7 questions to ask yourself before painting your house black

Painting the exterior of your home black can look pretty dramatic – and it is – but black is actually a neutral and hard worker. “If your home lacks architecture or character, black can make it more interesting,” says Brian Patrick Flynn, interior designer and host of HGTV. “If it’s rich in detail, black will bring out those details.” As Los Angeles and Miami-based designer Travis London, who is about to launch his own paint line, says, a black exterior can breathe new life into an old house. This is one of the reasons Miley Cyrus chose black for her 1950s clapboard house in Southern California. But you don’t have to be a professional (or a pop star) to be successful. We asked a few experts what to think about before going to the dark side.

Where do I start?

There are two decisions to make first, says Flynn. “Either you paint every surface the same shade of black – the sides, the doors, the trim – or, if you’re more nervous, you can choose to paint the sides in charcoal, but the trim and the door in black.” He said. . “The eye goes to the door and cuts it first, so it ends up having the same effect as if you had gone all black, but without having to dive in all the way.” “

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Are all blacks the same?

They are not. Blacks come in different hues with subtle undertones that will impact the end result. “Warm black with undertones of red will create a very different look and feel than cool black with undertones of inky blue,” says Melissa Lee, founder and chief creative officer of the New York-based design firm. Bespoke Only, who recently used Benjamin Moore’s Soot on a solarium in a Connecticut country house. Depending on the strength and direction of the sun on your home, or the influence of trees or landscaping, a black could actually read purple, brown, or gray.

Flynn suggests painting a few different swatches – three or four – on the front of the house as well as on the brightest area. “And then check your samples three times a day: in the morning, at noon, and right after sunset,” he says, noting that among his several favorite shades of black, Sherwin Williams’ Tricorn Black is his choice for one. greater versatility. , no matter the light.

What will the neighbors think of it?

“Neighbors are always offended by anything, but if you honor the architecture and the setting, you can’t go wrong,” says Boston designer Sarah Trumbore. (Or as London says, “Who cares?”) The only settings Flynn thinks black might be inappropriate for are “remarkably hot places like the desert or, like, Florida,” he says. “But if you live in a city, even if all the houses are close together, or in a wooded area, the black can look amazing in the mix. Last summer, I painted a house black in Portland, Maine, and it stood out so much that some neighbors did too.

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