Chessie’s Waffle: Exterior Paint Color

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Chessie’s House

As long term Waffler readers may remember, I had quite a difficult time picking out a paint color for my laundry room (you can see the before and after here).  Choosing a color for my little laundry room is one thing; choosing a color for the outside of my house might just make my head explode.

Chessie, however, is up to the task.  She just needs a little help narrowing down her choices.  Here she explains:

When we bought our two family in Somerville, MA three years ago, we gutted and updated a lot of the interior. We love the inside now–the outside, not so much. It’s a “classic” 1970s light green vinyl that I guess was considered  modern and low maintenance then but is just ugly now.

We can’t afford to re-side with wood or a modern siding like hardy plank right now, but we recently learned about vinyl safe paints that could work to update our exterior. We have narrowed down the color options to yellow, green, and blue. The front of our house is lacking in a lot of architectural detail so we are wary of painting a color that will overwhelm. What do people think?

Take a look at the bottom three color swatches in the picture below.  Do you think Chessie should paint her house yellow, green, or blue?


And while you’re thinking about exterior colors, Chessie would also like you to weigh in on whether you like the idea of adding panels to the front of the house to boost its architectural appeal. It might look something like this — though the interior blocks would be whatever color they decide to paint the house, not the green in the image.

What have you been waffling about lately? Let me know and readers can help you make that tricky decision.


5 responses

  1. I voted for blue but I think green would look wonderful as well. Good luck in any of your choices 🙂

  2. Thanks for the comments! Very interesting and helpful. I’m against blue. I don’t like blue houses, they just seem tacky to me. Don’t know why. But interesting that votes are going with blue for moment…

  3. Chessie,
    Perhaps you already have investigated the wood siding under the vinyl, but you may find that its condition is better than you think. You may be able to keep the original clapboards, and, if necessary, repair only the very deteriorated areas. Then you could paint the original rather than the vinyl, which does not hold up well and reduces the value and curb appeal of the house. I urge you to shop around. You might write or call Brandon Wilson of the city’s Historic Preservation Department, and see if she has grants for this work or can recommend reasonable and efficient craftsmen.
    Good luck!

  4. I’d actually go with the top color, but if they don’t like that, then the green. Yellow is too light for such a large house. And blue houses are my least favorite thing in the world. Blue paint ages poorly, very poorly. Something about the paint formula leaves it very sensitive to sun. Have Chessie drive down Huron Ave in Cambridge and she can see a shining example of a house painted not that long ago (you know the one, Molly!) And, there are actual studies that blue houses sell less quickly than all other colors!

    Oh, and a house that size needs 3 paint colors. At least. Base, trim and accent (like front door or secondary trim). The face of the panels could be a shade darker than the base color and match the front door or something like that.