9 Books to Help You Choose House Paint Colors

These books have colorful photos to help you choose paint for your house

Whether your home is new or old, the colors you choose will dramatize -- or disguise -- architectural details. How do you find a color combination that will bring out the best? Begin with these beautifully illustrated books.

Paint Color consultant Robert Schweitzer shows how to paint bungalow style homes in historically accurate color schemes. Arts and Crafts, Stickley Craftsman, and even Prairie styles are all explored. Published by Gibbs Smith, 2002, 192 pages.

Bonnie Rosser Krims Krims promotes herself as an architectural color consultant. Her book, subtitled A Foolproof Guide for Choosing Exterior Colors for Your Home, has gotten mixed reviews, but it just might be the right book for you.  Published by Quarry Books, 2002, 136 pages.

Since its publication in 2007, this 336 page book by interior designer Susan Hershman has received a ton of positive reviews. It might be because Hershman is trained in art and interior architecture and obviously knows her colors.

The "painted ladies" in the title refers to highly-colored Victorian houses, specifically a row of homes on Steiner Street in San Francisco, California. Subtitled The Ultimate Celebration of Our Victorians, this book by Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen and other titles in the Painted Ladies series include lavish photos of elaborately painted Victorians. Mind you, the colors may not be historically accurate, but they are dramatic and inspiring. Photos by Douglas Keister and the Painted Ladies Website tells all.

Benjamin Moore is a company that sells paint, but they want you to be happy about your purchase. Subtitled Inspiring Color Ideas And Expert Painting Advice, this 128-page book is as good as a 2003 paint catalog. Many people have had some success with Benjamin Moore exterior paint and some not-quite-as-good results. But if you know nothing, Benjamin Moore can get you started.

Better Homes and Gardens magazine was founded in 1922, at the height of America's love affair with the single-family home. Through the Great Depression and the mid-century Baby Boom, the company has been steadfast in providing helpful information about color, siding, roofing, windows, and curb appeal. Really now, who doesn't want a better home and garden?

Long-time Popular Mechanics writer Steven Willson has written about appliances, do-it-yourself projects, and now house trim. At 208 pages, this book, published in 2006 by Creative Homeowner, may not be a thorough treatment of the subject, but it does get us thinking about the styles of our homes.

This 1994 book edited by architectural historian Roger W. Moss, Jr. is not a how-to, but it's a fine lesson in American history. If you are interested in historic preservation, this hard-to-find book may answer many of your questions. At about 200 pages, the book is not intended to be a thorough treatment of all historic buildings—it does paint with a broad brush, so to speak. Originally published by Wiley, Paint in America may be too academic for the typical homeowner.

The Color Guide for the Interior & Exterior of Your Home by Amy Wax won't tell you what paint to buy, but it will guide you toward color combinations you may not have imagined.