Help w/exterior color choice

kate38August 11, 2011

We are ready to pick a color for our new build in coastal NC. The back of the house is on the water, faces west and will bake in the afternoon sun. House is far from road and very private with heavy vegetation on both sides. The roof will be a charcoal tone. We'd like a light, muted green, something on the order of SW 6199 Rare Gray. I'm no color expert and am wondering how to decipher the SW "Color Details" area in regards to RGB values and LRV. Can anyone help me understand what these terms mean? We'd like a color on the same level of lightness (value?) if that helps, and we'd like it to be more green than gray. I'm wondering if, in the bright sunshine, something like 6199 Rare Gray or 6185 Escape Gray will simply appear to be white. We'd like more than just a hint of green, but not as much or as dark as 6186 Dried Thyme. Over the entire house, which is Hardi, will, say, Rare Gray just look blah? We want dark shutters on the order of Seal, or Greenblack, and the other trim will be white. The front door will be in the red family. Any opinions or other colors we should consider?

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You should check out Valspar's Mark Twain House Olive, it might be along the lines of what you are looking for. You could always buy little sample pots. I would paint large poster boards and place those against the house, doing this will make it easier to see the actual color and how they look on each side of the house.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 10:28AM
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Thanks, buffy. Mark Twain House Olive is nice, just a little too green. I bought some sample pots of SW colors, and our builder gave us some sample Hardi boards, so we're trying them out. It's so hard to imagine what a paint color will look like over the whole house. And in morning, afternoon, and evening light. And in a different part of the country than where we live right now. Until now I've only lived in brick homes and only had to think about trim colors. I don't want to overthink it, but we'll have to live with our choice for a long time.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:36PM
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I am going through the same thing in South Carolina. Our back gets lots of sun in the afternoon and there are pine trees on either side of us. The back of the house faces the water. I have tried probably 12 green paint samples (done on boards),and lined them all up against a white cloth along our front porch. It is amazing once the paint samples are compared which ones show much more blue, gray,tan, or yellow than you would pick up from the chip sample. Some of the paints are:
Glidden: Prairie Sage
Frosted Pine
Slate Green
Hazy Sage
Martha Stewart: Fennel Seed
BM: Dill Weed
Saybrook Sage
Valspar: Irish Paddock
Fioli Ballroom
Meadow Sage

At first I wanted more of a blue cast. Now it looks like the Fennel Seed is more of what we want.

Friends and neighbors were asked to look at the samples, and there weren't many people who chose the same samples!!

Now the dilema is matching stone to the paint. I probably should have chosen the cultured stone first and then the paint!

If we actually do go w/ the Fennel the trim will be a light cream. Shutters are next.

As you can see, I can hardly make my own choices let alone help someone else, so best of luck!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 2:39PM
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lucydecorates, your property sounds very similar to mine. We don't want the house color to look washed out, but we don't want to pick something too dark that will fade in a few years, either. We're leaning toward BM Tea Light, Aganthus Green, Weekend Getaway or Croquet because we like a little more gray in the green. I'd probably pick a really dark gray for shutters, and one of the hundreds of whites for trim. The only thing I'm sure of is that I want a red door! Our builder uses Sherwin Williams so we can have them duplicate the colors. We're going to take our painted samples to the property this weekend or next and have a look at it there. Good luck choosing!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I'm wondering if, in the bright sunshine, something like 6199 Rare Gray or 6185 Escape Gray will simply appear to be white. We'd like more than just a hint of green, but not as much or as dark as 6186 Dried Thyme.

Picking outdoor colors is really hard. You have to paint sample boards - don't rely on the chips from the store.

RGB values won't tell you anything, but knowing the LRV (Light Reflectance Values) can be helpful as a source of comparison. If, for example, you know that Rare Gray 6199 is too pale, then you know that whatever color you use, you want it to have a lower number LRV than 6199 has.

I started out with BM Saybrook Sage as a trim color, but it was too pale and I changed to Weekend Getaway using LRV numbers to help guide me. Saybrook's LRV is 44.9, Weekend Getaway's is 38.3.

In lieu of white, may I suggest you use Cream? I'm using BM Chatworth Cream 225. It was recommended by a house color expert and it is lovely.

If you find Weekend Getaway is too much for your house color, there are a couple houses on my street with Saybrook Sage as the house color and then a darker gray green on the shutters, and cream trim. If I didn't live on the same block I would have copied that color collection. I can snap a photo if you want.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Graywings, this is great info. I will look for LRV value on the BM site. I have the strip with Weekend Getaway, which I like very much, in my hand right now. It looks quite different on the color visualizer than it does on the strip. I would love to see pix of the houses on your street with Saybrook Sage because that's in the running, too. Aganthus green is a contender, as well.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:00PM
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I came in late to your conversation, wasn't sure if you were still watching it. Here is Weekend Getaway as a trim color to a light yellow house. Note the cream on the column and between the yellow siding and blue ceiling. Will try to go out tomorrow and snap a pic of the neighbor's house.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:38PM
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Very nice--would love to see more...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:29AM
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Here is a picture of the paint on my neighbor's house. I cropped it to just show the paint; didn't want to invade their privacy by showing the house. Having walked around the neighborhood with paint chips in hand, I'm pretty certain that is Saybrook Sage on the body of the house. I don't know what the trim color is, a lovely gray/green, but the cream accent is - or is very close to - Chatsworth Cream.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Really nice. Thanks so much for doing this! That's the look I want. I'll go to the BM store and get a sample can of the Saybrook Sage and try it out on the Hardi boards our builder gave us.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 8:34AM
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Graywings, we are still at it, but need to let the builder know before the end of the month. BM Saybrook Sage painted on a piece of Hardi turned out to be too green and too bright for my DH's liking, so we're back to SW Escape Gray. I did a survey of this chip at work (inside the building) and half the people (interestingly, the women) said it looked green and the men said it looked totally gray. Then I mixed half SW Retreat with half Escape, and that looks pretty good, but I'm starting not to trust what my eye sees. There is green in Escape Gray according to the label on the sample. The issue is that this is our retirement home and we can't get up there on a ladder to re-paint if we don't like it, and it's too expensive to have someone else redo it. Is there a trick to get a true read on color? Will a light color appear darker or lighter when there's so much of it on the exterior of a house? A medium-toned color?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 12:25PM
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Is there a trick to get a true read on color?

Sorry, I just now saw this. Maybe an expert like Funcolors could answer it better, but doing a large sample board and moving it around the house and at different times of day is the only way I know to get a true read. Take it upstairs, open the window and set it on the ledge.

Based on my experience, I agree with barbarajon and say, when in doubt, go with the deeper color.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:30AM
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