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Choosing colours for exterior walls

For many people, the most difficult job of all is to choose exterior paint colours, as it is hard to visualize large expanses of colour based only on small samples in colour cards.

You can compare different hues at your Tikkurila retailer, or with the Tikkurila Colour Planner program on the website. Try out your final choices by painting some pieces of wood first and examining them in their natural surroundings.

Choosing exterior colours
When selecting exterior colours, the colour sample should be examined in an upright position in natural outdoor light. We recommend painting a test surface of one square metre. Often, the colour sample looks both lighter and bluer outdoors than indoors.


Colours always appear lighter and clearer on large surfaces when surrounded by strong natural colours, rather than as small samples mounted on a white colour card. Choose more muted and darker hues from the colour card than you had imagined – in this way, the result is more likely to meet your expectations. Colours seem different when seen either close-up or from afar.
Whatever their hue, dark colours seem to blend in more with the surrounding nature than do bright colours that clearly stand out. In open and sunny places, buildings appear to have lighter shades, whereas darker hues usually seem better when seen at the edge of a gloomy forest, for example.

The time of day, the weather, and the ever-changing seasons affect the way in which we see colour. The golden tones of autumn, winter snow, the fresh green of spring and summer’s rich hues all create a different ambience for appreciating the hues you have chosen.

The environment both influences and limits the suitability of colour – is the building in question located in an urban or rural area, in a field or in the middle of the forest, or by a lake? In urban areas, local planning authorities restrict the variety of colours in order to ensure a harmonious environment. If you intend to alter your exterior colours radically, contact your local planning authority first. Study your local surroundings with an open mind and seek out new ideas and colours from both nature and ready-to-use colour schemes. Think about how the colours you choose harmonize with the style of the building.

Test your colour choices first on separate pieces of wood, to ensure that the hues are correct. When applying translucent finishes, remember that the underlying shade of wood and its quality affect the final colouring. Opaque Pika-Teho and translucent Valtti Color paints are available for testing in small 0.225 litre cans.