Last Updated: January 4, 2019
The trick to finding the perfect railing for your deck is to balance all of the most important considerations involved – color, style, maintenance, durability – while remaining within your budget. Choosing the perfect pigment will be tricky, especially if you don’t have a natural talent for selecting appealing and complementary colors and textures. To help you get started, today we’re discussing how to choose a deck railing color.
How to Choose a Deck Railing Color
When you’re investing your time and money in an important structural feature that you expect to last for decades – like a deck railing – it can be difficult to decide which product and style is best. Take your time and evaluate your options carefully so that you don’t later regret your decision – this isn’t a purchase you can easily exchange or return! Use the tips below if you’re unsure how to choose a deck railing color.
1. Investigate Your Chosen Material
Selecting a material for your railing should be the first item on your list, because this will affect many other aspects of the railing besides the appearance (including the cost, maintenance, durability, available styles, and more). Some of your options include vinyl, aluminum, steel, glass, and wood. Decide which material you prefer and then research your color options. Vinyl, for example, is quite limited in color and most customers prefer it in a classic white shade. Aluminum, on the other hand, is typically manufactured with a powder coating that can be made in custom colors, so your imagination will be your only limit! Once you’ve decided on a material, you can begin exploring the color possibilities.
2. Decide Whether to Contrast or Blend
Next, you will need to decide whether you want the railing to blend in with its surroundings or contrast with them. So if you can, walk on your deck and around your deck to examine all of the background elements: the deck itself, siding materials, roofing, windows, doors, trees, plants, paths, grass, water, sky, etc. Then, decide how prominent you want your railing to be within that scenery. Do you want it to be a focal point or an inconspicuous piece of the puzzle?
Typically dark colors blend in well with forest views, while lighter colors blend in with water views and the sky. You may choose to have the railing color match the color of the house, the window trim, or the accents for a cohesive look – or perhaps simply be in the same color family.
3. Consider the Overall Experience
Your railing’s color will affect your experience on the deck, influencing the feeling and mood of the setting. For example, a railing in a natural color that blends in with its surroundings (perhaps a rich brown railing in a wooded environment) will create a more relaxed and natural look. It may appear rustic or calming. A bright white railing with wooden decking beside a blue pool may evoke a nautical experience. Sleek stainless-steel railings typically look modern and streamlined.
In addition, consider who will be experiencing the deck and its railing. If children, pets, or elderly people will often be on the deck, you may wish to choose stockier railings in a darker color. This will ensure that the railings are supportive, easy to grasp, and easily seen.
4. Look at the Lighting
Remember that the lighting conditions will greatly affect the appearance of your railing’s color. So as you’re examining swatches, try placing each swatch where the railing will be so that you can see how it changes throughout the day: at dawn, during bright sunlight, beneath cloud cover, at sunset, in the dark, etc. Be sure that you like your chosen color throughout the day as it goes through subtle changes. In addition, remember that our eyes perceive color differently depending on whether the color is located on a horizontal surface or a vertical surface, so you may need to place the swatches at different physical angles.
Finally, if your railing will often be used in the evening or at night, you may wish to avoid a darker color that will fade into the shadows. Explore your light source options, and look at lighter colors that will be clearly visible when illuminated at night.
5. Consider the Viewing Angles
Typically, a deck’s railing is viewable from both the interior and exterior. So if you’re wondering how to choose a deck railing color, start by considering how the railing will look when you’re on the deck, admiring the view. Then, contemplate how the railing will look when you’re inside the house, viewing the railing through windows. Ideally, you’ll find a deck railing that looks excellent from both inside and outside your home.
6. Use Photoshop
Finally, if you have access to a photo editing program like Photoshop, upload a photo of your deck. For those who have trouble imagining visual details in their heads, this is a very simple and convenient way to make a more informed choice. Purchasing a new railing is an expensive investment in your home, so it’s crucial that you do your homework if you want to make the best decision possible. If you aren’t very tech savvy, you could also simply google pictures of railings in your potential colors, so that you can see how they look against a variety of deck and siding colors.
If you’re shopping for a new deck railing, check out MMC Fencing & Railing. In our online store, you’ll find everything you need to create a variety of different railing systems. We offer stylish and durable aluminum, classic and maintenance-free vinyl, and even the ultra-convenient ScreenRail, which keeps bugs at bay with a breezy screen. To learn more about our aluminum and vinyl railing systems, please give us a call at 1-866-931-5002 or click here to request a quote. And if you’re not sure how to choose a deck railing color, our team would be happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you!