What Color Should You Paint Your House?
Over a period
of several months during high school, I dated a guy who never
once invited me to his house. I assumed his family had some bizarre
secret, and it was his embarrassment or shame that kept him from
welcoming me into his home. My parents also assumed the worst,
and encouraged me to break up with him. So I did.
It wasn't until
this past summer, while talking with him at our twenty-year high
school reunion, that I found out the truth...It wasn't his parents
he was embarrassed about, but rather his "house." It
I'm not making
this up. This macho football player lived in a stucco house,
painted bright pink. He simply couldn't bear to let his friends,
or a potential girlfriend, see him in such a humiliating setting.
How he longed to be like all our classmates, who lived in white,
blue or gray houses.
I tell you this
to emphasize the importance of selecting the right color for
the exterior of your house. Not only will the right choice spare
your family and offspring from intense personal embarassment
(and therapy later on!), but it will add significantly to the
curb appeal, value, and overall enjoyment of your home. So, before
you paint, consider the following suggestions before finalizing
your exterior color decision.
Use a color
range that complements the permanent colors on the house, such as the roof, brickwork
and stones. If you plan on re-roofing your house sometime in
the near future, be sure to take the new roofing color into consideration.
with the neighbors. You don't need to paint your house the same color
as the one next door, but it is important that your house fit
comfortably with the others on the street.
color samples outdoors. It is well worth the extra time and money to buy
quarts of your selected colors, and paint test areas. View these
colors at different times of the day and from different angles.
Keep in mind that colors will appear lighter when painted over
a large surface.
effects of lighter and darker colors in relationship to the size
and position of your house. Lighter colors can make a small house seem larger,
and appear closer to the front of the lot. Choose a lighter color
for a smaller home that is set away from the street and the neighbors.
Darker colors, on the other hand, can create the illusion that
a house is smaller and set further back. A darker color is often
a good choice for a big house that is situated on a block where
the houses are built in close proximity to one another.
Tie in colors
from the landscape. Use the colors of your garden, flowers, trees,
and shrubs as inspiration for a pleasing, complimentary color
accuracy when repainting an older house. People who live in old, historical homes
oftentimes enjoy searching thru library and city records to find
the original colors of their house, or of those like it. If your
house is registered with your local historical society, they
may have a say (or at least an opinion) in the colors you choose.
Ask the experts.
painters have seen it all. They know which colors work and which
ones don't. It may be well worth your time (and possibly a nominal
fee) to seek out a couple of professional opinions before making
your final decision.
with the interior color scheme of your home. Exterior and interior colors should
flow from one environment to the other. Keep in mind, however,
that even if you chose to paint the interior your favorite hue
-- say, bright pink, as an example -- think twice about painting
the outside of your house the same color!
is a freelance writer in New York.
© National Paint & Coatings Association