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The Short List: Jeremy Rhett on the Best Exterior Paint Colors For Listings Today

by Atlanta Agent

Jeremy-Rhett-certapro-painters

Jeremy Rhett is the proprietor of CertaPro Painters of Atlanta

Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Jeremy Rhett, the proprietor of CertaPro Painters of Atlanta, about what exterior paint colors your clients should consider for their listings.

Whether a homeowner is on the purchasing end of a transaction or the listing side, they want the exterior of their home to look its best. Proud new buyers may want to impart their own personalities onto the home, while sellers want to maximize curb appeal for rapid resale.

Choosing the right colors for a new exterior painting project is critical to getting the best results. Here are a few tips from CertaPro Painters’ own Jeremy Rhett, a 17 year veteran of the industry.

9. Consider the Neighborhood – Look at the other homes in the neighborhood to ensure your selections work well in their surroundings. Be careful not to duplicate the neighbor’s siding color. Also be mindful that the colors you choose compliment the colors of the immediate homes that are visible with your home from any particular vantage point.

8. Don’t Be Afraid of Monochromatic Schemes – Pick a color you like for the siding, then choose the lightest version of that color on a paint color strip. The different versions, from light to dark, are an example of differing color values. To ensure that your trim detail is not lost in a monochromatic color scheme, be sure to use contrasting values that are at least two steps away from each other on the color strip. Otherwise, you risk the “wash-out” effect in which siding, trim, and window details are all lost due to colors that are too similar.

7. Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery – It’s okay to find a home that you like and use the same color scheme. Just make sure it is not in the visible area of your own home. Find a house that is at least a couple of blocks away. Bring a paint fan deck to the house and visually match the colors. If you are feeling really bold, knock on the door and compliment the owner about the beauty of their home and the wise color choices. Ask if they have the color records. Often home-owners are very proud of a carefully selected color scheme and are happy to share their selections with others.

6. Blue Ceilings – Here in the South there is mythology and lore surrounding blue front porch ceilings. Some locals say it keeps bees away. Some say mosquito’s. Personally, I love that it makes the entry of your home a conversation piece. There is no specific blue to choose, but usually it is a light blue resembling the sky. The exact color of sky-blue will depend on the colors on the home. For a house with gray colors choose a subdued, slightly grayed version such as Sherwin William’s Take Five. For a brightly colored home use a brighter version of blue.

5. Define the Entry – Tip No. 4 helps with this, but the detail of the front door does, as well. Remember – this is where potential buyers, or guests of the home, will stand for several seconds to a few minutes while awaiting access. A well painted or finished front door makes an impact. For a natural wood door it may make sense to refinish it entirely, especially if sun exposure and weather have damaged the finish. Painted doors benefit from an accent color that is used very little, or not at all, on the rest of the home.

4. Use Accent Colors, but Sparingly – Does the house have corbels? If so, using an accent color for these items, which look like support brackets, transforms them into a fine detail of the home. Accent colors work well on the window sashes of craftsman style homes, as well.

3. Work with the Static Constraints – Some colors on a home will not be changing, such as the roof shingles, the brick foundation or the stone-work. Make sure you choose colors that work well with these items.

2. Apply Samples Before the Painters Arrive – If there is any hesitation with your color selection, buy the small $5 samples that are available through most paint suppliers. Paint a large swatch on the surface of your home where it will ultimately reside. Live with it for a few days to be sure it represents as expected. This is the easiest way to ensure you like your choices.

1. If You Need Help, Ask For It! Your painter should be able to assist with colors or provide a free consultation with a color consultant as part of the service.


Jeremy Rhett is the proprietor of CertaPro Painters of Atlanta. They offer complimentary color consultations for their residential and commercial clients.

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