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Habitat plus - create a superior exterior

Creating a scheme for the outside of your home is often harder than doing the same job on the inside.

For a start, there’s a lot of cladding, acres of roof, and fiddly bits to trip you up. Then you’re up against our strong light quality which means colours can look very different than they do on the paint charts when you’re sitting indoors. Often the style of your home will dictate the types of Resene exterior colours you use: heritage tones for a villa, soft gelato shades for an Art Deco stucco cottage or brooding black for a contemporary masterpiece. There are a surprising number of exterior features to consider when compiling a colour scheme. There’s obviously the largest component – the main cladding material, which in itself can be split into various zones. Then there are the windows (again, these can become the site for various colours, especially with older homes like villas). The roof is a large surface area and often overlooked as having an important impact on the scheme. Always keep in mind, the steeper the pitch of the roof, the more of it will be visible.

Top tip:

A tried-and-true method for developing a colour scheme centres on three or four colours – one for the main body of the house, another for the trims and another for the roof. The fourth is an accent colour to create a striking front door. Fences can then be painted in either the main or trim colour.

Exterior Resene Half Thorndon Cream and Resene Blue Chalk
Exterior fence Resene Apple Green Bottom and Resene Trojan
Top Left: Resene Half Thorndon Cream Top Right: Resene Blue Chalk
Bottom Left: Resene Apple Green Bottom Right: Resene Trojan

For inspiration

If your house is an older character home, check out the Resene Heritage colour palette for colour inspiration. It also has a short but interesting look back at the typical styles of older homes in this country.

Always test your colour with a Resene testpot, as colours change depending on what they are painted onto and the quality of the light. Colours usually look much lighter outdoors. They also change if you put them beside other colours: a grey roof makes green walls look fresher, and a high-gloss finish (rather than a low-sheen finish) renders a colour brighter. Contrasts make a colour scheme more interesting, but make sure you only highlight details if they deserve the focus. A bright red front door, yes, but maybe not an old garden shed.

Soft mushroom shades have been fashionable, but there’s a move towards cleaner colours with greyer bases. Or you might tip those grey tones over into slatey blues like Resene El Nino – these sorts of colours always look great in a country like ours, surrounded by sea and with our clear blue skies.

Is black the new white?

In recent years black exteriors have become popular but they may not always be technically suitable. Dark colours absorb more of the sun’s heat and can put stress on the cladding. With any darker colour, consider using the Resene CoolColour™ range, formulated with special pigment technology to reflect more of the sun’s energy. This helps to keep the coating and substrate cooler, reducing the likelihood of heat damage such as warping.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.