Pick The Perfect Exterior Paint Colors In A Snap

Picking paint colors for the exterior of your home can seem like an overwhelming task.  It seems like there’s such pressure to get the color scheme right the first time – after all, you want your family (and your guests) to love the way that your home looks, and repainting the whole house after an unfortunate paint job is the last thing you want to have to do!

Luckily, picking the perfect exterior paint colors is actually pretty easy – really easy, in fact.  Just by following the little cheat-sheet guide to picking paint colors that I’m about to fill you in on, we were able to choose a paint combination that took our flip from this:

We're Flipping Out

to this:

Pick The Perfect Exterior Paint Colors In A Snap

Wanna hear how we did it?

1.  Assess the situation. Before you even think about cracking open a paint can, there are a few characteristics about your home that you need to take into account.  Here are just a few factors that you need to think about:

~ What color is your roof? If your roof leans more towards brown than gray, then you know that you will need exterior paint colors that are in the brown family as opposed to the gray family.

~ What is the style of your home? The color schemes that your house can pull off will vary a great deal depending upon whether your home is a rancher, for example, versus a Victorian.

~ Are there any exterior features that you don’t want to paint? For example, if you have a fabulous wooden front door that is stained a deep chocolate brown, then you know that your color scheme will be designed around that chocolate front door.  Or you might have a flagstone walkway in a deep slate blue that will have to be incorporated into your color palette.

~ How much natural sunlight does your home get? If you want your home to feel bright and airy in the middle of a dark forest, then you need to go for lighter tones, while a home in the middle of a field can get away with much deeper shades without feeling dark and creepy.

2.  Jump in your ride. Yes, that’s right – you’re about to take a tour of the neighborhood – or the county, if necessary.  While some people swear by paint chips or online photographs, seeing color palettes in person on houses similar to your own is really the ultimate way to find the perfect color combo for your own home.  You can see firsthand what works (and what doesn’t), and find surprising and inspired color combinations that you never would have thought of on your own.  All you need to do is find the section of town where the homes have architecture similar to your own house and inspect with an eagle eye the colors that other homeowners have chosen to use – and keep in mind all of the factors about your own home that you need to take into account.

3.  Ring the doorbell. Once you find a house with a fabulous color palette, the only way you can flawlessly achieve that look on your own is to use the exact same paint colors.  If you try to just visually match the paint colors with paint chips, chances are that you’ll wind up with paint colors that are just a little off – definitely not what you’re going for.  So, you know what that means!!  It’s time to ring the doorbell of that cute little house and ask the homeowners what paint colors they used – or, if you’re feeling a little shy, feel free to leave a note in their mailbox with your phone number.  Most people feel flattered that you love their house so much that you want to “borrow” their paint scheme – here’s the house that the color palette on our flip was inspired by:

Pick the Perfect Exterior Paint Colors in a Snap

So that’s all there is to it!  Do you guys have any tips for picking paint colors that we need to know about?  What about winning color combos?  We’d love to hear it!

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  1. christy says:

    We’ve never painted the exterior of a house before, so I have no tips. But I do have compliments – you guys did a great job! I love all the colors you chose – and that inspiration house is pretty too. Fabulous job Liz!!

  2. Tonya says:

    You guys did an amazing job! Thanks for the tips on painting the exterior, I’m going to print this and add it to my decorating ideas file. I’m sure it will come in handy soon! Thanks!

  3. nikkisnacs says:

    Great tips! We have only painted the exterior of one house and we circled many neighborhoods before landing on colors.

  4. Meredith says:

    Good advice. The paint job on the house looks amazing! Great color selection

  5. Averill says:

    I absolutely agree with you that touring the neighborhood is a must — not just for getting ideas for for really seeing what a color looks like when it’s covering a HUGE surface (like a house). Paint chips are not always accurate, and even if they are, it’s still really hard for most folks to visualize how a 2 in. square looks when blown up on a wall (or a door…or a house…).

  6. Jenn says:

    So what colors are they?? The house looks amazing and I love your red door is not so terribly bright, but is still a great punch of color.

  7. Liz says:


    The exterior paint colors are Sherwin Williams color matches of the paint colors used on another home. Here are the formulas:

    For the white trim:
    G2 – New Green 64/1, 128/1
    L1 – Blue 128/1
    R2 – Maroon 64/1, 128/1

    For the brick:
    L1 – Blue = 32/2, 64/1
    R2 – Maroon 32/2, 128/1
    Y3 – Deep Gold 32/11

    For the shutters and pillar:
    Tricorn Black

    I’m working on getting the formula for the front door – sorry for the wait! Hope this helps. :)

    ~ Liz

  8. Laura says:

    Thanks for posting this! DH and I bought our first house three months ago. We immediately painted the fuschia doors. We want to paint the whole house but can’t seem to come up with a good color scheme. I’m going to share this with him, and hopefully it will help us narrow our choices. I especially like your tip of matching the color to the roof – hadn’t thought of that! Disaster avoided.

  9. Renee says:

    What is the brand and color of the red front door? I am on my 5th sample of paint…and I can’t find the “perfect red” color. I would appreciate it so much!!!!!

  10. Amber says:

    What color did you paint the garage?

    • Liz says:


      The garage (which is in the back of the house) was already white, so we just left it – it looks great with the house painted white now!

      ~ Liz

  11. cecilgrass says:

    Great tips thanks for sharing. I was lucky that the last time I needed parts of my house painted and I had to find Moorestown NJ painters, the guys at http://www.rainerpainting.com said something similar. Many times I’ve hired out or done it myself and never did I know this. If only I knew this 10 or so years ago.