Exterior Paint Selection

Picking paint color and be a challenge.  I am an expert when it comes to selecting paint colors.  This includes exterior paint as well.  I just recently selected paint for two different houses and here are how they turned out.

Before Picture
Before Picture
After Picture
After Picture

What is the Hardest color to select?

The answer to What is the Hardest color to select will surprise you.

Black, no

Blue, not the hardest, but difficult

Red, can be, but still not the hardest…

It is WHITE  – Below is 24 colors of white, when looked at by themselves, they look very white.  With this black background it is hard to see there is much difference between them.

white paint 4

Now the same colors with a white background

white paint 5

See the difference?  Why is that?  There really is not a true “white”color because white in the color spectrum is really the void of color.  So when you are talking about paint, there has to be some color in the paint itself.  The color of “white” you select will visually look different in a room depending on what else is going on in the room.  A wrong color of white can leave a room looking pink or green or any other underlying color that is in the paint.  So be careful selecting the “white” you use.  Better yet let me help you.

What does color mean in Design – Neutral colors

Neutral Colors


Neutral colors include Black, Brown, Grey, White, and variations of these colors.  Commonly used as background in Design.

Black -This color is the strongest of all the neutral colors.  It adds an edge to design, as well as a very elegant touch.  Depending on the colors you combine with it, It can be either conservative or modern, traditional or unconventional. Black can make it easier to convey a sense of sophistication and mystery in a design.

White – Works well with about any other color you put with it.  It gives a purity to your design.  In design, white is generally considered a neutral backdrop that lets other colors in a design have a larger voice. It can help to convey cleanliness and simplicity, and is popular in minimalist designs. White in designs can also portray either winter or summer, depending on the other design motifs and colors that surround it.

Grey – Gray is a neutral color, generally considered on the cool end of the color spectrum. It can sometimes be considered moody or depressing. Light grays can be used in place of white in some designs, and dark grays can be used in place of black.  Gray is generally conservative and formal, but can also be modern. It’s commonly used in corporate designs, where formality and professionalism are key. It can be a very sophisticated color. Pure grays are shades of black, though other grays may have blue or brown hues mixed in.

Beige or Tan – Beige can work in a very unique way.  It can take on warm or cool tones depending on the colors that are surrounding it.  It has the coolness of white and the warmth of brown.  In Design Beige is usually used as a background color.  It takes on the characteristics of colors around it, meaning it has little effect on the final impression a design gives when used with other colors.

Brown – Brown is usually associated with earth or wood.  It is a warm neutral.  In design, brown is commonly used as a background color. It helps bring a feeling of warmth and wholesomeness to designs. It’s sometimes used in its darkest forms as a replacement for black.

Cream or Ivory – These colors are very sophisticated colors, with some of the warmth of brown and a lot of the coolness of white.In design, ivory can lend a sense of elegance and calm to a site. When combined with earthy colors like peach or brown, it can take on an earthy quality. It can also be used to lighten darker colors, without the stark contrast of using white.

While the information contained here might seem just a bit overwhelming, color theory is as much about the feeling a particular shade evokes than anything else.  Using a me will help you achieve the look and feel you desire with color.  I look forward to working with you.

See also
What does color mean in Design – Warm colors
What does color mean in Design – Cool colors


What does color mean in Design – Cool colors

Cool Colors:


Cool colors include Green, Blue, and Purple.

Green – In Design, green is a down-to-earth color.  It can represent new beginnings and growth.  It can also represent renewal and abundance.  Green has many of the same calming attributes that blue does, but it also incorporates the energy of yellow.   In Design green is a very stable color, giving balance and harmony.  To add more energy in your design, use a brighter greens.  While olive greens are more representative of the natural world. Dark greens are the most stable and representative of affluence.

Blue – Light blues can be refreshing and friendly. Dark blues are more strong and reliable. In design, the shade of blue you select will have a huge impact on how your designs are perceived. Light blues are often relaxed and calming. Bright blues can be energizing and refreshing. Dark blues are excellent for corporate sites or designs where strength and reliability are important.

Purple – Has for years been associated with royalty.  It is made from both blue and red and takes on some of the attributes of both.  It is associated with creativity and imagination.  In Design light purples give a softer feel and are associated with spring and romance.  Dark purple gives a feeling of royalty and wealth.

See also
What does color mean in Design – Warm colors
What does color mean in Design – Neutral colors

Meaning of color in Design – Warm colors

Many people want to add color into their homes or business.  Color in Design is very subjective and personal.  People choice color based on many factors.  Some choice a color because it is their favorite color, always used that color, etc.  However in Design, color means different things.  Color has a physiological effect on people.  Here I am going to talk about some of that theory of color.

Warm Colors:

warm colors

Warm colors include Red, Orange and Yellow, and variations of these colors.

Red – Is a very powerful color when used in Design.  Especially when used in the purest form, you need to make sure you use it with caution, because it can be overpowering or overwhelming. Red can be very versatile, to add energy to the design you would use a  brighter version and to add a more powerful or elegant aspect in design you should use darker shades. Red is associated with importance, example is “walking the Red carpet”.

Orange – Demands attention without being as overpowering as Red when used in Design.  It is more inviting of a color verses the in your face color of Red.

Yellow – Is the brightest and most energizing of all the warm colors.  Yellow is associated with happiness and sunshine.  Using bright yellow invokes cheerfulness and using a softer yellow is commonly used for gender neutral design.  For example in a nursery.  Dark yellow or yellows with a gold-hue can be used as an antique or aged effect.

See also
What does color mean in Design – Cool colors
What does color mean in Design – Neutral colors

In Review:
Red – Strength, Power. Determination, Passion, Energetic
Pink – Soft, Romantic, Harmony, Nurturing
Burgundy – Expensive, Elegant
Beige or Tan – Neutral, Classic
Brown – Warmth,Wholesomeness, Secure, Durable
Purple – Royal, Creative, Imaginative, Wealth, Luxury
Lavender – Delicate, Feminine
Green – Soothing, Refreshing, Restful, Trustworthy
Yellow – Hope, Happiness, Calm, Friendly
Blue – Strength, Reliable, Trustworthy, Security
White – Clean, Simple, Innocent, Sterile
Orange – Energetic, Change, Movement, Modern, Fun
Grey – Conservative, Timeless, Formal, Soothing, Sophisticated
Black – Bold, Classic, Elegance, Formal


Color Trends for 2012

Many people ask me about color trends for 2012.  The trends for the spring of 2012 are blue, coral reef, angora, and zing.  Does that help you?  I am guessing not.  So in terms you might understand, blues, coral colors, light pinks (yes) and mustered  green.  Benjamin Moore says the hot color for 2012 is wythe blue (HC-143).  They say it is “It’s a beautiful, calming hue that has an element of heritage and offers grounding rootedness, providing comfort and stability.”

Accent Walls

Accent walls should have a reason they are being accented.  Not every room should have an accent wall color, and not all walls make sense to be accented.  Determining this can be daunting.  I can work with you to determine what areas of your home should have an accent color and what that color should be.

Paint Color Selection

Selecting a paint color is one of the most difficult things a person could take on when updating their home.  Choosing the right wall color can be intimidating, and the seemingly endless options available at most home improvement stores or your local paint store only make matters worse.

  • First thing – Do Not select a color in the store.  Lighting greatly effects the color rendering or color reproduction of the paint.  Which means the color will look different with different light sources.  You must select the color in the area you are going to use the paint.
  • Also make the selection looking at it in the direction you are going to use it.  If you are painting a wall, hold the paint chip up on the wall.
  • Select a series of colors you are interested in and take them home.  Lay them out and compare them to the items you already have in your room.  Furniture, accessories, wall art, window covering, etc.
  • Narrow your choices down to no more then 6.  You can have samples of these colors mixed or I can get you larger paint samples from the paint supplier.
  • Live with the colors for at least 2 days.  Day and night.  The color will change in the day light vs. night.

Color Selection is one of my strengths so please let me know if there is anything I can help you with.