Photo by Matthew Gallant

Ahh, choosing paint. If only the process were as easy as a television show. We’d sift through a stack of rainbow-hued card to find the perfect shade. It would inspire the ideal accent and we’d joyfully roll it on while wearing overalls on a bright day.

In reality, choosing paint is hard. Colors never feel quite the same in person as on those tiny cards and the sheer volume of options is entirely overwhelming. Take heart—we’ve got helpful hints to smooth out the process. You’ll be a paint-choosing pro in no time!

Photo by Landon Wiggs

1. Take your time. Paint might not be permanent—but it’s a big ordeal to change the entire exterior of your home, so don’t rush yourself into a decision.

2. Choose a few shades. You may be convinced you’ve found the right shade of white, but based on how the sun hits your house, it quite likely will look entirely different once it’s applied. Grab samples of a few shades to ensure you pick the right one for you.

3. Take a look around. Will you be the only house with a red door? If you’re okay with that, then paint on! Do you have a homeowner’s association or historical board with pre-approved hues already selected? Make sure to run your selections by your board. Did your neighbor opt for a bright accent, only to have it fade due to sun exposure? Make sure you select a fade-resistant paint.

4. Don’t pick from cards. Grab a few paintbrushes and a pencil. Paint swatches of each color in the running on your house in a few different spots—and label them. Check them out at different times of the day to see how they hold up to glaring morning sun and dim dusk. Even the prettiest shades can take on a whole new look thanks to their undertones.

5. Hire a pro. They’ll help you pick the right base paint and get the job done right. From being able to advise on undertones and how the paint will wear, to protecting your windows and having the right tools, this is definitely a job for the pros.

Bonus Points

Not feeling ready to paint the entire exterior of your home? Try giving your door a fresh coat of paint! The retro-friendly aqua hue on this front door makes for a cheerful entry.

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Caribbean Cruise, DE5760