Selecting Home Exterior Paint Colors

Once a homeowner decides it’s time to paint their home exterior, there remains the job of wading through the seemingly endless options in color. As if that wasn’t confusing enough, the color for the trim also needs to be selected. So, today we’re going to talk about color conventions, and some ‘rules of thumb’ a homeowner can use to help decide which colors to use.


Even among conventional housing models, there are exceptions within conventions. For example, some of the newer homes in Tampa Bay use as many as seven different neutral colors to address the different areas of the house.

But, the homeowner who is repainting their home has no reason to mimic the many-layered color scheme unless that’s what they opt to emulate. For the repainting homeowner, there are three areas to be addressed.

The main color

The primary color of the house is the one most people will see first when they drive up to your home. If a homeowner opts for a new shade, it should be one which they feel looks attractive during the sunniest and darkest times of the day.


Loosely translated, consider the trim to be ‘wood which is not a door.’ Soffit, fascia, gutters, and other structural or accent features are trim. If you are struggling to decide if something is considered to be trim, ask yourself if a traditionalist would paint it white! Even for those who tend to stick more closely to neutral colors, a little lighter than the siding color for a complementary effect, or something darker for a more dramatic look. Since some homes don’t have shutters, some painters will paint an area around the windows in a facsimile of trim.

Doors and windows

Doors, and sometimes windows, exclusive of the trim, are sometimes painted the same color. Using this rule of thumb will depend on the architecture of the home and the desires of the homeowner. Also, the garage door may be painted a similar color, unless the contrast is too high. No one wants a bright red garage door!

By taking these areas into account, a homeowner can get a better feel for the types of colors which will play nice with his particular situation. Some homeowners want to keep their house the same color but may want to paint the trim. Or, they may keep the primary color and trim the same, but paint the doors a different color. Or, they may choose an entirely new palette.

The garage may represent a huge amount of building surface for the average home.

The garage may represent a huge amount of building surface for the average home.

As a final note, a homeowner shouldn’t be afraid to take leisure when selecting paint colors, try samples, and even try an app like the one offered by Behr. While none of these options will give you an accurate representation of the finished product, you’ll be able to get a general idea of the finished product.

While there are variations for every situation, understanding the basic conventions will give a homeowner an understanding of how to choose paint colors for their exterior. As painting experts, we can also guide our customers through the details and options for their home. The final product will be one that will protect their home and bring them years of enjoyment.

Premier Painting and Coating provides stellar service and excellent work for all residential and commercial exterior painting, interior painting cabinet painting, texture work and popcorn ceiling removal in the Tampa Bay area. For a free consultation, call us at 727-351-8113 today!