After painting every room in two houses (trim, windows and doors included), I’ve amassed a bunch of tips and tricks for achieving the perfect paint job. This week will be devoted exclusively to painting your home. Five Days with five different lessons to help you perfect your painting skills. Ready to jump into this (into the lesson, not the paint, that is.)
If you missed any of paint week, here’s the recap:
- Monday: How to Pick Your Paint Color
- Tuesday: How to Pick the Paint Sheens and Paint Types
- Wednesday: Prepping to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Thursday: How to Paint Your Room Like a Pro
- Friday: Top 15 Must Have Paint Tools
Grab your white pants and painter’s caps and join me today to learn how to pick the perfect paint color!
Choosing paint colors can be a daunting task. Looking at small paint chips at your local paint store can be a bit overwhelming. Especially because there are so many colors to choose from! (That can be a good thing too, in my opinion.) I can’t tell you how many times I picked up a few paint swatches of what I considered to be the perfect color, only to get home and wonder, “Who the heck picked out these ugly colors?” That’s because a color will look different in your home compared to that evenly lit display at the store.
You may think that the difference happens based on what light bulbs you use. That is one factor, but there are other factors at play. Do you have windows in your room? What direction do they face? Do you have a lot of trees outside? What season is it? Believe it or not, the light that is being reflected from outside your window will change the color on your walls. If you have a lot of leafy green trees, this will cast a green hue on your walls. Or if you live ocean side with a beautiful view of the water (you lucky duck) this can change your wall colors too. For the same reason, if you are picking a color in the winter and it’s stark white outside, know that when the trees fill out your color will look very different. This is why I rarely choose a paint color in the winter. 3/4 of the year we have lots of foliage on our trees.
With all these factors at play, it may seem impossible to choose a color. Rest assured, I have a sure fire way to choose a paint color you will love!
1. Pick Colors that are Less Bold
Almost every time I pick a color that I think looks amazing in person, when it’s enlarged to cover an entire wall, it ends up being too bold. For that reason, I know to chose paint swatches that are more muted. They may look dull on the chip, but in mass it will look more pleasing to the eye.
2. Create Larger Paint Chips. Looking at tiny paint chips won’t help you conceptualize that color over the entire wall. Making large paint swatches using foam board and sample paints is easy and can save you time when choosing the ideal paint color. I put together this short video to show you how I helped the school librarian select a paint color for the school library.
I knew if I could create big paint chips and let her live with the large chips for a few days, she’d be better prepared to make a final decision. As you saw, she was much more comfortable choosing this way.
3. Live with the Large Chips for a Week or Two. After you’ve painted on the larger poster board, see how they look in the morning light, afternoon and with ambient lighting in the evenings. Move the large chips around throughout the day and see if you still like the colors on all four walls of the room. Hopefully after a week, you’ll have a sunny and a cloudy day so you can experience that swatch in different weather situations.
4. If You Still Goof, Ask for Help. You’ve done all of the above and purchased an expensive gallon of paint. But, after putting up the first coat (and letting it dry) you know you hate it. All is not lost. Take the paint back and talk to the paint person. Explain to them what you don’t like about the color. A talented paint person can usually tint the paint to help you get a color you love.
Tomorrow, we’ll cover what type of paint to buy!
In the meantime, you might like these two posts: