North, East, South, West – Which EXTERIOR Paint Colour is the Best? And while I’ve talked EXTENSIVELY about how exposure can affect your interior paint colour picking, I haven’t dived into the deep end of the pool on exteriors…but today, we’re going swimming, and with reference to OTHER type of exposure – we’re skinny dipping. Exposure (for painting purposes) refers to the orientation of the FRONT of your home and how that relates to the direction of the sun.
There are ALWAYS exceptions, of course, like unique homes with more modest fronts and more impressive backsides (sounds like a description of me), but generally speaking, orientation refers to the front of the home. And the reality is that SOMETIMES, you can’t make all 4 exposures, AS WELL AS your stone, brick, roof AND yourself 100% happy. No, but you may need to prioritize things, so here are some tips for figuring out which side of your home matters the most.
Which side affects YOU the most (ie: you don’t have much road and spend a lot of time in the backyard, not the front – in which case, you might focus on the back Well, as you saw in the last example, a single paint colour can look DRASTICALLY different from one side of your home to the other, based on the type and quality of light they’re getting.
Bust out your Boy Scout toolkit and use a compass Use your phone (a how-to for i-phones HERE / looks like it’s an APP to download for Blackberry users)
And if all else fails – just look out the windows on what you’ve decided is the most IMPORTANT side of your home and think… You live with me on beautiful Vancouver Island…or you’re north-facing (and I love my island in all of its rainy glory!) Of course, there are also MIXED exposures, overhanging trees and shrubs, but seriously, I can only cover so many things in one blog post.
In this case, exposure will play LESS of a part in your paint process as the trees will limit the amount/quality of light you get. BTW – Keep in mind that I don’t remember the exposure of ALL of these projects, I’m just going off the photos for reference. Paint Colours on a Home with North-Facing Light (Northern Exposure)
Shady is when you pour me four ounces of wine when I asked for six, or when there isn’t any direct natural sunshine. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have an overall ‘gray cast’ that’s created by the lack of it. The gray north-facing light will subdue warm colours, flattening them out a bit
With north-facing light being that bit heavier, you’ll want to pay attention to the LRV that you choose so that your house doesn’t look TOO dark. Paint Colours on a Home with South-Facing Light (Southern Exposure)
The above home belongs to an E-Design client of mine, House of Blue Hues – Jenn is CRAZY talented!
The shutters look a wink greener (that’s the undertone) compared to the more greige/taupe in the bottom photo
In the mid-morning and mid-afternoon, you’ll hit the magic spot of southern light where it’s bright and warm With south-facing light being brighter, you’ll want to pay attention to the LRV that you choose, so that your house doesn’t look too washed-out.
Paint Colours on a Home with East-Facing Light (Eastern Exposure) East and west-facing exposures are the redheaded step-children to north and south-facing homes.
They’re unpredictable and UNDENIABLY the trickiest lights to pick paint colours for.
Not necessarily WARM, but not cold – it’s more of a soft clean light that can sometimes wash colours out a wink. East-facing morning light is bright and will make paint colours look MUCH lighter than they will in the afternoon Read more: Sherwin Williams 10 Best Gray and Greige Paint Colours
Paint Colours on a Home with West-Facing Light (Western Exposure) This next home is a good example of what looks like western afternoon light, along with some shade from trees. will cast an almost orangey-golden glow in those later hours West-facing afternoon light will LIGHTEN and BRIGHTEN colours, so be prepared to see your house look like a different colour – same IDEA, but a good two tones lighter and MUCH warmer looking as well
Western light will cast SUPER long shadows on your home With west-facing light being so unpredictable, you’ll want to pay attention to the LRV that you choose.