Paint accents to spice up the exterior of your home

If your home exterior looks a little bland, there’s a simple way to spice it up:  “Just add a pinch of a new paint color here and there.  It’s a simple recipe to make even the plainest home more interesting,” advises Debbie Zimmer, design expert with the Paint Quality Institute.

“The first place to consider adding new color is the entranceway,” says Zimmer.  “It’s usually visible from the street so everyone sees it, and it’s also where visitors first come face to face with your home.”

For maximum visual impact, think about using a front door color that contrasts sharply with the rest of the exterior.  Deep red or green – even black — are perennial favorites, but the choice depends on the siding color.  Keep in mind that dark shades are always more practical for doors since they are better at concealing smudges and fingerprints.

Shutters are also prime candidates for accent painting.  Often, these are painted in the same color as the doors, but that isn’t at all necessary.  What matters more is that the shutter color works with the color of your siding – providing either handsome contrast, or a soft complement.

The surest way to choose an attractive paint color for your shutters is to mimic another home you find appealing.  Drive around your neighborhood or nearby communities and look for homes with a siding color similar to yours.  Note the shutter colors you like; then replicate one of those hues on your own home.

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home blessed with other architectural embellishment (such as the “gingerbread” trim often seen on Victorian homes), by all means make the most of it.  Giving fanciful fretwork its own color treatment will greatly enhance the appearance of your exterior.

Where else can you employ paint color to give a little pizzazz to your place?  Painted porch or deck furniture can provide some punch, as can a painted wooden fence.  Try treating a birdhouse (or doghouse) with some pop color – or simply share the color scheme on your home with that of your fine feathered (or furry) friends!

Keep in mind, though, that you can’t go hog wild with punch color.  Think of it simply as “bling” for your abode – little color surprises here and there that make the entire structure more interesting.

If you feel at all overwhelmed trying to decide which hues to use when spicing up your exterior, Zimmer suggests that you borrow from the color brochures at your local paint store.

“These often show color schemes with four or five hues that work beautifully together,” she says.  “Find a palette that contains a color similar to your siding, then choose accent colors from the same palette for your doors, shutters, and trim.”

Just as there’s no shame in sharing a recipe, neither is there any shame in “copying” a paint color scheme, so draw on those booklets and brochures for compatible paint colors.  In this case, too many cooks don’t spoil the broth!

For more advice on exterior color and tips on painting, visit the Paint Quality Institute online at blog.paintquality.com.

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