Choosing a paint color can be a very daunting task. There’s no way around the amount of effort that it does take, however, following this process will reduce your trips to the paint store significantly! From finding proper tones/hues, analyzing lighting to when to actually buy samples. Enjoy!
1. Find Inspiration
Do some digging for spaces that have the feel you’re looking for. Often times, you’ll even find out the exact paint color names. Now, every color looks different from home to home – but this is a great starting point! Having a variety of spaces from different homes to compare the colors you’re considering is so helpful.
2. Snag Swatches
Head to your local store and begin the swatch hunt! Always grab a few that are lighter and darker than what stands out to you in the moment. Most paint stores have intense lighting, so try to find a spot to view in different settings to evaluate how warm or cool the color truly looks. Lay them all next to one another and you’ll instantly see the differences. Feel free to eliminate the hard no’s, but I highly recommend bringing home a variety as they will look very different in your space. Aim to bring home 5-10 swatches per space.
3. Tape & Wait
I recommend cutting up each swatch to be able to tape them in different corners of the space that receive different lighting. Wait to view the swatches during the early morning light, mid-day overcast and night. Think about the time of day that you spend the most time in the space and for example, if its night, how a lamp would reflect on that color. Give it a day or two to walk by the space and take note of your thoughts.
4. Don’t Stop There
I can’t stress enough that just viewing a swatch is not enough. Once you’ve narrowed down your favorites, head back to the store and snag samples. Typically ranges between 3-5 for me, sometimes more. You’d much rather spend a few up front on samples vs. wasting a whole gallon of paint that you don’t like.
5. Go Darker
It’s pretty standard that almost always, the paint goes on and dries lighter than the swatch. Try to go one shade darker from your preferred swatch as it will provide more saturation and contrast. This is coming from a neutral lover, so be careful working with high saturation or moody paint colors.
Just like the swatches, paint at least 5inx5in samples on your walls in different areas of light and view at different times of day. If you don’t land on a favorite, repeat the steps of comparing additional similar swatches to the chosen samples. You’re so close and typically I only end up going back once if I didn’t get it the first time!
Any other tips for picking a paint color? Drop them below!