Getting your interior paint colors correct is tricky business, and can seem a daunting task if you’re all on your own. So here’s five practical tips to take right to the paint store.
It happens all the time. The caller is always at their wit’s end. They’ve gone round and round with an overwhelming amount of options and now they’re drowning in color swatches.
Some have even gone so far as painting a wall or two, only to realize it looks nothing like they envisioned.
Time to bring in the professional.
Choosing interior paint colors that truly enhance the look and feel of your home is tricky business. Not only does a color need to feel good when you look at it, but you also want it to be on trend and it has to “go” with all the other interior finishings. You might love a color at the paint store only to find out it clashes with your rock fireplace or granite counter tops.
Then you have to account for lighting, which can change the way interior paint colors look by bringing out undertones, for example, or even tinting the color to look completely different.
You may have heard it said before… never pick a color from the paint store.
This wisdom is right on the mark. You see, the lighting used in the paint store is not the same lighting in your home. What looks good in the store may not be the best choice for your kitchen or living room.
So here are five practical tips for choosing interior paint colors that I’ve picked up in my 15 years as a colorist. You can take them to the
bank paint store.
Tip #1: Never enter the paint store empty handed
When you head to the paint store to mull over the vast expanse of color choices, bring a small pillow or a piece of fabric from the room you are coloring. Additionally, bring along photos and any samples of carpet, tile, flooring, or anything else that you are going to keep in the room.
While you’re not choosing colors in the ideal environment (your home), this will give you a solid head start on the color matching process.
Tip #2: Look at only one color at a time
If you decide to try a blue color in your kitchen, for example, pick at least ten different blue color chips from the paint store and take them home. Once you get them home cut away the colors on the chips that you’re not interested in. If you’re not accustomed to seeing colors and matching colors, seeing only one color at a time makes the choice much easier.
Tip #3: Never try to split hairs
When you’re trying to decide between two interior paint colors whose shades are close to each other (usually on the same color chip), don’t try to make the decision while matching both colors (to your existing interior) simultaneously. I call this splitting hairs.
For example, if you have two blue shades on the same color chip don’t try to decide which goes best with your cabinets by taping the color chip to the cabinet and viewing both shades at the same time.
A better approach is to physically separate the colors on the chip — cut them apart, or fold them over — and view them one at a time. See how looking at one color next to the fireplace stone or the kitchen cabinets feels. Does it match a bit of the tile, or perhaps complement the woodwork in the room?
Tip #4: Look for opportunities to add a complimentary color
Many of my clients get nervous about adding interior paint colors that aren’t the same as the main scheme, but I always encourage them to explore this possibility.
Adding colors that are opposite to your main color scheme will not only feel fun emotionally, they can actually enhance the main color itself.
For example, if you have predominantly blues and teals in your dining room, try an accent wall in orange. If orange makes you too nervous, instead go for a modern twist on neutral with a dark grey.
Tip #5: Step out of your comfort zone
Don’t be afraid to try something outside of your comfort zone. If it’s just one or two walls and you end up hating it, changing it won’t be that difficult.
Over the years, many of my clients have told me the colors that made them nervous at first turned out to be their favorite in the whole house.
Bonus Tip: Professional peace-of-mind is often the best choice of all
Last, but not least… sometimes hiring an expert is the best color choice you can make. If you’ve found a great colorist, you’ll get a peace-of-mind that helps you sleep well at night and, of course, beautiful interior paint colors.