Paint color sets the tone for your home. The right color brings everything together in harmony. The wrong color can feel overwhelming and chaotic. Avoid an expensive decorating mistake — using these four tricks of the trade are part of the secret to picking the paint color that’s right for you.
1. Compare Your Choice with the Bottom of the Strip
The color is at the base is the most saturated and allows you to see the true undertone (or color bias) much more easily (e.g., “Oh wow, the bottom color is surprisingly reddish…so that beige I liked at the top of the strip might look kind of pink on the wall!”)
2. Understand How Light Will Affect the Feel of the Space
Evaluate how the light in YOUR space will affect the color. In other words, do NOT choose paint based solely on a color you selected at the paint store/online or because it worked in another house or even in another room!
- Natural daylight will reflect the truest hues. Southern light is warmer and brighter, while Northern light is cooler and dimmer.
- Incandescent lighting will bring out the warmer, yellower tones in color.
- Fluorescent bulbs, though energy-efficient, cast a diffuse, shadowless light that gives a blue tinge to the colors in the room. Warm wall colors (yellow, gold, orange, wheat tones) lose their warmth in older-style fluorescent light.
We recommend using LED bulbs around 3500K when possible to see the truest paint color (to learn why, see our blog post on choosing the right light bulb).
3. Consider the Flow Between Other Rooms
Color should bring the space together with a natural flow. This is especially true in open floor plans, which are typically better suited to one main color throughout the home with some well-placed accent colors in a few places.
Hint: One safe and effective way to add some dimension is to select tints or shades from the same color thread.
4. Try a Sample
Once you’ve narrowed it down, purchase a sample from your favorite paint store and paint a few large pieces of poster board. Hang your paint samples on different walls for a few days and note how the light changes and how it plays with your other accessories. *I provide free 8″ x 11″ color samples to my color consultation clients.
You can also check out SAMPLIZE. These peel-and-stick paint swatches are far more affordable, easier to use, and kinder to the environment that traditional cans of paint. Plus, they offer paint samples in lines from some of the best, including Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore. Here’s why I like them:
- Your samples generally arrive in just 1-3 days.
- They’re far less expensive than brushes, rollers, pans, and cans of sample paint.
- No clean-up. No waste.
- You can re-position and re-use them.
Click below to visit their website and order your samples:
Still need a little help picking the right paint color? Three Bears Home Staging offers affordable color consultations! We also have great color palettes that work for home staging! Ready to set something up? Get in touch!