Update:  Our exterior painting project is now complete – check out the “after” photos (and final paint color choices) here!

Guess what?  The time has finally come to paint the exterior of our house.  We’ve known this day was coming … we even got estimates 3 or 4 years back before deciding to hold off until the house really needed paint so that we could focus on some other projects first.  Anyway, the current paint job has now been through a few more winters and it’s definitely starting to look worse for the wear, so this spring (assuming spring ever actually comes) our house will be getting a good scrubbing followed by some fresh paint.

Since we’ve known for a while that new paint was on the horizon, we’ve had plenty of time to think through our color selection.  The easiest (and safest) choice would be to put a fresh coat of white paint on the house and not really attempt to change the look of it at all.  We think it’s probably always been a white house, so that would keep things historically accurate – and there’s something really classic about a solid white house.

Our house in white.

Our house in white.

Or we could choose to paint the house a color.  This is appealing because it would allow our house to have a little more personality and would show off some of the trim details that blend in when everything is white.   The trick for us with picking a color other than white was finding a color scheme that felt appropriate for our house.  We wanted to be careful to not pick something that felt too modern, looking more like something you might see on a new house with a maintenance free exterior.  We also wanted to be careful to not pick something too elaborate or colorful since we were afraid that would feel more at home on a Victorian house than our (more architecturally simple) colonial.

So, we pinned a bunch of pictures of houses that we liked, only to rule most of the color schemes out when we thought about applying them to our old house … until we found pictures of this house.

The color scheme we're hoping to copy on our house!

The color scheme we’re hoping to copy on our house!  (image source)

Another exterior view.  Love the darker trim color on the garage doors!

Another exterior view. Love the darker trim color on the garage doors!  (image source)

The more we thought through this color scheme, the more we felt like it was exactly what we’d been looking for.  We liked that the body of the house was still a really light color – one that could almost be described as white – but had enough hints of green, gray, and brown to give it some personality.  We also liked that the trim provided enough contrast to help the architectural details of the house stand out without being really over the top.  I think the painter summed it up best when he said this color scheme feels like a modern take on the classic white colonial house.

After finding these photos, it didn’t take long for us to agree that this was the look we wanted to replicate with our new paint colors.  Just to be sure that it wouldn’t feel totally “off” on our house, I photoshopped an old photo of the front … and, guess what – we still liked it.

The new paint scheme, photoshopped on our house.  I am in love!

The new paint scheme, photoshopped on our house. I am in love!

Now, the only problem was that we have no idea what paint colors were actually used on the house we liked (I tried emailing the design firm that posted the pictures to see if they knew, but no luck there).  So, we wound up working with a lady at Sherwin Williams to find some colors that might achieve the same look.  After looking through a bunch of paint samples, ordering full sheet samples, and trying out some sample quarts, the best match we’ve found for the body color is Benjamin Moore Glacier White (color matched to Sherwin WIlliams).

Benjamin Moore Glacier White (AC-40)

Benjamin Moore Glacier White (AC-40)

Now, we’re just waiting for the weather to warm up (and all the snow to melt) so we can try out a larger sample on the outside of the house to make sure it doesn’t look too white (or, worse, too pink) in bright sunlight.

For the trim, we started went through the same process to find a color that approximates the trim color on the house we liked and landed on SW Ethereal Mood (SW7639).  From the sample boards we painted, it feels like a really warm green/gray color.

Sherwin Williams Ethereal Mood (SW7639)

Sherwin Williams Ethereal Mood (SW7639)

Same as with the body color, the plan was to wait for the weather to change and paint a larger sample on the house just to make sure, but we really felt like this color would be a good choice.  After thinking through it more, though, practicality won over and we wound up changing our color selection for the trim to (the Sherwin Williams match of) one of the maintenance free colors from Andersen (we chose Sandtone).

Andersen Sandtone

Andersen Sandtone

We decided to go this route so that we could easily match any maintenance free details we might want to add to the house later on (windows, doors, gutters, etc.) to the painted trim. In person, the Sandtone color is a little less greeny than SW Ethereal Mood, but we think it will still work well with the body color to achieve the overall look – and we’re excited that it won’t prevent us from adding any maintenance free details in the future.

So, that’s where we’re at with exterior paint color selection … and none too soon!  The painters stopped by a few weeks ago to pick up the first group of storms, which they are taking back to their shop to clean up, re-glaze, sand, and prime.  With any luck, they’ll get through glazing and priming all of the storms just in time for the weather to warm up and work to start on the outside of the house.  I can’t wait!

What do you think?  Any experience with these paint colors?  (Please tell me our house will not turn out pink!)  How did you pick the exterior colors for your house?

Filed Under: Home Improvement,Painting

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