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Video:Pick Exterior Paint Colors

with Jackie Craven

Is it time to update the look of your home's exterior with a new paint job? Get the scoop on all the details you should consider when painting your house.See Transcript

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Transcript:Pick Exterior Paint Colors

Hi! I'm Jackie Craven, a Guide to architecture at About.com. Grab a color wheel or some paint swatches. Today we're going to pick new colors for your house.

Choose Paint Colors That Compliment the Roof

Begin with colors suggested by your roof. Your house doesn't have to match the roof, but it should harmonize. Also consider other features you don't plan to paint, such as masonry or vinyl windows.

Coincide the Colors With Surrounding Houses

Choose colors that coordinate with buildings around you. My neighbor's house here is golden rust. I need colors that don't clash.

Consider Matching Outdoor Paint With Interiors

The colors you've used for interior room may suggest ideas for colors outside your house. I like the green in this sofa cushion.

Use a Historic Paint Color Chart

If you're painting an older home, you may want to select colors from a historic color chart. Or you can try to find out what colors were used on your house before you moved in. According to old photos my house was painted dark green and white. For a while, it was boring beige vinyl siding.

Try Painting With Various Shades

Most houses use at least three different colors: one for the siding, and two or more for trim and accents such as doors, railings, and window sashes. Darker colors are great for accenting recess spaces and window sashes. Lighter colors will highlight details that project from the wall's surface.

Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations. You can use a virtual painting program to preview your house colors. Or, you can photocopy a sketch of your house and try different color combinations.

Test the Paint on Your House

Before you buy gallons of paint, test a spot to see if you like the color. I don't know, this looks pretty blah to me, I need a darker color for this house. Be sure to look at the colors at different times of the day.

Choose Paint Sheen

You thought you only had to pick colors? Sorry, in addition, you'll also have to decide on the sheen of your paint. Glossy, semi or soft gloss, or flat. I like to use a glossy finish for columns and window sashes and a soft gloss for siding. It's so easy to clean.

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