Time and time again we all hear/read that the least expensive what to fix up a space is by painting.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well if you are anything like me when I’m picking out a nail polish color at the salon it’s not that easy.
I swear I could stand there for days putting little dabs of polishing on nails to see what I like best. To be honest 90% of the time it’s the name of the color that makes my decision.
Here are some tips for making painting decisions for your home a bit easier. If you have an tips to help speed along my manicure trips I’m all ears.
1. Jot down a list between you and your spouse/partner/family/friend etc (who ever else you live with) and discuss your dream color choices and the colors you would never want to see in a room. This will help you narrow down the field a bit and have you both me on the same page.
2. Decide if you want neutral furnishings and want to make an impact with your wall color or if you want your wall color to take a back seat and act more a backdrop.
3. Take note of the other paint colors in the rooms surrounding the room you are working in. In many small homes people recommend painting all the rooms the same shade in order to give the illusion of a larger/open space.
4. Go to your local paint store and purchase a fan deck! It’s the best $12-$15 you’ll ever spent. I go through mine with little sticker tabs to pick out all my favorites and see if I can work them into my space.
5. Don’t forget that shades in Brown, Black and Grey are always great neutrals and you don’t have to be stuck in a sea of beige.
6.Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to a color family pick out three different shades in that family to try out.
7.Pick up your 3 different shades in sample pots and try to get them in the finish that you want to paint the room. An egg shell finish swatch is going to look different in a satin finish and vice versa.
8. Paint 3’ x 3’ squares on 2 different walls. Make sure there is 6” difference between squares.
* Make sure you sand the area where you made the swatches when you are ready to paint. Making those squares everywhere and not sanding prior to painting may leave raised squares on your walls. Not pretty. Not that I know this from personal experience.
9. Make sure you mark the swatches on the wall with the paint name. You don’t want to find the perfect shade and then forget which one it was.
10. Look at the colors during different times of day. Depending on the amount of natural sunlight you have in the space, lighting and day time the color will look different and perhaps not at all like it looked in the store.
My first instinct for picking out paint colors normally is a gut feeling. I’ll look at the space, the furnishings, and clients likes/dislikes and after a quick fan of paint deck narrow it down to a color family.
From there I start getting paint swatches in a larger size. Some paint stores offer color sheets, which are much larger and use them to get a better feel for the color.
I don’t worry about warm or cold tones right away. Within a color family you’ll be able to find your pick of shades with a warm tone and shades with cold tone.
As for finishes I tend to go with SATIN. I know some may find it a bit shiny, but I like a little bit of glam and to me sometimes Eggshell is just too blah. SATIN is also a helpful for easy clean-up.
Knowing the way I am with nail polishes you must know I’m the same way with paint colors. A good name gets me every time, but I don’t let a boring name stop me from liking a color. Aren’t you proud I’m growing up before your eyes.
A great go to source for color advice is the lovely Maria over at Colour me Happy.
* Images via Miles Redd a man who isn’t afraid of any color in the crayon box.