Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Colors for Commercial Buildings - AMC Painting

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Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Colors for Commercial Buildings

July 1, 2024

Choosing the Best Exterior Paint Colors for Commercial Buildings

Are you looking for the best exterior paint colors for commercial buildings? Painting a business can be as stressful as painting your home. When you consider that color schemes for commercial buildings can impact your brand perceptions or even your income, it becomes even more important. It’s one thing if your neighbor hates the color. Your neighbor isn’t spending money on your house. Your business, however, is definitely vulnerable. 

Color has such a powerful impact that entire studies have been conducted on color psychology. Will blue make your customers feel like you are more trustworthy? Would a red building work better for one business than another? Would more modern commercial building customers deter older clientele while attracting younger clientele? 

Before we get to the fun part — color selection — let’s take a look at some of the factors that can impact your final choice. 

Quick Things to Consider When Painting a Commercial Building

Unfortunately, selecting a color is not as simple as pouring over swatches and narrowing down your favorite hues. You have a lot more to consider when choosing a color, including:

Labor: Will you hire commercial painters or is this a DIY project?

commercial painting company

There are several reasons to consider using a professional instead of painting the building or commercial space on your own.

  • Color insights — Professional painters are on the ground (and the scaffold) working with the most popular colors every day. Their insights can be very helpful when you are making your final selection. 
  • Clean, crisp appearance — A reliable commercial exterior painter will ensure your trim, exterior walls and doors look as professional as your business. Remember, a color is only as good as its application. Sloppy execution will completely take away from the goals of your final project.

Restrictions: Do you have any restrictions from your leaseholder or requirements based on local codes?

Homeowners can be restricted from choosing colors by local covenants or an HOA. Business owners face similar restrictions. For example, if you operate a business in a historic district, you may be required to select from a set palette. Similarly, your building owner may limit the colors you can choose from. You should check your local restrictions and your lease agreement before getting excited about a color.

Environment: Will your local climate impact color selection?

Environment has an impact on your color. For example, you probably do not want to go with an all-black building if you live in a desert climate with high temps and lots of sun. If you live in a dusty area, white may be a bad decision because it can look dingy and unwashed very quickly. Take a look at the colors used on older buildings in your area. They may provide clues as to the easiest colors to use in your particular climate. 

Architectural Style: Will this color look right with this building?

Exterior commercial painting projects also need to include consideration for the architectural style of the building. For example, some commercial building paint color combinations can look terrible on one style and create a dramatic transformation on another. Older historic buildings may have brickwork to protect or unique accents to highlight. A modern structure might require stain to natural woodwork. 

These are helpful factors to consider when selecting a color scheme for your business. Now let’s get to the fun part — color options.

1. Neutral Paint Colors

Neutrals are a preferred palate for commercial properties because they are safe and easy to coordinate. They offer a professional, clean look that is neither over the top, nor completely devoid of inspiration.

Pros: High likelihood of compliance with any city requirements; easy to coordinate; great backdrop for brand colors; easier to blend with environment.

Cons: May feel too “safe” or uninspired; may not reflect brand; may limit creativity or fail to capture unique architectural elements.

2. Classic White

White is a dramatic contrast in a world full of color. It’s like a clean canvas for your building. It offers a great backdrop for expressing your brand or showing off your merchandise. 

Pros: White goes with everything; provides great backdrop for fun trim colors, murals or signage.

Cons: Difficult to maintain; may be considered uninspired; may stick out (or blend in) too much in the surrounding area.

3. Company Branding Colors

Choosing your company brand colors can be risky — especially if your colors are particularly bold or unusual. The idea of painting an entire building in a bright orange, for example, could be more of a deterrent than a draw. You may wish to stick to highlights and accents across a neutral backdrop. However, it’s worth noting that colorful buildings can create buzz and become a staple in your community. You can probably think of several bright buildings in your favorite business district right now. 

Pros: Sets your business apart; provides instant brand-building and brand recognition; creates a unique feature to set your business apart.

Cons: May not comply with local regulations; colors may be “too much” for an entire space. 

4. Earth Tones or Shades that Blend with the Natural Environment

When in doubt, trust Mother Nature. There’s a huge palate of colors available in the natural local environment that can help your space blend into the surroundings without getting lost. Colorado offers a particularly beautiful selection of hues. Look outside and you’ll see sandstone reds, forest greens, vibrant aspen golds and soothing, sandy taupes.

Pros: Natural hues evoke feelings of calm; reflects the beauty of nature; blends in well with the surroundings; variety of colors to choose from.

Cons: May blend too seamlessly (don’t get lost); colors may not work well with business or brand colors.

5. Vibrant, Catchy Colors

commercial paint color swatches

Maybe you don’t want to utilize brand colors, but you still want to add interest to your exterior colors. Vibrant colors — or less common color choices — can provide a lot of power. Think of the unusual pink of the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs or the bright yellow of the old Independent Records buildings. You recognize these names partly because of the unique colors associated with the business. 

Pros: Set yourself apart from the pack; develop positive associations with your chosen color; create a recognizable, memorable space in the community.

Cons: Bad commercial exterior paint can create the wrong impression, disrupt neighboring businesses and violate restrictions in historic districts or covenanted communities. The best exterior paint colors for commercial buildings are colors that make you an asset to the community while still showcasing your brand.

6. Subtle Hues of Brighter Colors

Maybe big, bold yellow or pink commercial building paint colors are not for you. That’s a fair limitation! However, that does not mean you are restricted to neutral colored palates. You may just need to find a shade that speaks to you and dial it down a bit. Instead of a bright, golden yellow, a subtle, butter shade could work better. In lieu of a black building, why not create a palate of modern commercial building colors like grays accented with natural wood or black trim? There are very few limits to how you can express color. 

Pros: Get the colors you love without going overboard; express the brand in a more muted way; create interest that isn’t garish or too disruptive to the neighborhood aesthetic.

Cons: Colors may appear washed out; certain shades can look too much like baby shower or nursery colors instead of building colors.

Need More Help Choosing a Paint Color for Your Commercial Space?

If you’re still struggling to select the right color for your commercial building, give AMC Painting a call and schedule a complimentary estimate. While our team of commercial building painters can’t make the final decision for you, our experienced sales team can provide insight into the color selection process, including choosing the right accents, working to blend in (and stand out) in your community and more. Set up an appointment for a no-hassle, no-pressure estimate. Give yourself (and your decision-making skills) an extra boost of support. 



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