5 must know tips for choosing exterior colours

Are you finding selecting colours for the exterior of your home stressful?

Do you lie awake at night worrying about how your colours will look?

The exterior is the first impression everyone has of your home, so taking the time to get it right is well worth it.

Here are my top 5 tips for creating a home that stands out for the right reasons.

Image source: homebeautiful.com

Tips for getting your exterior colour scheme right

1.   Start with what is already there.

If you are updating an existing home, then start by looking at the colours that you won't be changing. If the colour of your roof isn't changing or your window trims or paving are staying the same then to start building your new palette from these colours. Please don't select the latest trend colour or the same hue as your best friend's house unless it is going to harmonise with your existing colour scheme. You don't want any new colours to clash with the existing ones. Everything should work together, pleasingly.

Image source: adoremagazine.com

2.  Look at your colour scheme as a whole

I see so many houses where the colours don't work together. There is often a colour that doesn't go with anything else, and it is the first thing that you notice. I'm sure you have seen examples of this too. The trims are a common area where a colour scheme goes wrong.


All colours you choose need to work together. Keep in mind when selecting colours to always think about the rest of your scheme.  Check that it is all working in harmony.


Collect samples of all your colours and look at the combination. You will be able to see if something looks off.

Image source: town-n-country.com

3.  Use 3 - 4 colours

This is the maximum number of different colours you should use on your home to prevent it from looking like a mishmash.

Create a well-balanced and exciting home by varying the lightness and darkness of a particular hue, e.g. If you have a dark grey roof you can choose a light grey for the walls, introduce a white for your trims and a medium grey for paving or to highlight a feature. This will stop your home looking dull, but all the colours will harmonise.

Using different materials adds texture and personality to the look of your home. Some options are bricks, timber, stone, or metal.

Image source: katrinaleechambers.com

4.  Use low intensity colours

Colours that are 'greyed out' or have low saturation levels tend to look better on a home's exterior. These colours are often found in nature, and they help your home to sit harmoniously into the landscape. Think slate, beige, charcoal, stone and sand.

Of course, if you want your home to stand out, you might want to use some bolder shades. Just be mindful that colours look brighter outside, so you need to be careful with the saturation level.

A splash of bright colour can look great on a home where the majority of tones are muted and soft. You could paint your front door a bright hue or a small section of cladding in a bold colour.

Image source: southernliving.com

5.  Check your colour samples outside

This is the most critical step of all and one that is often forgotten. Colours look much brighter outside than they do inside and what may appear to be grey on a colour card or interior walls will look very different on your exterior walls. Sunlight washes out the grey in colours, and the undertone becomes more apparent. What may seem like a lovely warm white inside may turn more orange or pink outside. Make sure you always check colours you are going to use on the exterior outside.

Image source: Pinterest

And......A bonus tip

When you are collecting samples at the paint shop always choose some a couple of shades darker than the one you like. Colour looks lighter outside than it does inside.

And always paint large samples of any colour on the walls or a board and test it outside before painting the house to be 100% sure you are happy with your chosen hue. You don't want any unwelcome, not to mention costly mistakes.

Who knew there was so much to choosing the right colours!

Hopefully, these tips have given you a better understanding of selecting exterior colours, and you will be confident in choosing the right ones for you. 

If you found this post useful, you might like to check out some of my other blog posts, or subscribe to receive updates on how to use colours to create a happy and nurturing home.

Happy decorating.

 Trudi x

23 July 2020

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