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Simple Ideas for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

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Brick: tawny rose (2173-20)
Door: etruscan (AF-355) Aura® exterior paint, Semi–Gloss
Door trim: jute (AF-80) Aura exterior paint, Low–Lustre

Brick: tawny rose (2173-20)
Door: etruscan (AF-355) Aura exterior paint, Semi–Gloss
Columns, header and door trim: jute (AF-80) Aura exterior paint, Low–Lustre
Shutters: sparrow (AF-720) Aura exterior paint, Semi–Gloss
Porch floor: wrought iron (2124-10) Arborcoat® deck stain, Solid

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your outdoor spaces. Look to Mother Nature to help make choosing exterior paint colours a breeze!

The flowers are out and the grass is finally up from its slumber. After a long winter, we're more than ready for those hot summer days! But before it gets too hot, take the opportunity to spruce up the exterior of your home with colour. Paints and stains not only enhance the beauty of your exterior surfaces, but also protect them from nature's effects.

In these photographs, you can see how a palette of spring paint colours can give a home's exterior a beautiful look without too much effort.

Ready, Set, Go!

An outdoor project can seem overwhelming, since there is a lot to consider when choosing paint colours for your house – or selecting a stain for your deck. But the principles of colour and design–balance, composition and harmony–apply to both interior and exterior projects!

As a starting point, take a walk in your neighbourhood to consider nature's colour palette and to see other homes, paying special attention to those that resemble your own. This establishes a context that will help you develop a look that complements your neighbourhood while being uniquely your own.

Choosing Exterior House Paint Colours

As a rule, the exterior of your home is not the place to experiment with wild and crazy colours! Understated, organic colours tend to work the best outdoors, as they are so compatible with the natural elements. Also, limit your exterior palette to 3 or 4 colours, including those of fixed elements like roof and cladding.

I tend to narrow my search for exterior paint colours by perusing first through Benjamin Moore's Historical Colour Collection, and then through the small collections, like Designer Classics and Affinity Colour Collectives. In these fan decks you will find beautiful body and trim colours that coordinate well with your exterior stone and wood–and even some vibrant hues as accents that will showcase your personal flair!

The front door is always a great opportunity to kick up the colour a notch and create a lasting impression for guests and passersby. Since it is a relatively small area compared to the rest of your house, you can afford to be a little more "colourful" here and still fit into the streetscape. One way to get a general idea of how the paint colours you're considering will look on your house is to use Benjamin Moore's Personal Colour ViewerTM, a great online tool that lets you visualize how colours will look. It serves as a helpful starting point in your decision–making process.

Before choosing your exterior paint colours, remember that a small paint chip will look very different magnified on a large area like the exterior of your house–even a smaller space like your front door! Lighting can also dramatically alter the colour. So view your selections outside–not just indoors–so you can see the true effect of exterior conditions on the actual shade.

Finally, aside from choosing your house paint colours and accent colours, some of the most important factors to a successful exterior paint job are the quality of the products you are using, proper surface preparation and, finally, good paint application technique.

For this project, we chose Aura® Exterior Paint and Arborcoat® Waterborne Deck Stain for their beautifying and protecting qualities and easy application.

Get more decorating ideas from Sharon Grech.

Happy painting!

Sharon

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