How To Choose the Perfect House Paint Color

The color of your home says a lot about you. Not only is it the first thing any visitor will notice, it’s a reflection of your personality and taste. You want to make sure you are creating a good first impression that accurately represents your home and family.

Most Vancouver residents have no say in their home’s color when they first move in. But once it’s time to repaint your home’s exterior, you can choose any color you want. While this opportunity is exciting, it can also be daunting given the number of possibilities.

In this month’s post, we’ll go over everything you need to know when considering new paint colors for your Vancouver home.

portland neighborhood of colorful row houses

Why Does Choosing The Right Home Paint Colors Matter?

There are a lot of reasons why home exterior paint colors matter.

  • Home Value: Questionable home paint colors can bring the value of your home down. Remember, just because you love that funky and fun color doesn’t mean a potential home buyer will.
  • First Impressions: Your home color is the first thing any visitors (or just people walking by) will see when they come to your home. This will be a reflection on you. Make sure it looks great!
  • It’s an Investment: You only paint the exterior of your home once a decade; make the right choice. So long as you are spending the time and money on it, make sure it’s something you like!
side of red house with three windows

The Three Colors of Your Home

When choosing the aesthetic direction of your home’s exterior colorway, you’ll be choosing at least three different colors.

Field Color

This is the main color you’ll be choosing for your home. This is the dominant color painted on your siding and most of your house. We recommend deciding on this color first to set the tone for the rest of your colorway.

Some things to consider when choosing between a lighter or darker field color for your home:

Lighter Field Colors

  • Will make your home look larger and more prominent
  • Can give your home a flimsier appearance

Darker Field Colors

  • Can visually shrink your home and make it look smaller and less pronounced
  • Will give your home a strong and solid appearance

Trim Color

The trim color will work to complement your dominant field color. The following areas of your home are painted your trim color:

  • Window and door casings
  • Roof edging
  • Railings
  • Trimwork
  • Gutters and downspouts

We always recommend going with a color contrasting with your field color, so as to accentuate and frame your home. This will give it a crisp effect and add definition to your house.

Accent Color

The accent color is where the most fun can be had with your home painting project.

The following areas of your home are painted your accent color:

  • Front door
  • Shutters
  • Window frames
  • Other small areas

This color can be as bold as you are willing to take it. Your accent color will give your home some pop and personality. Some homeowners like to go with multiple accent colors that compliment one another. A popular way to do this is to choose one color for your accent color and another for your front door color.

large white house with red roofing

How to Choose Your House Colors

In addition to your own personal style and preferences, there are three things to consider when deciding on a color:

  • The architectural style of your home
  • Any permanent materials
  • Your neighborhood aesthetic

These three things will help bring you to the perfect paint colors for your Portland home.

The Architectural Style of Your Home

The paint colorway you decide on should always feel at peace with the architectural style of your home.

Some examples of common house types and paint color schemes:

  • Craftsman Homes: Generally utilize earthier, richer colors such as deep browns, greens, and reds.
  • Contemporary Homes: One of the more freewheeling styles of home, a monochromatic scheme with a splash brightness can make a bold, beautiful statement.
  • Seaside Homes: This stye is often complemented by a bold color for your door, mixed with more muted trim, field, and accent colors. Brown and and forest green work great in Portland’s unique wooded setting!
  • Victorian Homes: At times referred to as “painted ladies,” these homes often can include up to six different colors of trim and accent to accentuate the intricate details of the home.
  • Folk Victorian Homes: This home, while similar to victorian style homes, generally utilize more muted colors with light trim schemes and accent colors.

If you can find out what the original color of your home was, consider using that color for inspiration.

traditional craftsman home on a rainy day

Your Homes Permanent Materials

When deciding on your home’s new color scheme, consider the aspects you will not be able to change. This includes elements such as:

  • Surfaces such as roof shingles or tiles
  • Stonework or brickwork
  • Pathways and driveways
  • Patios
  • Built in planters

Since you will not be able to change any of these elements, make sure any house paint colors you choose will compliment these immovable features. This is particularly important with roof shingles and and brick or stone work as they are both generally right up next to the siding. Given the boldness of both materials, contrasting too much with the aesthetic of the two can be problematic.

Instead, work to find complementing colors. For instance, look for subtle colors in any stonework to use as an accent color. This will bring an aesthetic cohesion to your home, making it look elegant and distinguished.

large white moroccan style house on a sunny day

Consider Your Neighborhood Aesthetic

While you likely don’t want your home to look exactly like every other house in your neighborhood, taking a look at your neighbors colorways can give you inspiration for your own home.

Something else to consider is that your home will have the rest of the houses in your neighborhood as a backdrop. Not taking into consideration the common neighborhood colors and styles could lead to your colorway clashing with your neighborhood, not giving off the desired visual effect you were hoping for.
This does not mean you can’t go in a different direction with the exterior paint colors of your home! For instance, if every house on your street has light field colors and you would like a darker home, simply go with a mid-tone color. Since the rest of the homes on your street are light, your home will appear darker by contrast, while still being respectful of the neighborhood style.

Your Preferences

While you should take all of the above into consideration, it’s also important to choose colors for your home that you will love. You should be excited to come home to these colors every day!
If while you are looking at different colors you see something a little bold and out of character, don’t immediately reject it just because it doesn’t fit with your style of home or neighborhood aesthetic. While it may not be a good fit, bring home a swatch and see if you like it.

Make sure you choose a paint color you will love, and you feel best represents you and your family.

Hire a Portland Area Painting Contractor Who Knows Painting in the Pacific Northwest

Deciding what exterior paint color you want is difficult; completing the paint job is even harder.

Not only is going at it alone dangerous, but getting it done right can be hard if you don’t know what you are doing. Even deciding on a Portland area painting contractor who knows your neighborhood can be difficult.

Cutting Edge Contracting knows Vancouver and Portland homes. We’ve been painting house exteriors in the area for years and have built our reputation on consistent, high-quality work.

We’ll work with you on your whole home painting job –from color selection to painting of your whole home.

Every home painting project includes a FREE color consultation. For every home, we partner with Sherwin Williams and their color consultation team to help homeowners sort through different color options. Our goal is to help you select the perfect colors to achieve the ideal look and feel for your home

We understand the unique needs of your home and will not rest until you are completely satisfied.

Contact us today for a free in-home estimate on your exterior home paint job.

By |2018-03-05T21:58:07+00:00December 19th, 2017|Cutting Edge Contracting|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.

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