Many people find it difficult to choose paint colors because they don't know how to begin or what factors they should consider. To help guide you to a color plan that will make your house look its best, I've developed the following questionnaire.
- How large is the site?
- What is the relationship of the house to the site?
- How close and visible are your neighbors?
- If your neighbors are visible, what colors have they used?
- What is the distance from the house to the curb?
- Does your subdivision, neighborhood association or historic district have strict rules about color?
- What is the architectural style of the house?
Rustic, contemporary, colonial, bungalow, ranch, etc.
- Does the architecture suggest a color palette?
• Historic colors (Colonial, Craftsman, Victorian, etc.)
- Does the house have pleasing portions?
- Are there different siding materials?
- Are there horizontal or vertical banding boards?
- What are the dominant colors in the permanent elements, such as the roof, stonework, walkways, etc.?
- Is the entryway a naturally attractive focal point, or is the garage door the first thing you see?
(All doors aren’t paintable. Check the warranty first.)
- Is the entryway recessed and dark, even in daylight, or shallow and bright?
- Is the front door painted or stained?
• If the door is stained and in need of refinishing, coordinate the stain color with the paint color(s) and the permanent elements.
- Is there a separate storm or screen door?
• Can the storm or screen door be painted the front door color?
- Are any doors and windows pre-finished, with parts that are inaccessible, or can they be painted?
- Are there attractive, paintable details to highlight, such as windows, doors, shutters or trim?
- Is the foundation visible?
- Are functional items visible, such as downspouts, cable or utility boxes, wiring?
- What colors dominate the permanent landscaping?
- What colors do you like?
- What overall impression do you want to create?
FOR YOUR HOUSE TO LOOK ITS BEST...
- Pick colors that work with the permanent elements.
- Plan how to make corrections with color where needed.
- Choose the right things to accent.
- Camouflage the rest.
Details Add Up and Make A Difference…
- Answer the questions in the survey.
- Determine what will be accented and what will be painted in the wall color.
- Decide what paint you want to use, then gather brochures to get ideas for color combinations.
- Choose two or three candidates for the wall color and buy the smallest amount of paint you can to create sample boards. View the samples under varying conditions and choose a color.
- Be sure you really do like the color by painting a small wall before buying all the paint you'll need.
- Choose candidates for the trim and front door colors. Create sample boards. For trim, cut the board into strips and place around a door or window to show how the color would look in proportion to the wall.
- Analyze the effect of the wall and trim colors, then choose the front door color.
Choose paint colors that work well together and flatter the permanent elements in your house and landscaping, in all seasons.
©2011 Sandy LeRoy