The Right Paint Color

Choosing the Right Paint Color

Looking for a change? Updating your wall paint color is one of the most reasonably priced ways to change the look of your home. With thousands of color options, it may be hard to know where to start. Click play to hear advice from an expert and keep reading to see our top 8 tips.

I know it seems natural to get the biggest things done first, but it is much easier to choose a paint color that goes with your furniture and decor than it is to choose decor to go with a paint color. For each room, find one piece of furniture that you love and try to pick a color swatch that accents a color in that furniture.

Pinterest is a great place to start when deciding on paint colors. Start pinning rooms that catch your eye and pretty soon you’ll get a feel for what you are drawn to color and style wise. It never hurts to pickup a few home design magazines and peruse those as well!

Now, don’t get the wrong impression. We aren’t anti-bold colors over here. Color is good, but you have to first decide what your focal point will be in the room. If your answer is the walls, then by all means, go bold. And if you go bold on the walls everything else in the room should be pretty neutral so that you don’t end up with too many things competing. This is why you tend to see more bold colors in bathrooms. Since most of the features are neutral (white), you can really make your walls pop!

Decisions are hard; especially ones that you’ll look at every day. Why rush the choice? Buy testers in a few colors and paint a 1’x1’ swatch on a few different walls so that you can see how the light hits it at different times of the day. Try not to paint the different colors too close together as this will play tricks on your eyes. Testers are relatively inexpensive and are great for touch ups and future small projects.

Don’t only test your colors on the wall. Instead, paint a piece of poster board and hold it up against your sofa, table or other items that will be in the room to see if they go well together. You don’t necessarily want to match, but you do want the undertones to go nicely.

Which brings us to…

Grab your color swatches and use the darkest color (usually at the bottom) to discover the underlying color on the paint strip. The other colors on the strip are usually just lighter versions of the darkest color. This will save you from ending up with paint that is too pink, too blue, too yellow, etc.

Once you’ve found a color you like, you need to pick which sheen you want your walls to have.
Here are some general guidelines for the different finish choices:

Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings.

Flat Enamel: Has almost no shine but is a bit easier to clean than flat paint. This is also perfect for low traffic areas but may be a better choice if you have kids or pets.

Eggshell Enamel: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms. In my experience most scuffs can be wiped off of this surface with a damp cloth.

Satin Enamel: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas or areas that have moisture. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

Semi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim, or in really high moisture areas.

Hi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces (like a railing) or furniture.

I’m not saying you have to pick a color and paint your whole house with it, but especially in rooms that open into one another, consider what each room will look like when viewing it from another. If you are going to play it safe and go with one color, I would suggest that you at least go a few shades lighter or darker in one room or even on one accent wall. It is a great way to make a space look more dimensional! Of course, man caves, kid bedrooms, and playrooms don’t always follow this rule, but they shouldn’t have to right?

So roll up your sleeves, head to the hardware store, and dig in to your next painting project!

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