Top 10 Exterior Paint Choice Blunders You Must Dodge

Top 10 Exterior Paint Choice Blunders You Must Dodge


Freshening up the exterior of your property with a new coat of paint can give it a vibrant look and, potentially, increase curb appeal. However, the process of choosing the right paint can be surprisingly complex and rife with potential pitfalls. If you're looking for the secrets to selecting the perfect shade and type of paint while avoiding common blunders, read on.

When it comes to painting the exterior of a building or home, it's not just about the color; it's about durability, protection, and the message you want to send. Making the wrong choice can be costly, time-consuming, and may even result in a less-than-desirable outcome. In this article, we'll explore the top 10 mistakes you need to steer clear of when undertaking an exterior paint project.


Mistake 1: Opting for the Cheapest Paint Available

It's tempting to head for the bargain bin, especially when faced with expensive home improvement projects. However, cheap paint often means low-quality ingredients and a less attractive finish. Bargain paints can fade quickly, require multiple coats, and may not stand up to the elements as well as higher-quality options.

If you're on a tight budget, consider cutting costs in other areas and investing in a paint that's known for its longevity and color retention. It may cost more initially, but it will likely save you money in the long run.

Mistake 2: Neglecting to Consider the Climate

Different regions have different weather patterns and environmental factors that can greatly affect the condition of exterior paint. For instance, in sunny and hot areas, you'll want to choose a paint that is resistant to fading and can tolerate high temperatures. In damp or coastal regions, a paint that prevents mold and mildew is paramount.

Take the time to research which types of paints are best suited for your climate. Look for features like UV resistance, moisture control, and elasticity to prevent cracking in colder climates.

Mistake 3: Not Testing Colors in Various Light Conditions

The way a color looks under the fluorescent lights in a store can be vastly different from how it appears in the full light of day. What looks like a mellow yellow indoors might scream neon outside. It's crucial to sample the colors you're considering in natural light and at different times of the day to make an informed decision.

Purchase sample pots and apply the paint to areas on different sides of your home. Observe and take note of how the color changes with the weather, the position of the sun, and the time of day.

Mistake 4: Forgetting About the Neighborhood Aesthetic

Although it's your home or business, it's also part of a larger environment. A hot pink house might be a personal statement, but if it clashes with the rest of the neighborhood, it can be an eyesore. Before committing to a color, take a look around to see what's typical for your area.

While you don't necessarily have to blend in completely, choosing a shade that complements the existing neighborhood aesthetic is generally a good idea. A professional painting service can also help guide you on color tones that work well within the local style.

Mistake 5: Neglecting to Prepare the Surface Properly

Paint adheres best to clean, dry surfaces. Skipping important prep work such as power washing the walls, repairing cracks, sanding, and priming can lead to paint failure down the line. Paint that goes onto a dirty or damp surface won't last as long or look as good as it would on a properly prepared one.

Invest the time and effort into preparing the exterior thoroughly before painting. It's a critical step that will ensure your new paint job looks its best and lasts as long as advertised.

Mistake 6: Overlooking the Sheen Level

The sheen level you choose can drastically alter the way the paint appears and performs. High gloss paints reflect light and can highlight imperfections, while flat paints absorb light and can look chalky or dull over time. Semi-gloss and satin finishes balance the need for a durable, washable surface with a muted appearance that doesn't draw too much attention to surface texture.

Consider the condition of your exterior surfaces, the look you want to achieve, and the maintenance requirements when selecting the sheen level.

Mistake 7: Disregarding the Significance of Color Psychology

Color has a profound psychological impact and can influence how people feel about a space, sometimes without them even realizing it. Greens and blues can have a calming effect, while reds and oranges can be energizing. The wrong color choice for your business could send a mixed message to your customers, while the wrong choice for a home could create a less inviting atmosphere.

Think about the purpose of the space and the mood you want to convey. Do some research on color psychology to help inform your decision.

Mistake 8: Ignoring the Existing Exterior Elements

The color you choose should work with, not against, the existing features of your building. The hue should complement the roof, landscaping, and any permanent fixtures. In some cases, you may even need to adjust the plan for these elements to harmonize with the new paint job.

Ensure that your color choice creates a cohesive look that ties all exterior components together in a visually appealing way.

Mistake 9: Failing to Account for Longevity and Maintenance

Painting an exterior is a significant investment of both time and money, so you'll want the results to last. Longevity often comes down to choosing a quality paint, but maintenance habits can play a role as well. Regular washing and touch-ups when necessary can extend the life of your exterior paint by several years.

Be realistic about the care the new paint job will require and factor that into your decision making process. A lower maintenance color may be worth the slightly higher upfront cost.

Mistake 10: Going It Alone Without Expert Advice

Finally, one of the most common and costly mistakes is to tackle an exterior paint job without professional guidance or assistance. Painting the exterior of a building is a significant project with many variables that can be quite overwhelming. It's invaluable to seek the advice of a professional painter who can recommend the right products, colors, and application techniques, saving you time and ensuring a high-quality result.


If you're in the market for commercial painting in Orlando, FL, it's time to reach out to the experts. Lakestone Painting offers comprehensive painting services for commercial properties and can help you avoid the mistakes that so often lead to dissatisfaction with an exterior painting project. Contact us today for a free consultation and take the first step toward a stunning and durable new exterior. Remember, the right paint job can be the crowning glory of your property – make sure you choose wisely.

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