Picking paint colors can be an arduous task. I’ve heard tales of epic family battles over a color, I’ve seen homes with 15 different paint swatches that have been stuck on the walls for over a year and the homeowners are still no closer to making a choice. And I’ve seen some horrible mistakes that “looked great on Pinterest” but did absolutely nothing for their home. Seem familiar? That’s ok… we’re here to help.
Don’t: For the average homeowner, the most common way to choose a color is to get some of those little paint sample cards from a hardware store or the big box home improvement center and tape them to the walls. But those little squares don’t do the color justice – they are just too small to get a good read on how that color will play on a large surface area, in different kinds of light at various angles.
Do: Use those color squares as a START, not for the final decision. Take home a bunch of colors you think you like, but then narrow that selection down to a few finalists. Once you have the 3 or 5 colors you think you like, go back to the store, and buy a small amount of those colors (a quart at most, but many paint stores offer 4 ounce “sample” tins). From there, make yourself larger color swatches using white poster board or primed cardboard. Now you can place those samples around the room and see what you think.
Don’t: Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “I’m not going waste time painting color boards, I’m just going to paint sample squares directly on the wall.” My response, “Nooooooooooooo!”
If you paint samples directly on the wall, you can’t move them around and see how they react to different light or work with the trim or other elements in the room. In addition, most people don’t prime the wall first, they just slap up a quick coat to see how it looks (admit it, you’ve done this before). Here’s the thing, the painted samples are influenced by the color of the wall behind and around it, and, if you don’t prime or only use one coat, the paint color won’t be saturated enough for you to judge it properly.
Do: Prime (unless the wall is already white) and paint as large of a sample size as possible. Ideally, 3 feet wide, floor to ceiling. Period.
Hopefully, these couple of Do’s and Don’ts save you a little time and a lot of aggravation and make your color selection easier. But ultimately, hiring the right interior designer or color consultant is well worth the investment. And remember, if you are hiring Lauro Painting to do your project, we include a free hour of color consultation, so take advantage. Feel free to contact and schedule a consultation with Lauro Painting.