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8 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Color

8 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Color

Today I m continuing my quest to making the process of selecting the perfect paint color simpler for you. Last week we talked about neutral paint colors and how to choose the right one, but you'll probably still end up with a few different colors or shades that you must decide between and that is where today's post will help you. Here are 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Color that have led me to prevent a variety of color mistakes:

1. Don’t pick your paint color first.

It would seem sensible to make the biggest decisions first, but the truth is it is easier to choose paint that matches furniture than it is to choose material to go with paint.

2. Start with an inspiration.

Pinterest is a great resource for choosing a paint color or style. Create a board for every room and begin pinning within the room that inspires you. Follow around ten boards and get a sense for the kinds of colors, patterns, and styles that appeal to you.

Do you think that the inspiration for the wall color in ninety percent of my home came from a Starbucks coffee cup? Yep!

But I did not want to make my house seem cold (or like a prison cell), so I chose a greige that had just enough warmth for my slate grey upholstery and accessories to match it, but would still feel at home.

I prefer a light grey wall color, however, I did not want my home to feel cold or dreary (or like a cell), so I opted for a greige with just a touch of warmth, so that my slate grey furnishings and accessories would match, but would still feel warm.

3. Stick with neutrals.

I'm not saying you should never use color, yet I've learned that before you consider using color, you have to designate where you really want to put your focus. If, on the other hand, you decide your focus is on the walls, then that's okay. But have to ask yourself where everything else in the room will go, because going bold on the walls can be a bit jarring for some people. For this reason, bold color in the bathroom will probably work well because most other bathroom objects are subtle (white). 

4. Use testers.

Take testers in a variety of colors, paint a few sizable areas on a few walls, and study the glow of the paint at various times of the day. Thoroughly avoid rubbing paint on white walls, as the results will be unpredictable. If you absolutely must, perform a larger area to test the paint. 

Most brands offer testers for a minimal price. Saving the money to buy a few to test in your space before buying gallons of the paint is well worth the expense. Plus, leftover samples are great for touch-up and other small painting projects.

Leave the test areas up for about a week in order to see what the color will look like at various times of day and in multiple light sources.

5. Test your paint colors against furniture and fabrics.

Don't just test your colors on the wall. Instead, paint a piece of poster board along with on a wall, hold it up against your sofa, table, or other items that will be in the room to see if it matches. You probably don't wish to coordinate, but you do wish your undertones to synchronize.

6. Pick the right sheen.

A shine won't conceal blemishes regardless of how lightly you apply it, so apply as little sheen as possible. Below are a few tips for several sheen types:

  • Flat (Matte): It's excellent for low-traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings.
  • Flat Enamel: With very little shine, this paint is easier to clean than flat paint. It is much better for low-traffic places but might be a better choice if you have pets or children.
  • Eggshell Enamel: It is lightly shined and is an excellent choice for living spaces with moderate traffic. In my experience, most scuffs on this surface can be removed with a moist clean cloth.
  • Satin Enamel: It is slightly more shiny and works well in high traffic areas or places where there are often puddles. It is also very easy to clean and that is why it is suitable for kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Semi-Gloss Enamel: However, it is not quite as clear as glass. You can use this on cabinets and edges, or in high moisture locations.
  • Hi-Gloss Enamel: This paint has a near-glassy gleam and is perfect for high-use surfaces (like a railing) or furniture.

7. Understand undertones.

Use the darkest tone on the strip to identify the true shade of the given paint. This will enable you to avoid having paint that is too pink, too blue, too yellow, and so forth.

8. Have a color theme throughout your home.

I don't mean you have to bring your house to all the same color, but especially in adjoining rooms, think about what each room is going to look like when standing in another room. If you're going play it safe and select one color, I suggest going with one shade lighter or darker in just one room or even on one focal wall. It's a great way to add depth and interest to a space.

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