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House Paint Secrets

How to Choose Exterior House Paint


Seafoam green with cream and burgundy accents

Burgundy window sashes add interest to a seafoam green Cottage

Photo © Jackie Craven
You thought you only had to pick paint colors? Sorry! Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you choose paint for your house painting project.

House Paint Durability
The more intense a color, the more likely it is to fade. After a few years, vivid blues and deep reds might seem more subdued. Dark colors can also pose more maintenance problems. Dark colors absorb heat and suffer more moisture problems than lighter shades. And because dark paint fades, it can be difficult to match exactly when you do small touch-ups. But, don't rule out dark colors. They won't show dust and stains, and can give your house a sense of dignity or drama.

House Paint Sheen
House paint comes in several sheens, ranging from glossy to flat. The glossier the surface, the more likely it is to show imperfections, brush strokes and touch up marks. On the other hand, glossy surfaces are easier to clean. Many homeowners opt to use flat paint for walls and semi-gloss or glossy paint for columns, railings and window sashes.

Paint Color Deceptions
Color swatches look very different when they are brought out of the store and viewed in natural sunlight. Also, colors appear lighter on large surfaces than they do on small samples. Chances are, you'll need a much darker color than the one you first picked. Always test your selected color in one area before buying gallons of paint.

More Painting Tips

VIDEO: How to Choose Exterior Paint Colors

House Paint Color Charts

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