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Monday, January 21, 2019

How to Pick the Right Paint Colors For Your Home

Do you struggle with picking the right paint colors?  Are you tired of wasting money on painting mistakes?  These 5 tips will help you confidently pick the perfect paint colors for the interior of your home.  

We've lived in our home for over 12 years and during that time I've painted my fair share of rooms.  I've made a few paint color mistakes (flat paint down the staircase),  picked a few bad paint colors (aqua walls anyone?) and painted and repainted every room in our house at least two to three times.  The good news is that through all these painting mistakes and bad paint color decisions I've learned a few tips for picking paint and getting it right the first time.   

Neutral interior paint colors


With thousands of paint color options and endless color match possibilities, it's best to pick larger pieces for your space first.  Find furniture, a rug or artwork to set the stage for your room then pick a paint color that coordinates.  It's much easier to match paint to furniture, rugs or artwork than it is to find furniture and decor to go with paint.
           how to pick paint colors- don't pick paint first

It can be really hard to determine how paint will look in your home using the small swatch from the paint store.  Spending a few dollars on samples of paint is the best way to get a feel of how a color and finish (more on that below) will look in your home before committing to a color.  I always use Sherwin-Williams paint and buy their Color to Go samples before making a final paint color decision for our home.    

Sherwin-Williams color to go paint samples


You've bought the paint samples, now it's time to test them out!  I recommend painting a large square on two or three walls in the room you are painting.  Paint will reflect light differently, so it's good to see how it looks in different areas of the room (next to a window and across from a window) and at different times of the day.  I also like paint a piece of poster board and hold it up to furniture, rugs and curtains to see how it coordinates with the rest of the decor in the space.

Test paint on your walls before commiting


HIGH GLOSS: Very durable and the easiest to clean of all paint sheens.  It's ultra shiny and has high reflective properties making it best for cabinets trim and doors.  Steer clear of gloss paint for interior walls as it has too much shine and will show every bump and imperfection. 

SEMI-GLOSS: Durable and easy to clean.  It reflects light and calls attention to any imperfections, but not as much as high gloss paint.  It's best for trim and high traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or mudrooms.  

SATIN: Velvety with a subtle sheen and more reflective properties than eggshell and flat.  Satin is easy to clean and perfect for kitchens, bathrooms and mudrooms.  It will show imperfections and brush strokes if touch-ups are made. 

EGGSHELL:  Looks flat when viewed straight on, but has a slight sheen when viewed on an angle.  Still a durable paint, but not as durable and easy to clean as satin.  Perfect for rooms that don't get much abuse like living rooms, hallways and bedrooms. 

FLAT / MATTE:  Does not reflect light, which helps hide imperfections.  Absorbs stains, scuffs and fingerprints, and is not suitable for surfaces that are to be cleaned.  Best for ceilings and low traffic rooms.
             The difference between paint color finishes

Flat paint is definitely my favorite paint finish, but I learned real quick that it wasn't the best option when you have a house full of pets and kids.  Now, I stick mostly to semi-gloss for trim, satin for doors, eggshell for walls and flat for ceilings

Where to use paint color sheens in your home.

For maximum flow, aim to coordinate paint colors in the main areas of your home.  In our home, I used Sherwin-William Balanced Beige in the living room and hallway and Sherwin-Williams Accessible Beige in the kitchen and dining room.  The two colors are neutral and next to each other on the color chart.  If you added color to one room in your home then keep the adjoining rooms neutral or in the same color family.  Try to save bolder color choices to your home decor, accent walls or smaller spaces such as a closet or bathroom. 

Picking paint colors for your home can be overwhelming, but following these simple tips will help you narrow down color choices and pick the perfect colors for your home! 

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How to pick paint colors for your home, how to choose paint colors

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