How to Spruce Up a Plain White House Exterior


Curb appeal is very important to setting the stage for how a home feels. A home is set in an environment, and a well-designed exterior should be both inviting and friendly. You want your home to invite visitors to drop by and stay awhile. To accomplish this, it is often necessary to take a hard look at the exterior of your house. Is your house all white because you were afraid to select a color for the siding? This problem can be resolved easily with a little bit of color.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Photocopies
  • Colored pencils
  • Paint
  • Shutters
  • Flower boxes
  • Large potted plants
  • Take photographs of your house.

  • Make several photocopies of the photographs. Enlarge the photographs at a photocopy store until they are as large as will fit on the paper.

  • Draw ideas on a photocopy. Add colored shutters, flower boxes under windows or large potted plants on a porch or stoop. It is easy to add these types of elements to your house, and they will add seasonal color to the home quickly.

  • Color a photocopy to show what your house would look like if the trim and front door colors were changed. Add a line of color around the windows and repaint a porch on the copy. Be bold. Color pencils are very forgiving. The idea is to begin to see your home with different eyes, to see the opportunities for adding color elements while leaving the body of the house white. Classic colors might be black shutters and door or a wine red, forest green or deep blue door. An accent color is just an accent. Playing with different colors and different options quickly changes the appearance of your home, and it is likely that you will begin to favor certain changes.

  • Test your ideas on your house. Take your favorite test drawings to a paint store and mix up sample quarts to take home. Paint 1 or 2 feet around a window or along the edge of your house. Let it dry overnight, and see how it looks the next day.

  • Install new shutters.

  • Paint the trim and front door. The trim includes framing around windows and the front door as well as roof trim and the eaves. Add a strong accent color to the front door.

  • Hang flower boxes that burst with fresh flowers under windows.

  • Add a few large pots to the porch.

Tips & Warnings

  • The most difficult part of sprucing up a plain white house is dabbing that first blot of colored paint onto the house. For some reason, it feels like house paint is precious when really it's just paint. If you hate one color later, it just takes another dab of paint to change it.

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