Make your house look like a million dollars

Exterior paint colors often pull from a palette of commonly used neutral hues, though some homeowners experiment with bolder choices like deep green, bright red or rich black. When it comes to exterior home colors, there is a fine decorative line to walk. Step too far outside of the norm and your house can end up looking at odds with the neighborhood or downright ostentatious. Here are seven solid tips for getting exterior colors right:

1 Consider the hues around you

Yes, you want to set your home apart, but don’t stray too far from the local palette. Choose a color that accentuates what’s nearby.


Consider the houses around you when selecting an exterior color

2 Opt for a palette in step with the home’s design

For instance, Craftsman-style homes get warm, muted earth tones such as ochres, browns, olives and terra-cottas, while a Cape Cod traditionally wears pale grays and blues along with white and accents of cranberry red or other rich shades.

3 Take landscaping into account

On a wooded lot, any color is going to appear darker, according to paint experts. In this situation, you might want to stay away from green. Also to consider: garden areas and trees that change color with the seasons.

Big cabin in woods

Even bright colors like the purple roof look darker in wooded areas

red door

Changing the color of your front door is a good way to be bold without being overbearing

4 Create a stand-out entryway

Use exterior paint color to set apart the main entry. This is the red-door concept (or use another bold hue) for your front entrance.

5 Remember, some colors can’t easily change

Major elements, such as the roof or stone features, form an existing color palette. Unless you want to spend big money, you’ve got to work with them.

6 Sunshine matters

Your choice of colors depends on the sun as well. Any hue you choose has to be able to stand up to the way the sun hits your home. Too pale a color and it’s wash-out city.

red gutter

Elements of the house that are traditionally eyesores can become welcoming accents

7 Don’t ignore the house’s unattractive aspects

Exterior paint colors can actually make some of the not-so-pretty elements of your house – gutters, windows that have been placed unevenly or an unsightly garage door – look more crisp and cohesive as parts of the whole.

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