How Paint and Roof Colors Work Together

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Paint colors roof colors Roof color can be a factor when choosing paint colors.

Roof colors (foundations too) affect paint color choices. Color expert Diane Stewart atColor Sense Consulting gives her take on how to tackle this situation.

Sometimes my clients seem surprised when I point out that that their roof shingles are considered part of the exterior color scheme. Just like the undertones of brick or stonework, the color of the roof is part of the equation. It may be higher up, but it’s usually visible from the street level.

I run into strongly colored roofs mostly on older homes - black, brown, dark gold, reddish brown, gray, or charcoal. However, in newer suburban areas, many houses have some form of muted brownish beige. That’s not necessarily a good thing though. Sometimes it can have a pinkish cast which is hard to deal with.

I treat every house as unique in itself, and hesitate to give guidelines here. There are always variations in color, and the way light hits the roof puts a different spin on things. But - in general - black, gray, and charcoal roofs come off as cool. They tend to look better with bluish undertones. Reddish brown, dark gold, or brown shingles appear warmer, so they usually look better with yellowish undertones.

However, I’m not saying that all houses with black roofs should be blue, or that all houses with brown roofs should be tan! It’s not as obvious as that. I’m talking about subtle undertones, using complex paint colors that have depth and interest.

Sometimes people don’t want to go along with the roof program so to speak. While there’s a certain amount of flexibility, I’m reluctant to push it too far. Exterior painting is an expensive proposition with a lot of square footage. It’s better to have a harmonious color scheme that looks great in the setting, and improves curb appeal. Classy exterior colors add value to your home and improve resale values, so it’s important to get it right.

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