Color It Beautiful

Color It Beautiful*

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, August 19, 2007
By Cindy Hoedel
McClatchy Newspapers

KANSAS CITY, MO -- A great exterior paint job should make you think, “What a lovely home,” not “What great colors.”

If you get it right, your house will be in harmony with its surroundings — nature and the neighborhood. Get it wrong, and passersby will wonder, “What were they thinking?”

“You want to try to do something you feel will have longevity,” said Barbara Richardson, director of Color Marketing for ICI Paints/Glidden. “If you want funky, limit yourself to the front door.”

You can get a long way down the road toward a harmonious color scheme if you keep a few guiding principles in mind. Start with the colors you can’t change. Color consultant Paul Helmer helps clients pick paint colors. Helmer, who charges $250 for a consultation, says it’s crucial to take the following “givens” into account:

For most people, it’s very difficult to pick out pleasing colors from thousands of possibilities. Paint companies spend a lot of money hiring people like Josette Buisson, artistic director for Pittsburgh Paints, to painstakingly develop color combinations based on prevailing color trends and science.

It makes sense to take advantage of that free design assistance rather than trying to coordinate colors yourself.

“To start from scratch is too hard; people don’t have enough time,” Buisson said.

Painter Bill Ruisinger has seen plenty of near and actual color-picking disasters.

“A lot of times, people wait until the last minute and then rush through it. They think it’s going to be easy, but it’s not,” Ruisinger said. “We book two months in advance. People have plenty of time to figure it out, but they don’t. If I have to repaint it six months later, that’s a $2,000 mistake.”
Online Color Tools


If you like any of the colors below, here are the directions they are moving in:

Common Mistakes