9 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Paint Color

Choosing paint for a room seems like an easy task...Go to the store and pick out the paint swatch that looks closest to what you're after, right?  Hmm...Not so fast.

1 | Choose paint color last.

If you're like me, this can be easier said than done.  It's very tempting to think about what color you want on the walls first and then decide on accessories, wall decor, etc.  While having a general idea of what you want the finished room to look like, choosing paint color first will severely restrict your choices in colors of everything else in the room! Instead, go ahead and choose all other elements in the room first (finishes, furniture, accessories, lighting), and THEN decide which color will work best.

2 | Always bring the paint swatch in the room where it will be painted.

It is amazing how much different a paint sample will look under those darn fluorescent lights in the store versus in the actual room it will be.  NEVER make your selection in the store, always bring samples into the room where it will be painted first!  *Tip: Paint samples are free. Pick up any that you think might work, it might just save you another trip to the store!

Did you know?

You can buy entire paint decks from paint companies!  If you are a chronic painter like me, it may be worth the investment.  You'll never have to stand in the store collecting paint samples again, and most paint stores can color match if it's not from their paint deck.  I use mine all the's hands down my favorite decorating tool!  I have Diamond Vogel (purchase in store), Benjamin Moore (purchase here), and Sherwin Williams (purchase here) fan decks.

3 | Try out your sample during different times of day.

Daytime will be the best time to see the true color, but as the sun goes down, or even if the sun isn't as bright certain days, the color will take on a different look.  Just make sure you like it at those different times.

4 | Hold the sample up to different finishes and areas of room.

I like to try the sample next to woodwork, furniture, existing decor, and in different areas of the room where there are more shadows or light.

5 | Consider your lighting.

This is a biggie!  First off, if you plan on changing your lighting in any way, especially primary lighting such as light fixtures, do that before you choose your paint!  Different bulbs will make colors do completely different things.  For example, incandescent lighting will have a warm, yellowish glow that can make a blue hue look more green, and fluorescent lights will give colors a more blue tone.  During the day, test your paint color with both lights on and off.

6 | Consider buying a paint sample and paint it in different areas in the room.

I have actually never done this (although I have later wished I had!), but it really can be a good idea before you commit to a full gallon or two of paint.  Do a large enough chunk so you really can get a feel for what it's going to look like on a large scale, and keep in mind that especially if you are painting the sample over a bolder color, the new color next to the old color can make it look skewed.

7 | Pay attention to adjacent room colors.

When you are in the room, what other rooms can you see through doorways?  Be sure the colors will look good next to each other as you will always see them together.

8 | Ask the opinions of others who will spend time in the room.

I was almost ready to post this just before I learned this lesson the hard way.  I painted a coat of a new color in our living room, and my husband wished I had asked him his opinion.  Even if you don't think anyone else will care, they just might, especially if it's in a main living area they spend a lot of time in! :-) It may prevent you having to repaint a new color...

9 | Don't be afraid to take a chance!

Paint is inexpensive.  Don't be afraid to step away from neutrals and go a little bolder, you can always paint over it!  A lot of paint stores can also 'fix' colors if you only use a partial gallon and you need to tweak the hue a bit.

Still hesitant? Revive! Interiors makes house calls for color consulting! We can work together to find your perfect hue!

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