Repainting the outside of your home can be a lofty project to take on, which is why it’s a good idea to always consult with a professional first. Without the proper knowledge about what factors you should consider, you may accidentally choose a paint that won’t hold up or that doesn’t look exactly how you’d envisioned it to. Read on for five tips for picking exterior paint that will help you achieve the best results.

DON’T BUY THE CHEAPEST PRODUCT

Although the cheapest paint may seem like an unbeatable bargain that you can’t turn down, it may not have pigments and binders that will hold up against the test of time and weather. That’s why you should always invest in exterior paint that contains premium ingredients—it’s the best investment in the long-run. After all, exterior painting can be a costly project to take on, so it’s important to get it done correctly the first time around.

CONSIDER PERMANENT SURROUNDING MATERIALS

While choosing the new paint color for the outside of your home, it’s important to consider any permanent surrounding fixtures, such as brick columns or patio furniture. This will allow you to coordinate colors for the most aesthetically pleasing results. A great rule-of-thumb is to choose contrasting colors. For example, for warm red brick, you can pair a neutral color with cool gray-blue undertones or colors opposite in temperature.

USE COLOR-COORDINATION TECHNOLOGY

At all of your local paint distribution stores, you’ll likely find a machine that can color match and help you coordinate a scheme for the exterior of your home. That way, you can take swatches home and test them out to narrow down your options. There are also several online tools offered by paint companies that allow you to experiment with different color selections.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE TRIM

During the overwhelming process of planning to paint the exterior of your home, it’s important to consider all of the details, including the trim! You can choose a trim paint color that will either blend in or contrast with the exterior paint, completing the complete vision for your home and offering a true transformation. When you try a trim color that’s a few shades lighter than the exterior color, you can offer a subtle and elegant highlight.

FIRST SWATCHES, THEN TESTERS

Throughout the planning process, it’s a good idea to start small, narrow your options, and then work your way up to test the paint on the actual exterior of your home. Once you have a couple of paint colors that you’d like to test out, you can place small testing areas on the outside of your home and visit them throughout the day to get an idea of what the color will look like as the sun hits it.

Don’t forget that your best resource for choosing exterior paint is your professional residential painter. They have an abundance of first-hand knowledge that will make sure that you make the best choices the first time around.