Monday, 15 July 2013

Getting the exterior colour right

We chose between five colours, but
quickly eliminated three of them.
Summer is the perfect time to repaint the exterior of a house. That's what my family is doing right now. I'm excited to see how my 1970s home is taking a big leap into the current millennium - one wall at a time - wearing a coat of Benjamin Moore's Barnwood. This weathered grey works beautifully with the surrounding trees, existing patio stones, and our plans for a new roof.

Choosing the right exterior colour deserves it's own, future blog post. Let's just say that you should take cues from the fixed elements that are already in the space and which you are not likely to change any time soon. I'm thinking of your driveway, brick walls, windows, roof, eavestroughs and so on.

Put white paper next to the samples, to get a neutral
background to which compare.

This post, however, is about how you can make it easier to reach a decision on colour once you've narrowed down the options.

This is what you do:

1) Buy sample cans of the contenders (cost around $5; most paint stores sell them) and paint test areas directly on the exterior siding. Or paint on white cardboard and attach to the house; the bigger cardboard the better.

2) Try your contenders where the pre-existing fixed elements are. Right next to the front door is one good place. I also painted a test area on an exterior wall that is visible through a window from inside the house. I wanted to make sure that the chosen colour worked with my interior walls.

3) Surround your samples with white space so that you get a clean, neutral background. This allows you to fully appreciate the colour options and to detect any unwanted undertones (more on that in a future post).

4) Observe how the colours behave in different lights during different times of the day and make a decision based on what you see and like.

5) Enjoy the transformation! Nothing beats paint when it comes to dramatic change.

Our home dressed in the chestnut brown colour
it's had since it was built in the mid 1970s.

Two walls done, "only" sixteen more to go! Re-roofing
is on the "to-do list", as are many other, additional projects.
We are also planning to paint the trim dark, and add an accent
colour to the front door.

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