June 24, 2013

How To Choose Paint Colors: 5 Tips To Help You Decide

How to choose a paint color: 5 tips to help you choose the right color! Great tips!
Picking the right paint color is no easy task. Every house is different. Your decor is different than that picture you pinned on Pinterest, your windows face a different way than the room you saw in that magazine, and your bff's perfect gray made your living room look like a depressed seagull. I get it...I've been there. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little easier.





Here are my 5 tips for choosing a paint color.

#1. Enlist ol' boy Pinterest to help you.
I find Pinterest to be a really helpful tool when it comes to figuring out your decor colors. I have a Pinterest board for each room (ie: bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room, kitchen) and a board just for paint colors. I pin pictures of rooms that inspire me, as well as rooms with paint colors that I love. When I'm finally ready to decorate a room, I refer back to my boards and see what jumps out at me. More times than not, I'll see that I've pinned a lot of the same kind of color. Once you find a few names of colors you like, you can even search Pinterest for that specific color and see other rooms it's been used in. Colors never look the exact same in your own room as they did on the internet, (We'll address what you can do about that in tip #5.), but it can still really help you narrow down your search. Plus, when I'm at the paint store, I always have my phone handy to pull up images on Pinterest to refer to. 
So get your pinny-pin-pin on. As if you needed coaxing.

How to use Pinterest to help you choose the right paint colors for your house! Awesome tips!


#2. Learn to love neutrals.
I know, I know, neutrals aren't for everyone. 
But, since we go way back, I know you'll let me make my case. 
And here we go:
Neutral paint colors are the most versatile, and can be made to work with almost any color scheme you choose for your furniture and decorations. White opens a space up, beige makes a space feel warm and cozy, and gray adds a cool vibe to a room. You can use soft shades of blue and green as calming neutrals, too. In fact, I did it in both my master and guest bathrooms.
Neutral paint colors are great because they allow you to keep your room as a sort of blank canvas. You can then change your mind easily, as you add/subtract pops of bold color through your decor.
If you don't mind doing the work of repainting, then don't be afraid to go bold. In fact, I say green light go. Just keep in mind that bright, bold colors can often seem really energetic and overwhelming if used as a dominant paint color. For our house, I chose to use an array of neutral colors so that I could easily change our decor as my taste changes. It's proven to be a great decision, as my taste changes faster than a toddler eats cheerios.
I almost went with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but realized...wait...that's just me. 

 You can see all of the paint colors I used in our house here.

5 tips to help you choose the best neutral paint colors! Check this out!


#3. Pick similar colors throughout the house.
I chose several similar colors that complement each other and then used them repeatedly throughout the house. It gives the entire house a really cohesive feel and just kinda makes everything flow and make sense. Some of our rooms are beige, some are gray, some are blue, and some are green. Even though I used different colors in nearly every room, the entire house feels really calm and cohesive.

How to choose a paint color: 5 tips to help you choose the right color! Great tips!


#5. Match it up 
I use this tip every time I choose a paint color for a room. I suggest bringing home paint chips and placing them on the sofa, drapes, and flooring. Then, find one that has similar undertones. Using a color with similar undertones on the walls helps bring everything together. It makes a space seem open and serene. You can bring in the contrast with your other decor like curtains, bedding, area rugs, accent furniture, pillows, and accessories. 

How to choose a paint color: 5 tips to help you decide! Awesome tips!


#5. Sample the goods.
For me, this has been the most important tip. If you read my paint tips post, you know I am a big fan of buying a paint sample before I commit to buying the whole cow. It saves me tons of money, and really helps narrow down my choices. These little samples only cost about $3 each and I usually pick a few colors I want to try on my walls. I just paint a large swatch directly on the wall and look at it for a couple days. This is to make sure I can view it in all the different lights throughout the day. I recently had a reader give me a great tip, too. If you don't want to paint directly on your wall, you can paint a piece of poster board and tape it to the wall. 
Ya'll are such smarties!

5 tips to help you choose the perfect paint color! Check this out...great tips!


So, those are my 5 tips. I hope these will help you narrow down your next paint color choice. I love when ya'll share your tips with me, so if you have one that really works for you, leave it in the comment section. I learn so much from you!

For related posts, please check out the following:


How to choose a paint color: 5 tips to help you choose the right color! Great tips!




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21 comments:

  1. I live by my shabby chic motto of when in doubt paint it white!

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  2. I love your tips! We are about to close on our first house and I'm finding it a bit overwhelming choosing paint colors for EVERY ROOM, but they really do all need to be painted. I'm going to put a lot of your tips to use! I hope you'll come check out my blog to see my progress! :) practicaldecor.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much and congratulations! Hopping over to your blog now!

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  3. Great tips Virginia! I pinned this to my paint colors board :)

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    1. Yay! Thanks Jena! You are the pin queen! <3

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  4. Fantastic Tips! These will come in handy. We will soon be repainting our entire upstairs. Thanks!

    Emily @ elizabethjoandesigns.com

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    1. Yay! That's fantastic! Good luck and thank you for stopping by!

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  5. I think I might be the only person who rarely uses Pinterest....Haha! Anyway, I love the neutral colors you used in your home. We have many of the same shades but alas, not Behr colors because our Home Depot closed! Can you believe that??? I do have a decorator's paint fan from Behr though so I can at least get the color I want and have it color matched in any other paint. Behr has so many 'soft' colors. :-)

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    1. Aw, what a shame! I would be lost without my Home Depot nearby! btw, I so love color matching! Saves me so much money when I want to use a fancy color! :)

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  6. I painted my whole.entire.kitchen. twice before I finally settled on gray. Live and learn, right? ;) These are such great tips because I've come to learn that even the same color looks different in a different room because of the way the sun hits--and samples are absolutely the way to go--(plus you get bonus paint for little projects too!)

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    1. Oh my gosh, we basically have the same brain. I could have written that entire comment. Yes to all of it! :)

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    2. I'm in love with soft grays too! We 'inherited' a beautiful gray in the living room of the house we moved into. Have no idea what color it is, but I did find the paint can so the formula is there. I gave it a name, just so it doesn't feel so lonely. Haha!

      I like the color so much we used it in our back entry way with pure white on the wainscoting. It's a gorgeous sort of 'cottage meets uptown' mix :-)

      Now to paint our master bedroom gray too..... soon!

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  7. Hey! Loving your blog. (just found you... me waving! ) We are getting ready to redo a large portion of our home, and my husband wonders why you prefer "flat" paint?

    Thanks so much for all the amazing ideas. I'm excited for a fresh new space.

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    1. Hi Rhonda! It's just an aesthetic thing for me, as I prefer the way flat paint looks! But, satin or eggshell is easier to clean if you have kids or pets, so that's why a lot of people choose it. :)

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  8. Just found you via Pinterest. Perfect! Love your advice, and your paint swatches! I have Castle Path, Sandstone Cove, and Pensive Sky in my house already (and a mix of SSC and Castle Path since I wanted an in-between shade!). Love Love Love those colors. Writing down the others for future reference :)

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    1. Thanks so much Hayley! How awesome is that?! Castle Path is one I always oogle over when I'm at Home Depot! I've thought about using it about 100x! Glad to know it's one of your faves! :)

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  9. I have trouble getting the lovely gray/sage/griege color I want in my kitchen. I'll be darned, but the walls & cabinets receiving DIRECT sunlight turn turquoise. The indirect light leaves the color perfect. I've been fussing with this for 6 years. I'm about to give up and go cream. Wahh.

    On another note, I also use Pinterest to save colors, then to get samples of those that continue to jump out. I also decided that if I find I've got the same paint chip pasted up in every room, then keep bringing it home again, it's probably a paint I should work with. [LOL] Great tips.

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    1. Oh, I've SO been there, Christine! Paint colors can be so tricky! xo

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  10. Hi! What is the name of the paint color you used in your living/tv room? It's exactly what I've been looking for! Thanks :)

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  11. Great tips! I am so indecisive when it comes to choosing a paint colour... your tips will help me narrow it down for my next summer project!

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment!! I do the hammer dance every time I read one.

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