A new paint color can do wonders to freshen up a room. It is spring and many people are inspired to re-do the walls of an existing room. You likely have an idea of what color you want to choose but how do you know before you commit to an entire room?
Family room before.How do you pick the right paint color?
1. Get the largest sample you can, I like 8 x 10′s (Sherwin Williams*) and usually get 3 or 4 in each color for a room.
2. Or buy a small container of the colors you are considering and paint them on poster board or the wall if you are only deciding between a couple of shades of the same color. Hint: If you have important wood trim or floors consider if they have a yellow, red or green tone to them and pick your wall color to harmonize.
3. Tack or paint samples on the wall (or ceiling if painting a ceiling) in different areas of the room:
- in a corner,
- opposite a window,
- next to a window,
- next to any existing trim or fixed details
4. View samples at both day and nighttime, with lighting you will have in the room. Viewing at night is key, some colors just dissolve in low light.
It helps to look at colors on the same plane you wish to use them on . If you are painting a ceiling, place the sample above you and look up. If you are painting a floor, place it on the floor and view it from above.
Always try a few shades lighter and darker of your chosen color when you are sampling, you may be very surprised what you end up with. Depending on the room it may need the “darker” or more saturated version to give you the result you want. It is amazing what we think we like and what we actually like can be much different.
Here the painter changed the background color on this section of the wall because the old color we were painting over had too much of a green cast. Grab a brush and make a couple of passes in different locations just to make sure. In this case we were using a yellow which is incredibly tricky.
Family room after.
Final notes: Select paint color AFTER everything else in the room and following steps 1-4 will help you get the desired result for a beautiful room.
*All of the paint colors shown in the pictures are from Sherwin Williams. They offer small sample pots which are less expensive than a pint.