Mary Shares 6 Steps and Bonus Tips For Selecting Exterior Paint Colors

This is the season for exterior projects. Springtime came late this year. I am hearing from my painter and contractor friends that their schedules are busy, busy, busy with exterior work. My phone has been ringing too...I love adding colors to enhance people's world. 

I'm happy to share with you the process that I go through to select exterior colors.

  1. Speak to the client on the phone to get a sense of their vision and goals. Look at house on Google Maps or Real Estate listing. 

  2. Drive around the neighborhood to get a feeling for the neighborhood vibe.  

  3. Meet the homeowners at their house. Dig deeper into their vision and goals.

  4. Walk all around the property with the clients, observe roof, pavers, landscaping, furnishing, decking, patio... in other words, everything that will effect the color selection.  

  5. Start picking colors based on steps 1. through 4. My goal is to select colors the clients will love, that will reflect their personalities...unique to them but not so far out there that they stick out like a sore thumb (unless of course, they want to...I'm game). Nor do I want the house to be ho hum and blend in looking just like every other house.

  6. I ALWAYS suggest that people paint samples. You may have heard or read this from me already...don't buy a ton of samples. That makes it more confusing! Narrow it down to one or maybe two. If you love it, you are done! If not, use what I call Goldilocks method or tweaking - Is it too dark or too light? Is it too bright or too dull? Is it too much of desired color or too little? You guessed it; we are looking for "IT'S JUST RIGHT"


  • Whenever possible, select your roofing, stones and other permanent fixtures before picking paint!
  • Don't select colors based on what you see online or in print.  Use the pics as a guide only!  
  • Don't ask too many people for their opinion.  The only opinion that counts is yours and your family's.
  • Don't cheap out on prep or paint.  This is one of the scenarios where you generally get what you pay for. 
Unique House in Safety Harbor, FL

Don't worry...this is quite unique which most likely may conger up an image of the people who live inside...yes, stereotyping but that is what we humans do...we send a message by our colors and style. There is nothing wrong with that. I am just trying to make a point that our homes should reflect ourselves. It is my guess and assumption this family has achieved that. Now I am curious if my mental image matches reality. Maybe when I go back to Safety Harbor, FL, I'll have to try to find out ...I'm imagining they are friendly & open to strangers knocking on their door.  :) 

The internet has lots of inspiration…caution! only use web images as a starting point, guide and inspiration. You must view the actual colors to make your final decision! Here is a link to one of Sherwin-Williams exterior pages to get your wheels rolling.

Benjamin Moore also has tons of inspiring images and suggestions on their site too.  Explore the site beyond the first link...don't get too lost searching the web; you need to get the project started.  

Follow my tried and true steps or give me a call and we can get this painting party started together!  631-922-5405 

In case you missed my previous blog post regarding Long Island Exterior Color Combinations I did for DaVince Roofscapes at the request on my friend and color guru, Kate Smith here is the link

Winter storm (again) today...something to remind you of beach days ahead

If you're like me, you've had enough of this colorless winter! Multiple Nor'easters and then just when I have began looking forward to the beautiful springtime weather of April.... another snow storm. Isn't March supposed to go out like a lamb? 

Don't be a hater, but I'm typing this as I watch my son-in-law and grandson swim under the warm Georgia sun!

I do love all the seasons and even make regular trips to the beach regardless of the weather and temperature, but above all, I LOVE the colors, activities and energy of spring and summer. 

What is your favorite season on Long Island?

Colorless winter beach day

Colorless winter beach day

When doing color consultations I am often told by clients that they want "beachy" colors.  With all my consultations, the most important first step is what I call the "getting to know you" step.  Using the beach theme as an example, I will ask questions such as when YOU think of the beach do you think about -- read a book/play volleyball? leisurely walk/surfing?  solitude/party? collecting shells/ catching a beach ball? These imagination of these activities are different from one person to the next. One may be thinking of beachy colors being soft and subtle or on the flip side vibrant and bold. 


I put together combinations of colors that I have suggested through the years to clients that evoke both of those "beachy" feelings.

Beautiful bright blue summer sky dotted with contrasting crisp white clouds accented by the soft glow of the sun

Beautiful bright blue summer sky dotted with contrasting crisp white clouds accented by the soft glow of the sun

bright summer colors.JPG
Add a bright white to this palette to add a freshness and light

Add a bright white to this palette to add a freshness and light

shells and colors.JPG