How to Choose House Paint Colors For Your Home's Exterior

Selecting the perfect paint hues for your home's trim, shutters, windows, and doors can be a challenge. Wondering where to begin? I'm sharing some helpful tips for choosing the right house paint colors for your home.

In this example, I’m going to choose house paint colors for a client but getting the colors right will be especially difficult. I wanted to show you my method of how I choose exterior house paint colors.

Looking at the original color brick

1. Original color brick

The color of the brick has a yellow tinge to it. And there’s a secondary brick color on the bottom of the building. There are several different trim pieces that also need to be chosen.

This building is in a historic district so the brick cannot be painted. So I'll choose the trim and door colors that will work well with this particular brick color.

Fanning out a paint deck

2. Use a paint deck

I always start with a full paint deck with every color under the sun and then I eliminate colors. I have a group of colors left that I will choose from.

Finding the right color stick

3. Finding the right color stick

I found a color stick in the deck that matches the brick color so I will use this to help me figure out the trim.

Looking t the old colors

4. Look at the old colors

You can see here the colors the previous owners had chosen, super bright stark white and super deep dark black. But they just don't blend well with the brick because they pop a little too much.

They aren't the correct hues for this particular brick color. The proper white hue should be warmer and blend better. I’ll also choose another darker neutral that doesn’t pop like this black.

Choosing accent colors

5. Choosing accent colors

As you can see, this color stick has the color of the brick here. A really easy super foolproof way for you to get that super light white that will blend beautifully is to go to the top of the color stick and use that hue as the trim.

That works because each color is diluted with white up the stick. All of these colors coordinate well with one another. I’ve chosen this top color for the trim. When it’s up, it will read as white, not cream.

Choosing a door color

6. Choosing a door color

But I’m going to have to choose a door color here, too. All these colors are too bright or the wrong hue. They don’t blend well with the brick and trim color I’ve chosen.

Even these browns have too much pink in them. They just aren’t right for the look I’m after. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a bright color for a door but it needs to blend with the overall composition.

Selecting a section of the deck
Choosing which green to use

7. Choosing which green to use

I didn't feel like blues were right for the door or this facade in general. I felt like green was the right color choice for this composition. The colors were on the other side of the deck, away from the brighter blues.

I have two choices for the front door. I chose two different green colors that blend well in the composition. I chose a little darker since I knew the natural light would hit the door and lighten it up.

How to choose the right paint color for your door

8. Tips on choosing a door color

Keep in mind that when you're outside, depending on the sheen of paint that you use, a glossy color will read lighter than the color deck’s sample. The natural light will lighten up the color. Make sure you tape the paint sample chip up to the door and look at it in all different lighting situations to make sure it works.

It’s common for people to paint a door a color that’s too light because they don’t realize how much light reflects off the surface of the door. As a general rule, I choose two shades darker on that color chart from the color that I think I want a surface to look like. That’s because I know the color will change when the sun hits it.

Final color palette

9. The final composition

Overall, it's going to be this mustardy color, yellow brick, the lighter cream color for the trim, and the green for the door.

There’s just so much to discuss when it comes to choosing colors to paint a house. But I hope learning about my process can help you choose your house paint colors when the time comes. If you have chosen exterior house paint colors, let me know in the comments how you did it and how it worked out!

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