Choosing the right paint color for the outside of your house is a big project that you’ll have to live with for many years. So it’s not something you want to take lightly or choose on a whim. I personally struggled with making this decision, so I broke down my step-by-step process to make it easy for you to choose the right exterior paint color for YOUR house.
The biggest problem I have in choosing almost anything for my house is that I like a lot of things. So to help narrow down a choice, I have to look for what I LOVE. To do that you have to look at A LOT of things first.
Go For A Drive
For choosing the outside color for our home, I drove around town in established middle class neighborhoods to see what struck me and really stood out on the block. No house I own is going to blend in and be a wallflower!🤩
Take pictures or video of your favorites. Then when you get back from your drive, you can evaluate and analyze what you like about the houses in your photos. For example, was it the color itself or some of the other features of the house like the shutter style/color or the siding? I saw a few houses that I liked but they had traditional lap siding. Would the same color look as ‘cute’ on our brick house? Maybe. But I was more drawn to the overall style of the house, not so much the color. And that’s what we’re focusing in on here!
Now, once you have 2 or 3 photos of houses that you like for their color, download an app! If you’re like me and try to keep your apps to a minimum, don’t worry! You can delete it right after this step!
Each paint company has their own app and they all do basically the same thing. The one pictured is Home Depot’s Project Color app which covers Glidden and Behr paint colors. So download whichever one coordinates with the brand of paint you plan to purchase.
Navigate through the app to the color match feature and upload one house at a time. Tap the color on the house that you like and the app will suggest 3 or so paint colors to try. Write them down!
Then tap a different section of the house and see if it suggests even more options. Try to select a portion of the shutter/siding/gable that is in shade since the sun can blow out the house and change the color of it in your picture.
Before you head to the store I’d suggest searching for the paint colors you’ve written down and see if there are any real-life images of those colors online. Sometimes that can help you eliminate colors without having to purchase a sample.
Buy Paint Samples
If you’ve done any DIY project at your house, you probably know about paint samples! They cost anywhere from $4-8 to get a sample of your chosen paint color in a quantity smaller than a quart. This is really the only way to test out a paint color before purchasing. No matter how good a color looks in or on your friend’s house, it most likely will look totally different at your house! It’s an ugly truth, I know.🙁
Get out your paint brush and PAINT A GIANT SWATCH. I’m not kidding. The bigger the better to get a true read of what it will look like all over your house! Let it dry. Then paint a second coat. Don’t judge the color until the second coat as dried for a few hours.
Do you have a winner? Great! I’d suggest painting a giant swatch on another side of your house, add a second coat, and check it out again. Do you still love it in the morning? In the late afternoon? Then you’ve got your paint color!
If you aren’t elated with any of your paint samples, look up the paint chart for that brand online. Find paint colors that are similar in hue but maybe lean more gray or more green. Buy a sample for that color and try again!
There is no limit to how many colors you can sample before you find the right one. It is worth the process!!
Spray Paint a Swatch
If you happen to have a paint sprayer on hand, or if you’ve been looking for an excuse to buy one, buy a larger quantity of your selected paint color and spray an even larger swatch. It’s cheaper to buy a sprayer ($100) and a quart of paint ($25) than it would be to re-purchase a paint color you didn’t quite like ($600+). And you can use the paint sprayer for many, many projects after you select your paint.😉
Here’s an affiliate link to my all-time favorite paint sprayer that is still going strong.💪🏻 Super Finish Max HVLP Sprayer* (I do not recommend it for spray painting the entire outside of your house. It would take forever. It’s perfect for kitchen cabinets, interior walls and furniture pieces though.)
Hopefully with these tips you own’t have to go back to the store and buy too many samples. Just don’t settle for an ehh paint color! Your house should make you happy when you come home, it may just take an extra trip to the store to get it just right. Good luck!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
Rosa R says
Love your show and yours and your dad’s show. I watched the show where you redid the outside of your new house and I was wondering what the name of the paint color you painted it. We really liked it and we would like to see if we like it on our house. Thanks for all the great information you give on diy projects. Hope to see more diy’s on your home, for us to try on our home.
Chelsea Lipford Wolf says
Hi Rosa! So glad you enjoyed the show! I ended up doing a custom mix to get our exterior house color. It is approx. 50/50 mix of Misted Green and Greyhound, both of which are Benjamin Moore colors. ~Chelsea
i like the color!
Deborah A says
We bought a house in Florida with a new green roof. It is currently painted two tone browns…so dull. When I look online there seem to be few colors that go with the green roof, like white. Any color suggestions?