When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, one of the biggest decisions is whether to paint it all one color or use multiple colors. Painting your home’s exterior all one color is a popular choice because it looks clean, uniform, and classic. However, using multiple colors adds visual interest, dimension, and curb appeal. There are pros and cons to both approaches that are worth considering as you make this important design decision.
The Case for One Exterior Color
Painting your home’s exterior siding, trim, windows, shutters, doors, etc. all the same color creates a monochromatic look that can be quite striking. Here are some of the benefits of choosing one exterior color for your house:
- Simplicity – With just one color, your exterior color scheme is fuss-free and uncomplicated. You don’t have to worry about coordinating and balancing multiple colors.
- Uniformity – Your home will look coherent and seamless when painted all one hue. The uniform color helps the eye travel smoothly over the exterior.
- Maximizes architecture – A single color helps highlight the home’s architecture and clean lines without any distraction from additional colors.
- Classic and timeless – Monochromatic exteriors hearken back to Colonial homes and other historical architecture that still looks elegant today.
- Easy touch-ups – If your exterior paint gets damaged or starts to fade, it’s easy to spot-paint when everything is the same color.
- Cost-effective – You’ll only have to purchase and apply one type of paint color for a smooth, budget-friendly exterior painting project.
When considering one exterior color, go for versatile neutrals or subdued tones like greys, tans, browns, navy, cream, and white. Bolder single colors like black, red, or purple can look stylish on modern architecture but may tire the eyes on a traditional home.
The Case for Multiple Exterior Colors
While a single exterior color has its perks, painting your home in multiple colors has some excellent benefits too. Here’s why using more than one exterior color can be advantageous:
- Curb appeal – Multiple colors immediately catch the eye and make your home more noticeable and memorable.
- Visual interest – Different colors add architectural details that can make your exterior more intriguing and give it dimensionality.
- Personalization – You can match paint colors to your own personal style, taste and color preferences.
- Highlight unique features – Drawing the eye to special details like a front door, window trim, or architectural accents.
- Match landscaping – Complementing greenery, stonework, and other exterior features with fitting color schemes.
- Conceal flaws – Painting worn/damaged areas in different colors can help mask imperfections.
- Use color psychology – Evoke feelings with colored accents, like yellow for cheerfulness or blue for tranquility.
When choosing multiple colors, stick with a color combo that complements your home’s style. Favor subdued, earthy hues for traditional homes and bright, bold colors for modern spaces. Use an online visualizer tool to test out color schemes.
Key Factors to Consider
When deciding between one exterior color or many, keep the following important factors in mind:
- Architectural style – Formal styles like Colonial and Victorian suit single colors best, while more casual or eclectic homes can handle color-blocking with multiple hues.
- Natural lighting – Homes that are heavily shaded may appear dark or dreary with just one color. Multiple bright colors can help lighten them up.
- Landscaping – If you have colorful flowers, stones, etc., use complementing paint colors. Neutral landscaping allows bolder color choices.
- Personal preference – Some homeowners like simplicity and uniformity, while others enjoy the vibrancy of contrasting colors.
- HOA rules – If part of a homeowners association, ensure your exterior colors comply with their guidelines.
- Resale value – Neutral single colors have the widest appeal to buyers. Bold hues may deter some.
How Much of Your Home to Paint
If electing to paint your exterior in multiple colors, you’ll need to decide how much of the house to paint in each hue. Here are some typical ways to apply color-blocking to your home’s exterior:
|Siding one color, trim a different color||Example: grey siding with white trim and accents|
|Siding one color, front door a different color||Example: blue siding with a bright red front door|
|Bottom half of home one color, top half another||Example: brown lower level with cream upper level|
|Body of home one color, trim and accents another||Example: olive green siding with maroon shutters and white trim|
You’ll generally want an overall dominant color (60-80% of the surface area) paired with 1 or 2 accent colors on design details. Make sure accent colors are distributed evenly so the home ties together visually.
Choosing Exterior Paint Colors
If using multiple exterior paint colors, choose hues that coordinate well. Some tips:
- Select colors from the same palette – analogous hues like different shades of green or blue.
- Use a neutral base color, like tan, grey or white, with bolder accents.
- Choose lighter and darker versions of the same color. A light blue with navy accents.
- Pair warm and cool paint colors – like beige and sage green.
- Use color contrasting – vibrant accent colors against a subdued background.
Always view color samples on your home at different times of day before finalizing paint choices. Colors appear different in morning, noon, and evening light.
Painting your home’s exterior all one color or multiple colors comes down to personal preference as both approaches have their merits. Monochromatic exteriors promote uniformity and simplicity, while color blocking adds vibrancy and dimension. Factors like architecture, landscaping, lighting, and resale value can help guide your decision. If opting for multiple colors, choose a harmonious color scheme with an overall dominant hue and 1-2 accent colors. Thoroughly test colors before painting to ensure you end up with an exterior you’ll love coming home to for years to come.