Home » Art and Design Blog » color and architecture

Tag: color and architecture

Exterior architecture bright colors of school by Cristina Acosta

Exterior Paint Colors Enhance Architecture

Color can change the way you perceive architecture, and it’s the least expensive “remodel” you can do! Artists know that color “moves” visually in space. Colors recede or advance depending upon where they are in relationship to each other and their surroundings.

If you are a homeowner choosing exterior paint colors, here are a few color tips:

  • Check to see if your neighborhood has any restrictions regarding color use. Often titled Covenants and Restrictions these rules will limit the choices you have. If your neighborhood is a designated historical area check with the local Historical Society or Building Dept. to learn if colors are restricted to historical colors typical to the era your house was built.
  • Choose at least 3 colors for the home so things don’t get too dull. Please don’t think that painting the whole house one color will make it “blend in”. The result is usually very “lumpish”. In a typical home the colors can applied like this:
    • Body Color (main part of house)

      Cottage cabin exterior colors © Cristina Acosta
      Cottage cabin exterior colors © Cristina Acosta
    • Trim Color (around windows and Doors)
    • Fascia Color (trim around the roof and possibly the belly band (6″ – 12″ wide plank trim that separates 2 stories, or the body of the house from the peak of the roof).
    • Door Color
  • The example of the home below shows this idea altered to suit the mid-century modern sensibility of the 25 year old home. Originally the windows were un-trimmed, so I only specified a fascia trim (in tan). To enhance the modern segments of the architecture, I had those segments each painted contrasting colors. The palette was inspired by the colors of the beach pebbles and flora at Elk Lake, a nearby High Cascade lake.

    Contemporary Exterior Paint Colors by Cristina Acosta
    Bold use of exterior paint colors enhances the complex contemporary architecture
  • Buy the best paint you can afford. High quality exterior paint has excellent UV blockers.
  • Whether you are painting it yourself or having it done, make sure that the prep work is well done. A good foundation of prep work will make your final paint colors last years longer.
  • If you have a strong prevailing wind/sun direction, put a extra coat of paint on those sides of the house. The entire paint job will last years longer.