Beyond Beige – Choosing the Right Exterior Paint Color Part 2

Choosing exterior paint colors is among the hardest decisions a homeowner can make. After all, everyone else seems to have an opinion about the outside of your house – because they have to look at it all the time. But choosing the right color scheme is of top importance according to exterior paint expert, Mark Masica of Hirshfields. Here is some of his advice:

Start by focusing on two or three colors:

a. Body color (70%)

b. Trim color (fascia, windows, overhangs) 25%

c. Accent color (doors and/or shutters) 5%

This is often called the “70-25-5” rule. Typically 2 colors are used on a single story home, 3 on a 1 1/2 or 2 story, and the sky’s the limit on a Victorian.

Acknowledge fixed assets (roof, brick work, stone work, stucco) in your color scheme. For example, if you have a brown roof, you could simply paint your front door or shutters brown. It is important to allow those fixed items, not painted, to be reflected in the overall color scheme. The roof is the most important fixed asset on a home, since the average paint job lasts 7 years in Minnesota, but your roof lasts 20-40 years. Be sure to take it into account in that color scheme.

In order to create a color scheme that makes the house flow well, those fixed assets should look like they belong on the home – not look like an afterthought.

Create curb appeal. Any realtor will tell you it’s number one in selling a house. People often won’t even walk into a home if it’s not appealing from the street. Use your color scheme to create individuality, especially in a neighborhood of similar homes. Consider the “streetscape” when choosing colors.

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