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Consider This When Choosing Commercial Building Paint Colors

May 16, 2018


Whether you’re a developer or a commercial building owner, choosing exterior paint colors for commercial buildings is an important task. It identifies your space, which means the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly (or too darkly).

Here’s how to choose a paint color for a commercial building, according to the experts at Cochran & Mann in Frederick, Maryland:

Consider the architecture. Think about the style of your building and its exterior materials. The building’s exterior materials determine the appearance of the paint color and how long it’ll last.

For example, painting the color red on the exterior of a barn and a bank building looks different. This is because wood requires a different painting technique than concrete, and the red chips faster on wood because of its natural characteristics.

Think about the building’s surroundings. Does your building sit on a small lot? One of the largest residential painting franchises and a Neighborly company, ProTect Painters suggests going with a darker color to keep the building from looking oversized. Here are a few more questions to consider:

  • Is the landscaping bright and verdant year-round?
  • Does your building's location experience snow?
  • Are the driveways, parking lots, or walkways only neutral colors?
  • What colors are the surrounding buildings?
  • Does your building sit in a historic district or lie within an industrial park? (If so, you may need permission from the city’s historical society or the property management company/developer to paint outside of their restrictions.)

Study your brand guide. If you’re a business owner, your company’s logo, business cards, website, social media graphics, and other branding assets help determine paint colors for commercial buildings.

Every brand guide has a color swatch or palette that’s purposefully put together to seamlessly represent your company values and mission best. Use this to ensure your building complements your brand.

Reflect on what you want your building to say. If you’re a developer who wants to attract similar professional services, think about a neutral, symmetrical color scheme for a set of buildings.

If you’re a building and business owner who wants to display a fun, trendy company, add a pop of color. By reflecting on what you want your building to say or attract, you can choose a correlating color.

Look at trending paint colors. Trends change constantly based on how society perceives our environment. Our annual choices affect colors in real estate, fashion, marketing, sports, and more.

In 2018, according to PRISM Sustainability in the Built Environment, “a leading growth-orientated publication covering...the architectural built environment,” for the first time, prominent colors are dependent upon generation. The top three factors (mindfulness, wanderlust, and technology), hold varying priorities for each generation, which affects who chooses which color and for what.  

Mindfulness is at the top of the priority list of millennials. This generation desires to create a sense of peace, which can be  done “with soft greens, sand, [and] complex grays that calm the mind, and hazy botanicals that bring nature indoors. The ever-popular ‘millennial pink’ plays perfectly with this trend.”

Wanderlust holds a place on the list for all generations, which is why its corresponding color, Oceanside, is the Sherwin-Williams 2018 Color Of The Year. Aside from the blue embodiment of this trend, Look to pops of peacock, exotic fuchsia, and earthy browns.”

Technology is at the top of the list for Generation Z, a population that loves mixing convenience and innovation. Because of this, spaces are “using bright orange, violet, vibrant greens, and watery blues. The rise in popularity of ‘Gen Z Yellow’ is an expression of this idealism.”

For more help on how to choose a paint color, click on the button below to download Cochran & Mann’s Commercial Building Paint Color Guide:

Download the Commercial Building Paint Color Guide

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