Are Your Paint Color Standards Sticking?Exterior paint colors and architectural standards are important for community associations. These standards ensure that the community as a whole presents an attractive and well-maintained appearance that preserves property values for every owner.  When Board members are stretched to the max dealing with community finances and issues, it’s easy to overlook paint color deviations. Here are some ways to make your standards stick.

Many HOA Boards appoint an Architectural Control Committee (ACC) to oversee exterior structural and paint standards for the community. As styles and colors evolve, this committee can propose adjustments in design standards to keep the community updated with today’s look. They may also handle homeowner petitions, enforce architectural standards, draft communications and modifications to rules and manage other community architectural business. This committee is a tremendous help to an HOA Board that is stretched to the max trying to manage day-to-day finances and association issues.

Paint companies tweak existing colors as trends change, which can make an approved color unavailable. Allowing a homeowner to paint their front door with a “close” color can escalate to paint color chaos in your community. Validate your paint standards each year to ensure that your paint color formulas are current. If a specific color number becomes unavailable, request a color match. Doing so protects your standards and avoids situations where owners select a paint color that is a “close” color.

Communication to owners should include more than just a paint color number. Owners may have questions. Some owners are do-it-yourself people. Others may prefer to hire a painter. Providing information on the review/approval process, update schedule and licensed painting professionals is helpful for owners. When owners understand the process, they are less likely to stray from the standards.

Many HOA Boards lack experience in establishing architectural standards.  Copying standards from another association rarely works because every community has different needs. Postponing these decisions only increases the number of problems in your community. Consult a property management company to help you establish standards that are unique to your needs and define a uniform enforcement policy.

If you’ve been lax about paint standards, get proactive. Establish or revamp your standards. Then, shift your community into compliance by helping owners understand the standards.  With the right documentation in place, your HOA paint standards can stick.


Wise Property Solutions is a property management company serving East Tennessee with offices in Knoxville, TN and the Tri-Cities, TN-VA. Specializing in Condominium Association Management, Home Owners Association Management, HOA Management and Gated Community Association Management.  The firm is East Tennessee’s only Accredited Association Management Company (AAMC®).


Knoxville, TN: 865-643-8989

Tri-Cities, TN: 423-926-7373

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