Outward Appearances are Important

by RoseAnn C. Spalt 05/29/2019

If you live in an older home that needs a face-lift, you might be tempted just to paint it white or one of the many neutral colors you see around you. But sometimes neutrals just fade into the background. So, if you want your home to stand out, consider being bold and expressive with your exterior.

As you drive through older neighborhoods, make a note of the colors you love and the combinations that stand out to you. Depending on the exterior materials—stucco, brick, block, rock, vinyl, wood siding, shakes, etc. - and the architectural details you want to highlight, you can locate samples that “speak to you” and express your home’s personality.

Beware the covenants

If you live in an association operated development, check your covenants before hiring that paint crew. Some associations require submission of color choices and alternatives to an architectural or aesthetic committee for approval. Others have pre-selected color schemes from which to choose. In those cases, your options are more limited than if you can freely decide for yourself. So, select a combination that differs from your nearest neighbors and from other houses with your same facade. Opt for colorful shutters and doors instead to give your home some extra visibility.

Be brave, not obnoxious

On the other hand, if you have available any choice in the world, choose combinations that reflect the region, enhance the neighborhood, and reveal your home’s unique features. In many cases, subtlety adds more value to your home than a glaring hue. But if you’re showcasing a Mid-Century or ultra-modern home, go ahead and shout it out!

If you’re not sure what works for you, take a trip to your local specialty paint store. There, an in-house designer can show you combinations of color and materials, finishes and sheen. You’ll learn what colors can fade in bright sunshine or dull with the weather, and which paints will hold up to your local environmental conditions.

Also, take note of the preparation required to give your new exterior a long, full life. You may need to clean and power wash brick, repair cracked or broken stucco, and scrape peeling paint from wood siding and window trim.

While fiber-cement-based siding often accepts paint, vinyl likely does not, or it only accepts specific paint applications with an adhesive primer and quality, acrylic paint. Do not attempt to paint vinyl siding yourself without practicing the techniques on a hidden area first. If your home has vinyl siding, you may want to change the siding to change the color instead. Check the pricing both ways to see which is more economical for your home.

If you’re painting your home to sell it, get the opinion of your real estate professional for colors that attract buyers in your area.

About the Author
Author

RoseAnn C. Spalt

Hi, I'm RoseAnn C. Spalt and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.