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Tips & Tricks for Selecting your Exterior Paint Colour

Selecting paint colours for your home’s exterior needn’t be a daunting task. With a few simple tips and tricks from interior designer James Treble, you’ll be set on your journey to creating a palette that suits your lifestyle and design preferences.

Your home’s exterior is the first thing you see when you come home each day, and influences how your home is represented to guests and passers-by, so you can’t underestimate the importance of creating a facade that represents your personal style. 

We’ve enlisted the help of interior designer James Treble to assist you in the colour selection process for your home’s exterior. James has a wealth of knowledge in colour theory, materiality, and curating a palette that suits your home style and design preferences, and with these five simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a colour scheme that is perfect for your home and style.

1. Create a flat lay in natural light

Creating a flat lay of your preferred paint and material swatches is the first step to creating the perfect palette for your home’s exterior, James says. “By laying your colours together in natural light, this will give you an accurate picture of what your colour scheme will look like outside,” James says. When creating your flat lay, it’s important to include all your exterior colour and material selections including window frames, bricks, roof tiles and accent colours, as these will all play a part in how the final design will come together. 

2. Consider Materials and Architecture

Materials used in the façade of your home should serve as the springboard to creating your colour palette. “Your materials help you compliment or contrast your paint colours and other finishes in the home,” says James. 

The design rule of 30, 60, 10 is commonly used when referring to proportions, and is also a helpful tool when selecting your external paint colours. Under this rule, 60 percent is the largest area that requires paint, which is usually the walls. The 30 percent is a complementary colour that either contrasts or works in harmony with the main finish, for example, the choice of roofing or a rendered finish. 

As the smallest amount, the 10 percent is the proportion with which you can be bolder in your colour selection. James says this is your opportunity to “turn the volume up, going stronger in colour and contrast”. Examples of this include the colour of the front door, which provides the perfect opportunity to create a statement, without taking too much of a risk. 

3. Repeat Colours

The repetition of colours on details like doors and windows helps to create a sense of cohesion and harmony, and can help add value to your home. James points out that, “by repeating finishes, you can emphasise that element and make it stronger.”

This repetition could occur in the painting of your windows, gutter fascia and garage door in the same colour. Another way to implement repetition is through the finish of your materials, including bricks and roof tiles. 

4. Understanding the power of three

A palette of three complementary exterior colours is key to creating harmony in your home’s exterior; one each for the walls, trim and accent colour. “Three is a very powerful number when it comes to design,” James says. “Too many colours can create a cluttered effect, overwhelming the look of your home.” Selecting one light, one medium and one dark colour is advised to keep the colour palette simple and harmonious. 

5. Consider your surroundings and estate guidelines

“Before you start looking at all of the beautiful bricks, roof tiles and colour swatches, it’s wise to familiarise yourself with any council regulations to check that your colours are complying with estate guidelines,” James says. If you are undertaking a knock-down rebuild, it is worthwhile considering the colours and finishes that have been used on the homes either side of your property to ensure the home sits cohesively within the streetscape. 

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