Exterior paint color suggestions

alabamanicoleSeptember 1, 2011

Before I do a major landscaping remodel outside, I'd like to paint the trim on my house since it will need painting in about a year anyway. On the outside, it's a boring brick basement rancher and I'd like to liven it up a bit without making it obnoxious. The tan chicken-coop brick doesn't help. Particularly, I'd like to add some focus to the front door which, along with the landscaping, will make the home more welcoming.

Here's the original home. Both the grout and the roof are a grayish-putty color.

My first thought was an olive for the trim, but that looked too dark:

I lightened it up to a sage... too washed out?:

I tried taupe for the trim and both olive and eggplant for the door. Very dreary:

Any suggestions? I think the eggplant door has potential (although not quite the color in the mock-ups),

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Sophie Wheeler

Would you be open to painting the brick, or limewashing it? It's the most limiting factor, along with the actual size of the windows. They are small, so they don't really add much to the curb appeal. Would replacing at least a few key windows be in the budget? At least add some additional trim to make them more prominent. Painting out the GARAGE DOORS to something darker and/or changing their style will help them not to shout so badly as well.

You're worrying about paint, and the problem is the bones. Put money into the bones before you do any greenery.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 11:15PM
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Hi Holly,

There is no money for a major renovation, not that the neighborhood home values would support it anyway. If money were no object, I'd be building a real front porch with a gable, at the least. :) Paint the brick? No, too much of a maintenance headache and ongoing major expense. Lime washing I will have to research; Google is not being very helpful tonight.

Additional trim is an interesting idea but I can't think of where? Not fake shutters. (shudder) I wonder if giving it a long line or two would give it a Prairie feel or just chop it in half? I will have to try Photoshopping that in.

In a couple of versions I did I made the garage doors darker. I guess I felt like they made them more prominent, which I don't want, but I don't have a lot of elements to work with here and they certainly aren't going to disappear.

The windows are not that small from the inside; the rooms are small. Despite the wall-o-brick, the home is under 1300 square feet, plus part basement.

I think a more front-facing view shows the house proportions better. The trees in front are gone now.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:40AM
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HI Drive your neighborhood and if you see something you like Copy it.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:36PM
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There is a plant in front of the porch that is sort of blue gray sagey. In your pictures I like that color with the brick. Try your photoshopping skills eyedropping the color of that plant and play with the depth of the color. (my first instinct is some value of sw hamburg gray) I see taupe/offwhite/sage/black in that order but other orders would work. Maybe an off-black door like sw triton black and larger black iron light fixtures. If you use the sage color on the house, balance 3-5 blue-gray-sagey plants in the landscape and add white-pink-eggplant colors for pop. I'm no good at photoshop, sorry.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 11:54AM
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Thanks for the responses. I have done a lot of looking at other houses! Red brick rules around here. I can find a few tan homes but only one house (in my neighborhood) with the same mixed color split-face brick. They use a dark brown and have more elements to work with but it's not a good look. Better than mine, I think. Ironically, a few months ago they asked me if they could try my leftover paint to paint their house cream.

Kacy, I will try your ideas and post them back here. I do also want to change the light fixtures. I think you are picking up on the silvery artemesia? Maybe gray will work. It seems odd to me, but the grout is gray. I had already planned to include mostly pink and purple blooms in the landscape, plus some dark purple foliage like sambucus elderberry to add some weight, so maybe we are on the same page.

I would never have thought of painting the door black. I will try that, too.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:12AM
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Just painting the door black is a big difference! Here's a version lightening up the trim to be more cool white than warm cream. I rather like this version although it is a bit dull. Generally I think the white will read as gray from a distance anyway.

And here's with taupe soffits and eaves and the lighter trim:

The silvery-sage color really doesn't work I don't think; neither did too much taupe.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 2:01PM
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What about adding paneling under the squat upper windows to the same vertical height of the bottom line of the triple window to the other side of the door? That would create a visual illusion of bigger windows and if you paint thet rim the same light color as the garage, there will be some balance.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 10:26PM
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If you want lots of input on house paint suggestions, post over on the Home Decor forum. They often discuss house color and others share their photoshop expertise.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Decor

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 12:18AM
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THanks for the suggestion, annz, I will try there.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 8:43AM
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