I want to repaint my house but I don’t know what colors are allowed

Posted on: May 7th, 2018

The colors of home exteriors in Encinitas Ranch are important to achieving an overall community aesthetic that is appealing to the eye, complimentary of one another, and fits well in their locations. For this reason, new exterior color palettes are subject to review and approval by the Architectural Committee (“AC”).  The AC understands that color preferences change and evolve over time and will work with homeowners to incorporate more current palettes where appropriate. The following are guidelines to help homeowners with the color selection process.


Approval of any new color scheme for an individual house whether the color combination is entirely new or already exists in the community will be at the discretion of the AC.  Selection of an existing Community Color Scheme does not guarantee approval if the AC determines it is not compatible with the surrounding properties.   Selection of a color scheme that is similar to another home within any sightline and/or within 3 homes in any direction will not be approved.


Colors must be specified for all the following elements, if existing, on a given house:

  • Stucco Siding
  • Wood Siding – vertical, horizontal and/or shingle
  • Masonry Siding or Accents – brick or stone
  • Trim –wood or stucco, roof fascia, roof rafter tails, gable ends, wood brackets, railings, pickets, etc
  • Accents – front door, garage door, French doors, shutters
  • Decorative metal detailing
  • Front or Side Entry Gates
  • Exterior Light Fixtures

Why choose three or more different colors?

Most homes in Encinitas Ranch are designed with many unique architectural details that are best defined with a palette of at least three colors. Some professionally designed color schemes can exceed 4 colors and provide a rich custom look.  The preferred number of exterior colors is 3-4.  Monochromatic color schemes can also work for certain well-landscaped and accented streetscapes and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Essentially, an exterior scheme has three major parts: field color, which dominates; accent color(s), which brings doors, shutters and other smaller areas to life; and trim color, used for window and door casings, roof fascia or articulated roof rafter tails, wood support brackets, railings and other trim work.

Ideally, the trim color should contrast strongly with the field color. If your main hue is dark, consider classic white trim or another pale shade.  A light field color can look stunning with darker trim. An accent color as distinct from trim color can be bold but should limited.  A door painted bright red lends just the right punch. Extending that same shade to the shutters and gables … not so much.  Choose a second more subtle accent color for those elements.  (Note that there are many shades of white.  Choose one that works best with your palette.  Bright white is often too harsh.)

ACCENT FENCES, ARBORS, and TRELLIS: Generally these architectural elements should be painted to match your trim color.

EXTERIOR LIGHTING:  These fixtures should be considered and possibly painted or replaced to accommodate your new paint palette.

CUSTOM GATES AND COMMON WOOD FENCES:  The fence and gate between the house and the side perimeter fence may receive a custom color, design or material treatment.  This will be considered as part of the overall new exterior palette and submitted to the AC.  Perimeter wood fences that face any common street, common area or are visible to more than one neighbor whether from the first or second floor of a house must be painted the common community color – Sherwin Williams 6088 Nuthatch.  (If the wood fence is visible to only one neighbor, the AC will consider an alternative color for the interior of your fence with the approval of the neighbor.)


Plan around the elements that are hardest to change.

Unless you’re doing a complete renovation, surfaces such as roof shingles or tiles, stonework, pathways and driveways will remain in place. Take these into consideration as you select exterior colors.

Look for undertones in these elements that might inform your palette. Are they warm (beige, khaki, brown and rust) or cool (gray, blue and black)? Select paint colors that will tie these fixed elements together in a harmonious manner.

Think about the visual effect you want.

Your exterior paint scheme should feel appropriate to the style of your home. Mull over your home’s relationship to the street and the landscape.

Consider how frequently you want to repaint. 

Choosing dark colors (reds, blacks, greens, blues) may cause more frequent painting cycles due to fading from the sun and weather.

Need Help Picking Colors.

Many paint manufacturers offer collections that can be an excellent springboard for your palette, and you can also consult a professional who specializes in this area.

Encinitas Ranch Community Association maintains record books of existing paint palettes in the community.  These can be found at the Sherwin Williams Store located in the Bevmo shopping Center at 208 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA (760) 944-7976.  If you need your existing paint palette, you can call NN Jaeschke (858) 550-7900, and they can provide that.  In addition, members of the AC have copies of the paint books available to borrow.  Please contact NN Jaeschke if you would like to borrow these books.

Use technology to test your pallet.

Sherwin Williams offers a program called ColorSnap that allows you to upload a photo of your home and try on various color schemes.  Other paint manufacturers may offer something similar.  Below is a sample rendering using ColorSnap.

Sample rending of an Encinitas Ranch home using Sherwin Williams ColorSnap

Never rely on paint chips alone.

Just like interior colors, exterior shades can vary significantly from the way they appear on the chip or on a screen. And because painting an exterior is a bigger undertaking than simply painting a room, you’ll want to get them right the first time.

Buy a quart of paint and test it on an inconspicuous area of your home. Study it at various times of day and under different weather conditions. How does it change with the light? Testing it is the only way to determine for sure if you’ll be happy with it for years to come.


Once you have your preferred paint palette fairly well defined, file an application with the AC.  The AC will ask for a rendering of you new paint palette and may ask for more than one alternative for siding, trim or accent combinations to consider at pre-approval.  For final approval, the AC will require you to paint color samples on at least 9 square feet of your home to test your palette.  More information is available online at EncinitasRanch.org.