How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors
March 1, 2016
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Sunlight And Exterior Paint Colors
Choosing a paint color for your home is a major decision. It is something you will see every single day, and is the first thing your friends and family will see when they visit. Make sure you take enough time to adequately determine the perfect color for your home, so that you don’t regret it later!

One important factor in selecting the right color is determining how it will look in the sunlight. Sunlight can make paint colors look very different, depending on a variety of factors including weather, time of day, and which direction your house is facing.


Weather is an important factor to consider when selecting a color for your home. You need to be sure that the color will look great in both direct sunlight and on a cloudy, rainy day. The color you choose may look fine on a cloudy day, but if it looks too intense in direct sunlight, this is an indication that it is not the right pick. The same goes for the opposite weather combination- if it looks great in sunlight, but too dark or dull on a cloudy day, it is probably also a color you should stay away from.

Direction of Your Home

The direction your home is facing is also crucial in determining a color. If your home is north-facing, it will get less direct light during the day, so it will look cooler. Brighter colors will be useful in this case. If it faces south, it will be much warmer and the color will look more intense. If you don’t want too intense of a look, go with a softer or cooler color. You’ll want to avoid anything too bright or extreme. Homes facing eastward will get more light in the morning and that light will be softer. Alternatively, homes facing westward will get more light in the second half of the day, which will also be softer than direct exposure.

Looking at Other Examples

It can also be useful to drive around your area and identify house colors that you like. This can help your decision-making process and can help you notice the smaller accent pieces, like different design elements that you enjoy. It can also help you determine how different paint colors look with different permanent fixtures, like garage door or roof colors. Pay attention to the time of day that you are looking at these house in, as it will help determine how each color looks in the light. There is no shame in copying something you like- they do say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

The Testing Process

In order to sufficiently test each paint color, you should paint the same color samples on a few different areas of the house. For example, say you have four color choices. You should paint all four on an area of the house that will be in direct sunlight, one that will often be in the shade, and a couple in areas that will go in between those two levels of light. That way, you can check each color in each type of lighting to confirm which is best. Also keep in mind that you need to buy small pots of paint for this part of the process. This is an extremely important step, otherwise you run the risk of buying too much of one color of paint that you think will look good, only to spend the time and effort painting your house in a color that you don’t end up liking. It can be extremely helpful to contact a professional New Jersey painting company in this step. A top painting professional will be able to help you select a high quality color and will paint the samples for you, guiding you in your decision the entire time.

Also, be sure to keep in mind that if the house is in direct, strong sunlight, the color will fade faster than usual. In that case, be sure to choose a high-quality paint. Reds, blues, greens, and yellows all fade more quickly.

All in all, if you follow these steps you should be well on your way to determining the best color for your home. Good luck!

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