Help with Exterior Colours Please, sketch inc.

3wallerMarch 23, 2012

Hey all. First post, foundation is being poured as we speak. I've got until Wednesday to decide on the trim colour for my windows, which forces my hand on the other exterior colours. We are pretty much set on BM soot on the wood siding, we started much lighter than that but progressively got darker as we saw the samples come back. We don't want it too blue or purple. I've attached a link to the colour.

If it weren't for the shutters, I think we could do some sort of white for the trim, shutters, and window trim and call it a day. However, given there is so much trim I'm wondering if that might be too much white. We are getting Kolbe windows, they've got a few white trim choices, we are currently leaning towards "white" which has a slight greyish/blue tinge, thinking we want to stay away from too creamy of a white, and the super white they have might be a bit too high contrast. They also have a timberwolf grey which is very similar to the desert twilight in the BM link below. But I think having all the house trim grey would be a little overpowering.

Any thoughts as to mixing the grey with the white? Ie. white trims and grey shutters? The front door while be a dark stained walnut, and leaning towards doing the garage the same.

thx everyone, sketch is below to help visualize. While I'm at it, does anyone know a quick way that I add these colours to my pdf to test them out? I haven't found a software paint program that allows you to upload a pdf, but I'm sure there's one out there. I have CAD file too...but no software.

Here is a link that might be useful: BM Soot

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Wow, what a gorgeous gray!

White would be lovely but have you considered maybe using your window cladding to add a tiny pop of color? Since window cladding is only visible as quite thin lines, it can be the perfect place to add an accent color.

By "dark stained walnut" I assuming you mean that the door will be a very dark brown that will read as black except in very bright light. So, I was thinking that, depending on the stone you've chosen, Kolbe's Merlot or Antique red cladding provide a terrific bit of accent. Of course, you would want to paint the shutters and all the rest of the trim white or a very very light grey. (Maybe add a little bit of BM Soot to a pure white to get a greyish white that would blend perfectly with BM Soot.)

I also like the Kolbe's Timberwolf Gray but if I chose that, I would keep the shutters and other trim pure white instead of trying to match the cladding. It IS a bit too dark, IMHO, to do all the trim. We have a house here in the neighborhood that is a grey that looks similar to BM Soot and they painted all their trim a lighter but still fairly dark grey. I hate to say it but the house looks downright scary because it is just sooooo dark.

As for adding color to a pdf, I have no clue how a computer expert would tell you to do it but here is a work-around that I discovered for myself that will let you play with colors on your pdf design with the tools/programs that you probably already have on your computer.

First, open your pdf on your computer and enlarge the image until it fills your screen. Then save a "screen-shot" by hitting the "Ctrl" key and the "Print Scr" key down at the same time. BTW - if you've never used it, the "Print Scr" key is located northeast of the Backspace key on desktop keyboards. (I have no idea where it might be on a laptop b/c I have never used a laptop.)

Next, open up your PAINT program. (I know this comes preloaded on PC's. The icon is an image of a small clear cup with paintbrushes sticking up out of it. (If you have a MAC, I'm not sure if you have PAINT.) Put your cursor in the window of the Paint screen and do a CTRL-V paste. The image of the pdf that was on your screen will paste into Paint. You can save this as bitmap (bmp), jpeg, Tiff, or GIF file.

If you have Photoshop, I think it will open any of Paint filetypes. I usually just save my image as a 256 color bmp to open in Photoshop. Finally, use Photoshop to add colors to the image. (I'm assuming if you have Photoshop, you know how to do that. It's a bit too complicated to explain in this post.)

But, if you don't have Photoshop, you can add color to the image in the Paint program although doing so is a bit of a PITA and tends to give results that look a bit cartoonish b/c Paint doesn't allow you to add a wash of color over the existing image the way Photoshop does.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:29PM
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This may sound strange but, I could never figure out what about the pictures of houses I liked, made them stand out. Well, it was the red windows! I just wish I had used them in my build.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:58PM
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Thx bevangel, sounds like good advice there. Not sure i have the guts to mix in some red. Maybe timberwolf for the window trim and white with a hint of soot in it for the wood trim and shutters? Generally speaking is it ok to have dark house, white trim, and the window trim in between (closer to white in this case)? The soot does look grey on the pc, but a bit more blue on my wood sample. We definitely want a blue tinge, but very muted and not light.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:29PM
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Unless you live in a neighborhood where you have an architectural review committee that has to approve of your color choices (or even worse, live in a community where every exterior color choice has to be selected from a pre-approoved list) is is OK to do anything you want with color. Your neighbors will thank you for not going tooooo wild... but I really don't think you need to worry about that. LOL!

The trick is to figure out what YOU like best. May I suggest you go to and run some searches for grey and blue houses and look at the photos that come up. (Since your siding color choice is a bluish gray, some people would describe it as gray and others as blue so you should look at both.)

Even tho it is unlikely that there will be very many houses where the siding color is identical to yours, you'll at least get an idea of the kinds of color combinations that appeal to you. You do have to ignore the house styles when you do this and concentrate only on the color combinations but it does help. Here are a few to get you started:

Gray siding, white trim, and darker gray window cladding -

Blue gray siding, white trim, and light gray window cladding -

Gray siding, off-white trim, slightly darker off white window cladding -

Dark grey siding, white trim, red window cladding (lower floor of house only) -

Gray siding, white trim, gray window cladding -

Gray siding, gray trim, red window cladding -

Gray siding, white trim, white window cladding -

Dark gray siding, white and taupe trim, red window cladding -

Also, when picking out colors, it helps a whole lot if you can get a large piece of the siding you've chosen, and a sample boards with all the available window cladding colors, plus a bunch of paint chip cards in colors that you think you might want to paint the rest of the trim. Stack these together so that you see only a thin line of the window cladding color and an appropriate percentage of the siding and trim colors. Look at them all together in bright daylight and in shaded daylight. You'll quickly decide which combinations YOU like best. This will work even better if you can get a small piece of stained walnut to represent your door color, a few small pieces of the stone you will use, and a sample of your roofing shingles and have those stacked with the other colors as well.

It was using this method that DH talked me into a color combination (including my red windows) that I would NEVER have chosen otherwise. And I'm so glad he did because I absolutely LOVE my house colors. After almost two years, I still crane forward for that first glimpse of my house thru the trees as I'm coming home and smile when I see it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:30AM
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thx again bevangel, i've spent some time at houzz but have had a hard time finding colours like soot. It's a lot more blue in daylight than it looks on the pc. Good news is we've settled on the window trim, going to be the Kolbe ultra white, and I'm pretty sure we're doing the soot. Got some pints today and going to do that and the inkwell on a pine board with some whites we picked out that are close to the Kolbe colours, BM white ice and snow white. Thinking the garage doors match the walnut stain of the front door, and the secondary front door be painted the trim colour. Still open to ideas....


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:50PM
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