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How to Choose the Right Paint Color For Your Multi-Family Property

By April 25, 2018Blake Truline
multi family exterior painting san diego

Make Your Multi-Family Building Stand Out!

Looking for some advice on how to pick the right paint color for your multi-family or apartment building?

Did you know choosing the right color can:

  • Increase curb appeal
  • Keep current residents longer
  • Drive prospective tenants to your leasing office, filling vacancies quicker
  • Increase your properties value and ultimately the return on investment (ROI)
  • Make your property stand out amongst competitors

With a myriad of color choices out there, trying to find the right choice can be difficult. A recent poll on Houzz showed that more than 30% of property owners decided not to paint their building because they felt overwhelmed by the color choices.

There must be a more straightforward solution.

I believe you should start with some primary considerations that will make this process simple and straightforward. Multi-family exterior painting doesn’t need to be difficult!

Let’s take a more in-depth look.

Define Your "Color Goals"

goal setting I recommend that you take out a piece of paper and write down your top 3 goals in painting your multi-family building. You’ll learn a lot from this brief exercise.

You may have included things like

  • Increase my property value
  • Stay updated with current color trends
  • Better match my properties external features (roof, parking lot, landscape, etc…)
  • Attract new demographics
  • Stand out amongst my competitors

Each of these goals is an excellent jumping off point in your color exploration.

Building Type

multi family exterior painting san diegoYou’ll want to make sure you stay realistic with your property-type. If you have a traditional low-rise apartment building, you can go for a more urban pallet. If you own a modern high-rise, it may require a more sophisticated pallet. Remember that it’s ok to take inspiration from other buildings in your area.

Your buildings architecture is also a significant element to start with. Start with your existing roof color and building trim and try to build a pallet around it. Often this is a great way to save time and money.

Consider the Surface that Will be Painted

Multi-Family Exterior Painting TruLine Painting San Diego

Photo Courtesy of JC Backings

Are the buildings surface wood? Brick? Masonite? Vinyl? Aluminum? This should be one of the first things you consider. You will need to choose the proper color to enhance that surface and avoid deterioration of the paint over time.

Remember, the same paint color will not look the same on different surfaces.

Consider External Elements

Multi-Family Exterior Painting Landscape–  Factor in things like landscaping when choosing the right color pallet. You want to make sure that the colors complement your landscape rather than clash. Your goal should be to create a harmonious appearance.

–  If you have bright colored flowers, you may want to go for a more neutral exterior paint pallet. This will give your landscape an added pop and draw attention to your building.

–  If your landscape is more neutral, you could have the opportunity to get bolder with your exterior paint pallet.

–  The roof, parking areas, and all other areas not painted should be considered. Your goal is to create harmony amongst the areas.

–  If you have a building exterior that is partial stone, try to find a color that will enhance this feature.

–  For brick exteriors, I recommend either painting the brick (depending on its condition) or choosing a scheme that will complement the existing brick color.

Consider Your Neighborhood and Demographic

Urban Apartment Neighborhood–  Are you in a historic area that is predominantly brick? Or maybe in a trendier urban area with concrete? You want to make sure you pick colors that will compliment your surrounding buildings.

–  If your goal is to stand out in the neighborhood, be sure to consider your intentions. A tasteful color pop can prove to be very useful, but remember that if it’s too out of context, your building might be talked about for the wrong reasons. Remember to consider the people that are living in this building. It’s essential to choose a color that an average resident would find aesthetically pleasing.

–  Identify who your target resident would be. This can be a great starter for where you should take your color search. A more neutral and sophisticated color pallet would be ideal for an upscale building that is oriented towards an older or more affluent resident, while a bright pallet may be suitable for millennials.

Now that you’ve considered several factors, it’s time to look at color. If you haven’t already, check out our last blog post on the top Multi-Family Color Trends of 2018. This is an excellent jumping off point for gathering ideas.

Sherwin-Williams Color Snap Visualizer

Sherwin-Williams Color Snap VisualizerAfter you’ve weighed several factors and looked at different pallets, it’s time to see it in action. If you’ve ever been to a paint store before, you know it can be overwhelming looking at dozens of paint cards and trying to visualize what it would look like on your property.

Did you know Sherwin-Williams offers a free tool that lets you see what each color and pallet would look like?

All you need to do is upload an exterior photo of your property, and then you can mix and match with different combinations. This is a risk-free way to see multiple options quickly and easily.

Click here to check it out!

Contact Us For Color Expertise

Did you know TruLine offers color consulting services? As San Diego’s premier painting company with over 25 years of industry experience, our team of professionals will guide you through every step of the way. We have extensive experience in both commercial and residential projects and will help you find the perfect color for your property.

Included in every paint job is a free one-hour color consultation. 

Give us a call today and let us show you why we’re a “cut above the rest”.

If you have any other tips or thoughts on choosing the right color, or multi-family exterior painting in general, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

Our painting contractor blog is designed to give you the latest and best painting tips. Don’t hesitate to suggest any future topics!

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Blake Imperl

Author Blake Imperl

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Kathy Bateman says:

    Great article, Blake! I think that these factors are often more important to consider than people give them credit for. I just repainted a building in North Park and I took a lot of time analyzing my neighborhood and demographic before deciding on the right color.

  • Thanks for these tips for picking a good color for a multi-family building. I appreciate that you mentioned it can be good to look at other buildings in your area for inspiration. This seems useful if you also want to make sure your home will fit in with the other homes.

  • That’s a good idea to chose colors that would compliment the surrounding buildings. I would think that if the color that you chose clashes with the other buildings that it would not look as good. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I decide to have my house repainted.

  • Braden Bills says:

    I want to have my multi-family home painted properly. It makes sense that I would want to choose a color that will make it stand out! I’ll be sure that it looks good, too. It would be best to get a professional to paint it on for me. That way, I can ensure that it ends up looking good.

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