Updated: Apr 16, 2020
If you have ever stood in a paint store trying to select a paint color, you know how overwhelming it can be. There seems to be a billion options! Its hard not to get confuse about where to start with so many choices in front of you. I’ve developed a 10-step strategy to help take some of the stress out of selecting the perfect color.
To get started, select an inspiration color from artwork, a rug, dishes, accessory or a furniture piece.
Once you have an idea of the inspiration color you are going to start with, spend some time searching on Houzz or Pinterest for rooms and colors you like. Get an idea if you are more of a taupe, gray, green, blue, white person. Make boards with rooms on Pinterest and/or scrapbooks on Houzz. Don’t’ judge what your choosing. Just pick what appeals to you. You can then go back over your choices and get a good idea of colors or styles your drawn to. You may surprise yourself with what you’ve chosen.
Go to the paint store and get some sample cards of the color you like. Often you can find the actual paint color used in photos on line. That’s a huge help because you can get sample cards for the colors you are interested in.
Once at home cut them up. Don’t hang the strip up on the wall with all the colors on the card. It is way too hard to see which one you really like. I will often get a couple of small sample cards for the colors I’m most interested in. I tape them together to see what a larger group of the color looks like. This gives you a much better idea what the color will look like on the wall. Putting a few of the same color together will help let you see if it is a color that may be worth getting a paint sample of.
Now its time to try some actual paint samples. I like to start with my top 3 colors. More than that will get confusing as well as expensive. You may not get it perfect with the first 3 but you will be well on your way.
Paint the samples on card stock or poster board. If you paint the color directly on the wall, the color on the wall may interfere with how the new color will look. If it’s on poster board you can also move it around. See how the light affects the color on different walls at different times of the day.
If you like one of the 3 great! Now paint a large section of one of your walls. If you are trying to decide between 2 of the colors make sure they are no too close together. It will be much harder to tell what the color will really look like. Don’t forget, if you want the best results use a primer underneath or paint 2 or 3 coats of the sample color onto the wall.
If you love one of the colors, then you are all set to paint. If you are not quite sure, then you will need another trip to the paint store. Take a photo of your room with you as well as the samples you have painted. Decide if you feel the color is too deep, too light, too much. Almost all good paint stores will have a professional in the store that you can guide you in make additional paint selections that will get you closer to the look your trying to achieve.
Go home and try your new samples. At this point you should have the one that will work. Select the winner.
Paint your new room and enjoy!!
Following these tips will help take a lot of the guess work out of selecting a great new color for your room.