Selecting Colour for Exterior Paint.

There are many television shows and magazines, dedicated to picking colour for your exterior. The outside of the house is often overlooked, despite being what we see first. It’s the first impression we make to guests and visitors, and how we present ourselves to our neighbours. Before embarking on an exterior painting job it’s a good idea to think about the colours.

Tips to help you choose colour when painting your exterior

  • Pay attention to the colour of the roof and masonry. Use the different shades of the roof shingles,stone or brick for a starting point.
  • Use your landscaping. Trees changing colour, shrubs, flowering gardens, all important factors. If you are surrounded by trees and forests consider staining your home. Take a look at this home we stained with Sansin stains. Use nature as an inspiration and pick a colour from your garden.
  • Your neighbours homes. If possible, don’t pick colours that will clash with your neighbours homes. If you really need to express yourself with paint colour, do it with a subtle style.
  • Drive to different neighbourhoods and look for that colour scheme that would look great on your home exterior. If you find a house you like, take a picture of it to try and re-create it or even ask the home owner for the colours they have used. People are proud of their exterior paint colour choices and they may not mind sharing, especially if you don’t live in the same sub-division.
  • Use a colourization software program from a paint manufacturer. Most of them have them in their website and they can be helpful.
  • Visit a few paint stores and pick up some colour brochures for exterior painting. They include suggested colour combinations that may suit your style or match your surroundings.
  • If you live in a very old house, make your choices historically significant by researching or using historical colours. Benjamin Moore has a Toronto Historical Colour palette that is Historically accurate.
  • Consider the colour of your foyer and entrance way, making sure your exterior colour choices do not clash.
  • Use a bold colour for your door. This is where you can make a statement of your own.
  • Flat paint looks better on large surfaces, such as painted brick and glossy paint on the trim.
  • Don’t accent elements such as eavestroughs, downspouts, etc. Make them blend in and become almost invisible.
  • When painting window sills choose a light colour, as dark colours attract a lot of heat and may crack or damage the paint.
  • Dark colours have a tendency to fade, don’t use them on large surfaces.
  • If you need to make a safe choice, use different shades of the same colour.
  • When there is a lot of architectural detail, paint them a different colour to contrast them with the rest of your house.

Because of our Toronto winter weather we seem to think less about our home exterior. When spring comes along, it’s time to pay attention to it and improve our home’s curb appeal. Since we are on that topic, if you have any exterior paint questions, we wrote this blog.

Finding the Right Porch and Deck Paint Colour.

Different colour for semi-detached homes

If you’re in the market for a new porch or deck colour, chances are you don’t have to look any further than the rest of your home. Most houses contain several colour cues in their exteriors that can help give you ideas for what to use on the porch or deck.

Secondary and Tertiary Colours

Take a look at your home’s exterior. Depending upon the architectural style and age of the home, you’ll find that it is probably made up of two, three, or more colours already. There’s the main colour of the home, then what’s known as secondary and tertiary colours – the accent colours that complete the look. For example, a home may be dark tan on the bottom siding, light tan on the top, with a cream accent divider and green shutters.

Pulling an Accent

If your home already has several colours – such as the example given above – you won’t want to paint the porch or deck another colour – that would definitely be overkill. Instead, consider pulling one of the accents already in place; in this example, either the cream or the green. Which one you choose depends on several factors such as:

  • Where you are painting – if it’s the porch you’re painting, stick to the neutral cream; decks can handle a deeper colour around back
  • The style of the home – architectural styles each have their own colour scheme – stick with it to make the best choice for the home
  • Visual impact – do you want the colour to blend in or stand out? What will have the biggest impact on the home? What about the front door colour?

Contrasting What’s There

Sometimes what’s already on the home isn’t giving you enough inspiration, or the house colours are fairly bland and the porch or deck won’t stand out well. In this case, the best thing to do is to contrast what’s on the house. This may mean using a wood stain, such as a very dark burgundy red for a deck on a house that is pale cream and gray.

Keep Up with the Paint or the Stain

Remember that using a paint or stain on your porch or deck is about more than just ensuring that the area looks good; it’s also about protecting the area. Exterior paints and stains made for porches and decks help prevent damage to the wood caused by the elements – rain, snow, and sun. It is important to check the condition of the surfaces often  to catch any paint failure before it becomes a problem.

Make sure you have your porch, deck or your home repainted as often as needed to keep it looking its best. Regular painting will keep it protected from weather and the elements. Choose the right colour and your home will look good for years to come.

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