Paint is one of the easiest and most effective ways to update any space. However, when you consider all of the available choices, it can also be completely overwhelming and way too easy to potentially make a mistake.
Keep reading for a few of our expert tips to help you find the perfect hue.
What colors do you live with and love? What are the predominant colors in your wardrobe? Is there a color in a painting or piece of art you are drawn to? How much natural light does the room get? Do you want the wall color to be a supporting actor for the furniture or the star of the room?
Once you have some idea of what color you want, head to the paint store and zone in roughly on your ideal color and tone and pick up the card(s). Be sure to pick up all of the tones and shades surrounding your ideal color by getting the paint cards at least three deep beyond your original color and moving into the next colors.
USE THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION
Instead of considering the various shades of a color that you like, shift your focus and eliminate what you don't like about a color. This makes the overall process so much easier and will make the final color choice almost obvious!
Look at your laid out colors under the lighting for the room, eliminate and take away the cards of a certain undertone that you know you don’t want. If you want to stay as safe as possible with a neutral undertone, go right to the middle and eliminate the cards to the right and left.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your colors and eliminated tones, the next step is to eliminate shades. This is another easy elimination — if you want a lighter shade of your color, eliminate the darker colors and vice versa. By eliminating shades, you automatically narrow your choices down to a just a few colors.
Pro tip: for lighter shades, go one shade darker and for darker shades, go one shade lighter.
MAKE A DECISION
Now that you've finished the elimination process and taken away the cards, you should have maybe 1-3 color choices left. At this point, the final decision is usually obvious and will almost jump right out at you.
The elimination process is valuable to help you keep an open mind and broaden your color/shade choices, with the final color being something you would have never considered in the beginning.
CONSIDER THE LIGHTING
One of the most important things to know when choosing paint colors is how the lighting in your home will affect the color of the paint on your walls, trim and ceiling. Depending on the type of light in your room, your wall color can look very different than the color you thought you chose.
Sunlight will show the purest color, but depending on the direction of the sun coming in your windows and the time of day even sunlight can skew the color. Incandescent light throws a yellow light that will intensify warm colors and dull cool ones.
Halogen light is white light and mimics sunlight and its effects. Fluorescent light is a blue light. It intensifies cool colors and mutes warm ones. Soft white light can dull colors, while full spectrum light will intensify them.
To confirm your choice, it’s best to get a small sample of your color and paint a large poster board in your sample color and let it dry. After it dries, tape it to your wall. You will quickly see if you want to go up or down a shade once you get it on the wall.
Make sure you look at the paint samples at different times of a day and using different artificial light. Use a pencil to note the color of each paint candidate during different times of the day right on the wall. Live with the colors for a few days and record how the color looks and feels in room.
Keep in mind that if you are torn to two final color choices, talk with the people at the paint store and they can suggest formula tweaks or diluting with a certain percentage of white.
DON'T GET OVERWHELMED
Don't let a little paint psych you out. At the end of the day, just go for it! Using these 6 tips, you can conquer your paint fears and choose the perfect wall color.
Need more help? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary discovery session, and we'll be happy to walk through it with you.