Choosing paint colours is by no means an easy task… If paint had full refunds, I’m sure it would settle our colour-anxiety at least a little. Maybe. Wallets sure would be a lot happier though.
Today I want to share with you how I go about choosing the perfect paint colour. It’s a process, I won’t lie, but in the end you may end up saving yourself some ca$h and trips to the hardware store. 😉
The first step I take before I paint a space is look for inspiration!
You can do this by browsing Pinterest, Google, magazines, or even going for a walk outside! Getting an idea for what you want and visualizing your space will save you a lot of guessing work.
With that said, just because you see a shade you like in an image, and they tell you what paint colour it is, does NOT mean this will look as fantastic in your home! Which brings me to my next step…
Swatches, Swatches, Swatches!
When you are in the paint section of your favourite paint store grab as many relevant swatches as you can to the colour you were visualizing for your space. Seriously. Even if you think it’s too dark, or too light, or even the wrong tone – take it home. They are free after all!
At home, use some tape to adhere your swatches to your walls – Preferably tucked near some white trim. If your walls are already coloured, this may make the colour appear to be a different shade than it actually is, so if you don’t have white trim or walls, put up a large piece of white paper or board to your wall to compare the colours.
When you are comparing your colours, you will probably notice undertones you didn’t notice when you were looking at the swatch by itself… this is a great way to start eliminating colours that you think are too “grey” or too “pink” etc.
You may also notice some of those “too light” or “too dark” colours you chose at the store actually work in your area because of the lighting in the room! That being said, when you are comparing your swatches be sure to check back on them throughout the day, as well as even switching walls you are comparing them on to see how they capture the light.
Another way to get an idea of how light or dark a colour will be on your walls is to grab a swatch from a nearby room. You already know how this colour looks, and even if the lighting is a little different in another room, it will still help to give you an idea of the shade you are looking for.
Look it up!
Something I always do when I find a couple of colours I like, is I look them up on Google Images and Pinterest (This works best if you are looking at popular paint brands). I realize that everyone has different lighting, but this is a handy way to get an idea of what the colour looks like on a larger scale. You can also see how the colour appears different in other homes. I mostly do this to get an idea of the tone of the paint. 🙂
Now that you’ve eliminated swatches that didn’t work for you – it’s time for paint samples. I know, it’s hard to be at the hardware store and not immediately buy a gallon of your favourite swatch when you are already there – but you will be kicking yourself when you get home if the colour is just NOT what you thought it was. Buy two or three samples.. you will thank me later. 😉
Paint your samples on the walls in at least a square foot space. This will give you an idea of the colour on a larger scale. Be sure to paint the same colour on different walls to again see how it captures the light.
If you love a colour, congratulations! You are ready to go! Woo-hoo!
If you weren’t a fan of the samples, it’s time to bring out all of the swatches again. Yup. I know it’s disheartening, but at least you didn’t buy a gallon, right?
You now know those other swatches weren’t for you but still want, say, grey walls – you can use the samples that didn’t work out to compare to your other swatches to eliminate any other similar tones or shades. This will make it much easier to find the perfect tone and shade for you.
Again, go grab a sample or two. Try it out. I’m almost certain this time it will work out for you! But if it doesn’t, it’s just paint and you can keep eliminating the shades and tones that aren’t working for you. Process of elimination, ladies!
Do you have any good tips for choosing paint colours? I would love to hear them!
Have an amazing week,
Remember to ‘Pin’ to come back later!