3. Invest in samples! Head over to your local paint store with your inspiration photos in tow and the names of any paint colors you have seen mentioned on Pinterest. Invest in a few samples for main house color, trim, and shutters. It will pay off in the long run when you don't want to repaint because the color of your house is not what you really wanted. I would suggest three main color samples, two trim samples, and up to four shutter samples. Any more than that and you've spent a fortune on samples and you just might confuse yourself. Paint the samples right on your house to compare.
4. View the samples at different times during the day. Paint colors can skew differently depending on the angle and amount of sunlight. Be sure to view your choices in the morning and afternoon light. One of our top choices ended up skewing really yellow during afternoon light and that, my friends, is NOT what I was going for (creamy yellow house just makes banjos music play in my head).
5. Consider contrast. Exterior paint does look best with a good amount of contrast or difference between light and dark tones. Keep in mind the scale of your casa when considering contrast. If you have many details on the exterior of your home (tons of windows, trim pieces that are oversized or close together), keep in mind that high contrast will make each and every detail stand out. If you like a more uniform look, (check out your inspiration photos to know for sure) go for less contrast in your choices. If your home is pretty simple with few details, pack a punch with higher contrast between your main, trim and shutter colors.
6. Be confident in your choice. After you make your final decision, be confident that you did all of your homework and be proud of your choice.
In the end, we went with a cream tone for the main color choice that skewed a little gray, a light trim to blend with our white windows (they're vinyl so no painting those!), and an off-black shutter tone. All colors are mixes of a couple colors found at Sherwin Williams. Sidenote: I love their paint and how they give you the option of modifying colors on their palette. They can take a percentage of a color or mix colors to get what you really want. Just find a patient, friendly associate at your local store. They also store your paint mix combination in their computer system so if you ever run out or need to repaint it is a quick and easy reference. SW also has paint sales (up to 40% off!) regularly so getting on the e-mail list isn't a bad idea.
Oh and I'd love to hear your thoughts...a bright color for the front door or should we paint it the same off-black color as the shutters? Decisions, decisions.