I love paint and the impact it makes on a room for a small amount of money! But choosing new paint colors for a space can be overwhelming. Little swatches of paint everywhere, and there are a bazillion shades of every color it seems...not to mention each brand has their own colors! I've been hired a few times to consult on paint colors, and it was eye opening for me to see just how daunting it is for clients to decide which paint color to use in their space.
So I thought it would be helpful to share my process in selecting paint colors in our home! By breaking it down into steps it won't feel as overwhelming to decide. If you follow these steps you can pick your new paint color in a day!
My real life example: I am preparing to paint our eat in kitchen, kitchen walls, and back french doors. I knew I wanted to go lighter on the walls. And I had narrowed the french door color down to green for a fun pop or color, but there are A TON of whites and greens to pick from!
Scroll down to see how I narrowed my colors down to 1 white and 1 green.
1. Find a picture for color inspiration.
Find an image that inspires you. It could be an actual living room, kitchen, bathroom, OR it could be an image of something more abstract. But preferably get the image from a magazine or something you can print so you have a physical image to look at.
2. Head to your local paint store and gather physical paint swatches.
Take your color inspiration picture with you to the paint store to use as a reference. Select a variety of paint chips to bring home, don't be afraid to pick 10 or even 20!
3. Consider the paint swatches in the space.
When you get home, ask yourself a few questions about the room you are planning to paint. What vibe do you want the room to have: peaceful, vibrant, neutral, or bold? Are there many windows? How much natural light does the space get each day? What paint colors are in the adjacent rooms? Is the room big or small?
Example 1: When I painted our dining room a dark grey, I wanted a dark, modern, moody feel. But I knew the window would bring in a lot of natural light and the adjacent rooms are light and bright.
Example 2: When we painted our master bathroom I knew I was going for: tranquil with a subtle beach vibe. So I picked a light neutral, green-blue. The room gets plenty of natural light during the day which is always a bonus!
Example 3: For my office I selected a picture for inspiration (see point 1) and decided on a cheerful coral-toned pink. The room gets a lot of light, it is a medium sized room, and the adjacent hallway is neutral.
4. Use a computer to search paint colors on Pinterest and Houzz.
If you are interested in the swatch "Sherwin-Williams Peppercorn" type that into your search bar. But, this is really important...Click through the image when it pops up to verify that the ORIGINAL article mentions the paint color on that door or in the room. Unfortunately there are a lot of images out there with incorrect paint information. People might upload an image to Pinterest and say "this looks like the color Snowbound!" ....watch for that.
Quick tip. If I can't find any examples online of a paint color on walls or doors, I skip that paint swatch. It is not worth my time to experiment with an unpopular or new paint color. This is a great way to narrow down your swatches.
5. Different times of day.
Look at your remaining paint swatches IN THE ROOM YOU PLAN TO PAINT, multiple times of day. If you have time, check it in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Toss swatches that give the wrong vibe in the room: maybe they are too light or too dark.
6. Have confidence and order the paint.
At this point you probably have 2-3 paint swatches left. Pick your favorite and skip the quarts of sample paint. Seriously! I find them to be a waste of money and time. I never use samples of paint. I go straight to ordering the gallon.
The biggest thing at this point is having CONFIDENCE in your choice. Be proud of narrowing it down, and go for it! Paint is fun, relatively affordable, and easy to paint over if you do decide it isn't the right color.
Let me know if this article was helpful, and if I can answer any additional questions leave a note in the Comment Section below!