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How to Pick Paint Colors

8 Tips For Picking The Perfect Paint Color

If you're in the mood for a decor update, painting a room is one of the easiest and most dramatic ways to change the look of a space. But the color you choose from a paint swatch doesn't always turn out to be the wall color of your dreams. Avoid some disappointment and spare yourself the headache of having to repaint by following these steps to choose your perfect wall color.

Choose a Color That's Right for the Space

Identify your goals for your paint color: do you want the space to be calm and relaxing? Or maybe you want it to be a little more fun and engaging. Rather than choosing a color because you like it, try to choose one that will communicate exactly how you want the space to feel.

Work with Your Furniture

Paint should never be the first thing you choose if you're redecorating a room because it can really limit your color palette. Once you've chosen furniture and decor, work with those to find the best color to bring everything together and complement them. If you have a great piece of furniture that you want to be the focal point of the space, pick a color that either contrasts with or complements it.

Identify Accent Colors

If you want to decorate your space with a full color palette, make sure to identify your accent colors early. Sometimes accent colors develop organically with your furniture and decor choices, but other times you'll want to choose them up front. The general rule is to have a primary color, secondary color and accent color, with your walls as the primary color.

Consider Adjacent Spaces

If the room you're painting is open plan or has a large opening to another space, consider how different colors will work with the other space. This is especially important if you're someone who loves bright paint colors. Make sure your paint colors from room to room don't clash with each other, as this can really affect the feeling of each space.

Get the Right Lighting

Most hardware and paint stores have fluorescent lighting, which will make any paint swatches you're looking at a blueish tone. Most stores will also have a light box for you to see the colors a little better, but the best way to see the true color is in natural lighting. Pick up some swatches and take a look at them outside before making any major decisions.

Buy a Tester (or Two)

Lots of paint stores sell tester-sized cans of paint, so you can take some home with you without spending a ton of money on a large amount of paint you're not sure that you'll like. Take it home with you and paint a large enough section of your wall that you'll be able tell whether you like it.

Experiment With Shades and Tints

Even if you've chosen a color that you like, it's not always guaranteed to translate as a wall color. Test out lighter and darker shades of the color you've chosen, so you can be really sure which shade works in the space.

Look at the Color Throughout the Day

While the best way to see a color is in natural light, your home won't always have natural light. When you test a color on your walls, make sure to come back and look at it at different times of day. Consider how it looks early in the morning, at mid-day and at night, as well as how it looks with the lighting cast by any light fixtures you have in the space.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Grace Hitchcock
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