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What Color Should I Paint My House? Tips and Ideas from a Pro Painter in Sydney

As a trusted Sydney painter for 15+ years giving homes a fresh new look, this is a question I get asked all the time. Choosing a new paint color for your home’s exterior or interior can be an exciting yet daunting task. The color you pick can dramatically change the look and feel of a space.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the process of selecting a paint color for your home. I’ll share professional tips on choosing colors that work, recommend paint finishes, and cover common paint color mistakes to avoid. My goal is to ensure you end up with a home exterior or interior that looks fantastic and makes you smile each time you pull in the driveway or walk through your front door.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Paint Colors

Before picking up those paint swatches, here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Architectural Style of Your Home

The architectural style of your home will influence what colors work best. For traditional homes, more subdued hues like grays, tans, and blues are often ideal. For a craftsman bungalow, you’ll want colors accentuating the natural materials like stone and wood. Modern homes can handle bold, dramatic shades. Make sure to choose a color in keeping with the style of your house.

Amount of Natural Light

The amount of natural light a room gets will impact how paint colors appear. North-facing rooms with limited sunlight will benefit from lighter, brighter colors. South-facing rooms awash in sun can handle deeper, warmer hues without feeling too dark and cavelike. Paint a sample on the wall and view it at different times of day before deciding.

Existing Colors and Materials

Take note of existing interior colors and finishes like tile, countertops, and wood trim. You generally want your new paint color to complement existing elements rather than clashing. Neutral wall colors are ideal if you have lots of colorful materials you don’t intend to change.

Personal Preference

While trends come and go, choose a color you genuinely like rather than what’s on-trend. It’s your home, so make sure the color makes you happy! Go bold or neutral, light or dark—just pick what suits your personal style.

Which Paint Finishes Should I Use?

For home interiors, I recommend an eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss finish. They’re all durable, scrubbable options ideal for high-traffic living spaces.

For home exteriors, opt for a flat, satin, or semi-gloss exterior paint. Flat is best for disguising imperfections, while glossier finishes add vibrancy and are easy to clean.

Using the right primer helps paint adhere properly and last. For drastic color changes, tint the primer close to your new shade for optimal coverage. Talk to a paint expert about primers right for your surfaces.

Pro tip: For a smooth finish, always use a high-quality roller cover suited to your paint sheen and surface type. Don’t skimp on the roller—it makes a difference!

My Top Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Over the years painting hundreds of Sydney homes, I’ve settled on a proven process for choosing colors that never fails:

1. Determine your color family.

Decide if you want a warm (red, yellow, brown) or cool (blue, green, purple) dominant hue. Warm colors create cozy, inviting spaces. Cool colors feel more relaxing and airy. Your home’s architecture and the room’s purpose will guide this decision.

2. Select 2-3 colors in your chosen family.

Gather 2-3 paint color samples that catch your eye. Limit your choices to colors within the same family for a cohesive look. Bring the samples home and view under both natural and artificial light at different times of day.

3. Paint large sample swaths.

Paint 18”x18” sample swatches on your wall. You need a sizable area to properly judge a color. Apply samples of your top 2-3 choices and live with them for a few days before deciding.

4. Choose your shade.

Once you’ve lived with the large samples for a few days, you’ll likely have a clear winner. The right color looks great at all times of day. If you’re still undecided between two colors, you really can’t go wrong—go with your gut!

5. Repeat for all rooms.

Repeat this process for each room you intend to paint for a cohesive, purposeful color flow throughout your home’s interior.

Following this straightforward approach removes guesswork and leads to colors you’ll truly love living with in your home.

4 Common Paint Color Mistakes to Avoid

Through thousands of hours painting interior and exterior surfaces, I’ve seen clients make the same paint color mistakes again and again. Here are four common errors and how to steer clear of them:

Mistake: Choosing a color without sampling it first.

Solution: Always sample colors on your actual wall before fully committing.

Mistake: Selecting a color based on a tiny 2”x2” paint chip.

Solution: Paint larger 18″x18” samples to experience the true color.

Mistake: Picking trendy colors that don’t fit your home’s style.

Solution: Choose classic hues that align with your home’s architecture.

Mistake: Painting every room the same color.

Solution: Use different hues in each room that work together across a similar color family.

Avoid these missteps, and you’ll have a gorgeous, pulled-together interior or exterior color scheme you’ll enjoy for years.

Recommended Paint Color Palettes for Sydney Homes

Here are some of my go-to exterior and interior paint color combinations that look stunning on Sydney homes:

Exterior Color Schemes

  • Light gray with white trim
  • Sage green with cream trim
  • Tan with dark brown trim
  • Soft yellow with navy blue accents

Interior Color Palettes

  • Living room: Light blue gray, bedroom: Warm taupe, kitchen: White
  • Living room: Earthy green, bedroom: Light sand, kitchen: Medium blue
  • Living room: Beige, bedroom: Lavender gray, kitchen: Navy blue

These suggested palettes feature versatile hues guaranteed to give your home a spectacular makeover. The colors work beautifully together while adding nice contrast from room to room.

Frequently Asked Questions on Choosing Paint Colors

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I receive about selecting paint colors:

What are the current popular paint colors?

For exteriors, earthy natural hues like sages, olive greens, and warm grays are popular. For interiors, bright clean whites, light blues, and muted shades of green and gray are widely used right now.

How many paint colors should I use?

To avoid a disjointed look, stick with 2-4 colors total. One dominant shade for larger areas, and 1-3 colors for accents.

Should I just repaint my home the existing color?

If you’re still happy with the current colors, certainly you can refresh with the same shades. But if you’re craving a change, use it as a chance to try out new, modern hues or a more cohesive palette.

Should I avoid bold colors?

Not necessarily! The key is choosing the right bold shade for your architecture and interior design. On modern homes and in contemporary rooms, vibrant colors look fantastic.

Do light or dark colors make a room look bigger?

Light colors will make a space feel open and airy. Dark colors create cozy, intimate spaces. So light for the illusion of larger, dark for smaller.

Still have questions on selecting the perfect paint colors for your Sydney home? Reach out! I’m always happy to discuss paint and color selection in more detail to ensure you end up with colors you truly love.

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