May 10, 2006

How To Pick Exterior Color for a Building

From Ask The Expert:

Q. I own a small (2,800 square foot) professional building. We remodeled the interior last year and I want to repaint the outside, which is stucco. How do I pick a color for the outside? I want something that's a little bit different than the typical beige, but I don't want it to turn out looking too bright or too dark. Can you help?

A. Selecting an exterior color is a two step process. First you need to select three or four colors that appeal to you. You may want to get some professional advice at the paint store to help you your select your possible colors. Buy a small can of each color.

Next pick a wall that can be seen from a distance and paint a good size swatch of each color (3' x 6' or 4' x 8') on the wall with some space between the colors. Let it dry and look at the colors several times over the next few days. Check how they look at different times of the day: morning, noon, dusk. Look at them on a bright, sunny day and on a cloudy day.

You'll be amazed at how different a color can look from one day to another or from one time of day to another. Make sure you look at the colors from a distance, the way people driving by will. After a few days of observation you will be able to decide which one looks the best to you.

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