Tips for choosing exterior house colors

Deborah Snoonian, a senior editor at This Old House magazine, offered these house-color tips:

 “Look around the neighborhood at similar houses. Take pictures of them with your smartphone.”

 “Go to websites of different paint manufacturers. Make a Pinterest board. Collect images of houses similar to yours and similar color schemes.


 “Go with something that speaks to you. You see trends develop more slowly on the outside of houses.”

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 “Your exterior color has to work in the environment. Big trees might affect the way sun shines on your house, how it looks.”

 “You don’t want to be the house on the block that stands out in a bad way: the painted-lady Victorian with lots of different color trimwork.”

 “For the body of your house, light colors will make your house look bigger. If it is set back on a lot, light color makes it feel closer to the street. Dark colors make a house recede.”

 “Paint swatches on your house. One-inch-by-one-inch won’t tell you anything. Paint large swatches.”


 “We recommend two accent colors. One for things that don’t move, like trim; one for things that do, like doors.”  

Doug Most can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Globedougmost.