Choosing Your Color Tips

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Which finish is best to use?

Using Gloss, Satin or Flat on Your Home

How do you know which finish is best to use when painting your home? The answer requires analysis of a few factors. For instance, where do you live? Is it hot year round or do seasons change? The biggest factor in making the choice between a gloss and semi–gloss or flat is durability over aesthetics.

Consider this: On a bright sunny day a full gloss paint covering a two-story home will create amazing glare and bounce back light rendering it almost impossible to look at. Sure, gloss paint lasts longer than others, but will the trade off be worth it when a semi-gloss will do nicely and add greater aesthetics to your home?

There is one stigma associated with gloss surfaces -- shinny looks new and fresh! Sure, a flat finish leaves a neutral base, but a semi-gloss is better middle of the road finish.

Does it matter what color I use?

Color Matters When Painting Your Home

There are families of colors that work very well on homes, and some that don't. As far as your personal tastes are concerned the sky is the limit. There is an old saying in painting that people should let their neighbors pick the color of their house because they will be looking at it more than you will be. That's still up for debate, but what's for certain is that some color schemes are more durable and longer lasting than others.

Switching from dark colors to light and light to dark also can be tricky. An example of colors requiring more work and maintenance would be dark reds, yellows, purples, and greens. Often time these colors require much more colorant to be added to the paint and that it doesn't leave much room for the ingredients that give paint its durability. The result: poor hiding or covering of colors, which means additional coats of paint to produce the same effect that would normally be needed if your color choice was more neutral.

Can I use more or less color?

Using More Than Two Colors

The use of more than one color on the exterior of homes has been a popular trend for a long time. And as tastes change across different regions of the country so do color intensities and choices. For example, in the northeast, invariant colors are popular among older Victorian homes. In the west, lighter colors are more the taste.

Start with a primary color for use on the body of the house and a secondary color to be used on the trim, like overhangs and doors. Then, choose a complimentary color as an accent. This is usually a strong color used sparingly on windowsills or shutters.

Picking house colors is like picking out shoes -- it's a matter of personal likes. But if you're having trouble deciding it may be useful to take a drive and look at the different colors on other homes in your town. Take note of combinations of colors you like. Remember, your neighbors will be the one's looking at your house more than you will be. Picking colors with the wrong aesthetics for your street may be a quick way to get uninvited to the block party summer BBQ.

Bonus Tip: Selling your home? Studies have shown that certain colors used on homes sell better than others. Do some research and find the most pleasing colors to buyers in your area.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran