Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Pick Out the Perfect Paint Color {Paint Tips}

One of my most asked questions I get is about picking out paint colors. This is a revised article that I wrote that was published in a local magazine.
Favorite Paint Colors - how to pick out the perfect color
Paint color can transform a house into a home.
The problem is that there are thousands of colors to choose from, and the picking the perfect color can be the hardest part of the process. Do you go neutral or bold, dark or light, cool or warm? Here are a few tips for choosing the best color for you:
Where are we?
Ask yourself some questions. What is the purpose of the room you are painting? Is it a dining room that will entertain guests and gather your family in each evening for dinner? A master bedroom that you want to make your “sanctuary”, or a laundry room that you want to be bright and colorful to make the time you spend there more pleasant?
Favorite Paint Colors - Waterscape by Sherwin Williams
Waterscape by Sherwin-Williams
(Love how this paint color sets the mood for the whole room)
Gather your favorites.
Once you’ve decided your purpose and how you want yourself and others to feel in your room, pick a color palette. Look at your room. Are you picking a color that’s going to go with everything in your room (more of a neutral), or are you picking the color first and then working around that? Are you going to add color to your room by accessorizing (curtains, painted furniture, d├ęcor, etc.) or do you want the paint to be the main accessory?
Start small and inexpensive: Go to your favorite paint store, pick a few colors you like and have sample sizes mixed. Most paint stores sell them for around $3. This is the best way to find the right color without having a whole gallon of paint mixed up and then deciding when you get it home that you hate the color.
Seeing is believing: Paint the colors you’re considering onto white poster boards. Put it next to your cabinets, trim, carpet or furniture. Paint can look a totally different color in various lighting, so make sure you look at it for a good 24 hours. Move your poster boards to different places in the room. Look for any color undertones it might have during bright daylight hours, rainy days and at night in artificial lighting.
Go for it! If you love the way the color you’ve chosen looks in all conditions, then go for the kill. You have just completed the hardest part of the process.
Do you want professional advice? Some paint stores have color consultants on hand that will come to your home when you buy a $75 giftcard, that you can then use to buy paint. I know our local Sherwin-Williams partcipates, but make sure to call and ask first. Happy painting!


  1. Hi Kristin! Just found your blog, and this post couldn't have come at a better time! I'm in the process of picking paint colors for our downstairs, and I've narrowed it to BM's Smoke or Nimbus Gray...going for a lighter, softer gray-blue to give a kind of Zen feel to the area. Definitely plan to follow your advice. If I'd done that the last time, I wouldn't have wasted 2 years living with a hideously over-saturated turquoise that I let my husband convince me would 'grow' on me. LOL (I posted about it all a couple of days ago, actually.) Looking forward to enjoying your blog, even when it's just to smile and stare at the pretty colors/rooms. :)

  2. Thank you for visiting and for your sweet comments. Smoke and Nimbus Gray are both beautiful colors - I don't think you can go wrong with either of them. I hope you absolutely love it. :) Send me your blog link, I would love to check out your post!

  3. I used to think paint samples were a waste of money, but it is SO worth it to try the color out. The leftover samples are also handy for painting picture frames, shelves, etc. :)

  4. Wow, I want that Office scheme. Beautiful color! Sherwin Williams has great products.

    Painting Artist, Inc


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