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  • Writer's pictureKristina Browning

Using More than Two Colors: Exterior Paint Scheme example

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

I recently did an exterior paint consultion in Burien, Washington, not far from Seattle, of a home that was outdated and drab. It's lines were interesting but you didn't notice it because it was the most boring and faded taupe that you ever did see. If you've Googled "how to choose paint colors for your home exterior" before, you know the amount of information that comes back can make you less than confident and because there are so many variables, it can leave your head spinning.

The homeowner admitted she has a hard time with big decisions and so she brought me in to take some of the "scary" out of it. When you spend many thousands of dollars to paint your house, and it costs the same to paint it ANY color, it pays off to make a good choice.

She expressed how much she enjoyed dark and moody colors but was actually kind of scared of color when it came down to final approval. After talking about the colors she identified with most of her life, we came the agreement that "teal" or a version of it would be the final vote for the main body of the home. She likes blues and greens and combinations thereof.

I encouraged her to do three colors to add some depth and interest, adding a lighter color to the inset where the door lives and a color opposite on the color wheel for the door.

Next up was finding an inspiration palette or photo. After much back and forth, these colors and images that I compiled was what caught her eye the most.

Because of the beautiful bright copper here, I suggested she go with a copper exterior light fixture (especially because it was under cover and less likely to turn green quickly) and this idea excited her. Next we moved on to a few combinations of house

colors. I asked her to drive around and actually see real life houses with darker blue and green shades. After a while of going down that rabbit hole, she settled between two colors and proceeded to get some samples and try them on the house. Notice how different the paint on the house looks in each photos! Notice how bright that orange looks against the brown. The original color of your house is going to play tricks on your eyes and that's why hirigin a professional to guide you through this process is so important. Usually the new options WILL NOT "match" the old colors so none of the options may even look good to you.

She felt most comfortable asking family and friends to vote on which one they liked the best but sometimes that can backfire if no one is grained in color theory or has any experience with curb appeal and how things actually transfer in "real life." The votes kept her from choosing this one, but the color she ultimately choose was equally lovely and I was proud of her for trusting me on the inset third color.

Here is the final house... still awaiting the copper light fixture. I hope to update this with a photo of that when it comes and is intalled!

Notice the "inset" color here where the stairs are: despite being SIGNIFICANTLY lighter, it is hardly noticeable in full sun with the shadows in play and she was delighted to report that it was her favorite part of the house. That additional color elevated it. With the rainy season setting in, I am hoping to get some better photos of the house without cars and garbage cans but you'll get the jist of it for now. I'm happy that she's happy. She said "I have to go run errands it a bit and I am so excited because I get to come around the corner and see my house again!"

Now I notice the angles of the wood, don't you? Yay for another happy client! Exterior paint combinations can be tough. If you don't feel confident, you can hire me to help you get there. Just send me a note by click that link and let me know about your situation and we can start there.


What makes a property universally beautiful and attractive? What does the outside of your home say about you? I love seeing a home that clearly speaks about the kind of people who designed it, created a polished vibe or helped it evolve. It feels good to be proud of the home you live in and I would love for you to "up" your curb appeal game to enjoy it while you live there instead of waiting until you are ready to sell to think about it. Come geek out with me in Episode 25 about landscaping, porches, color palettes, Adirondack chairs and mailboxes. 👉🏻 "Home Space and Reason” is an internationally distributed podcast with weekly goodness about home aesthetics, automation, organization and functionality. It has a bit of history and psychology, is kid-friendly and all positive. It sits among the Top 100 on U.S. charts. If you’ve never listened, I recommend starting at Episode 1 available on any platform you listen include Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Pandora. Kristina Browning is a real estate agent in Oregon City, Oregon serving the great metro Portland, Oregon area licensed with 503 Properties.

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