Interior Design Blog

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How Your Designer Chooses the Perfect Paint Color

How Your Designer Chooses the Perfect Paint Color

So, it’s time to select paint for your walls! Are you the type of person to buy a big bucket of paint and just start painting? Or do you like to test hundreds of samples first and then deliberate for weeks about two shades that look pretty similar to everyone you ask?

Whatever type of home decorator you are, it’s still important to test different paint colors before committing to painting an entire room or even just a feature wall. To make things easier, we’ve put together some pro tips for choosing interior paint colors.

But first, the big question…

Why is it such a process to choose paint colors for your home interior?

Painting a room in a new color sounds deceptively easy. You look at the paint samples in the store and you take the corresponding paint bucket home. The thing is, the problems usually only start once you’ve actually started painting… 

One of the biggest issues people have when they take their paint home is that the color in the pot often looks different once it’s applied to the wall. Depending on the lighting in your room or the surface you’re painting, the color you chose in store can look a whole lot different in your space. This is why testing your paint is essential! As a designer I always have my painter put up swatches on the wall in a few different places in the room.

When it comes to paint color tips, the most important thing to remember is that finding the right color for your room should feel like a process. Your home is part of who you are, and if the colors aren’t right — your home won’t feel as comforting as it should. 

If you want a color that’s perfect for your home (and that you’ll be happy with for a couple of years at least!), don’t be tempted to skip the testing process.

Do I Really Have to Test Paint Colors? Tips to Choose Paint Colors Like a Pro

So, now that you know why it’s so important to test paint colors, let’s get started.

How to test paint colors on a wall (properly!)

If you’re going to test paint colors on a wall, it’s always worth doing right. As a starting point, we advise selecting up to 5 different shades. By testing a few different shades of the color you want, you’ll be better able to see the differences between the shades. 

If you want to try out a wider variety of shades, our pro tip is to avoid trying them all out in one go. Take it in smaller batches and go from there. If you try out too many colors at once, you run the risk of being overwhelmed by choice.

Because deciding what color to paint the interior of your house is such an important choice, it’s also good to question if several tiny patches of paint will really be enough to help you visualize your final design. Colors can give off a completely different impression once they’re displayed on a big wall. That’s why it’s vital to get a more accurate reading of what your color choice will look like. 

Our solution: 

We recommend testing your chosen colors on at least a 1x1 foot area - 2 x 2 is even better. This will be big enough to help you envision the color in your space, while still leaving room for other selections!

After you’ve narrowed down your color choice, it’s then time to test further. If your color is supposed to go on multiple walls, try it on at least two different areas. This will help you see how the color reacts in different environments. For example, paint an area that is close to a door or window with natural light — this will give a more accurate reading of how the color works in your room.

Pro tip: It’s also a good idea to leave the sample on the wall for at least 24 hours. This gives you an opportunity to see it during different times of the day, under different lighting, and will give you time to really see if you grow fonder of that color.

Do I Really Have to Test Paint Colors? Tips to Choose Paint Colors Like a Pro

Some other tips we have on how to test paint colors include:

  • Always paint two coats (in the same way you would your walls)
  • Use a primer for your testing if you are repainting a dark or colorful wall
  • Don’t forget that the shade you’re applying paint on top of can alter how the color looks
  • Apply test shades on the same surface that your final walls will have (i.e., if you’re having your walls replastered, the paint could look totally different on your old walls!)

Keep in mind that paint colors can also be influenced by the elements of a room. If you already own your furniture, lighting and curtains, test your paint with everything in the room to get a better idea of how it all works together. 

Do I Really Have to Test Paint Colors? Tips to Choose Paint Colors Like a Pro

Tips for choosing interior paint brands: Our favorites

At the moment, we’re loving paint by Sherwin Williams because of its quality and long-lasting performance. Sherwin Williams offers an extensive range of shades, and hopefully with the tips listed above — you’ll have an easier time choosing!

We’re also big fans of Benjamin Moore’s interior paints. With all types of finish available, this is a trusted brand if you want your room to be both stylish and practical.

If you need more advice on how to choose the best colors for your home and would like a professional color consultation, schedule your Design Discovery Review today!

You can have the beautiful and luxurious eco-friendly interior you deserve.

Schedule your Design Discovery Conversation today!