Choosing Interior Paint Colors – Take a Trial Run

Two relatively recent innovations have made experimenting with color easier than ever: Online color tools and sample-size paints.

Many decorating websites and paint retailers offer online programs where you can “paint” a pre-set number of surfaces in various room photos. While you shouldn’t make your final decision from colors on a monitor, these tools are nonetheless a good way to imagine how a new wall color might look.

Play around. Try several color choices. Note how the different hues change the atmosphere of the space.

Some color choices will add energy. Others will be calming or restrained. If a color seems overwhelming, try a more muted version of that hue.

The last step is to test the actual colors you’re considering. Most companies now offer small packets or containers of paint for as little as $3 – 5. Take advantage of these affordable testers. It will be the best investment you ever make.

Color can look different when you see large expanses of it. It can also change dramatically depending on your particular lighting situation. I won’t get into all the technical reasons why, but trust me. Paint colors vary. Better to know in advance, than after an expensive painting job is done.

Paint at least a 2-foot square section on a couple of different walls, or coat a poster board. The latter offers you the ability to move the color around the room, without having patches of paint all over until you decide on your color choice. Observe the color in daylight and at night.

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One Comment

  1. My husband and I have recently been wanting to change the color of the interior of our house. I like how this article mentions seeing it in multiple types of lighting because almost every room in our house has a different level of light in it. I agree that asking for a sample is better than trying to see how you like it from just a swatch. Thank you for the tips on choosing the right color for our home!

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