Thursday, October 22, 2015

31 Days of Coffee: How To Choose Exterior House Paint Colors

Today's episode of Fixer Upper, Batavia Illinois addition, is brought to you by decaff coffee.

Decaff. For those moments when your nerves are too frazzled to drink the real stuff.

Our episode begins in Pittsburgh, in the spring, when the house inspector at our new home told us the lovely news "This house needed to be painted yesterday, or last year, or maybe a few years ago."

Great. Just lovely. Add this to our list of projects to rectify years of deferred maintenance.

So before the terrible packers -who -shall -remain -unnamed even stepped foot in my door, I was at the paint store, considering colors for the next house.

I have learned a lot in the process, and today, I am going to share with you my method for choosing house exterior colors.


1.) Spend hours on Pinterest, pinning hundreds of favorite house color combinations. It doesn't matter if these will work for your home's style or not. This is merely a warm up exercise to get your mind in the color frame.



2.) Stalk neighborhoods looking at house colors. When no one is looking, surreptitiously take photos. Add these to your Pinterest boards, if you are not afraid of getting caught taking photos of houses without permission.

3.) Now that you are warmed up, go to the paint store and grab a sample chip of every color in the rainbow. ROY G BIV to your heart's content!


4.) Carry paint chips with you everywhere you go. If you see someone at the grocery store with a fashionable outfit, chances are good they may be able to help you choose a color. Stop them in the bread aisle (because frozen foods is too cold and you may be there a while).


5.) Ask every friend and family member to choose a house color. Remember Mark Southby, that boy you had a crush on in third grade? Track him down, call him, and ask him, too. You never know! He may have grown up to be a painter. Or a realtor. Or an interior decorator.


6.) Finally, a day will come when you have to tell the painter the color you've chosen. That's the same day he will tell you why, in his humble opinion, that color will just not work for your house. When this happens, repeat steps one through five, but do it within a twenty-four hour cycle because the painter needs to know your selection tomorrow morning at 8:00...a.m.


7.) Before the home improvement store closes, go and buy a few samples to paint on boards.


8.) Before painting those boards, write the name of the color on the back with a Sharpie. This will avoid much confusion and delay.


9.) If the boards aren't drying fast enough, just get out your hair dryer and give them a good fluff.


10.) Step number TEN is my personal favorite. Torture your family members with colors. Ask repeatedly "Do you like this one better, or this one better?" Ask this question indoors and out, in sun and in shade, in daylight and moonlight.



11.) Painters will tell you to consider the color of your roof when choosing a paint color. Think of the roof as the hat, and choose an outfit to match that hat. Unless, of course, you have plenty of disposable income to rip off that old hat, throw it in the garbage, and buy a pretty new hat instead. Which we don't. So we won't.


12.) Do you have brick or stone? The color has to match that, too.


13.) Do you love your front door color? If so, it will have to match that as well. If not, then no worries! You can just paint it...for the third time.



14.) You may want to consider future door colors. Try to predict any door color you may possibly want to have in the next ten years.


15.) Finally, after agonizing over myriad colors, go back to the same color that you picked when you first started this saga last spring. That's right, before you even moved to this house. After all, you still lived in a beautiful house back then, so you were probably in a better frame of mind than you are today.

There you have it! Fifteen easy steps for choosing your exterior house paint colors.

Wait. What did the painter just say? What do you mean did I choose a "white" for the trim? Waaaah!

1 comment:

  1. I seriously laughed out loud the full time I was reading this post! Thanks for that- it was a great way to get this day started. So please- what are the final choices? I have thoroughly enjoyed this process- I guess my distance and not having to live through it or pay for it makes it way easier to enjoy :).

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