Paint — published on September 4, 2009
Painting for Curb Appeal
Trump architectural challenges and give your facade dimension with color
Curb appeal is not just about turrets or colonnades adorning your home’s exterior; it’s about flaunting what you’ve got. For those of us who didn’t inherit a Frank Lloyd Wright, we have the tips and tricks to give your facade architectural dimension without the architect. Our trick? The powers of paint. Here are suggestions about how to fix up a facade of your home with a fresh coat of paint. Whether you have a bland box structure or intricate detail that deserves attention, this information will help make your home the gem on the block.
How Can I…
Make my house facade more interesting?
If you want to make your home look more visually stimulating, start with painting shutters, doors, flower boxes and porch furniture. When choosing your accent color, make sure to pick one with a mixed hue, like a navy or green with black overtones—the color will change throughout the day, and add a sense of mystery and intrigue. You can make the house really reflect your personality by using colors that change from whimsical to sophisticated all in the span of 24 hours.
Downplay my front-facing garage?
Shift the visual focus. Direct the eye away from dominating garages by painting doors and exterior accents on the opposite side of the house with strong colors. If you have very large garage doors, consider painting them a lighter or darker variant of the main color of your house. This will make the doors look interesting but keep them from dominating the front façade. Remember when confronting this problem, that you ultimately want a house that says, “An interesting person lives here”—not one that says, “Three cars live here.”
Make small windows appear larger?
Make small windows appear larger by painting the window trim a light color to increase the feeling of light. Opt for a color that will contrast from the main body color of your house. Essentially, windows are “the sparkle in the eyes” of every home. People really relate to windows, so it is important to maximize their appearance.
Stand out behind the growth of our landscaping?
To overpower your fauna—instead of letting it overpower you—look for colors that will pop against the natural landscaping (i.e. no shades of green). Gratefully, most colors will complement most landscaping. As a side note, landscaping can be a great way to balance the front of the home or even cover up clumsy architecture.
Manipulate the size?
When painting your home, take into consideration that lighter hues will make a home feel larger, while darker hues downplay a home’s dimensions. For example, is your home too tall? If so, pick a body color in two different shades—the darker for the bottom, and the lighter for the upper level. The darker color will ground the home, giving your home a sense of solidity. The lighter color will pick up where the dark one left off, adding a lightness to the overall look and feel.
Bring it all together?
The last thing you want is a home that has colors that are all over the place. To bring everything together, start with the elements you know you won’t be changing (your roofing, brick, stonework, awnings, and landscaping). Then tackle the issue of selecting the color you will be using the most of (usually, this would be the body color, but on a brick home, it would be the trim). Next, based on intuition and your previously considered criteria, choose your accent colors. Following a distinct process like this will keep you from choosing unharmonious paints.
Written by James Martin