If you’re dreaming of transforming a living room, bedroom or kitchen, the first thing you should try is painting. After all, it can be one of the most budget-friendly ways to give a room an entirely new look in just over a weekend, depending on size. However, the hardest challenge isn’t always the actual painting, it’s choosing the color.
Walk into any home improvement store and you’ll see aisles of paint samples to choose from. Even if you had a color in mind, you could find a few variations that incorporate different hues. So, how do you know where to start? See a few tips on how you can pick the perfect paint color for your home.
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Choosing The Best Paint Color
A room that’s ready for a fresh coat of paint is a blank slate. You can truly let your imagination run wild! However, this can be intimidating for those who don’t know where to start. Although interior painting is budget-friendly, it’s still an investment of both time and money. So, it’s no wonder homeowners take the process so seriously! Here are a few tips to pick the best paint color:
- Pick Your Neutral
- Choose From Paint Collections
- Test Your Basement Paint
- Use Proper Lighting
- Personal Preference Matters
- Repaint If Needed
1. Pick Your Neutral
For those looking to give a room a clean refresh or paint their home to sell, neutral is the natural answer. However, you’d be surprised at how many neutral colors exist. Gray and greige shades are trendy now and will help to sell your home. Whatever neutral you use, be prepared to use it throughout your house.
“I think it’s best to have a main neutral color throughout the house and use color for drama in ‘power’ rooms, dining rooms and on bedroom accent walls,” Tara Murayama, owner of Five Star Painting of Bethesda, said. A favorite of mine is to paint an accent wall behind the bed headboard.”
2. Choose From Paint Collections
One way to cut down on the stress of shopping in the paint aisle is browsing online collections to help make your choice. If you’re transforming the look of a room, you’ll also have to consider not only wall colors but accent colors for the trim and more. Paint collections are preselected and can help you get the look you want without the stress.
“I don’t recommend trying to pick colors from a fan deck or store sample board as it can be confusing and there are too many choices,” Murayama said. “I think it’s best to follow the examples from industry experts like the Room-to-Room Harmony color collections put together by Sherwin Williams. If you like a collection, it’s a fail-safe way to choose colors.”
3. Test Your Basement Paint
Not all rooms can be treated the same when it comes to color, specifically when there’s not enough natural light. This is a common problem in basements. Test out your paint color in the basement first with a small sample, especially if it’s one you’re using throughout the home. Stay away from darker shades and deep reds in the basement as that can make the room seem smaller.
4. Use Proper Lighting
While not every room will be quite as dramatically different as the basement, the lighting will change depending on where you are in your home. If you intend on changing any of your light fixtures, I recommend doing so before you test your paint, so you can see exactly how it looks with different lighting. Murayama suggests trying viewing colors at various points of the day as well.
“I suggest that homeowners paint the colors they are thinking about on a poster board then move them around the room and view them at different times of the day,” she said. “My experience is that it doesn’t tell you what you will like, but it clearly rules out what you don’t like. “
5. Personal Preference Matters
While current color trends point to bold and dramatic colors, this may not be true to your personal style. In the end, you’ll be the one enjoying that space, hopefully for many years to come. It’s important to paint based on what you enjoy and not what’s trending.
The same is true with painting a pattern or a mural. These can be interesting items that can really make a room unique. A great way to do so is with an accent wall. However, murals aren’t always the best DIY project if you have something specific in mind. The average cost to paint a mural is $1,221.
6. Repaint If Needed
Keep in mind, if you do end up painting a room and end up disliking the color, it can be fixed. Murayama advises that repainting is always an option.
“If you do choose a color and it turns out you hate it after it’s painted, I encourage repainting it immediately despite the additional cost,” she said. “People tend to live with their paint choices for a pretty long time, and if it’s not right, it will do nothing but upset you when you look at it. The right wall colors have the ability to brighten your mood and make you feel good.”
Finding the perfect paint color for your room can be stressful, but taking a step back and making an informed decision about what you think is best. Ultimately, your decision will be one you should enjoy for years to come, so it’s worth the extra effort to find the best paint color for your home.
Looking for more painting tips? Read 13 Quick And Easy Interior Painting Tips.