How to Pick an Accent Color for Your Home's exterior
So you’re painting the exterior of your house, and you’ve got the main color picked. That’s a good start, but the next choice is often more important. How will you choose the accent color — the color of your door, trim, or shutters? Accent colors are used for emphasis in a color scheme. They can be bold, minimal, or serve as a contrast to the main color. Without them, your new exterior paint job could fall flat. It’s all a matter of taste, but we have some time-tested guidelines to help you along the way.
Chances are, your main color won’t be loud or highly saturated — unless you’re trying to paint your home Vikings Purple — but your accent color can be bolder. If your siding is toned-down, your accent should be pumped-up, and vice versa. For a white house, you can pick any color you want as an accent — except an off-white, which would just look like you forgot which paint to buy.
A bright red door is a classic choice for a white house. You could go a bit more contemporary or trendy with a coral or orange.
If you have a brightly colored house, though, pick an accent color that isn’t so saturated — either a neutral or a color with a bit more white, black, or gray in the mix.
Pairing Primary and Secondary Colors
Here’s a quick color wheel primer (yep, the pun was intended):
Red, yellow, and blue are the primary colors.
Orange, green, and purple are secondary colors.
So, if you have a green house, you could choose a yellow:
If you have a blue house, you might choose a bright green as an accent color
Dealing with Tricky Neutrals
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what colors would look good with a gray, brown, or greige. Here’s a tip if you’ve got a complex neutral: find it on a paint strip. At the bottom of the strip, you’ll find a more saturated version of the color to help you determine if it’s more of an orange, red, green, or blue. Then choose a saturated color from the opposite side of the color wheel for your accent. Here are the complementary pairs:
Here are the complementary pairs:
Red with green
Yellow with purple
Blue with orange
Whether you go big and bold or soft and subtle, the accent color will definitely define the character of your home. Don’t leave the choice to chance!