7 Tips for Picking Your Exterior House Color

How to maximize your home's potential with the right exterior paint color

Home Painting Guide
Historic Home in Charlotte, North Carolina

Choosing your exterior house paint color can be daunting. The number of possible exterior paint colors is virtually limitless because colors can be mixed and matched in countless variations and shades. Not to mention this color will be a very permanent decision that you will drive up to every day for the next several years. Sounds easy right?

Fear not—our guide is here to help you navigate through the spectrum of possibilities. Whether you're revamping your current residence or giving a fresh coat to a new abode, these tips will ensure your home stands out for all the right reasons. We're even going to throw in our favorite exterior paint colors of 2023.

7 Tips for Picking Your Exterior Paint Color

Consider Your Home's Architecture

Before you dive into the kaleidoscope of exterior house colors, take a moment to observe your home's architectural style. Different styles have characteristic color schemes that complement their features. For instance, a Victorian-style home might shine with bold and contrasting hues, while a modern design may benefit from a more minimalist and monochromatic exterior color. Let's look at each style further:

  • Colonial Style homes often feature symmetry and formal design elements. Crisp whites, creams, or traditional reds and blues can complement the classic facade, while darker hues for shutters and trim provide a sophisticated touch.

  • Craftsman Style homes are characterized by natural materials and earthy tones. Consider warm, earthy colors like browns, greens, and muted yellows to harmonize with the Craftsman aesthetic. Accentuate architectural details with contrasting trim colors.

  • Mediterranean Style homes often boast stucco exteriors and terra cotta roofs. Embrace warm and vibrant colors inspired by the Mediterranean landscape, such as warm yellows, terracotta oranges, and deep blues. These hues can evoke a sense of warmth and authenticity.

  • Modern Style homes typically showcase clean lines and minimalistic designs. Neutral color scheme such as whites, grays, and blacks can enhance the modern aesthetic, creating a sleek and sophisticated appearance. Consider using bold accent colors for doors or architectural features.

  • Victorian Style homes often feature intricate detailing and ornate architecture. Embrace a bold and diverse color palette with multiple hues. Deep purples, rich reds, and forest greens can complement the ornamental details, while lighter tones can highlight the trim.

Photo by Studio McGee

Real Estate Value

The exterior color of your home can have a significant impact on its real estate value. Open Door mentions how curb appeal plays a crucial role in the perceived value of a property. A well-chosen exterior paint color can enhance the attractiveness of your home, making it more appealing to potential buyers. Neutral and timeless color choices often have broad market appeal, while overly unique or bold colors might limit your home's attractiveness to a specific niche. Keep in mind that the first impression your home makes can influence its market value, so choose colors that complement the overall aesthetic of your neighborhood and appeal to a broad audience. Investing in a tasteful and well-executed exterior paint job can be a strategic decision to increase both your home's visual appeal and its potential resale value.

Home in Dilworth Charlotte, North Carolina

Leverage the Neighborhood

Your home doesn't exist in isolation. Consider the colors of the surrounding environment, including neighboring houses, trees, and landscapes. Harmonizing with the natural surroundings can create a cohesive and visually pleasing effect. For example, Dilworth, known for its historic charm and tree-lined streets, has a mix of architectural styles ranging from bungalows to Colonial Revival homes. When selecting exterior paint colors for a Dilworth home, it's often beneficial to take cues from the neighborhood's overall aesthetic. Soft, muted tones such as sage greens, earthy browns, and subdued blues can complement the neighborhood's character. Some neighborhoods, including Myers Park, may have homeowners' associations with guidelines regarding exterior painting. It's essential to review these guidelines before finalizing your color choices to ensure compliance with neighborhood standards and regulations.

Home in Charlotte North Carolina

Test Samples in Different Lighting

Don't make the mistake of choosing a color solely based on how it looks in the paint store. Natural light can significantly alter the appearance of a color. Test paint samples on different parts of your home and observe how they look in various lighting conditions, from morning sun to evening shade. Some specific times to check out possible house paint colors are shortly after sunrise, midday, late afternoon, and evening light.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Consider the Climate

Extreme weather conditions can affect the longevity and appearance of your paint. Find your climate below and choose what's right for you:

  • High-humidity

    areas should opt for exterior paints with mildew-resistant additives.

  • Hot and sunny climates

    need paints with built-in UV protection or consider using lighter colors that reflect sunlight rather than absorbing it

  • Cold and snowy regions

    should choose house paint colors with excellent adhesion and flexibility to withstand temperature fluctuations

  • Rain-prone area

    s need water-resistant or waterproof exterior paints that can help safeguard your home's exterior surfaces from moisture damage.

Historic Home in Charlotte, North Carolina

Rely on Color Wheel Rules

The color wheel is a valuable tool when selecting exterior paint colors. Explore complementary colors for a harmonious look or experiment with analogous colors for a more dynamic appearance. It's often effective to use a combination of these color schemes, such as a main color with complementary or analogous accent colors. Remember to test samples on your home's surfaces to see how the colors interact with the architecture and lighting conditions. By harnessing the principles of the color wheel, you can create a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing color scheme that enhances the curb appeal of your home.

exterior of a home in Charlotte, North Carolina

Don't Follow Trends

While timeless classics are, well, timeless, resist the urge to blindly follow trends. Your home exterior is a reflection of your unique style, so trust your instincts and create a color palette that resonates with you. Trends may come and go, but a personalized and thoughtful color choice will stand the test of time. Neutral colors are timeless and can lend an elegant, sophisticated charm to your home's white exterior. Grays, beiges, and whites can create a classic and versatile backdrop that allows other elements of your home, like landscaping and architectural details, to stand out.

White house with green shutters

Craftwork's Favorite Exterior Paint Colors from 2023

  • Benjamin Moore - Revere Pewter (HC-172):

    • A timeless and versatile greige (gray-beige) color that works well with a variety of architectural styles.

  • Sherwin Williams - Agreeable Gray (SW 7029):

    • A warm gray with subtle undertones, offering a neutral and welcoming appearance.

  • Sherwin Williams - Retreat (SW 7207):

    • A soft, muted green that brings a touch of nature to your home's exterior, suitable for a range of styles.

  • Farrow & Ball - Hague Blue (No. 30):

    • A rich and sophisticated navy blue that adds depth and drama to your home's exterior.

  • Benjamin Moore - Newburyport Blue (HC-155)

    • A deep, sophisticated hue with a hint of gray, evoking a sense of elegance and calmness.

  • Sherwin Williams - Alabaster White (SW 7008):

    • A light and airy off-white that works well for a classic and timeless look.

  • PPG - Black Magic (PPG1001-7):

    • A deep, elegant black that can create a striking and modern statement for your home.

Craftwork is Here to Help

Our experienced team can provide insights, recommendations, and expert assistance, ensuring that your vision for your home aligns seamlessly with the craftsmanship and quality that Craftwork is renowned for. By considering architectural style, surroundings, lighting, and more, you can create a color palette that not only enhances your home's curb appeal but also reflects your style. Craftwork stands as a valuable resource in your quest for the ideal palette. Don't hesitate to ask questions!

The article includes photos from History South, Brandon Bartoszek, Carter Group Realtors, and Joe Purvis.

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Marybeth Schmidt

Marybeth Schmidt

Brand Designer

Marybeth is a storyteller in all aspects. She is talented in the creation of design, photo, animation, and strategies for brand and creative projects.