What do House Paint and Make Up have in common?

Even those of you who have no first hand knowledge of applying make up will understand the objective – to enhance natural beauty and to minimise any flaws.

A poorly painted house exterior can reduce the street appeal of your home and it’s financial value. By taking the time to assess the positives and negatives of your home and looking at the ideas below, you can add considerable value to your property.

 Analyse your house objectively:

  • Look at the surrounding environment, both the natural environment and surrounding homes and other neighbourhood features. Do you want your home to blend in with its environment or stand out?
  • Look at the house from each side and also take photos, what are the attractive features and what are the flaws?
  • Look at the proportions, are they balanced or are some parts or areas too dominant? Does your house look too tall, or short and fat?!
  • Is your house very plain or is it very fussy in its design?

Once you have done your analysis, you should have a list that has positives and negatives. Now what can you do to enhance the positives and minimise the negatives?

Like applying make up, you need to decide on a focal point. A building or room, generally looks better if the eye is drawn to one main feature rather that having the eye pulled in many directions.

When applying make up, it is generally advised to make either the lips or eyes the main focus, rather than both.

What does that mean in relation to painting your house?

Generally a building has an architectural focal point; often it is the entrance area/front door. This is very practical, as it guides a visitor to the entrance. This is why front doors are usually painted in a strong contrast colour. Check out my Pinterest Board (Nicola Manning Design) on amazing front doors from around the world for some ideas and inspiration https://www.pinterest.com/manning1377/cool-doors/.

Would you like to make your house look bigger or smaller?

If you have a large house on a small site, you can to use the paint colour to balance this out. Darker colours will achieve this for you. Alternatively use light colours to make your house look larger.

Sometimes, to gain proportion and balance, we need to make our houses to look taller or shorter? If you would like to gain an appearance of extra height, look for the vertical aspects of the architecture, such as columns or pillars and use a stronger contrast to make these more dominant.

If you think your house looks too “tall and skinny”, you would play down the vertical aspects and use a stronger contrast for the horizontal components of the house.

How to use Paint colours to create balance

The very nature and structure of buildings is to have a strong foundation or base. Use darker paint colours towards the bottom of the house, particularly if you have a very dominating roof, to avoid creating a “top heavy” feel.

Look at the difference between these two houses. Both have very dominant rooves, in terms of the percentage of area they take up. One is painted in a much lighter colour than the roof, providing a stronger contrast. This results in the house looking top heavy. The house below has used a paint colour with less contrast to the roof colour and the overall effect is more balanced.

In architecture and design, you want to create balance. If there is a lot of detail on the top of your home, you will need to emphasise detail and interest on the bottom section of the home too. Or you may need to down play the detail by painting it in the same colour as the main colour of the house.

What is contrast?

I have used the term “contrast” a lot in this Blog. If a house has a very busy architecture style, using paint colours with a smaller degree of contrast can stop the detailing competing with each other and provide a more calming, soothing result.

In New Zealand, think of the classic Villa style with verandas, filigree and decorative timber elements. These are beautiful features but they can look “too much” if they are all highlighted in very contrasting colours. Again, choose one focal point and use that feature for the strongest contrast in paint colour. Use the smallest amount of the strongest colour.

Expert Tips

  1. When you purchase paint, whether you buy it yourself or your Painter does, always check that the paint colour is correct against your original sample.
  2. Check that your Painter is using the brand of paint that you or your Designer have actually specified. Yes other company’s paints can be tinted to match another paint company’s colour but they can sometimes look slightly different and can been that the result you want may not be achieved.

Question: What issues have you had with painting the exterior of your house? You can leave a comment by clicking here.