Before You Shop for New Paint Colors – Tips from a Professional Decorator

Here are some good things to know before you go to the paint store.

  • I advise my clients to assemble items from the rooms they want to paint or redecorate into an easy-to-carry format. This could be as simple as a couple of paint chips and fabric swatches stapled to a piece of cardboard, or a plastic box with samples of granite, tile and other materials.
  • Take a color photo of the space. This can be helpful, especially if you’re shopping for something like rugs and need to visualize the item in context. Pictures also serve as a reminder of the room layout, and its view into adjacent spaces – useful information when trying to visualize where you might put the new paint or decor items.
  • If you’re leaving the current paint color on the walls, be sure to take a sample of that paint with you when you shop. If possible, paint it out on a larger sheet – at least 8-1/2 × 11. The more you can see of a color, the more accurately you can judge it.
  • If you’re changing the wall color, but keeping your couch, for example, take a pillow or other representation of that material.


One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to keep all the colors “in their head.” First off, this is very difficult, even for experienced color consultants. Secondly, there’s really no reason to do so. You’ll make much better choices if you have the colors in your hands as you are comparing paint chips.

Make it easy on yourself. Take samples with you. You’ll save a lot of time and guesswork, and increase your odds of coming home with decor items or paint colors that are going to fit.

Paint Color

Choosing Paint Colors Just Got Easy!

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