Choosing Home Exterior Paint Colors


07212 design_kim_moffat

Design tip from 

Kim Moffat, ASID

1054 Petalo Plaza,

Chula Vista


Kim Moffat is an interior designer working for a residential real-estate investment company. She provides remodel design, specifications and construction documents as well as stages the final product. 


On the exterior of a home, the right color selection can enhance curb appeal and, just as easily, the wrong color selection can be disastrous. As an interior designer in a design-build duo, I have had the opportunity to drive through many neighborhoods while searching out the perfect home acquisition for my employer. I have first-hand experience on what kind of impact exterior color schemes make: great, ho-hum but safe, or just awful.

Before painting your home, it’s always a good idea to consult with an expert — either an interior designer or, if you decide to do it yourself, the experts at a reputable paint store.

Either way, to help you succeed and to narrow down an infinite number of options when choosing exterior paint colors, I recommend doing your own “in-the-field” research and taking note of the following:


  • The paint colors and color combinations you like
  • Whether the paint colors you like are warm (yellow tone) or cool (blue tone)
  • The home style (Victorian, Spanish, Craftsman, etc.) of the houses for which you like the exterior colors. Note: Not all colors are successful on all architectural styles.
  • The exterior areas to which colors are applied (overhang, fascia, stucco body, siding, doors, door jamb, trim, etc.)
  • The accent colors you like that are used on architectural features similar to the architectural features of your home (shutters, corbels, window boxes, etc.)


After making a selection from pamphlets or paint chips, I suggest buying a sample can of the colors you are considering. Paint a large square of these colors on different areas of your home (sunny and shady sides). Take several days to see the colors at different times of the day in different light. Observe the colors up close, from across the street and when driving up to your home before making the final decision. Have fun!


Categories: Home Design