Matching Your Garage Door to Your Home: 5 Tips for a Balanced Exterior Color Palette

Posted on July 6, 2016 In Residential Garage Door

5 tips for a balanced exterior image

Though often overlooked, the garage door plays a vital role in your home’s overall curb appeal. It’s important to choose a garage door that complements your home’s color palette without taking away from the rest of your exterior. Need help deciding on a garage door style? Find out which garage doors we recommend based on your home’s architectural style.

Though your home’s color scheme may appear to be easy to match, some consideration must be given when purchasing a new garage door to ensure your exterior look is balanced. Read on to learn our tips for matching your garage door to your home.

1 | Commit to one neutral palette

The general rule of thumb for selecting an exterior color scheme is to limit your palette to 3 colors: a dominant color, an accent color, and a trim color.

Most color families are considered “warm” or “cool.” Similar to how you don’t wear grey socks with a brown belt, it makes sense to use one neutral color to unify your palette. Even greys and whites have subtle undertones that can clash if mixed discordantly. If you decide on a cool grey color for your trim, for example, you should choose a cool hue for your garage door as well.

2 | Keep the style of your metal accents consistent 

Choose a style for your hardware and other metal accents, and stick with it. It’s not enough to decide to use only brass or steel – the metals themselves can be brushed, lacquered, or polished, producing a wide array of textures and tones. If you decide to add exterior hardware to your garage door, ensure it is congruous to the other metal accents on your home.

It’s also important for you to determine if your home is best suited for angular, bold, curved, old-fashioned, modern, or ornate hardware. Examine the general characteristics of the hardware on your front door, and use your best judgement to select matching pieces for your garage.

Different eras and architectural styles are characterized by different types of hardware. Do your best to select accents that are of the same style. Every piece does not necessarily have to be marketed as a specific style or period; you will be able to choose for yourself after getting acquainted with what’s available. 

3 | Field-test your color choice before committing

We’ve all experienced the discontent of purchasing something in a store then realizing it looks completely different in your home. Varying ambient lighting can completely alter the appearance of colors – the lighting in your C.H.I. Dealer’s showroom, for instance, could make it seem like a particular color would match your home, yet appear off when inspected in the daylight. Matching colors from the web is also unreliable, as different monitors display different tones.

The light outside your home also varies throughout the day – your home looks different at the first light of dawn than it does in the middle of a sunny day or under the glow of streetlights. Order color samples or ask your dealer if you can take home some of their paint swatches. Do a side-by-side visual examination of the colors throughout the day, in the naturally-occurring light outside your home.

4 | Make a record of every color, metal, and finish on your home

Your future self will thank you for keeping track of every color, metal, and finish you’ve added to your home. Whether it be a simple handwritten list or a detailed spreadsheet, a record of all of the updates and investments you’ve made will save you time and money when it comes time to look up specific information.

Tech-savvy people may wish to start an Excel file or make a folder in their personal organizer to keep track of paint colors, plant varieties, hardware sources, etc. Keep this file stored with your other homeowners’ records like appliance manuals and warranty certificates. When it’s time to repaint, the exact same garage door colors can be easily purchased again.

5 | Ask the experts for support

Paint manufacturers have designed an endless array of coordinated color palates to make choosing color schemes simple for homeowners. There’s nothing wrong with using color schemes from the store or those published in home magazines. If you’re a little more confident, select a swatch of patterned fabric that inspires you and ask the paint counter to help you match them. If you can hire a pro, be selective and make sure the designer you choose understands your vision.

Garage door panels are available in a huge selection of colors and finishes, so it is also possible to match it to the colors of your existing roof, siding, window trim, etc. Many people order the panels they like best with the home’s main color, then, if necessary, repaint the trim to complement it.

Need something a little more visual? Take a look at our Residential Buyers Guide and see all of the different possibilities.