Goooooood morning!! OK, so today’s post is one I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now and it’s all about how to choose the perfect paint color for your home. I actually really wanted to write about this topic after our painting fiasco back in February because I realized that I learned some valuable lessons throughout that ordeal. (If you missed the crazy story you can read about it in this post, but the gist of it is that we had our house painted twice in one week. It was an interesting experience to say the least!) One of the things I learned is that choosing the perfect paint color is actually much harder than I realized. If you were following along back then, you might remember that I was such an indecisive mess when it came time to choose the final color for our home. We decided to hire painters to help us, and I think that put a lot of extra pressure on me to get the color right. I kept going back and forth, second guessing my decisions, and just nervous that I’d make the wrong choice. Looking back now, I realize that I made it a lot harder on myself than it needed to be because I was making a few mistakes that just confused me even further. Today I want to help you avoid making the same mistakes, so I’ve come up with five tips to choose the perfect paint color for your home!
1. Search Pinterest for photos of the paint color your want to use!
So in my opinion, the first step in choosing any paint color for your home is to search for real life examples on Pinterest. Thanks to the power of technology these days, you can literally look at hundreds of photos of just about any paint color scheme you could imagine. Search for things like “the best white paint colors,” and you’ll be amazed at all the information that comes up. Once you have a few special colors in mind, narrow your search even further by looking for the exact paint you’d like to use. For instance, just by searching Pinterest for, “Alabaster by Sherwin Williams,” you’ll find thousands of photos of that paint color in living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, etc. Doing this will begin to give you a good idea of what that color might look like in your home. That’s the starting point!
2. Strategically paint large sample areas
Once you have a few colors in mind that might work, go get samples and start painting. This is obvious, right? But the important step here is to strategically paint large samples on your walls next to permanent fixtures in your home. For example, don’t just randomly paint a large swatch in the middle of a wall. Instead paint it next to the trim and any doors in the room so you can see how that new paint color plays with the color of your trim/door. This is SO important and it’s a mistake I’ve been making for years. But painting next to permanent fixtures that aren’t changing, like a fireplace or built in bookcase, will dramatically change how a color looks and feels in any space. (Also be sure to paint two coats of your paint samples, especially if you’re putting a light color over a dark color!) Here’s an example–I painted this large sample swatch next to our fireplace and wainscoting in our entryway to see how it would look with those things that I knew wouldn’t change. That helps me way more than painting a random stripe in the middle of the wall.
3. Paint samples away from each other
Ok, this is another mistake I’ve made for a while and it wasn’t until we got a second chance at painting our living room and front room that I finally figured out that you shouldn’t put paint samples right next to each other. It seems like a no-brainer, but so many of us do it! Instead paint your samples away from each other so the colors don’t compete or throw each other off. Lining up three different paint colors on the wall right next to each other isn’t going to help you pick a color–it will probably only confuse you even more because the colors will inevitably look different compared to what shades they’re painted next to. Instead, space out the samples throughout the room (next to permanent fixtures) and look at them separately so you can see the color by itself. In the photo below I was making this mistake–I painted two samples right next to each other, which only left me more confused on how the colors would really look on their own. If I had spaced them away from each other I would have had a much better idea of how the color actually looks in our home.
4. Leave the paint samples up for at least three days
So if you’re really impatient like me this might be tough for you, but I highly recommend leaving your paint samples on the walls for at least three days. Once you have all the potential colors on the walls, it’s important to let them sit for a while so you can see how they look in different lighting. I know this seems obvious, but you definitely want to make sure you love how that paint color looks at night, on a sunny afternoon, cloudy morning, etc. Don’t rush it. I repeat, don’t rush it. Just take your time and live with the paint color for a bit before you jump into a decision.
5. Don’t forget your floors!
One of the biggest lessons I learned in our painting debacle was to not overlook the importance of your floors when choosing a paint color. For example, our hardwood floors have a very strong golden yellow color to them. I honestly didn’t even consider how that would impact the way our paint colors looked until it was too late and our entire house was covered in gray paint that looked periwinkle next to our golden hardwood floors. It was a HUGE mistake and something that I think many of us overlook. So make sure you consider how the color of your floors will impact the color on your walls. In addition to painting samples at eye level, be sure to do a few lower next to the floor or baseboard so you can see how the carpet, tile, or hardwood interacts with the color. (It was actually our golden yellow floors that made me realize any shade of gray would probably look wrong in our home and one of the main reasons I went with white paint.)
Well I really hope these tips help you confidently choose the perfect paint color for your home. Like I said, I’ve had to learn these lessons the hard way and I went through a lot of unneeded stress because I was making simple mistakes that were confusing me even more. And as you know, there are literally a zillion different shades of the same color, so choosing the one that is right for you can feel like an overwhelming process. Sure it’s just paint, but who wants to repaint their living room because you got the color wrong?! Not this girl. My suggestion is to do all you can before making a final decision to ensure you got the right one. One last tidbit I’d like to add is to trust your gut! Follow your heart and don’t question the vision you have for your home because at the end of the day you have to be happy with it. That’s all that matters anyway!
Here’s a few other posts you might like:
PIN FOR LATER: How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color