Picking the Right Paint Colors

By: Honey Good

Picking the right paint color for a room can be tricky. Sure, you can scoop up dozens of samples but in reality, this is a costly venture. The cost of one pint of paint to test on your walls will run you $7. Multiply that by four more because you're not sure if you like "iced lavender" or "Iced plum" and what you have is a frustrated husband and about $30 down the drain.

What's a gal to do? Follow these 10 tips before you make the purchase and I promise decision-time will come that much easier!

  1. Experiment in a small space. - If paint is new territory for you, pick a powder room and test your palette there. Find your confidence levels in a smaller room before you decide to paint your bedroom "chinese red!"
  2. Decide on a mood. - Are you feeling dark and stormy or light and airy? Evaluate the uses for the room you want to paint and choose your hue accordingly.
  3. Take note of your lighting. - Does this room get a lot of sunshine? If the answer is no, stay away from dark colors as it will shrink your room immediately. If your kitchen is flooded with morning light, choose a cheery yellow or mint to offset your gorgeous cabinetry.
  4. Educate yourself on color. - What's a hue? What's a value? Should I care about intensity? The answer is yes. The hue is the color. The value is how light or dark a hue is. And the intensity refers to the brilliance of a hue. Is it super saturated or more muted?
  5. Test it out. - Don't be afraid to go bold but test out your hue on several different walls. Paint a patch near a window, in a dark corner, next to a dresser. Make sure you love the color no matter what the lighting is. And if you're really bold - paint the ceiling!
  6. Add dimension. - Explore texture and finishes. Layers and reflective finishes like metals and minerals can add depth to an otherwise ordinary TV room.
  7. Consider the flow. - Walk in and out of rooms. Is there a cohesiveness between spaces? Similar to art composition, determine how you feel when you can see that bold hue from your kitchen or bathroom.
  8. Choose complimentary colors. - The color wheel says that opposites attract - so listen! Cool, warm, you name it...colors belong to a family. 
  9. Go monochromatic. - If your comfort zone is in the neutral family - opt for contrasting neutrals such as taupe and gray. Or, graduate color...you can select a warm red which could lead into a cooler blue sitting room, for example. 
  10. Try a different paint finish. - Eggshell refers to a matte finish. Generally, walls utilize the eggshell finish. Use a satin or semigloss on trim which is more reflective.

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