Vinyl Siding and Trim Colours for Excellent Exterior Painting

exterior paintingDespite the fact that we’ve all been exposed to so many different colours since childhood, we sometimes still have trouble deciding on just the right one for the various items and structures around us very day. When you were in grade school, did it really matter that the dog in your colouring book was blue and the grass was orange? You let your imagination run free and enjoyed the result.

Not to suggest that when it comes to picking hues for your home’s vinyl siding and accompanying trim, you should just shut your eyes and arbitrarily spin the colour wheel.

The funny thing about colour, though, is that being compelled to select the “right” one seems to intimidate us, when there really isn’t anything to be scared of. Take a lesson from the child in you; loosen up your outlook and don’t be afraid to get somewhat experimental. We’ve all seen some truly unusual colour combinations that have strayed well outside the box and look awesome.

Exterior Painting Colours: Getting Started

The first thing to consider is the current colour scheme of your home. If you love it, then you can simply replicate it or go with something very similar. If it’s time for a change, however, and you want to start all over, or change the trim colour alone, do take into account the colour of your roof. Its colour certainly can’t be changed as readily, so keep in mind that whatever shades you choose for exterior painting must avoid clashing and be compatible with the “lid”!

Keep Your Home in “Fighting Trim” Shape

Black trim can look fantastic on a grey or sage green house. It’s complementary, but provides striking contrast at the side time, strongly defining doors, bay windows, railings and other trimmed features. Deep heritage tones such as brick red and deep blue are nicely set off by a lighter, contrasting shade of trim, showing off the home’s primary exterior colour to optimum effect.

If your home’s siding is a softer, warmer green (one containing a bit more yellow, for example), then cream and other off-white trims work wonderfully.  A cautionary note: stick to two to three different colours for the entire scheme. Any more than that and you house will start to look like a rainbow!

The Colour Genie Says… Your Wish is Your Desire!

exterior paintingGenerally speaking, a differing trim colour can create either a bold or subtle contrast with the siding colour. If you are looking at emphasizing the architectural detail and framework of your home, choose contrasting colours. Having trim and siding colours that are similar (or even identical) is ideal for blending architectural detail and the overall framework of your home.

If you feel that the architecture of your home speaks for itself and want to keep the exterior look quite subtle, consider having the vinyl siding and trim in the same palette, but using differing shades of the same colour.  How about a deep green exterior with considerably lighter trim, but in the same shade of green? This can also work well in the reverse, with the house shade being light and the trim a much deeper, darker version of the same colour.

Careful Exterior Painting Goes beyond Colour

The trim colour you go with can definitely bring a house from boring to beautiful. Vinyl siding is an understandably popular, highly weatherproof house cladding here in the often wet Pacific Northwest. When exterior painting is needed, it’s important to remember that an experienced professional painting company will be able to assess just the right kind of paint that your vinyl siding and trim will need. All surfaces have different characteristics, and one that works well on wood or stucco may not be the appropriate choice for vinyl. Having it done right the first time will save you headaches down the road. Now… the colours are up to you!


Vancouver painter and contractor Peter Byrne“PETER BYRNE is the owner and hands-on manager of Kassel Painting Limited. In the last two decades he has run over 1500 painting projects totaling millions of dollars. There is little that can go right (or wrong) on a job-site he has not seen, solved, and lived to talk about.”

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