The Ultimate Guide to choosing the Best Exterior Paint Colors

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Alston Boone
Alston Boone
I'm Alston Boone, an author who loves talking about paint colours. My words help you pick the right shades for your spaces. Let's dive into the world of colors and make your home come alive with vibrant hues. Join me in this colourful adventure!

Choosing the best exterior house paint colors depends on various factors such as the architectural style of your home, the surrounding environment, personal preferences, and any homeowner association (HOA) regulations in your area. While personal taste plays a significant role, here are some popular and timeless color choices for exterior house paint:

  • White: A classic and versatile color that works well with any architectural style. It creates a clean, crisp look and can make your home appear larger.
  • Gray: A popular neutral color that comes in various shades, ranging from light gray to charcoal. Gray tones are elegant and can provide a modern or traditional feel, depending on the shade and complementary accents.
  • Beige: A warm and inviting color that works well with traditional and Mediterranean-style homes. Beige tones can add a sense of sophistication and blend well with the natural surroundings.
  • Blue: A calming and refreshing color choice that works well for coastal or beach-style homes. Light blues evoke a breezy, seaside feel, while deeper shades can provide a more dramatic effect.
  • Green: A versatile color that blends harmoniously with nature. Lighter shades of green can create a serene and peaceful atmosphere, while darker shades can offer a more stately and traditional appearance.
  • Cream: A soft and inviting color that exudes warmth. Cream tones work well for both modern and traditional homes, providing a timeless and elegant look.
  • Brown: A natural and earthy color choice that complements rustic and craftsman-style homes. Shades of brown can create a warm and cozy ambiance, especially when paired with natural wood accents.
  • Red: A bold and energetic color that adds vibrancy to your home’s exterior. Red can be used as an accent color or as the main color for a striking and eye-catching appearance.

it’s essential to consider your home’s architectural style, the surrounding landscape, and any HOA regulations or neighborhood guidelines before making a final decision. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test paint samples on a small area of your home’s exterior to see how the colors look under different lighting conditions before committing to a particular shade.

what exterior paint color goes with red brick

When choosing an exterior paint color to complement red brick, it’s important to consider the undertones of the brick and the overall look you want to achieve. Here are some color options that generally work well with red brick:

  • Neutral Tones: Neutral colors such as beige, cream, or light gray are popular choices that create a harmonious and timeless look. These colors provide a clean backdrop that allows the red brick to stand out while maintaining a balanced and cohesive appearance.
  • Warm Earth Tones: Colors like tan, caramel, or terracotta can complement the warm tones of red brick. These earthy hues create a cozy and inviting feel, enhancing the brick’s natural warmth.
  • Cool Blues and Greens: Light blue or sage green can provide a pleasing contrast to red brick. These cool colors can create a refreshing and calming effect, especially when paired with white trim.
  • Dark Gray or Charcoal: For a more modern and dramatic look, consider using a dark gray or charcoal color. These deep shades can create a bold contrast against the red brick, giving your home an elegant and sophisticated appearance.
  • Deep Reds or Burgundy: If you want to embrace the red tones of the brick, consider choosing a deep red or burgundy paint color. This approach creates a monochromatic color scheme, resulting in a rich and cohesive look.

what is the best exterior white paint color

Choosing the best exterior white paint color depends on several factors, including personal preference, the architectural style of your home, the surrounding environment, and any HOA regulations. While there are numerous shades of white, here are a few popular and versatile options:

  • Pure White: A crisp, clean, and bright white color that works well with any architectural style. Pure White provides a timeless and classic look, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.
  • Off-White: Off-white shades like Ivory, Cream, or Antique White offer a warmer and softer alternative to pure white. These colors can provide a more inviting and cozy feel while still maintaining a clean appearance.
  • Warm White: Warm white tones, such as Alabaster or Navajo White, have subtle undertones of yellow or beige. These shades can add warmth and depth to your home’s exterior, particularly in areas with abundant natural light.
  • Cool White: Cool white options like Snowbound or Extra White have hints of blue or gray undertones. These colors can create a modern and sleek look, especially when paired with contemporary architectural styles.
  • Soft White: Soft white shades, such as Swiss Coffee or Linen White, offer a delicate and elegant look. These colors can provide a subtle contrast against other exterior elements while maintaining a sense of brightness.
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When selecting a white paint color for your home’s exterior, it’s crucial to consider the existing materials, such as roof color, trim, and other architectural details. It’s also helpful to test paint samples on different areas of your home’s exterior to see how the colors appear under various lighting conditions before making a final decision.

what exterior paint color hides imperfections best

When it comes to hiding imperfections on the exterior of a house, certain paint colors and finishes can help minimize their appearance. Here are some options to consider:

  • Matte or Flat Finishes: Flat or matte finishes tend to absorb light rather than reflect it, which can help conceal minor imperfections on the surface. These finishes are less likely to highlight bumps, dents, or uneven textures compared to glossier finishes.
  • Medium to Dark Colors: Darker paint colors, such as deep grays, browns, or blues, can help mask imperfections by creating shadows and minimizing the contrast between the flaws and the surrounding surfaces. These colors can divert attention away from any unevenness or surface irregularities.
  • Textured Finishes: Consider using textured finishes, such as stucco or textured paint, to add depth and dimension to the surface. Textured finishes help disguise imperfections by creating a visually interesting surface that distracts from any flaws.
  • Satin or Eggshell Finishes: If you prefer a slight sheen to your exterior paint, satin or eggshell finishes can be good options. These finishes offer a balance between a matte and gloss finish, which can help hide some imperfections while still reflecting a moderate amount of light.

It’s important to note that while certain paint colors and finishes can help minimize the appearance of imperfections, they may not completely eliminate them. Additionally, proper surface preparation, such as filling cracks, sanding rough areas, and repairing damaged surfaces, is essential to achieve the best results when painting an exterior surface.

what exterior paint color fades the least

Exterior paint colors that fade the least typically have certain characteristics and properties that make them more resistant to fading. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a paint color that is less likely to fade:

  • Quality Pigments: High-quality exterior paints often contain premium pigments that are more resistant to fading. Look for paints that mention the use of fade-resistant or UV-resistant pigments in their specifications.
  • Light Reflectance Value (LRV): The LRV is a numerical value that indicates the amount of light a color reflects. Darker colors generally have lower LRVs and tend to absorb more light, making them more susceptible to fading. Lighter colors with higher LRVs reflect more light and have a better chance of maintaining their original appearance over time.
  • Paint Formulation and Technology: Certain paint formulations incorporate advanced technologies, such as UV inhibitors or fade-resistant additives, to enhance color retention and protect against fading caused by sun exposure. Look for exterior paints specifically designed to resist fading.
  • Neutral and Earth Tones: Colors that are more neutral or earth-toned, such as beiges, grays, and soft pastels, tend to show less fading compared to vibrant or intense colors. These colors have a higher chance of maintaining their original appearance as they naturally blend with the environment.
  • Satin or Semi-Gloss Finishes: Glossier finishes tend to have better light reflection properties, which can help preserve the color and reduce fading. Satin or semi-gloss finishes offer a balance between reflectivity and durability, making them a good choice for minimizing fading.

It’s important to note that even with the most fade-resistant paint colors, some level of fading is still possible over time due to exposure to sunlight and other environmental factors. Regular maintenance and upkeep, such as cleaning and touch-ups, can help prolong the lifespan and vibrancy of your exterior paint job.

do dark exterior paint colors fade

Dark exterior paint colors are generally more prone to fading compared to lighter colors. Here’s why:

  • Absorption of Heat: Dark colors, especially those with deep tones like black, absorb more heat from the sun’s rays. The increased heat absorption can lead to expansion and contraction of the paint film, which can accelerate color fading over time.
  • UV Exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight is a significant factor in causing paint fading. Darker colors tend to absorb more UV rays, which can break down the paint pigments and cause them to fade or change in color faster than lighter colors.
  • Reflectivity: Lighter colors reflect more light, including UV rays, whereas darker colors absorb light. This means that darker colors are exposed to a higher intensity of UV radiation, contributing to faster fading.
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To mitigate the fading effects of dark exterior paint colors, you can consider the following steps:

a. High-Quality Paint: Invest in high-quality exterior paints that include fade-resistant or UV-resistant pigments. These pigments are designed to provide increased color retention and withstand the damaging effects of sunlight.

b. Maintenance and Protection: Regularly clean your exterior surfaces and apply a protective topcoat or clear sealer to help shield the paint from UV radiation and other environmental factors.

c. Shading and Protection: If possible, provide shade to areas painted with dark colors. This can help reduce the exposure to direct sunlight, minimizing the fading effects.

d. Paint Formulation: Some paint manufacturers offer specific formulations designed to resist fading. Look for paints with advanced UV protection technologies or fade-resistant additives.

While dark colors may fade faster than lighter ones, proper maintenance and selecting high-quality paints can help prolong the life and vibrancy of your exterior paint job.

how many colors to paint a house exterior

The number of colors to paint a house exterior depends on various factors, including the architectural style of the home, personal preference, and the desired aesthetic. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

Monochromatic Color Scheme: A monochromatic color scheme involves using different shades or tones of a single color. For example, you might use a light gray for the main body of the house, a slightly darker gray for the trim, and an even darker shade for accents. This creates a cohesive and harmonious look.

Two-Color Scheme: A two-color scheme typically involves using one color for the main body of the house and another color for accents or trim. For example, you might use a neutral color like beige or cream for the main body and a contrasting color like dark gray or navy blue for the trim.

Three-Color Scheme: A three-color scheme offers more variation and can create visual interest. It typically involves using one color for the main body of the house, another color for the trim, and a third color for accents or details. For instance, you might have a light green for the main body, white for the trim, and a darker green for the shutters or doors.

Multiple Colors: Some homes, particularly those with complex architectural details or various sections, may benefit from using multiple colors to highlight different features. This could involve using several colors for different sections of the house, such as the siding, trim, accents, and doors. However, it’s important to maintain a cohesive and balanced overall appearance.

When choosing the number of colors for your house exterior, it’s crucial to consider the overall look you want to achieve, the architectural features of your home, and any restrictions or guidelines from homeowner associations or local regulations.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to test paint samples on your home’s exterior or consult with a professional color consultant to ensure the chosen colors complement each other and the architectural style of your home.

how to paint exterior brick house

Painting an exterior brick house can be a significant undertaking, but with careful preparation and the right techniques, it can be a rewarding project. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to paint an exterior brick house:

  • Evaluate the Condition of the Brick: Inspect the brick for any signs of damage, such as cracks or loose mortar. Repair these issues before painting to ensure a solid surface.
  • Clean the Brick: Thoroughly clean the brick surface using a pressure washer or a stiff brush and a mixture of water and mild detergent. This removes dirt, grime, and any loose debris. Allow the brick to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Protect Surrounding Surfaces: Cover any nearby surfaces, such as windows, doors, trim, and landscaping, with plastic or drop cloths to protect them from paint splatter or overspray.
  • Prepare the Brick Surface: If the brick has any efflorescence (white, powdery substance), use a stiff brush to remove it. Fill any cracks or holes with a high-quality exterior masonry filler and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sand any rough areas to create a smooth surface.
  • Apply a Primer: Use a high-quality exterior primer specifically designed for masonry surfaces. Apply the primer using a brush or roller, ensuring even coverage over the entire surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times.
  • Choose the Paint: Select a high-quality, exterior-grade paint suitable for brick surfaces. Consider choosing a paint specifically formulated for masonry to ensure durability and proper adhesion.
  • Paint the Brick: Apply the paint to the brick using a brush or roller. Work in small sections, applying the paint evenly and following the natural texture of the brick. Consider using a long-nap roller for textured bricks. Allow the first coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply additional coats as necessary for full coverage. Be sure to paint any trim, doors, or other features with an appropriate exterior paint.
  • Finishing Touches: Once the paint is fully dry, remove any protective coverings and inspect the painted surface for any touch-ups or areas that may need additional paint.
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Remember to follow all safety guidelines and use appropriate protective gear when painting, such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask if needed. It’s also essential to consult and follow the specific instructions provided by the primer and paint manufacturers for the best results.

If you’re unsure about tackling this project on your own, it’s advisable to consult with a professional painter or contractor who specializes in exterior brick painting.

how to paint exterior stucco house

Painting an exterior stucco house requires careful preparation and application techniques. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  • Clean the Stucco: Begin by cleaning the stucco surface to remove dirt, dust, and any loose debris. Use a pressure washer or a stiff brush along with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Allow the stucco to dry completely before proceeding.
  • Repair Damaged Areas: Inspect the stucco for any cracks, holes, or damaged areas. Repair these areas by filling them with a high-quality exterior patching compound or stucco repair product. Smooth out the repaired areas and allow them to cure fully according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Protect Surrounding Surfaces: Cover any adjacent surfaces, such as windows, doors, trim, and landscaping, with plastic or drop cloths to protect them from paint splatter or overspray.
  • Apply a Primer: Applying a primer is essential for promoting adhesion and creating an even surface for the paint. Use a high-quality exterior primer suitable for stucco surfaces. Apply the primer using a brush or roller, ensuring even coverage over the entire surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times.
  • Choose the Paint: Select a high-quality, exterior-grade paint suitable for stucco surfaces. Consider choosing an elastomeric or acrylic-based paint, as they are durable and designed to withstand the expansion and contraction of stucco.
  • Paint the Stucco: Start by cutting in along the edges and corners of the stucco using a brush. Then, use a roller with a thick nap (3/4 inch or more) to apply the paint to the larger areas. Work in small sections, applying the paint evenly and following the texture of the stucco. Apply multiple coats as necessary, allowing each coat to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Finishing Touches: Once the paint is fully dry, inspect the painted surface for any touch-ups or areas that may need additional paint. Remove any protective coverings and clean up any paint splatter or drips.

Remember to follow all safety guidelines and use appropriate protective gear when painting, such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask if needed. It’s also essential to consult and follow the specific instructions provided by the primer and paint manufacturers for the best results.

If you’re uncertain about tackling this project on your own, it’s advisable to consult with a professional painter or contractor who specializes in exterior stucco painting.

how to paint hard to reach exterior of house

Painting hard-to-reach areas on the exterior of a house can be challenging but manageable with the right tools and techniques. Here are some tips to help you paint those difficult areas:

  • Use an Extension Pole: An extension pole can be attached to your paint roller or brush to increase your reach. This allows you to access high or distant areas without the need for ladders or scaffolding. Choose an extension pole that is adjustable in length for versatility.
  • Use a Ladder or Scaffolding: For areas that are out of reach even with an extension pole, consider using a ladder or scaffolding. Ensure the ladder is sturdy and properly positioned on a stable surface. When using scaffolding, follow safety guidelines and set it up securely.
  • Work with a Partner: If possible, have someone assist you by handing you the paint and equipment while you’re on a ladder or scaffolding. This ensures you can focus on painting and maintain your balance and safety.
  • Use a Paint Sprayer: Paint sprayers are excellent for covering large areas quickly, including hard-to-reach spots. They allow you to achieve a smooth and even finish. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper setup and technique when using a paint sprayer.
  • Invest in a Telescoping Wand: A telescoping wand, usually used for pressure washers, can be adapted for painting. It extends your reach and provides better control when painting high or overhead surfaces. Attach a paint roller or brush to the wand for easy application.
  • Use a Sturdy Paint Tray: To avoid spills and accidents, use a paint tray with a handle or an attached magnetic brush holder. This allows you to have a steady grip on the tray while painting from a ladder or scaffolding.
  • Protect Surrounding Areas: Before you begin painting, make sure to cover and protect any adjacent surfaces or landscaping to prevent accidental splatters or overspray.
  • Take Safety Precautions: Prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask if needed. Follow safety guidelines for working at heights and ensure you have proper footing and stability.
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Remember to work in a methodical and organized manner, starting from the top and working your way down. Take breaks as needed and stay hydrated during the painting process.

If the hard-to-reach areas are too difficult or risky to paint on your own, consider hiring a professional painter with the necessary equipment and expertise to handle the job safely and effectively.

how to spray paint house exterior

Spray painting the exterior of a house can be a time-saving and efficient method when done correctly. Here are the steps to spray paint a house exterior:

  • Prepare the Area: Before starting, protect surrounding surfaces, windows, doors, and landscaping with plastic or drop cloths. Cover or remove any items that you don’t want to be painted. Use masking tape to protect trim or areas you want to keep paint-free.
  • Choose the Right Paint and Equipment: Select a high-quality exterior paint that is suitable for spraying. Consult with a paint professional or the paint manufacturer to ensure you have the right type of paint for your specific exterior surface. Rent or purchase an airless paint sprayer, which is designed for larger exterior projects.
  • Prepare the Paint Sprayer: Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up and preparing the paint sprayer. This includes assembling the sprayer, attaching the spray tip, and ensuring proper functioning.
  • Dilute the Paint (if necessary): Some paints may require thinning or dilution before spraying. Follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions to determine if thinning is necessary and the appropriate ratio to achieve the desired consistency for spraying.
  • Practice and Adjust the Spray Pattern: Before starting on the house, practice spraying on a scrap surface or cardboard to get a feel for the spray pattern and adjust the settings as needed. This helps you achieve an even and consistent application.
  • Start at the Top and Work Downward: Begin spraying from the top of the house and work your way down. Maintain a consistent distance from the surface as recommended by the sprayer manufacturer. Overlapping each pass by 50% helps ensure even coverage.
  • Apply Multiple Coats: Depending on the paint and desired coverage, you may need to apply multiple coats. Allow each coat to dry according to the paint manufacturer’s instructions before applying additional coats.
  • Clean the Equipment: Once you have finished spraying, clean the paint sprayer thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Properly cleaning the equipment helps prolong its lifespan and ensures it will be ready for future use.
  • Inspect and Touch Up: After the paint has dried, inspect the surface for any missed spots or areas that need touch-ups. Use a brush or roller to touch up those areas as needed.

It’s important to note that spray painting requires proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear like gloves, goggles, and a respirator mask. Follow the safety guidelines provided by the paint sprayer manufacturer and exercise caution while using the equipment.

If you are unsure about using a paint sprayer or if the project seems too large or complex, it’s advisable to consult with a professional painter who specializes in spray painting or hire them to handle the task.

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