4 Easy Steps to Choosing a Paint Color
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends and clients about paint choices, so I decided to write about my way to choose a paint color. First of all, the great thing about painting options right now are ALL the paint choices. The bad thing about painting options right now are ALL the paint choices. Don’t get sucked into the color vortex. If you wanted to, you can spend a few days going to all your local paint stores, searching through the hundreds of colors, and painting a million swatches on your walls. Don’t do that. Do your research, decide on maybe 1 or 2 brands, get about 3 swatches from each, and then narrow it down to 3 or 4 samples to paint a swatches on your wall. That’s my method at least and it has worked out well for me so far. I know some designers like to paint 20 swatches on the wall to pick the absolute perfect color and dissect every discernable shade or tint visible in 1 specific color. I feel you get way too overwhelmed and the stress far outweighs the benefits. Keep it simple, well as simple as you can.
So, Step 1. do your research on the brand(s) you’re interested in. You can never go wrong with Behr, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore. I have used Behr and Sherwin Williams the most, so those are the brands that I gravitate towards. Like I said, stick to 1 or 2 brands. If you have had a great experience with Benjamin Moore, leave me a comment about your favorite color. Even though I am a designer, I am always trying to expand my knowledge. Step 2. decide on 3-4 colors. Step. 3 paint your swatches on the wall. A few things that are important to me when I paint swatches on the walls. Paint a good size swatch. A small swatch won’t give you a true feel of how it will be when the paint is on a whole wall. If you are painting an entire home or several rooms in 1 color, paint the swatches in more than 1 area. Say your living room gets great natural light all day, but the dining room only has 1 small window. That same color is going to look very different in those 2 rooms because of the difference in the light. So, paint the swatch in both rooms. Even if you are only painting 1 room and that room has different lighting in different parts, I paint 1 swatch in a high light area and 1 swatch in a low light area. Step 4. leave the swatch on the wall for at least 1 day. You want to be sure you love the color in brightest part of the day, as the sun sets, and at night. I know it’s a lot to think about just to pick out 1 color, but it will be worth it in the in. Plus, it is always better to put a little extra effort up front versus quickly choosing a paint color and then shortly there after realize you hate and want to repaint again.
Which is exactly what happened to a recent client of mine. When they moved into their new home, the only had a short time to choose the paint color and relied on their contractor to make the right decision. He chose a medium tan to compliment there dark wood floors. At that time they were closing on the house right in the middle of their busy work season. I am sure they saw the color briefly and thought it was a great color. The contractor definitely did not take into account the amount of light some rooms get, which isn’t very much. In some of the rooms the nice medium tan looks very brown and is absorbing all that natural light. Making it feel like a cave, not a retreat. Now 10 months later they feel like the color is much too dark and they need to paint their walls a different color. I chose, Behr Marquee’s Bleached Linen and for a nice warm white. As soon as they get everything painted, I will post an update.
When I went through all my steps to choose the paint color for my house, I settled on Morning Fog from Sherwin Williams. Depicted left. On the first floor of my home, the floor is painted concrete and the second floor of my home are hard woods that have a lot of gold tints in them. To balance both colors I chose a cool gray, you can never go wrong with a nice blue-gray. I have lived in this house for 2 years now and I am still happy with my choice.
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Talk to you soon.