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.

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Bungalow Colors: Exteriors

Bungalow on cover of book Bungalow Colors: Exteriors by Robert Schweitzer
Bungalow on cover of book Bungalow Colors: Exteriors by Robert Schweitzer. Cropped photo from book cover courtesy Amazon.com

Paint Color consultant Robert Schweitzer shows how to paint bungalow style homes in historically accurate color schemes. Published by Gibbs Smith, 2002, 192 pages. Buy from Amazon »

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The Perfectly Painted House

Section of book jacket from The Perfectly Painted House
Section of book jacket from The Perfectly Painted House. Cropped image courtesy Amazon.com

A Foolproof Guide for Choosing Exterior Colors for Your Home by Bonnie Rosser Krims has gotten mixed reviews, but it just might be the right book for you. Published by Quarry Books, 2002, 136 pages. Buy from Amazon »

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House Colors: Exterior Color by Style of Architecture

Part of book cover of House Colors, Exterior color by style of architecture, by Susan Hershman
House Colors by Susan Hershman. Cropped image from book courtesy Amazon.com

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. Buy from Amazon »

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America's Painted Ladies

America's Painted Ladies - The Ultimate Celebration of our Victorians
America's Painted Ladies. Image crop courtesy Amazon.com

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. Buy from Amazon »

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Exterior Style by Benjamin Moore Paints

Exterior Style, Inspiring Color Ideas and Expert Painting Advice by Benjamin Moore Paints
Exterior Style by Benjamin Moore Paints. Image cropped from Amazon.com

Subtitled Inspiring Color Ideas And Expert Painting Advice, this 128-page book is as good as a 2003 paint catalog. I've 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. Buy from Amazon »

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Exterior Planner by Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens Exterior Planner
Better Homes and Gardens Exterior Planner. Image cropped from Amazon.com

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. I mean, really, who doesn't want a better home and garden? Buy from Amazon »

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Exterior House Trim

Exterior House Trim by Steve Willson, Creative Homeowner
Exterior House Trim by Steve Willson. Image cropped from Amazon.com

Long-time Popular Mechanics writer Steven Willson has written about appliances, do-it-yourself project, 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. Buy from Amazon »

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Paint in America: The Colors of Historic Buildings

Paint in America, The Colors of Historic Buildings
Paint in America, edited by Roger W Moss. Image cropped from Amazon.com

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. Originally published by Wiley, Paint in America may be too academic for the typical homeowner. Buy from Amazon »

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Can't Fail Color Schemes

Can't Fail Color Schemes by Amy Wax
Can't Fail Color Schemes by Amy Wax. Image courtesy Amazon.com

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. Buy from Amazon »