Of course, the first thing anyone notices when driving by your house is your exterior paint color. A house with eccentric exterior paint sticks out quite prominently in a neighborhood, so homeowners normally take a lot of time deciding on what color to paint their homes. Over the past few decades, many people opted for a natural yet lighter white color, but preferences have evolved a bit recently. Let’s take a look at the seven most popular exterior home paint colors.
Starting with the most obvious color, a basic white exterior is a perfect go-to for many homeowners. These are good if you are not looking for some sort of cream color, as they just look like your typical white exterior. Some of these come with hints of yellow to brighten them more, whereas others might have tints of lighter blues. If you think your house would look best without any form of subdued coloring, look into simple white paint.
While your typical, brighter white is still definitely in-style, warmer whites have started to become a much more popular option. Where these normally differ from your typical white paint is normally what the white paint is mixed in with. If you’re looking for a warmer white color, white paints that have hints of gray in them are one of the best choices but some also have more of a green tint to them. Cream color is also a great off-white option if you’re looking to stay neutral but not too plain.
Speaking of green, green has also become a more popular exterior home paint color throughout the past few years. While people may initially be repulsed at the idea, green is actually a great option due to the variety of options and how well it blends with the rest of a homeowner’s yard, lawn, and decor. You may think of a green house as eccentric and bright, but it may actually be the opposite. While brighter green paints usually have touches of yellow, darker greens like olive are more subtle and stick out less. Green exterior paint pairs well in areas with a lot of nature and is typically best for laid back homes like small bungalows. If you don’t want your entire exterior to be green, you may want to consider just painting your shutters and/or your trim green.
While blues were previously thought to be a more “historic” option, they are now back in style and are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Blues range from extremely light to very dark, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you’re wanting a blue. One of the more popular blues at this time is a navy blue, which typically is a mix of blue and gray undertones. Unless you want pure navy, dark blue paint mixed with some gray lightens the paint a bit so it isn’t completely dark. The gray can also give it sort of a “shine,” which looks beautiful on a house.
Lighter blues are a good option for homeowners who don’t want something extremely bold but are also tired of their plan, old white paint. Light blues add a touch of color without being over-the-top and flashy.
An important thing to keep in mind when looking for a blue paint is that darker blues may look darker on a swatch than they do on a house. This is partially because the blues will seem lighter and make more of a statement on a house in the natural sunlight. Also, both dark and light blues are fun to mix and match with other colors on the exterior of your house, such as the door, steps and railings. An increasingly popular combination today is blue exterior paint with a red door and other red accessories.
Many homeowners will balk at the idea of a yellow house, but it doesn’t mean the yellow has to be vibrant and stand out. Similar to other colors, yellow paint comes in countless shades. While bright, loud yellow exterior home paint does exist, more and more people are choosing a more subtle, soft yellow for their homes. Light yellow is another color that matches well with surrounding foliage and looks great with decor such as white, wooden patio furniture. Of course, yellow brick homes are also a great option if it would “fit” in your neighborhood.
Most people think of charcoal as being very dark and close to a black color, but several paint manufacturers have more neutral charcoal colors to choose from when painting the outside of your house. These are more neutral but definitely have a darker tone, so if you’re wanting something warmer, charcoal paint is a solid choice. These range from a lighter gray charcoal to a very dark color, so make sure to get a wide variety of swatches if you are looking for a charcoal paint.
That’s right - last, but not least, pure black exterior paint is slowly starting to come into style. A complete 180 degrees from your traditional white exterior, black exterior adds a bolder and more dramatic feel to one’s home. Homes with black exterior paint are especially beautiful in areas with a lot of trees and plants, as the colors of the surrounding nature “pop” more than they do with a lighter exterior. Unfortunately for homeowners, black paint tends to fade and can also increase the temperature within the home. However, if you’re looking to make a statement and be part of a new trend, black exterior paint might be for you.
Ultimately, the exterior paint color you choose for your house is totally up to you. All the way from bright, vibrant colors to pure black, there are options for you. The appearance of your house is extremely important for your own satisfaction as well as the curb appeal of your home, so take your time picking the color that is best for you.
Whether you’re relocating for a job or just wanting to move across town, when you’re ready to sell your house, you want it to look great so potential buyers will be likely to inquire for more information. Curb appeal is basically what it sounds like - the appeal of your house from the outside. You want this to be excellent if you are looking to sell because your goal is to draw in buyers who will pay top price for your home. Keep reading for 7 curb appeal tips that can come in handy when you’re selling your home.
Tend to the Yard
One of the first things prospective buyers will notice when they come to your house is the yard. Regardless how great the interior of your home is, if the exterior isn’t up to par, buyers won’t be impressed. If you don’t want to hire a professional landscaper to clean up the yard before prospective buyers come to tour the home, simply mowing, trimming, and edging the yard can make it look much more enticing.
Add a Pop of Color to the Exterior
While maintaining the lawn and hedges is critical to your home’s curb appeal, you may also want to add a pop of color with flowers or plants. While you don’t need a full garden of any sort, just having some flowers on the stairs or deck can increase attention to your home. Most flowers are very affordable - just make sure you get “Full Sun” ones if your plants will be exposed to the sun all day.
Paint the House
Many home sellers are hesitant to paint their houses because it can get really pricey; however, buyers are much less inclined to purchase a house with deteriorated paint. If you don’t want to paint the entire house, you may want to at least paint the trim to make it look neater and newer. If you plan on using a contractor to paint your house, he or she can probably guide you in choosing the right color that will give your home the best curb appeal.
Clean Your Roof and Your Gutters
Most people who own homes - and many who don’t - know what a hassle it is to maintain and replace a roof. Therefore, you want to make sure your roof is in good condition and appears sturdy. Leaves and other debris should all be removed from the roof and gutters, and you’ll want to make sure the gutters are all neatly attached where they are supposed to be. If you need to replace the roof, you might be reimbursed through a higher selling price. Alternatively, if the roof needs a lot of work, offer prices may come in much lower.
Think About the Front Door
While the front door is only a small portion of a house, it is also one of the most important ones that potential buyers will notice. Buyers immediately get a bad “vibe” if they walk into front doors with dated, cracked paint, so it is crucial to make sure yours is inviting and updated. You do not need to buy an entire new door, but you may want to touch up the paint on yours if it needs work.
Pay Attention to the Windows
Similar to the front door, while windows normally don’t make up too much of a home’s exterior, they can highly impact a home’s curb appeal. Making sure the shape and color scheme for your windows matches as well as the type of shades (or blinds) you have is crucial, as any differences may not be noticeable from within but can definitely appear unattractive from afar. If your windows are older and not in great shape, you may also want to treat them before buyers come by.
Clean the Walkways and Driveways
First impressions truly do matter to home buyers, so you will always want to ensure your walkways and driveways are pristine. Buyers don’t want to walk on a filthy ground to get to the house, and having clean walkways and driveways gives the impression that the inside is pristine, too. You can pressure wash these areas to make them shine, or at least run a hose over them to get off dirt and other substances on the surface. If your driveway is black top, you can also add a layer of sealant to make it look even better.
If you are looking for a great painting contractor, you might not know where to start. There are likely a lot of them in your area, and choosing one can be overwhelming. All of us want the interior and exterior of our properties to look great, but we need to ensure the contractor we choose is reputable, will do the job properly, and is not going to rip us off. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick the best one who is going to complete the job right and have your place looking great. Below are six ways to find a great painting contractor.
1. Ask Around and Get Several Quotes
Of course, you may start out your search for a great painting contractor by asking friends and family members for suggestions. We trust our friends and family, so we are likely to at least interview the individuals that are recommended to us. However, it is always a smart idea to get multiple quotes - at least three or four - and meet different professionals, as all jobs differ and a professional’s team or prices may have changed since your friends or family members used him or her. Newer crew members may have less experience or the price list may have been altered. If you were not referred by someone else, ask the contractors for reference lists. If they are well-respected, they should not hesitate to provide you with some.
2. Search Engines
Perhaps the simplest way to find a painting contractor in your area is to use a search engine such as Google to look for one. Type in keywords such as “painting contractor” with your zip code and you’ll get an idea of who might be the best contractor for your paint job and how many options you have. Google does a pretty good job of listing high quality painters highly up in their search results, so chances are you can trust the first companies you see listed.
3. Ask Your Local Paint Shops
One of the most overlooked and unthought of ways to find a painting contractor is simply to ask your local paint shops. Many contractors prefer to do business with local shops instead of bigger chain stores, so they should certainly have some suggestions you may want to look into. Ask which contractors buy the highest quality paint, are reliable with payments, and have great reputations in the community.
4. Pay Attention to Ads
While advertising in newspapers isn’t the most lucrative way to find business (seeing as many people no longer subscribe to them) placing advertisements in/on newspapers, local magazines, television, radio, and the Internet is a good idea for contractors to get their names out to the public. Pay attention to these and if you’re interested, give them a call.
General Tips for Hiring a Painting Contractor
There are some steps you should take when choosing to go with a contractor after you find one. First, simply pay attention when one comes to check out your property. You should definitely be present at the property in need of a paint job when the contractors come to check out your place and assess what procedures they may need to carry out to complete the job. You will obviously need to get an idea of the contractors’ work ethic and personalities, but also be sure to note how much time they spend during their assessment. While experts in other industries are expected to work quickly and immediately know what needs to be done, professional painters usually need more time to analyze the structure and determine which type of paint, primer, and so on they will need to use.
Along the same lines, ask for an honest breakdown of expected material, time, and labor costs. Certain factors can greatly change the price of your paint job, including the brand of paint, how many coats will be applied, and any other processes that the contractor plans to carry out. If you are diligent about who you choose and how you find them, your paint job is guaranteed to turn out great.
Choosing Kitchen Paint Colors
If you’re choosing colors for your kitchen, it might be hard to determine what palette is right for you. These days, kitchens are more than an area for cooking and utility. They’re communal spaces.
Many homeowners choose white or neutral colors to keep a kitchen balanced. But, you don’t need an eye for design or an understanding of color theory to select the right colors for your kitchen.
All you need is a sense of some basic things, such as use and location. Then start factoring in your kitchen’s other aspects, like lighting, cabinets, and other accessories.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here’s an easy-to-use kitchen painting breakdown:
Purpose in Color
The kitchen can be the most important part of your house. After all, it’s the hub for your everyday activities.
Through homecooked meals and time spent together, some believe that the kitchen is the most important room for your family. Live alone? Same thing. Your kitchen still receives a high amount of traffic through solo daily activity.
When considering colors for this space, think about its purpose. Also, consider the duality of your kitchen. Regardless of where you live, this area could double as an entertainment space or gathering area.
Specific colors can set the proper tone for use. HGTV weighed different tones against the colors that inspire actions. “Warmer colors such as red are believed to stimulate the appetite and are an excellent option for kitchens. Red is incredibly versatile and there are multiple shades that would really pop in a kitchen, either on the cabinets or the walls.”
Yellow hues are a good option if you want to open up a room and inspire hunger in your guests or family members. Yellow can lift the energy of your kitchen with it’s bright, sunny effect. HGTV adds that it also pairs well with white and gray accents.
Want a more relaxed atmosphere? Blues and greens can bring a calm, earthy feeling to your kitchen. Blue hues give it a crisp feel. Just be sure to balance the blue with white or neutral accents to avoid weighing down the space.
Like blue, green provides comfort. Green also pairs well with white and natural accents. If you opt for a butcher block countertop or island, the combination with green walls can give your kitchen an earthy atmosphere.
Neutrals and white are among the most popular colors when it comes to kitchens. These palettes can give your kitchen a refreshing feel in the morning with its clean look. It’s also easier to match with your countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Gray is also a good choice here, but as HGTV said, “It often gets categorized as being too cold . . .”
The location of your kitchen establishes the purpose and overall atmosphere. By “location,” we’re talking about connection. Is the kitchen a separate room, or is it part of an open floor plan connected to a living or dining room?
If your kitchen is open and connected with another considerable area of your home, you’ll want to think about flow. Color can help by establishing kitchen borders. This is why many homeowners often choose neutrals for their kitchen. Most want to avoid strong colors clashing with their living or dining area.
HomeTips recommends a simple remedy to an open floor plan: “Pull rooms together with a thread of color, and try not to match the shades between your living space and your kitchen perfectly.”
The amount of light in your kitchen is a significant factor when choosing colors.
Windows impact the amount of natural or artificial light in the space. Better Homes & Gardens recommends taking into account the different shades of your favorite color in the sun and shade. “Northern light is cool, for instance, and it's often best to counter it with a warm color. But as the sun moves or drifts behind clouds, colors shift and change.”
BHG touches on how the lights in your kitchen can impact its color. “Artificial lighting changes colors, too. That's why it's so important to apply samples where the colors will be used and in context with other colors and materials -- which also affect perception.”
But don’t stress over the light in your kitchen. Read on to see how you can accurately test colors in different lighting conditions.
Fixtures, Cabinets, & Accessories
Aside from light, elements already found in your kitchen like fixtures, cabinets, and accessories can guide the color selection process. Martha Stewart’s website advises homeowners use these “color cues.”
Countertops provide a great jumping-off point for color. Common countertop materials, such as wood, marble, granite, and quartzite, give a natural balance for a color to work around.
Likewise, using neutral tones on kitchen walls can open up the potential for a pop of color on your cabinets. Accentuate those neutrals with warm or cool accents. Just make sure to use a good finish on your cabinets to ensure you get the color effect you’re aiming for.
Light fixtures are another way to bring in character for neutrals, whites, grays, or even dark colors. Most light fixtures come with a brushed gold, bronze, nickel, or chrome finish. Brushed gold against a white background gives your kitchen a beautiful accent without going overboard.
Aside from fixtures, look to your kitchen accessories—for instance: your refrigerator, stove/oven range, sink, even your coffee maker. Chrome, a popular finish for most accessories, works well with cooler hues. Bronze or brushed gold is more flexible. It can warm up a space painted in darker colors, or it can add to the effect of warmer tones such as red, yellow, and burgundy.
Test Your Colors
Once you find a selection of colors--test them! Don’t fall into the one-and-done trap only to discover that you don’t like the color after you’ve finished painting.
Most paint stores offer paint samples that come in small canisters. Get samples of the colors your like and paint swatches on the wall of your kitchen.
Are you’re existing walls painted in another color? Grab a white foam-core board and paint your swatches on there. This method is a bit more effective because you can move the board around to different spots in your kitchen, gauging both natural and artificial light.
When it comes to choosing colors for your kitchen, don’t sweat the small stuff--be inspired by it. Think about the feeling you want your kitchen to inspire; it’s purpose in your everyday life. That way, you can create a space that adds to the comfort of your home.
Expertise Painting Inc. recently did this prep and paint of fireplace wood mantle and brick. What a difference this made in brightening up the room! The homeowner was very pleased with the finished product.
A Professional Painter servicing Charlottesville and Central Virginia for over 30 years.