How Do I Choose the Right Paint Colors for My Home or Business?
Picking paint colors? You’ve got a lot riding on this! But don’t worry: we have a helpful list of do’s and don’ts for you.
When it comes to choosing paint colors, it’s important to choose wisely. Otherwise, one of two things will happen:
If you don’t like the result it means you’ve made a costly mistake and need to repaint, or…
You’ll be unhappy that you have to settle for and live with a color that you don’t really love.
10 fool-proof tips for picking paint colors
Ready? Let’s dig in!
Don’t choose your paint color in the paint store based on a 1”x1” sample. The typical fluorescent lighting and the small sample will not provide an accurate representation of what the color will actually look like on a larger surface.
Don’t choose a color based on the latest trends. Trends come and go and the “one size fits all” approach may not be best suited for your particular situation and style of home. Following the trends takes away the beauty of finding your own personal preferences and the advantage of having what you truly, personally love and will want to live with long term.
Don’t ask your contractor, your friend, your relative, a neighbor…etc. The more opinions you get, the greater your chances of confusion are. Keep in mind: everyone has an opinion, but chances are most of them may not be based on knowledge.
Don’t assume you can do it all yourself. Have you ever seen a coat of paint that doesn’t look right? Hiring a true professional with years of knowledge and experience will ensure the job gets done right and will save you a lot of headaches and unforeseen problems in the long run. Mistakes cost money. Time is money. Don’t waste yours. Trust the experts.
Don’t go for the cheapest bid. There’s a reason some companies charge less. Many contractors buy the cheapest materials in order to make the most profit. The old saying is often true: “You get what you pay for.” It would be a shame to pay for a paint job that is not going to provide the great, high quality, long lasting finish that you want.
Do choose your colors by seeing them on location, in the environment where they will be applied. Obtain actual paint samples or large designer color sheets and apply them vertically to their proposed surfaces. Keep in mind paint color samples look different when you hold them flat in your hand as opposed to vertically on a wall or exterior.
Do always trust and pay attention to your first instinct. Most people know what they want and what they like. In my 22 years of color consulting experience I’ve learned that in most every case the color family that first came to a client’s mind is the right one. It’s often just a matter of finding the particular shade or tone that’s right for them.
Do take the time to observe paint color samples vertically. Live with them first before you decide. Put samples up and look at them at different times of the day. Be aware that the lighting (including the directional orientation of the space or surface) and existing surrounding elements will greatly influence the final appearance of the colors.
Do be aware that a color you’ve seen in someone else’s space or a magazine may not look the same in the space or area that you’re planning to apply it. I once chose an aqua paint color for my bedroom that I loved and had seen in another space. I failed to first view a sample of it in my space. The color came out much more dull and gray than I anticipated and I did not get the result I wanted.
Do hire a reputable, highly rated painting contractor! A big part of getting the beautiful new paint color result that you want involves high quality workmanship and the best products. The most beautiful finishes I’ve ever seen came from skilled, detailed preparation of the surfaces combined with the expert application of the right products.
What is the most popular wall color for 2023?
For quite a while, light neutrals dominated the paint color scene. They still have their place, and are a “safe” choice, but recent trends are tipping the other direction, with manufacturers predicting that bold, comforting colors will lead the way. As a specific example, green in all its iterations is considered the new white, boasting tons of variety with consistent warmth and charm.
Here’s our best advice: have fun looking at all the hot colors and trends, but don’t get bogged down in them. Whether you’re painting for your home or your business, you need to choose a color that represents your taste, personality, style, and brand. So go with what you love and don’t hitch your wagon to a fickle trend.
Is gray paint out for 2022?
Gray, like white, will never be “out” completely. But it is paling in popularity these days compared to the brighter and more personalized paint trends. Like any light neutral, it will always be an option but will never be a statement.
What colors make small spaces look bigger?
The cheap answer? Go with a lighter, brighter color! Technically that can work, but there’s a lot more to it than that. You can make a small room look bigger with darker colors too if you factor in other key considerations, like architectural style, ceiling height, ceiling color, accent walls, and more. Much of your strategy should be based on the design of the room, plus how much natural light is available. Since every room is so different, your best course of action is to work with a professional color consultant who can help you maximize your opportunities.
How many colors should you have in a room?
It depends quite a bit on your specific style and color preferences. If your furniture and decor are vibrant, taking center stage, you should probably choose a more subdued color palette that complements rather than competes. If your paint is king, then you may want to consider the simple 60-30-10 rule.
60% of the room is a dominant color (typically your walls)
30% is a secondary color
10% is an accent color
This creates visual interest without being too overwhelming. Just remember: the possibilities for those color combinations and ratios are endless, and that’s the truly fun part.
You’ll never regret choosing and surrounding yourself with colors you love. Have fun with the process, take your time, and be sure you partner with true professionals who can help bring your vision to life.
Special thanks to Karen Goodlow!
This guest article was written by Karen Goodlow of Karen Goodlow Designs. She has partnered with us on numerous projects over the years, providing invaluable color consultation expertise.