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How To Pick The Right Paint Color

There is an abundance of color choices available today, and sometimes picking the right paint color can be an overwhelming process.  But have no fear, I am here to help you do just that!!  I have painted 11 rooms in our house so far, and wanted to share with you how to pick the right paint color from the start.


It helps to consider a few things before heading to the paint store.  What in the room can not be changed, for example, the flooring, maybe the carpet is beige or you have brown tile.  Or your furniture, is it light or dark, are you willing to change it to go better with your paint choice?  I always consider what I have to work with first, because I want my paint color to be complimentary to everything in the room.


For me, it is my plywood floors, which is a blue-gray color.  This is the main thing in the kids bathroom that I have no plans to change for a very long time, so I need to make it work with my paint choice.


The next thing I always do is look at the surrounding rooms.  When you walk thru a home, you always see multiple rooms at the same time, and for me, they HAVE to be complimentary to each other.  This makes the style of your home flow from one room to the other and is very pleasing to the eye.  Here are the kids rooms, and even though one is dark and one is light, they go very well together and compliment the color of my floors.

howtopicktherightpaintThe next step is then to narrow down your actual color choice.  This is when it can get overwhelming, but don’t freak out, just read on.  In the upstairs bathroom, after going thru the steps I just mentioned, I settled on something in the green family.  It goes well with my flooring, and is complimentary to the blue and pink that I already have in the kid’s rooms.  Now this is when you go to the paint store and grab about 20 different variations of that color, (I grabbed 31 different shades of green) and go into the room you will be painting.  Lay them all out side by side.

howtopicktherightcolorHere is my bathroom floor and a piece of white trim that will be going up.  I am a huge fan of bright white trim, it really makes the colors pop.  Anyway, after laying all of the paint chips on the floor, I immediately pulled out the ones that look either too dark, or look strange with the flooring, some were more blue than green.  When the paint chips are displayed in the store, the lighting could be different than what is in your room, so a color may look one shade there and another when you get home.

howtopicktherightcolorAlso, sometimes the paint chips are in a strip separated by a thin white line, cut those babies up!! They look different when they are alone.  This is how I picked the color for the boy’s room, it is Distance from Sherwin Williams.

howtopicktherightcolorOnce you narrow down your paint chips, think about what else will be going in the room.  For the kid’s bathroom, I wanted to frame and hang a bunch of their artwork and most of the colors are yellow, blue and red.  For you, it might be a brown couch or a hot pink bedspread.

howtopicktherightcolorSo here are my final four choices.  I always put my chips on the wall before deciding because the lighting is different on the wall than on the floor.  Take a few minutes and walk away, then go back and see which one your eye goes to first.  For me, my favorite is the one on the far right, but it never hurts to be sure.

howtopicktherightpaintI chose Halcyon green, also from Sherwin Williams.  The other two colors were nice but a bit too light and when I put it against the art, it looked washed out and just a bit blah.

howtopicktherightpaintYou can see how nice the color goes well with the other colors I have in the house.

howtopicktherightcolorHere is how it looks when you walk down the hallway.  The blue, pink and green go so well together.

howtopicktherightcolorI am pleased with my choice and well how the room turned out, and can’t wait to start hanging the kid’s artwork.

howtopicktherightpaintMy vintage light came in on Tuesday, and the red looks really good with the green walls.

A few more things to remember before choosing a paint color.

  • You can always buy a test can.
  • Consider how much natural light your room gets thru the day.
  • Don’t forget your spouse, Shawn is not a fan of dark colors, so having a dark blue in the boy’s room was a hard sell for me, and I also have This, so don’t push your luck!!

howtopicktherightpaintcolorI hope this helps those of you that may struggle with the color picking process, and those of you may have any more good tips, I would love to hear them.  If you have any questions, I would be happy to help, just like I did here and here.  Feel free to leave a comment or email me at smyoung@silverandpine.com.



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