Picking paint is hard. Real hard. Even designers can struggle with the right paint color. There are so many variables that affect how paint looks in the end. To begin with, what is the lighting situation? Is there a lot of natural light to make the color appear brighter or is the room dark where highlights and undertones won't be as visible? What color are the floors? Do they have undertones that will create a reflection on the walls and ultimately change the color? What color furniture will be in the room? Again...will there be reflection issues? Really, picking paint isn't just picking paint. It's analyzing the space and deciding how it will all work together. It's tricky. We get it. So today we're sharing some tips for picking paint. Explaining what the process should look like and doing our best to give you a little more confidence for your next color selection endeavor.
For starters, we'll tell you from years of experience....the paint color never looks the way it does on the chip on your walls. This is true for a thousand reasons. Nevermind what they are. Just trust us. When choosing paint, you have to think bigger picture. It may be great on a little sample card, but on 10' walls? Let's think about this. If a little is good, a lot isn't always awesome. If you like the color on the chip, it's usually a safe bet to go with the color one step up--a little lighter, more-muted version. That way when you put it all over the walls, it doesn't overwhelm you.
Once you've narrowed it down to one or two colors, test them on the wall. But not just anywhere on the wall. Test them on a spot near the floor in an area of the room where an average amount of light is hitting the sample. You want to see it in an area where you'll see how it will look with some of the floor color reflecting on it AND will have a good idea of how the light in the space will brighten or darken the color. Also, don't be stingy when painting the swatch. Do a nice-size square...maybe 12" x 12" so you can really see a big chunk of the color. Important thing to remember too---paint two coats! Unless you're painting on white walls, you're going to need to fully-cover the existing color to get a good idea what the new paint color will look like. So paint the sample like you would the wall--2 coats.
Finally, check your lighting. If you have plans to change your lighting sometime in the near future, we highly recommend changing that first before selecting a color and painting the walls. Lighting makes a big impact on the way a paint color looks so it's important to know what you're working with. If your lighting isn't what it will be, you have no gauge on how the paint color will turn out in the end. Trust us.
Like we said at the beginning, paint colors can be hard. And the even harder thing is that paint makes such a big impact on the space that if you get it wrong, you're going to be forced to re-do it. So try to follow these tips---do a little more prep on the front end so you're not wasting time on the back end. :)