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PAINT TIP | Choosing Wall Color


That’s because it is NOT easy!  You may know you want the perfect pale blue gray, but as you start looking at paint chips, the subtle differences in hundreds of shades start to feel overwhelming – or you may not even have a starting color.

Here’s our advice on helping you get your color just right.

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1.  Collect what you love

Start by taking the time to collect images of rooms that appeal to you.  Use magazines, design blogs, Pinterest.  Add a “Paint” Board of your own if you haven’t already,

or use our PALETTE PINTEREST BOARDS chocked full of color inspiration!

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2. Find the common thread to your style.

Next,  notice what your images have in common.  Do green walls catch your eye every time?  Have you gathered a portfolio of energetic reds?  We wouldn’t be surprised if many of the rooms you choose are painted a neutral color.  Even if you are a proclaimed color lover, you may discover that color in fabric, art, rugs and accessories is really where color makes you happy.  Wall color is only one element to the overall story of a room.

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Elle Decor magazine features Farrow and Ball color Pointing #2003

3. Only one opinion matters – yours!

You are narrowing it down, and need a little affirmation?  It can be fun to include your friends in the color process – just beware getting your friends’ opinions can also muddy the water and make it harder to make decisions.   Include them or not, just remember it’s your opinion that matters most!  Trust it!

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4. Test your color.

You don’t want to skip the important step of testing the color in your room.   It takes a little extra effort, but if  you want your living room color to be perfect, you’re going to need to pick it IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.  All the things in your room—the floors, lighting, fabrics, height of ceilings—affect any color you bring there.  That’s why sample pots are perfect!

If you’ve been inspired by now and have made a choice in a color range, you know for example that you want gray walls, we suggest you test no more than your top 3 gray’s.  If you still aren’t sure between gray or blue, still pick only 2 or 3 to start testing, knowing you’ll get the subtlety of the range down on the second round.

You can paint your test pots on a Mighty Board so you can move them around. (Mighty Boards are a large piece of heavy duty paper that can hold paint, wavy painted poster board just doesn’t do it!)  Or you can paint the swatch directly on the wall if you are committed to painting.   Look at the colors at different times of the day, there is usually a big difference morning to night.


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5. Buy the best paint you can afford.  

Exciting!  Your new color is all picked out and it’s time buy your paint.  Our advice, “buy the best paint you can afford.”  Quality paint is a bit like a hearty bowl of chowder made with choice ingredients vs a thin watered down cheaper paint that doesn’t deliver the beautiful color you just picked.    The best paint makers use base ingredients with a high level of organic ground pigments –  and more of it.  The result is color saturation that will make you oooh and ahhhh . . . and a finish that is noticeably more refined.

Remember, its the quality of the paint and the FINISH that will make your color feel special in a room!

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Lastly, avoid watching your painter roll your paint and experiencing mid-project color panic.  Depending on what color you are going over (hopefully it’s a primer!) your new color may look distorted and not at all like what you picked – until it’s covered the entire room in two coats.  Best not to peak until it’s done.  If you are painting yourself,  stay calm and be aware of how one color over another can trick your eye until the job is done.  Whew!

Happy Painting!


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