This post is sponsored by Fiverr. All opinions are my own.
Yep, it’s summer in the U.S. alright when every other house you seen is getting scraped down for a paint job. Painting the exterior of your house is a BIG commitment. Not only does it cost a bundle, but you’re probably not going to repaint for another 5-8 years if you get your colors wrong. So if you make a mistake, you’ll be staring at it, day-in, day-out, for quite some time.
So I’m here today with a nifty little low-cost way to help you determine your exterior house colors before you take the big plunge — having your home photoshopped into your potential colors with Fiverr.
Regret-Proof Your Exterior Paint Colors with Fiverr
Fiverr is an international network of independent freelancers in all sorts of creative & business fields — graphic design, social media marketing, music & podcast editing, tech, photo editing … you name it. Each specialist sets his/her own price for various gigs, starting at $5 (hence, the name of the company!) Jobs are usually turned around in 1-5 days.
Especially if I was suggesting something that was different than the homeowners’ original concept.
HUGE CAVEAT: Photoshopping an image of your home will NOT help you if you are trying to choose between colors that are very similar to each other.
For example, between shades of white. Photoshopping your exterior will NOT pick up on subtle undertones & how they play with the other elements of your home. If you need help with that, hire a professional color consultant to come up with a couple of schemes for you and THEN have them photoshopped on your house. It won’t be exact, but it will help you if you’re waffling between different schemes.
Phew! Glad I got that said. Now onto the fun stuff!
Seeing is believing in the world of design. (See this post about how I use renderings to give clients confidence in our interior design vision!) So, if you’re trying to choose between 2-3 color combinations for your exterior, having an image of your home photoshopped through Fiverr into your preferred colors is a fabulous and really cost-efficient way to help you decide!
Paint Schemes for My Historical House
We’ve been patching our paint job for years, and last year it finally popped! We can’t wait any longer. It’s time to repaint… which gives me an opportunity to change our exterior color combo!
We also need a new roof, but that has to wait.
Our house is a lovely yellow, chosen by the previous owner. Yellow is such a friendly color, don’t you think? And I have to admit that both Things 1 & 2 are rebelling at the thought of changing the color they’ve known for the last 9 years. However, I want to change it, and they’ll just have to deal.
Let’s back up a bit. When choosing an exterior color scheme, you should always keep in mind a few key considerations:
- The architecture of your home.
- The surrounding neighborhood.
- Any architectural or building elements — like brick, stone, roof color, etc.
Architecture: The oldest pictures we have of our 1790 house show that it was white. Check.
Surrounding neighborhood: Apparently, ALL the houses in our village used to be white. Check.
Funny story. We were told by our realtor that, many years ago when one couple decided to paint their home a mid-tone blue (actually, a perfectly appropriate color for their earlier, Georgian style saltbox), a number of long-term residents knocked on their door and raised their objections for the break with tradition! Since then, many houses have gone rogue (including past owners of our yellow house!), so I think we’re safe no matter what we choose.
Architectural building elements: The biggest thing I need to consider is our roof — which is very dark gray. Even when we eventually get a new one, I intend to keep the color roughly the same. So I’ll be finding colors the undertones of which work with the roof.
I actually have always wanted to return our house to a white scheme. I know, I know. With Joanna Gaines & Studio McGee, a white house seems actually seems kinda trendy now, doesn’t it?
However, I have DO history on my side. During the early American and Georgian periods (before 1790), many New England homes were painted richer colors. Our house was built either in 1790 or 1795 (there’s some dispute as to the date in the village historical society files), just as America entered the Federal architectural period. And while it really was a working farmhouse, the builders tried to put in a few more formal details favored by the Federalists — interior trim work, front door, etc., slightly higher ceilings, larger windows.
During the Federal architectural period, lighter exterior colors were favored — whites, creams, pale grays. Shutters were usually dark green or black.
This is a great article on general colors schemes for historic houses.
So, if I want to look like the original house (or like many other beautiful houses in my village) I would choose a white body color and black or evergreen shutters. End of story. Done.
Fresh Twists on White Farmhouses
I’m a friggin’ decorator, right? I LOVE historically inspired, but I don’t necessarily feel like being historically ACCURATE. Not with my own home, anyway.
I like to put my own twist on things — including white!
Check out the twists these other designers have put on historic white houses!
Eggplant door alert! OK, the above is one of my favorite historic house tours EVER. An inspiration for my home. It belongs to famous lamp-maker Christopher Spitzmiller and decorator Sam Allen. (Chris’ lamps costs $$$$$$. They are works of art. But he has a more affordable line for Visual Comfort that are still drool-worthy.)
Blueberry shutters & red sashes! Katie Ridder & Peter Pennoyer’s amazing home. The book giving you every little detail of the interiors is one I go back to time and time again. They are artists.
Sky blue shutters & red door. I know this is more of a low-country style home (with a second floor), but I think it could work with my Federal.
Painting the Barn a Different Color
And then we have the converted-barn garage. In my head, I’ve always seen it in a deep red. My house just seemed to be asking for it.
Check out this article about why barns are often painted red.
But barns can be painted lots of colors. One of the white houses with green shutters in our village (SUPER traditional, right?) has a sunny yellow barn and it’s fabulous!
Some colorful barn inspiration!
Sooooo much good inspiration out there. But every house is different. How can you KNOW that the colors you choose will look good on your particular house?
Visualizing MY Exterior Color Combos
I came up with 3 potential paint schemes. For the purposes of this post, I sent them & my original house images to 3 Fiverr sellers advertising exterior house photoshop gigs, to see how the quality of work potentially differed.
There are more sellers who do exterior house photoshopping, but for this project I used (and can highly recommend) the following 3:
Every Fiverr seller sets the price/deliverables a little differently, but overall each gig cost between $40-$60 for 3-6 images.
When you work with a Fiverr seller, English may not be his/her first language. You need to be very specific about where you want your paint applied. I always provide very clear written directions. Although, in the past, I have also notated the original images with text showing where I want each color, this time I created a quick Loom video (you can make up to 5 minute screen-share videos for FREE!) talking through my color placement while using the cursor to point exactly where I wanted it. Took 2 minutes and worked like a charm. All 3 sellers said my instructions were super clear.
You’re welcome to watch my little video here to give you an idea of how I explained what I wanted done.
Help Me Decide!!!
Now for the tough part — which color scheme should I choose???? Which would YOU choose?
Last summer I took a break from blogging for July & August to spend more time with my fam, and I’ll be doing that again this year. HOWEVER, I’m planning on writing a weekly email with design highlights I’ve noticed from the week, as well as guiding new readers through valuable older content that might be hard to find.
- an exterior paint update
- some more “historically-inspired” exterior work we have to do (before the paint job)
- a post on wood stains
- a new project reveal …
- and reopening enrollment for the Fall 2021 session of The Home Glow Method.