Friday, 8 February 2013

Do's and Don'ts for Choosing a Paint Colour

Choosing the perfect paint colour isn't as simple as going to the paint store and choosing a chip you like (as I'm sure you've figured out if you've tried this).  It's can be a bit of a process but if you take the time to follow some of these do's and don'ts your chances of finding the right colour will improve dramatically!

DON'T pick your colour at the store!  The store has much different lighting than your home and it doesn't have your furniture, flooring or trim to check the colour against.  Colours can look totally different in different lighting and when surrounded by your stuff.

DO think about what you want the feeling or mood of the room to be.  Different colours are associated with different feels and moods.  If you want your childs room to be a stimulating play area then consider a bright colour but if you want it to be condusive to relaxing for nap time, a vibrant orange might not be the best choice.

Different colours create totally different feels in this room.

DON'T choose a colour from a magazine or paint store ad without testing it.  Most ads and magazines enhance their pictures so the room looks "perfect".  In other words it isn't a true likeness of the colour, it's often much lighter and brighter than reality.  If you love the colour get a tester and try it out.

DO test your colours in your room, with your stuff, before buying.  I know this isn't always possible (like when you're building and have to paint before you move in) but if you can get a test pot and paint a piece of poster board.  You can stick it up beside your trim, baseboards, flooring, behind your couch, etc. so you can see how it will look in relation.  That gray that looks perfect in the store may look mauve or baby blue when you get it in your room.  Save yourself some money and work by testing first! 

DO consider adjoining rooms.  If you can see another room from the one your painting (and vise versa) you need to make sure those colours will look nice together (flow) or it will really take away from your room.  If you've picked out a colour but it looks terrible with the one in the next room you may want to consider a different colour or repainting the adjoining room.


DON'T ignore your furniture and fixed elements (trim, fireplace brick. etc).  Unless you are planning on changing those things in the near future you want to make sure the colour works with what's in your room.  Ignoring those elements will probably lead to a less than satisfactory look in the end.  Something will always look off.

Source: via Kirsten on Pinterest

DO take undertones into consideration.  You may think you're just picking a neutral colour (like a grey or beige) but every paint colour is made by mixing several different colours to acheive the one on the paint chip.  This creates "undertones".  There are very few neutral neutrals.  For example, most greys have a purple, blue or green undertone. 

DO remember that most colours will look lighter and brighter up on the wall.  Decorators often have to convince clients to use a darker or more muted ("greyed") version of the colour they think they want. We do that because the blue they thought would be nice in their living room would look more nursery baby blue on the wall.

If you'd like help choosing the right colour I'd love to help!  A quick one or two hour consultation is usually enough to work out a colour scheme for several rooms!  Contact me at (204)747-4480 or

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