how to choose the right color when learning all about exterior paint
Photo: Nathan Kirkman
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Multihue Schemes

Use a varied palette to call out your home's best assets or to help create interest on otherwise plain facades. Here's how:

Consider the components. Think of your home as the sum of three parts: the body (siding), the trim (window and door casings, fascias), and the movable elements (windows, doors, and shutters). Give each part its own color. Entry doors in a separate accent color add drama to the facade.
Highlight levels and textures. A change in siding from clapboards on the first floor to shingles on the second or in the gables, for instance, is an invitation to introduce another body color. Accent colors can also play up banding, half-timbering, and other decorative trim, such as the turnings on the eaves brackets seen above.
Make good use of darks and lights. Dark colors are perceived as weighty, so they work well on a foundation or a lower story to anchor a house to the ground. Lighter hues on an upper story draw the eye up and set off the roof and its shaded eaves.
Go online. Using paint-company color selectors, upload a shot of your house, then drag and drop swatches to create a desirable scheme. But before you invest in gallons, brush sample colors on primed 2-by-2-foot medium-density fiberboard panels and view them against each side of the house to make sure you're happy with the hues.
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