the painted surface
Tips For Choosing Paint Colors
Walk in any Home Depot, Lowes, Benjamin Moore dealer or any store that sells paint and you will probably see a huge display of colors. The big name stores have over a thousand swatches of paint color to choose from, plus they will custom match paint colors. Whatever your idea of the perfect paint color is, it can be found. The question becomes how do you choose from all these color choices those that will reflect your style, personality and meet the goals for the room or project?
Start with who you are.
During the many years of painting homes for clients some of the most appealing color choices came from customers who were a little ahead of the color trends or had color ideas that may not have been "in style". You know what you enjoy. Look at the objects that make up your life. The home furnishings, collectibles, clothing and art all reflect your taste in color. What are your interests? Maybe you enjoy gardening and want to bring nature's colors indoors. Do you enjoy sports or another form of entertainment that could be an idea for a theme of the room? These interests will be the inspiration to choose colors you already enjoy and love.
Start looking for colors.
Be aware of color combinations. Home decorating magazines are a great source to see color being used but they are not the only source. Even the ads, product labels or logos in those magazines might picture appealing color choices. Television program backdrops, restaurants, furniture stores or art galleries will be painted with colors that have been thought through to portray an appropriate ambience. Color idea cards are very useful to view color combinations. They will show two, three and four colors together to guage how well the colors complement or contrast with each other. Multi-color fabric such as plaid or paisley reveal how several colors come together for one purpose. As you begin to notice how colors are used you will see colors and combinations of colors to fit your project. Like pieces of a puzzle you will find colors suitable for the woodwork, walls, ceilings, accent walls, niches and every element of your painting project. With the help of online tools such as the Sherwin-Williams Color Visualizer color ideas can be applied using photos of your rooms or quickly sample colors using their already prepared images.
Start to refine your choices.
Gather individual color cards of the color families you have decided to use. Do not try to be too specific right now, just narrow down your color choices to groups of similar colors. Select a group for each element needing paint. The color combination idea cards are useful now if you have found one showing a group of colors that interests you. They do not have to be exactly the colors you think you will use but use these colors as a guide to find a group of individual color cards in the same color family. View these groups in the different light sources of your home. Examine them under incandescent or fluorescent lighting (whichever is dominant in the room) at different times of day and night. From these you can compare the shades and tones of similar colors to weed out the ones that have unwanted color casts. Two or three colors should stand out as possible final choices.
Start to sample your choices.
From the two or three colors left you could pick one, buy the paint or hire the contractor and start painting. But most of us would like to see more than the small swatch of color before we commit to an entire room. Most paint dealers now have sample size quantities of paint. For a minimal cost the actual paint color can be seen. The samples contain enough to apply a few spots of paint color on the surface to be painted. Remember, these spots will have to be painted over so put them on lightly, using just enough paint for good hiding and feather out the edges to avoid ridges. A helpful tip is to paint a piece of poster size foamcore board which can be taped to the wall or moved around the room to be viewed in different lighting situations and locations. Paint each side a different color to double its usefulness. After living with the sample colors for a few hours or days one color hopefully will stand out as the winner.
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors