Choosing Paint Colors in Winston Downs

Choosing Paint Colors in Winston Downs

Why paint your house?

Seller’s will often ask a broker what should be done to prepare their home to sell.  A good place to start is with “street appeal”: the first impression of your home as the buyer drives up.  Yes, I’ve had buyers who wouldn’t get out of the car . . . don’t be that house, even if you’re leaving some things “as is” in other parts of the house.

Exterior painting isn’t cheap to do right – the best painters spend a lot of time preparing (scraping, caulking, etc.) before applying paint. But of all the things you can do to “stage” your home, it may have the best dollar-for-dollar payback on the sale.  Plus, there’s that incalculable element of making a good impression and getting the buyer inside — at which point they may be more forgiving of other shortcomings (condition-wise) on the inside.

What should you think about when choosing exterior paint colors?

Look at the rest of the neighborhood.  Yes, you can and should make an individual statement with your colors, but also try and conform to the look of the subdivision.

Exterior paint, Winston DownsYou want to look like your home “fits in” with the others; drive around and look for some that have done a good job with exterior paint.  Choose a scheme that blends with the neighborhood or stands out in a subtle, unobtrusive manner.

Look at your neighbor’s house on both sides of you.  Choose colors that don’t clash with your neighbor.

exterior paint, winston downsThink about your existing landscaping: do you have trees that change color?  You can also consider flowering shrubs and flower gardens when selecting colors for compatibility. Big trees?  We have them in our neighborhood, so remember that shade from the trees will tend to make colors appear darker.

A 2-Color scheme is usually best

Winston Downs, house paintIn Winston Downs, most of the homes are ranches built in the 1950’s to 1960’s.  This particular mid-century architecture features simple and clean lines without much ornamentation.  When painting, the main architectural “details” to consider are gutters & downspouts, window and shutters (if any), doors and siding.

For the majority of homes, a 2-color scheme works just fine:  one color for the siding and another for the trim.  Notice on the house to the left, the soffits (the part underneath the roof overhang) are painted the same as the gutters.  A safe and effective approach to color placement is to select two tints or shades from the same color strip a few shades apart. Either the lighter or the darker shade could be used for the body and the opposite for the trim. A contrasting accent color could punctuate the door. Lighter colors on a porch will make a home feel more “approachable” and welcoming.

winston downs, ranchesIf there are details that you want to emphasize, lighter colors will make them stand out.  You can define the entryway by using color as a “Welcome” sign, but do this carefully (notice the house at “508”  has a green door).

Windows are an opportunity: they give character to a house. Outlining them can give crispness to the color scheme – if that’s what you think it needs.  Try not to “accent” unattractive elements such as gutters, downspouts, a protruding garage door, air conditioning units, unevenly placed windows, etc.

winston downs, house paintConsider the colors that can’t change (exterior brick for example, roofing shingles, and stone accents) and use these elements as color resources because there are numerous shades and hues in building materials. A charcoal gray shingle for example could have flecks of gray-green or gray blue that could be found on a paint color strip or incorporated into the color scheme.

Look at your color samples outdoors, at various angles and different times of the day. Better yet, buy small quantities of your colors and put some paint on the back of the house where body, trim and accent colors can be viewed together.  You want to see what they look like at different times of day.

Light or Dark colors?

winston downs, ranchLight colors appear larger;  Dark colors look smaller.  A large home on a small lot painted white or a light color – for instance, a tinted neutral – can make the house seem larger and the lot seem smaller. Dark colors might make a home look smaller but more substantial.

Light or white is a good choice for windowsills for reflection of the sun’s heat and light. Light colors advance in space; dark colors recede. If a house is placed far away from the curb, painting it a light color will visually bring it forward.

winston downs, exterior paintIn the past, light colors were perceived to be safe choices. However, as consumers have gained more confidence with color, and as a broader spectrum of colors have been made available for exterior use, those “traditional” approaches are changing.  Today you see lots of tinted neutrals that work well with landscaping and building materials, as well as midtone values of neutrals.  The homes pictured on this page are all in Winston Downs, and good examples of these principles of color selection and application.

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