- Overthink things – Relax and take a deep breath, let the stress of your thoughts wash away. You’re not making a life and death decision here. It is just paint and can be painted over if you don’t like the end result. People often get decision paralysis when they feel overwhelmed; by taking a step back and centering your thoughts you can calm your mind and find joy. Design is fun so let’s make the paint decision process enjoyable.
- Sample a bazillion colors at once – Ok so I have yet to see a homeowner paint a “bazillion” different shades of the same color on their wall trying to decide but I have seen some pretty splotchy walls. When you sample more than a few colors at a time it confuses your brain. You won’t be able to see the subtle differences in the colors. Do yourself (and your brain) a favor and dial it back a notch.
- Ignore other elements in your home – Light reflects off of surfaces and when it does it can take on the coloring of that material. Things such as wood and stone contribute to the overall look and feel of a space so you don’t want to look at paint by itself as a color. It’s important that you don’t ignore the other surfaces and finishes so you can create an overall color scheme that coordinates.
- Select a color that doesn’t feel like you – Are you feeling pressured to be trendy or keep up with the Joneses? Just because your friend painted her walls green doesn’t mean that it’ll have the same effect in your home. Stay true to who you are and select colors that make you want to stay in the room forever.
- Narrow things down – I start with a variety of options (no more than 4-6) and then look at them individually. Then I ask myself questions about each color to see if it’s a keeper or if it should get tossed. Working your way through this process will help eliminate unworthy paint colors and leave only the best for your final consideration.
- Look at larger samples – Why would you try to pick a paint color for a large wall or ceiling off of a 1”x2” snippet? Many manufacturers will send you a 4”x4” or 8”x10” swatch of a paint color free of charge. Still want to see something larger? Our friends over at Samplize.com will send you 12”x12” peel and stick samples for a small fee and shipping charge. These are great because you can remove them and place them in a new location repeatedly.
- Look at samples from many different angles and in various lighting situations – If it’s possible, I always suggest that you be in the space that’s to be painted when selecting colors. This will allow you to hold the larger samples up vertically while seeing how the other finishes and the light fixtures in the room affect the color.
- Consider the finish – The color is just one element of the product that gets painted, the finish is the texture you see and feel on the surface of the paint. Options range from flat to high-gloss and the more shine you have in your finish the more light that will reflect off of it. Flat finishes absorb more light which can make the color appear more intense; while glossy finishes reflect more light and can reduce the perceived color intensity. I suggest eggshell for most walls and ceilings with semi-gloss in wet areas such as bathrooms. Trim should be a gloss finish to ensure the paint is durable and withstands peeling or chipping.
I believe that over the years people have been told there’s only one right paint color or choice for their home. That’s totally FALSE! I often remind my clients that I’m going to present them with multiple “right” choices and that one of them is not “more right” than the other. It gives them the freedom to select the choice they prefer the most and reflects their personality.
Selecting paint is kind of my jam! I’ve got this natural ability to see pigments in colors that most people can’t see. It’s fairly easy for me to see something once and memorize it so that I can mentally reference it when making finish selections for a client’s home. Plus, I’m pretty good at adjusting a color I’m viewing online to what it should look like in reality. I guess you could say I’m a Color Savant! So, if you still feel stuck selecting a paint color comment below or send me an email via my contact page. I’ll reach out and we can steer you in the right direction, totally stress free!