While the interior colours in your home need to reflect your personality, the exterior paints should not only speak to your sense of style but should also blend in with the entire street. There are a lot of factors to be considered when deciding the exterior paint colours for your home, so it’s certainly not a choice that should be taken lightly. We’re here to walk you through this all-important decision.
Introduction To Exterior Paint Colours
Unlike interior paints, exterior paints must be able to withstand the vagaries of the weather and retain a freshly painted look through harsh summers, chill winters and torrential monsoons. The paint you choose should look good, while also protecting your home from temperature variations, moisture and fading. You should also base your choice on what is comfortable for your wallet; so the paint should be cost-effective as well as durable. A tough call indeed.
For the walls, you can pick from whitewash at the lower end of the price spectrum, to cement-based paints, textured paints, acrylic paints, oil-based paints, and high-end emulsion paints. Enamel paints are a good choice for the doors and window frames, railings, window grills, and so on.
Work With The Architectural Style
The paint colours you choose must work well with the character of your home and should highlight the most beautiful features. As a thumb rule, the simpler the architectural design of your home, the fewer colours you are likely to need. Modern homes could do with just one or two colours, but more traditional homes that have cornices, mouldings and columns could use four or more shades to bring out the beauty of each architectural element.
If you are staying in a gated community, there may already be some rules in place that determine the exterior design character and elements of your building. Do check with the builders before you start so that the neighbours do not veto your efforts! Take a drive around the neighbourhood to see the style and character of the buildings around.
Of course, if there are no such rules, and you would rather not conform to what society expects of you, you can choose to fly in the face of what is expected. Go bold, be unusual, and make your home the one that stands out in a crowd. It’s entirely up to you.
Choose The Exterior wall Colour Palette
1. Pay Attention To The Details
If there are any outstanding architectural details, like pretty eaves boards or ornamental window brackets, you could choose to paint them with a colour in the same colour family that complements the main walls but still stands apart. Painting them the same colour as the walls could turn them invisible, and you might lose the beauty of the fine detailing. Again, if you want these elements to stand out dramatically, choose a colour that’s in stark contrast.
2. Doors And Window Shutters
Here, too, you must make your colour selections with intent and with an eye to what’s all around you. Do you want to blend in with the neighbourhood, or do you want to stand apart? Bright colours like red, blue, green or yellow are popular choices; while white or natural wood are always safe choices.
3. Work With Established Details
Do you have a sloping roof or a pergola that throws light and shade in the garden? Pay attention to the colours of the roof and the finishes of the pergola.
Are there supports made of metal? Tiles on the roof? Work with what is already in place, and use colours that complement the construction materials that cannot be changed. For instance, terracotta tiles work well with browns, reds and greys. Almost everything goes well with white and cream.
4. Light And Dark Exterior paint Colours
When in doubt, remember that light colours make a building appear larger and add to its grandeur, while darker colours constrict spaces. There’s a reason why the White House is painted in just that shade. Some designers like to accentuate shadows and recesses with darker colours, and paint trims, cornices and mouldings a slightly darker shade taken from the same colour family.
5. Colours For The Window Shutters And Doors
Wooden and metal surfaces can be finished with high-quality enamel paint that is stain and water-resistant. Doors and windows could be left au naturel, with natural wood grains beautifully highlighted. You could also choose to paint them in bright shades that are in contrast to the walls; consider white walls with a poster red door, or cream coloured walls with a deep green door.
Here’s a simple idea that often works very well. If you have some bougainvillaea in your garden, you could take your cue from nature and paint the doors and windows the same shade as the blooms.
6. Complementing The Environment
Take a look around you, and see what colours are commonly used in your neighbourhood. Would you like to blend in, or are you one of those who prefer to go against the grain and stand apart? While you can take ideas from the house next door, do make some changes so that you are not accused of copying their design. It’s your call whether you choose to blend in, complement, or contrast with the colours used by your neighbours.
Many designers like to borrow their ideas from nature. If you have a lot of trees and a lawn around your house, a palette of greens and browns would go well. The flowers in your garden could dictate your colour scheme.
7. Choose Exterior paint colour based on Material
If your house has a sloped roof and some materials that are unpainted—like brick or stone—make sure that all the colours harmonize. Some materials have colours that look their best in the raw state. Raw cement, unpainted brick or stone stucco really do not need any external application of paint to improve their looks.
There is a wide range of colour choices for the exterior of your home, but do be mindful of your surroundings when you make your choice. Choose colours that are in line with your sense of style and personality, but also go well with the architectural character and elements of the building.
Are you considering changing the exterior paint colours of your home? We’d love to hear from you! Do write in, and do connect with HomeLane’s expert team of designers for more vibrant and colourful ideas.