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How to Choose Paints and Colours for the Exterior of Your Home

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The right paint—and colour—can not only protect the exterior of your home, but also express your personal style.

Mother Nature's punishing effects on a house invariably come to light as we emerge from winter and launch into warmer weather and longer days.

Exterior paints and stains are a home's best protection against the elements, and how long and how well an exterior paint or stain will do its job to protect a house depends on the quality and type of the paint or stain, the quality of the preparation, and the quality of the application.

Choosing the Right Paint

Recent breakthroughs in paint technology have yielded a new generation of eco-friendly, low-VOC exterior paints and stains, such as Aura® Exterior Paint and Arborcoat® Waterborne Exterior Stain. This new breed of high-performance exterior coatings performs better than other paints and stains and withstands the test of time.

When selecting a quality exterior paint or stain for your home, keep in mind the following attributes:

  • Durability and overall performance
  • Resistance to mould and mildew
  • Resistance to ultraviolet radiation
  • Ease of application
  • Available in colours that resist fading
  • Environmentally friendly
Selecting Exterior Colours

In addition to its protective value, a new coat of paint or stain can be aesthetically transforming—and choosing a paint colour is always a challenge. Here are a few ideas:

  • The roof, driveway and chimney are existing elements that won't be painted but that should play a role in determining your colour choices. For a façade that's partially stone, for example, using a similar colour will add visual harmony. If the fixed colours are intense, like a terra-cotta tile roof, a neutral colour will bring balance.
  • The landscaping is another important factor. Select colours that fit in with the surrounding palette. If you have brilliant-coloured spring blooming trees or a sea of green foundation plantings, choose colours that will complement them.
  • Choose a colour scheme that is compatible with the other houses in the neighbourhood. You don't have to imitate the palette or application exactly, but can put your own individual spin on similar colour combinations.
  • Regional influences also are bound to affect your choice as you account for the local terrain, seasons, interplay of natural lighting, even history and culture.
[Note: In the case of vinyl siding, the colour is a key factor as well, since certain shades don’t perform well. Learn more about colours for vinyl siding.]

So take the plunge and beautify and protect your home for years to come.


Get started with our new Colour Gallery paint colour visualization tool, which will help you select the colours—and colour combinations—that would will work best for you.

See how colours will look on your home before making a purchase with our Personal Colour Viewer online colour visualization tool.

Learn how to paint the exterior of your home.

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