Sep 8, 2011

Pick the right paint color!

An accent wall can be just the right amount of color to add.
When selecting colors for your home, here are some tips to narrowing down your color choices, then making a final decision. You love yellow for your bathroom but deciding which shade is a challenge.  A rich red for your dining room seems ideal but will it be too dark? I recommend a visit to a paint or hardware store and collecting some color ships in shades you like.  
1) Bring it home. Don't make a decision based on how a color looks on the card in the store. Take the card home, cut out the chip you like - tape 4 chips together if needed - and stick it to the wall to see it in your room's lighting. Some paint companies offer peel-n-stick chips. 
A rich color can transform a room.

 2) Audition a color. The best way to narrow your choices is to try it. Invest in a sample size (Benjamin Moore, Ralph Lauren, Sherwin Williams and Behr offer small samples for about $3.00). Purchase SMALL WALL at your local Ace Hardware store or on-line; it's far better than foam board and more portable than drywall pieces. Position the panel in several parts of the room at different times of the day to gauge the changing light.

3) Make it match. You can have paint custom mixed to match a piece of fabric, carpeting, or wallpaper at any Ace Hardware, Home Depot, or Lowe's store. The sample must be a flat item that is of uniform color and is at least 1/2 inch square.

 4) Consult a computer. In many hardware store, you can purchase software to "virtually" paint a model room so you can see how different colors will look. The let you input digital images of your own room. Some big box stores have interactive software where you can select images and 'paint' them right in the store.  On-line, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams offer load-your-own or select from similar photos that you can 'paint' easily.

Neutral walls enable you to add bold color in other ways.
5) Narrow it down. If you're overwhelmed by the thousands of colors typically offered by big paint companies, try a  boutique line, such as Farrow & Ball.  They offer a limited range of beautiful colors, almost all of which will look good on your walls.
My final recommendation - especially for deep hues - is to select the shade LIGHTER than the one you like. Why? When painting light rooms with dark colors, the change is significant. You may be overwhelmed by a color you like if it's too vibrant, so the safe way to use it is in a lighter shade that provides you color without a dramatic change.