FOUR Steps To Picking The Right Paint Color


Painting rooms is not my favorite thing to do.  Usually I come up with the plan, help tape off and then when my husband starts rolling the paint I sneak out the room to do other stuff.    My vanishing act has been happening for years and it works for both the hubby and I.

I know many of you have painting on your to-do list for the long weekend so I wanted to share a few tips to help you avoid picking the wrong paint color.  These are the same tips I share with my design clients so know that they have stood the test of time.

S No. 1:  Consider What’s In The Room

When selecting paint options, consider the color of your flooring, furniture and the key textiles in the room.  If possible, bring samples of these elements with you when you visit the paint store to pull paint chips.  Don’t be shy when pulling paint chips–pull multiple chips representing different shades and tones in all the color families you’re considering.

Painted Room via City Farmhouse


Step 2: Pay Attention To The Lighting

Once you have the paint chips at home, hold them against different walls to see how the color reads to you.  You want to find colors that look good in all parts of the room, next to windows, in corners and dark areas of the space.  A strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used next to a window but have a different effect when use on an accent wall or with indirect lighting.

Make sure to look at the color during different times of the day as the light shifts as some color read totally different in the afternoon than they do in the morning or evening.  Choose the color that you like best during the time of day you most often use the room.

 Natural daylight shows the truest color; 

Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;

Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.

Painted Room2

source unknown

Step 3:  Try Out Your Favorite Colors

Once you narrowed down your color options, purchase a sample jar of each.  Paint a piece of foam core or poster board with each color you’re considering and analyze the color again around the space.  The larger swatch of color will give you a more realistic feel of what the room would look like painted that color and it will save you from making a mistake and having to repaint the room.

Painted Room3 via Apartment Therapy


Step 4:  Choose The Right Finish

A single color used on walls and trim look completely different when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use an eggshell (more matte)  finish on walls and a satin or semi-gloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface.  You can apply the same technique to wall treatments like this where the same color in gloss and matt finishes were used to create the visual dimension.

Paint Finishes via Young House Love


I’ve always said it, but as a reminder painting a room is the cheapest and easiest ways to change the look and the mood of the space.

Following these steps will help ensure that you find a color you like and create a space that you love.

p.s.  Sherwin Williams is having a 30% off sale thru May 25th. 



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