EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON WHY TO PAINT, AND WHAT COLOR COMBINATIONS QUALIFY AS CLASSIC
There are many reasons to tackle the seemingly overwhelming job of painting your home and choosing exterior color schemes. Not only does the paint contribute to your home’s beauty and curb-appeal, like the image above from my Extraordinary Modernist Masterpiece listing, but it’s a suit of armor for the structure itself. Protecting your investment is one of the main reasons to go for it. As the seasons go by year after year, the exterior surfaces of your home are exposed to its two worst enemies: sunlight and moisture, which we have in abundance here in coastal, sunny Santa Barbara.
But there are other reasons too, including:
- Updating your home’s aesthetics.
- Paint technology has come so far that exterior paint can provide the strongest, safest mold protection.
- Exterior paint protects your interior air quality: Low VOC paints emit fewer “volatile organic compounds” into the air as they dry, protecting the air quality for the entire house and immediate surrounding area.
- Exterior paint is also a must-do when the time comes to sell. In fact, the return on investment of painting and choosing one of the right exterior color schemes can yield around 55% of ROI.
The Power of the First Impression
Many homebuyers judge the exterior of a home harshly, because they consider a poorly maintained home to be a costly hassle, not a wise investment. The inside could be newly remodeled and upgraded, but a house with cracked exterior paint can very easily be overlooked.
READ: How to Increase Home Value
According to psychological studies, human beings put a lot of stock in first impressions, especially when it comes to real estate transactions. Most of us form an opinion about someone or something within the first 15 seconds of acquaintance, and this will hold true for your home. This first impression lasts; for better or worse, it takes a lot to convince people their initial impression was wrong.
When prospective buyers walk through your home, they’ll experience many first-time impressions. But it all begins with the exterior color scheme of your home. The paint condition can fix a person’s lasting impression. In addition, a poorly chosen color can rub people the wrong way. So, paint is a critical step in giving your home that “wow” factor.
Exterior Colors that Sell
Sellers should take into consideration the type of architecture when choosing a paint color. No matter the style, the rule of thumb is to always opt for light and neutral tones like white, beige, and grey. These colors might seem a little boring but as you can see from my Iconic Masterpiece of International Style Architecture listing pictured above, they can be anything but. Plus, remember the goal: You’re trying to appeal to the widest possible audience, not your own tastes!
Dark, vibrant, or inconsistent schemes make homes feel smaller, stuffier, and less inviting. They also impede the buyers’ ability to insert themselves into the space.
In contrast, light color schemes make your home feel open and spacious, a place where buyers can see themselves living for years to come. Additionally, having fewer complicated design decisions to deal with streamlines the entire selling process. Fast and easy is the name of the game when you’re selling.
Perfect Exterior Paint Pairings from the Experts
Deciding which of the many exterior color schemes for the outside of your house is its own challenge. Here, top designers share their go-to hues for a home’s siding, trim, and front door for a cohesive, eye-catching look.
- Gray + White + Blue
“A dark gray with a rich brown undertone is beautiful with white or off-white trim, for contrast. Pair that with a robin’s egg blue front door to pick up the color of the sky.” – Sally Wheat
Siding: Iron Mountain by Benjamin Moore
Trim: White Dove by Benjamin Moore
Front door: Tahitian Breeze by Behr
- White + Navy + Gold
“A golden yellow front door is a flash of unexpected chic. It’s beautiful on a white house with grayish-blue shutters.” – Elaine Griffin
Siding: Brilliant White by Benjamin Moore
Trim: Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore
Front door: Marblehead Gold by Benjamin Moore
- Beige + White + Taupe
“This is a timeless trio of colors found in nature. They’ll never go out of style or feel dated. If you want a lighter house, just swap the siding and trim shades.” – Tracy Morris
Siding: Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball
Trim: Clunch by Farrow & Ball
Front door: Squirrel Tail by Benjamin Moore
- White + Black + Green
“I love a crisp, classic exterior, like a warm white with a cool, deep black. A front door with a pop of color—bright green! —is very welcoming to guests.” – Tobi Fairley
Siding: Pure White by Sherwin-Williams
Trim: Tricorn Black by Sherwin-Williams
Front door: Derbyshire by Sherwin-Williams
- Tan + White+ Blue
“This tan is the perfect neutral—it has just enough of a green undertone to beautifully blend into the landscape. A dreamy blue door is fresh and impactful, so keep the trim subtle—a dab of cream is all you need.” – Beth Haley
Siding: Canvas Tan by Sherwin-Williams
Trim: Westhighland White by Sherwin-Williams
Front door: Seaworthy by Sherwin-Williams
- Blue + White + Red
“This is a regal color combination that’s super-versatile—it looks great on a modern home or a traditional one with lots of molding. The deep red door makes a big statement.” – Vanessa De Vargas
Siding: Bay View by Dunn-Edwards
Trim: White by Dunn-Edwards
Front door: Deep Hibiscus by Dunn-Edwards
- White + Black
“The simplicity of black and white works on virtually any home. Choose a white that’s crisp and dressy, and a black that’s saturated, with plenty of punch.” – Maria Von Hartz and Annie Fitzgerald
Siding: Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore
Trim: Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore
Front door: Onyx by Benjamin Moore
- White + Gray + Black
“No other color endures the test of time like white does. Pair it with crisp gray trim. You can use the gray on the front door too, but you’ll get a dramatic dark-and-light contrast if you go with a pitch-black door instead.” – Andrew Howard
Siding: Sheep’s Wool by Benjamin Moore
Trim: Mole’s Breath by Farrow & Ball
Front door: Pitch Black by Farrow & Ball
Ready to paint your exterior and list your estate in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities? Visit my website to see how other luxury Santa Barbara homeowners prepped for sale by carefully choosing their exterior color schemes. Then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. I can be an invaluable resource for anyone considering listing their home or buying a new abode in the near future.