5 Tips to Pick the Perfect Paint Color

Photo credit: Creole Wisdom

So, you’re standing in front of the paint desk at the hardware store, dozens of paint chips stuffed in your pockets and feeling completely overwhelmed. It’s okay, we have all been there. And for some of us, perhaps been there multiple times. Before you chase down your friends, family, coworkers and random next door neighbor for their opinion on your powder-room color, consider this—there’s a better way to narrow down your choices. We’ve all got a point of view; sometimes it just takes some uncovering, or unleashing, if you will! Here are 5 tips to pick the perfect paint color that should help with that!

  1. First thing is first—you need to find your color inspiration. You can do this several ways. Pull together things you love—photos from a recent vacation, grandmother’s china, your favorite jewelry, artwork, etc. Line them all up. Do you see a color theme? A sub color that’s consistent across the objects? Chances are, that’s probably what you want to paint your walls!
  2. If you’re decorating the whole room, from floors to decor, pick your paint last. It’ll be easier to find your perfect color this way plus you won’t limit yourself on fabrics, furniture and artwork.
  3. When you’re picking up paint chips and deciding on colors, pick up several within the same color family. Look for something on the lighter end of the family and then a bold, saturated color on the other side. Pro tip—look at the darkest paint chip in the paint family to get an idea of the base of the color (i.e. a white with a gray base will be easier to spot in the most saturated color).
  4. After you narrow down your search to a few colors, pick two to three and buy testers. Paint 3-foot squares on your wall. Place one square next to the window and another in a dark corner. Look at the squares at different times of the day to see how the light changes the colors, then make your choice.
  5. Every wall in the room is not the same. If you’re painting a ceiling, consider going a shade lighter than your first pick. Colors on the ceiling will look darker. Also, don’t forget about the flooring—the colors in your hardwoods, carpet or tile make a big difference with how your paint will look. Honey colored hardwoods? Dark mahogany or crisp white carpet? All change the look and feel of your paint color.

Have you ever made a color mistake and learned from it? Tell us about it!

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