How Do You Match Exterior Paint Colors?


Quick Answer

Searching home improvement magazines to find photos of painted houses with different color combinations is a good first step for matching exterior paint colors, according to SFGate.com. Existing paint colors can be matched with the help of paint chips, photographs and custom-mixed samples.

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Full Answer

Most paint stores have color charts with suggestions of professionally matched colors, and with multiple choices to choose from, House and Garden suggests staying within the same spectrum of color tones.

When matching existing paint colors on buildings, SFGate.com suggests determining whether the original paint is latex-based or oil paint. This is done by cleaning a small area with a damp cloth and detergent, then rinsing. After the wall dries, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and scrub the area gently. If the original paint comes off, it is latex-based paint. It is an oil paint, it does not come off.

Take this information and the original paint can, paint chip card or picture of the house with the original paint, to a paint mixer. Provide an estimate of whether the original paint luster is flat, satin, semi-gloss or gloss to allow the paint to be mixed properly. Some stores provide paint samples of the estimated color in a similar luster. Paint a portion of the building with the provided sample to check if the new paint matches the original. If not, return to the mixer with updated information and repeat the process until an exact match is achieved.

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