during different lighting conditions (e.g. your home’s aesthetic can blend in during a beautiful sunset). Darker colors, on the other hand, can make your property appear smaller, blend with its surroundings, and have a more muted and unobtrusive appearance.
Also, consider the architecture of your home. A Tudor-style home is traditionally earthy neutral colors. A light pink may be acceptable under the right style, but a bright neon may make your home look like an eyesore. Some traditions were meant to be broken, but if the color scheme doesn’t match or go well with the architecture, the result can be an ugly house.
Choose Up to Three
When it comes to picking colors, follow the power of three and limit your exterior to three colors. Choose three colors for:
- The main color – this is the paint you will use for the exterior walls of your home, thus the dominant color of your color scheme.
- Accent color – an eye-catching color for the shutters, doors, windows, and other smaller parts of your home’s facade.
- Trim color – the color for the trim of your walls or the decorations, if any.
There’s no rule to what these three colors should be, but it’s important to pick three that match. Also, make sure that the colors match the color of your fence or gate.
Use Samples on Different Sides of the House
Before buying a color in bulk, visit your local paint center or hardware store and but a few paint samples if you have multiple colors in mind. Paint samples cost less than $5, so they’re affordable enough to buy multiple colors. If you’re planning on DIY painting, now is also a good time to buy your own painting tools.
For every color, brush a sizeable amount onto your home’s outer walls. Put some color on the north and south side of your home and then let it dry. Visit these spots during different times of the day to see how the finished product will look.
Which Brand of Paint to Use?
There are plenty of best exterior paint brands in the market, so choose one based on its use, finish, and durability.
- Use – Select a paint that’s specifically meant for outdoor use. Some paints are applicable for indoor and outdoor walls, but outdoor paints offer more durable paint.
- Finish – Finishes can range between regular finish, glossy, matte, and more. Be sure to choose the right finish that matches your vision.
- Durability – Look at customer reviews on paint brands online. Cheaper paints may wear out faster especially in harsher climates, while more expensive ones can last longer.
- Special features – Features like mold and mildew-proofing, rust-proofing, self-priming, fade-resistant, and other features may make paints cost more, but it could be worth the added protection.
Visit your local hardware store or paint center to see the best exterior paints available.
So, if you want to make your house look better for the community, a fresh coat of paint is a good start. It can be a long process, but the result is a home that looks its best.