How to Pick the Perfect Paint Color... the First Time! (Part One)


What better way to bring spring into your home than freshening up your interior by repainting?

But …how do you pick the perfect paint color? Here are five tips to help you get it right the first time!

1. CONSIDER THE AMBIANCE YOU ARE SEEKING

Take into account the warm or cold properties of a color and the mood of the space you are working with. If you are painting a bedroom, you might be exploring cool colors to create a more relaxed environment. For your office, you may be considering a red for a more stimulating environment. Regardless, make sure the color you choose is consistent with the ambiance you are seeking. For more detailed information check out this article from Freshome Magazine, "Room Color and How it Affects Your Moods".

2. CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF SUN EXPOSURE

Determine what direction the room faces in relation to the sun. Rooms exposed to sunlight coming in from the north, south, east, and west will have drastically different quantities and colors of lighting. It is helpful to consider this before selecting your paint colors. For instance, a room facing the north will get less direct sunshine and will be darker than a room facing the south. You may want to consider making the space warmer by selecting warmer colors. Check out this article from Sherwin Williams, "The Play of Light" for more detailed information.

3. CREATE A COHESIVE LOOK

Consider adjacent rooms and spaces. If you can see the walls in another room from the room you are painting, ensure that the colors flow nicely and complement one another to create a cohesive look. Just make sure the colors in adjacent rooms are not too similar. Subtle differences in lighting could make your spaces look identical. What you thought was greige in one room and gray in another, due to the lighting may appear as though they are the same color!

4. BE WARY WHEN PICKING PAPER SWATCHES FROM YOUR PAINT STORE

Selecting colors under fluorescent lights can make colors look dramatically different than how they will appear on your walls. Make sure you look at swatches by a window, outside or (even better) in the space you are considering painting before you purchase any paint.

5. PURCHASE SAMPLE CANS

Once you have selected some colors, try sample cans before committing to an expensive gallon of color! Be sure to select sample paints in the finishes you plan to use. Glossier finishes tend to reflect light, and matte finishes tend to look darker. Choosing sample paint in the wrong finish could mislead you in your final selection. (While at the paint store you might also want to pick up some poster board and foam brushes - we will cover this in more detail in Part Two.)

Now that you have implemented these tips into your paint color selection process, you are on your way to selecting the perfect color! Check back Next Week for Part Two, where we will discuss what to do with those sample paint cans!


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