5 Factors to Consider when Choosing Exterior Paint Colors

By: MacFarland Painting      May 27, 2022

Choosing the right paint color for your exterior can be extremely stressful, especially because it is the first thing potential buyers, neighbors, and friends/family will see upon arriving at your home! When it comes to choosing your exterior paint colors, there are several things you should keep in mind to ensure you end up with a beautiful and timeless result. Here are 5 essential tips for choosing the perfect exterior paint color(s) for your home!


The last thing you want is for your home to be “that home” in the neighborhood… you know, the one that sticks out like a sore thumb. As you decide on your exterior color, take some time and tour your neighborhood to understand the overall color scheme and see if any color in particular catches your eye.

The general rule is to not paint your house the same color as your next-door neighbor, or one that clashes with your neighborhood scheme.

If you live in a neighborhood that is governed by a homeowners association, make sure you check with them before painting your home’s exterior. Some neighborhoods have strict rules against color choices.


It is a known fact that paint can look one way on one person’s home, and completely different on your own. There are many different factors that go into the appearance of your paint color – natural lighting, texture, and surroundings – so, it is most defiantly important to test your color before you make any final decisions.

It is a good idea to put your color sample on ALL sides of your home. Seeing the color in different lighting conditions can help you decide whether you need to lighten up or not.

💡 Paint tends to darken as it dries. ALWAYS allow your samples to dry completely – AT LEAST 24 hours – before you make a final decision.

3. Home Style

When choosing paint colors for your exterior, it is extremely important to take your home’s style into consideration. Whether you have a modern farmhouse or a standard colonial, your exterior color scheme should feel appropriate to the style.

Many paint manufacturing companies such as Sherwin-Williams offer a Historic Paint Color Collection. Sherwin-Williams Historic Palette, in particular, pays homage to key architectural styles throughout history.

If you are stuck for inspiration, our color consultant  can help you come up with a combination that works beautifully for your home’s style.


Many paint manufacturing companies such as Sherwin-Williams and PPG have color visualizers on their website that provide highly realistic, easy-to-use color previews. These visualizers are a great way to test out ideas and combinations of colors you’re considering, before making a final decision.

All of the visualizers have stock exterior photos that you can use; However, for a more personalized exprience you can upload photos of your own home and test out different color combinations on your own home! Either way, these visualizer tools help rule out certain colors that you thought might work, but don’t, and narrow your focus on specific colors that you love!


Another reason to ALWAYS test your paint color(s) on all sides of your exterior. When exposed to natural light, especially on larger surfaces, paint tends to look lighter. Regardless of the direction your home faces, the amount of natural light your exterior gets can make your paint look a little, or a LOT lighter. ALWAYS sample your paint color and when in doubt, go darker.