As the owner of a San Diego house painting company that offers color consultations as part of our service offerings, we get asked a lot about the best color combinations for home exteriors. We know that it’s hard to tell from a small paint sample what a color will look like when it’s painted over a large surface, so we are happy to offer our expertise as to what we think looks great, based on our many years of painting homes in San Diego.
While there are no hard and fast “rules” as to what paint colors you can choose for your home, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.
If you have any plans to sell your home in the near future (and by the near future, I mean before you plan to paint your house again), you might want to consider going with neutral colors for your home’s exterior. Homes with neutral exterior colors tend to appeal to more potential buyers and can help your home sell more quickly and for a higher price.
The good news is, there are a lot of great neutrals to choose from! You could consider any color in the gray, white, taupe, or beige families. If you really like blue, but want to stay somewhat neutral, go with a bluish-gray. Love yellow? Go with a warm white that has yellow undertones. With just about any neutral color, white trim is a great choice.
If you want to add a pop of color to your neutral home, the front door is a great place to do it. Even the brightest color probably won’t scare off any potential buyers, because they know it’s an easy thing to repaint if it’s not their style.
Style of the Home
Different styles of homes have their own sets of colors that go with them. For example, Spanish-style homes tend to be painted white or a warm beige to go with their terra cotta roofs. The exterior walls of Victorian homes are often painted highly saturated colors in order to show off their decorative trim (which is typically painted white). Most beach cottages are painted in light and airy colors like light blues, yellows, whites, or light grays.
By no means do you have to stick to what you “should” do with the colors of your house, but if you have any desire to stick to the colors that have historically been associated with the style of your house, do a little research and find the color combination that you like best within those options.
Stand Out or Blend In?
Some people want their home to blend in with the rest of the neighborhood, while others want their home to be the stand-out home on the block. If you’re in the latter group, bright or dark colors are your friends. Just know that not everyone will appreciate your bold choice. These types of colors tend to elicit an emotional response—and that response is not always positive. As long as you’re okay with that, go ahead and paint your house bright purple/black/pink/red or whatever color makes you happy!
Of course, all of these suggestions are moot if you live in an HOA that dictates what colors you can paint the exterior of your house. Hopefully, there’s at least one color combination in the list of options that you like. Typically, the HOA color combinations are pleasant and safe combinations. Some may consider them boring, but they’re rarely offensive. For some homeowners—those who have a hard time making decisions about such things—having limited color options is actually a relief.
Additional Help with Exterior Color Selection
If you’re overwhelmed by all the choices out there, don’t be afraid to get some help. Some San Diego house painters are willing to offer their opinions on colors and can be great resources, considering they’ve seen a variety of colors on real-life homes. They tend to know what works and what doesn’t. You could also look through brochures in paint stores for ideas. They will have recommended exterior paint color combinations and will often have photos for reference. Finally, there are professional color consultants for hire who would love to work with you to choose the perfect color combination for your San Diego home.
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