Colour Schemes
Painting your house is both a challenge and an opportunity. Some design and colour choice ideas might help you get the result you're looking for.

Exterior Colours

Choosing exterior paint colour may be challenging when you consider that most fully painted exteriors have at least three different shades - one for the siding and two or more for trim and accents. Carefully chosen trim and accent colours can emphasise architectural details and disguise design flaws. A poor choice might make a house seem flat and featureless or so garish that the colours overwhelm the architecture.

So why not take a walk around your neighbourhood and you'll soon notice the consequences of what appear to you to be good or bad colour choices.

Colour Schemes


Painting exteriors is not only a challenging job, it's also a great opportunity. Here are a few tips designed to make choosing the right scheme a little easier and get the result you want.
  • Start with colours suggested by your roof and masonry. If you have exposed brickwork, look for colours that work in with that. The same goes for your roof colour as this is the largest colour expanse in your home.
  • Consider the colour schemes used inside your home. The exterior colours can be chosen to complement them.
  • Be aware of your neighbours. If the design of your home is similar, choose colours that coordinate with the buildings around you.
  • Large areas in a particular colour can make them look lighter. Consider selecting darker shades.
  • Remember that very bright or very deep colours will fade with time and become more subdued and light colours will show the dirt.
  • To emphasise architectural details, outline them with an accent colour that contrasts with the background.
  • Look at using darker colours to emphasise shadows and lighter colours to highlight projections.
  • Avoid extreme contrasts. Choose colours that are related.

Colour Schemes


  • Light colours will make your house seem larger. Dark colours or bands of trim will make your house seem smaller, but will draw more attention to details. 
    Also, dark colours tend to absorb heat and suffer more moisture problems than lighter shades. With fading, dark colours are more difficult to touch up.
  • For some accents, consider using darker or lighter shades of the same colour instead of changing colour.
  • Study colour samples outside, but in a range of sun conditions. Bright sun can affect the way the colour is perceived.
  • Make a sketch of your home and use watercolours or coloured pencils to try colour combinations.
  • Most paint companies now sell sample pots which allow you to paint small areas in the chosen scheme so you can see it before you commit to the full project.
  • The simpler your house and the fewer the details, the fewer colours you'll need.
  • You'll also need to decide on the sheen of your paint, whether you want a gloss,  semi-gloss or flat finish. The glossier the surface, the more visible variations and imperfections like brush strokes or touch-up marks.  But glossy surfaces are easier to clean. Many home owners opt for flat paint for walls and semi-gloss or gloss for features.

Colour Schemes


If your home is of a distinctive period and you want to paint in keeping with its origins you can hire a professional to analyse old paint chips and recreate the original colour. Alternatively, you can refer to historic colour charts and select shades that might have been used at the time your home was built.

If you want to change the look dramatically and go with bright modern colours, have a look at the choices made by the owners of homes of the same vintage. Trust your eyes: you will readily see what works and what doesn't according to your personal taste.