Remodeling Our Farmhouse: Choosing Exterior Paint

Posted September 16, 2017 in Real Estate Trends

Krista Cunningham, Clark County WA real estate agent

I have long been searching for the perfect color to use on the exterior of our farmhouse. While there is nothing more authentic for a farmhouse than a warm white paint, the anxiety of my OCD need for clean overruled. I tried to like blues and greens, which are common in the Pacific Northwest countryside, but I kept coming back to gray. Gray was the original color my grandparents painted the house in the 1940s. Also, thinking of possible energy efficiency, a lighter color could reflect more sunlight than darker colors. We want our house to be as energy efficient as possible, since it will be our forever home that we will pass on to our grandchildren.

My paint research started where all things start, Pinterest. Then I moved on to purchasing a zillion quart size paint samples. I tried twelve shades of gray on the back of the house and analyzed it for over a year before making any decisions. To my husband’s dismay, there are umpteen shades of gray and so many tiny factors that needed to be considered. The biggest gray challenge for the farmhouse was to complement the black roof without making us look like Oakland Raiders fans. One Saturday morning, my daughter and I headed to the local paint store and I just went for it. I bought ten gallons of “Capricorn” by Frazee (Sherwin Williams) and had them darken it a bit. It’s always an option to darken or lighten your paint. If it’s the right shade but you want it bolder or less bold, you can ask your painter or paint store to darken or lighten it. Start with 25% darker or lighter and try it out.

Then on two sides of our home we have daylight basement concrete foundation showing, so we painted that “Peppercorn” by Sherwin Williams. And for the window trim, gorgeous plain white made the gray pop. Then for the icing on the (gray) cake, my friend Amy blessed us with a house number sign made out of the old wood from my great grandmother’s piano that we dismantled.

Now when I pull up at home after a long day at work I just sit there and smile. Next spring, window flower boxes!

Krista Cunningham
Marketing Guru for The Columbian and Sprout Digital