Choosing a colour for the exterior is one of the biggest decisions affecting the final look of your home. You should consider your choices based on the surrounding natural environment. In this post, we will discuss how to get inspired by the Nordic nature’s unique color palette in a pine forest, a stand of birches or on a rocky outcrop. The following examples have been chosen from the Finnish paint manufacturer’s, Tikkurila, Valtti translucent exterior colour chart.
First note the following
If you want your house to blend in with the surroundings, darker colours tend to work best. The seasons and amount of light also affect how we experience colours in different environments. Colours appear lighter in tone on larger surfaces, so what you see on a sample piece always appears a fraction darker than on an entire wall.
In urban areas, the building’s colour may be determined by the neighbourhood, or municipal requirements. Whatever the case, you should always test the paint on a larger surface to ensure that the end result is what you want. The tone of visible light is always blue, so any bluish grey colour may appear way too blue to your liking.
You should always test the paint on a larger surface to ensure that the end result is what you want.
Darker tones go beautifully together with coniferous trees, and the warm tone of their tree trunks and green needles. If you want a more modern look, choose shades other than black. The beautiful dark green Kataja 5078 (Juniper) or the slightly brown, but close to black Turve 5088 (Peat), are excellent alternatives to the trendy black. If you’re looking for something green, try Siimes 5069, while the light grey Poro 5087 (Reindeer) is a perfect choice for a house next to a coniferous forest with faded, greyer shades of green.
Black shades tend to fade in sunshine. That is why somewhat lighter shades are a more durable option, which also preserves the log surface more effectively.
Birch forests are typical landscapes in Finland, and are rooted deep in the Finnish psyche. Although we visualise birch trunks as white, they are far from pure white. So it is advisable to look beyond white on the colour chart.
The lightest shade in the Valtti colour chart is Lumi 5060 (snow), which is undoubtedly pleasant in a birch forest. When viewed from further away, the beautiful, slightly grey and brown Tuohi 5062 (bark) or the slightly browner Vasa 5080, do not stand out as much as purer white from their surroundings. A birch forest actually has less pure white than greyish and brownish tones, so you should favour grey and brown shades.
As we move from wooded settings to rocky environments, you may want to opt for colder tones in the colour chart. Water is often found close to rocky areas, reflecting the blue of the sky. This is all the more reason to choose cooler shades.
Grey shades, such as Kivi 5083 (stone) or the lighter, somewhat colder Kaste 5081 (dew) are excellent choices for a rocky setting. Hay often grows on shores and rocks, so the aptly named Kaisla 5061 (reed) is ideal in the archipelago. You can also combine different tones to achieve interesting effects: for example, the main building could be the lighter Kaisla 5061 while the sauna is the darker Kivi 5083. Coniferous trees flourish on rocky ground, so you can combine suitable shades to highlight e.g. doors or windows with lighter tones.
Checklist when selecting paint for house exteriors:
- Observe your environment
- Test paint a sufficiently large area and view it at different times of the day
- Remember that paint looks lighter on larger surfaces
- Lighter shades can be seen from further away
- Earthy colours suit natural settings better than darker shades
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