Picking the perfect paint color can be overwhelming… simply looking at all the paint chips can be information overload! There’s a million colors and how do you know which one will be perfect in your space? There’s dozens of whites alone! When picking the perfect color there’s definitely a method to the madness but before we can even start to determine which color is going up on the wall we need to narrow down all those paint chips.
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Step 1: Decide What Look You’re Going for
I recommend narrowing down the hundreds of available colors to 3-5 color chips you really like. I know that’s easier said then done but try thinking about how you want your room to feel? Calm and restful? Maybe a blue or neutral color would be perfect. Want a bit of energy or vibrancy in your room? Try a more energetic color like red.
Take a look at the rooms around the one your painting and see which colors would flow best with your other spaces. If you want a different color in the new room try keeping the hues the same… a dark red room leading into a light blue room is very dramatic while a medium red tone leading into a medium blue tone is a bit more even.
Remember this isn’t rocket science we’re just trying to narrow down the colors we’re looking for. Pick 1-2 color families to pull color cards from and then it’s off to the next step!
Step 2: Narrow it down!
Now that we’ve decided on a color family (let’s say gray, gray is a very popular color this year!) it’s time to pull color cards. At this point we’re not focused on finding the perfect color so much as pulling alllll the gray’s we like. You may end up with 15 color cards, or 50! That’s ok! This is just the beginning.
Once you’ve pulled every single color card that caught your eye it’s time to narrow it down… remember the goal is to find 3-5 that you love! Take those color cards and start eliminating them… think about if you want a light or dark color.
Rooms with lots of light will wash out a lighter color so you’ll want a bit more color on your walls. Likewise smaller rooms without natural light may be too closed off for a darker color… a light color will make your small space feel bigger! Think through if you want a light, medium or dark color and eliminate all the color chips that don’t fall in that category.
Next take a look at the natural undertones. Especially with a neutral most of your colors will lean one way or the other (towards blue, purple, brown, red, black etc.) The easiest way to determine the undertone of you paint chip is to look at the entire strip… follow it down to the bottom of the strip and look at the darkest color. That color will tell you the undertone! If you are looking at a light gray and follow the strip all the way down to a dark red you know the undertone of that color will be red and in large quantities that gray will be more likely to have a pink or red tint.
Now go through and eliminate any colors that have an undertone you don’t like! At this point you should have 3-5 color chips… and that’s the perfect number!
Step 3: Buy alllll the Samples!
Now it’s time to take your favorite 3-5 color chips and turn them into samples! Even if you love a paint color in your home it may look completely different at your home, with your lighting and your furniture. Trust me, samples are your new best friend.
I thought I could skip the sample step once and brought home what looked to be a sea foam green for the hubby’s dresser. It ended up looking candy apple green! Definitely not a good look. Samples help you to buy the perfect paint color the first time… and not hate your walls for years to come or have to re-paint a freshly painted wall.
Paint large swatches of sample paint on your wall and make sure to look at the swatches in all different types of light. Morning, noon and night… light can completely change your color so you’ll want to make sure you love it alll day long.
That’s it! Once you’ve picked your favorite swatch you’re ready to grab your perfect can of paint.
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