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How to Choose Paint Color for Your Home

It's easy to pick the wrong color when you are in a rush. Slow down and take your time.

Here are 3 tips to have success when choosing a paint colour.

One piece of advice I hear all the time is "Paint samples on your wall, in several places around the room to see it in different lights".

DON’T DO IT!! There’s a better way! And painting swatches directly on your wall isn’t it.

Your eye will compare the new colour to the old colour. This can bring out undertones you won’t like, making it hard to see the new colour for what it truly is.

Once you paint, that old colour will no longer be there! So take it out of the equation.



My #1 Tip - Paint your samples on white poster board


When you have your samples chosen, paint them on white poster board, leaving a white border around them. NOT DIRECTLY ON THE WALL!

This step helps you to see the colour clearly. Without our notice, our eyes and brain are always seeing and comparing colour. Think of the white background as a 'palette cleanser' for your eyes. There is no undertone to confuse your eye as to what the new colour is and how it will look in your space.

Painting on a white poster board also allows you to move it around the space and see it on different walls, in different lighting. When I do this I use painters tape to hold the sample up. Poster boards are inexpensive and can be found at most dollar stores.



How to:

  1. Gather your paint sample, white poster board, paint brush and painters tape.

  2. Paint the sample onto the posterboard, leaving a white border around three sides. This way you can place the edge of the colour directly next to features that are staying, and the white border gives your eyes a break from comparing to colours that aren't going to stick around.

  3. Using the painters tape, adhere the poster board next to features that are staying. Place it near trim and casings, furniture, accessories, tile, stone . . . whatever it needs to harmonize with.



By using the large sample you've created you will more clearly see the colour and how it will relate to your existing features. It's also easy to move around and you don't have to do any extra sanding over spots where you've painted samples directly on the wall.



Tip #2 - Choose your paint colour last


Paint colour is the last choice when designing a room! Not the first.

There are thousands of paint colours to choose from. However, large furniture pieces like sofas from big box stores are only available in 2-4 fabrics. Kitchen cabinets may have 10-15 options. If you get a custom piece of upholstered furniture, you may have a couple hundred choices. Granite or Quartz are limited to 20-30 options/company as well. I could go on and on.

My point is, large pieces & expensive features need to be your first choice and investment. Then find a paint that coordinates with what you have. Don't rush in to purchasing a paint colour you love without knowing what it will need to work with.

"Stop painting your walls which will narrow your choices further and further and focus on decorating your room instead. Then once you have a palette chosen, you can paint the rest of your house." – Maria Killam

Tip #3 - Consider the fixed features of the room


Once those big & expensive choices are made OR if you aren't changing anything else in the room, you need to consider the fixed features that are there to stay. For example: large furniture pieces, cabinets, tile, stone, countertops, flooring (if it's a very strong colour) etc. The best way to create a cohesive room is to choose a new paint colour that will harmonize with those existing features. If you don't, those features and the new colour will clash and your room will feel 'off'.

You may think "I've got 'neutral' stone or tile so I'll just choose a neutral paint colour", however all neutrals have undertones. If your neutrals don't harmonize, your room will end up looking SAD instead of FAB.

It's important to compare the colours to find the right undertone, then find the right neutral to harmonize with those fixed features. Overwhelmed? It can be overwhelming, but I can help you get the right neutral for your space!

You should also consider any other spaces that your room is open to and how they will flow together.



Getting the colour right can be tricky


Picking a paint colour for your home can be tricky, but you can find the right colour as you follow these tips and compare colours!

Stumped and need more help? As a Certified True Colour Expert I can help you get the colour right the first time so that you won’t need to try endless samples. My Colour & Décor services are the perfect solution. I come to your home armed with my knowledge and large 11 x 14 colour boards to make choosing easier for you.

Call or message to book an in person colour consultation today. Together we can transform your space.

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