Pinpoint Your Perfect Paint Color in 7 Simple Steps
(No Color Consultant Required)
Choose a new color scheme for your home – simple, right?
Although some folk mightleap at the opportunity to select a new colorscheme for their home, to most, the same task can feel both daunting and stressful – and for good reason!
The perfect – or wrong – choice of paint color in a home can make it or break it. Therefore, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right and avoid the dreaded possibility of having to fork out additional time, money and effort to fix it if it all goes pear-shaped.
One obvious solutioncould betohire a (carefully selected) colorconsultant to do this for you.However, if this isn’t an option due tobudget restraints, time or availability, there are otherways topinpoint your perfect color onyour own–without the headaches.
Step 1. Get the full view of your color options
Before you even think about short-listing paint colors for your home, first saturate yourself with as much information as you can. Some reference material could include:paint charts, magazines, brochures, visiting open homes andbrowsing online. This is to ensure you have a full understanding of what’s possible with the use of color before making any decisions.
Whilst browsing, pay attention to not only the colors used, but how the colors look in relation to other things. For example:
- Architecture – do some colors suit a certain style of home better than others?
- The substrate of the walls painted – ieis it drywall, shiplap, panelling or plasterboard?
- Styling and decor
Think about how your home compares to what you see, as well as what aspects you plan to change, alter or keep.
Step 2. Narrow downwhat youdo (and don’t)like
If you have an idea of what colors you’re leaning towards already,great! Start the selection process by putting these on a “maybe” list.
If unsure about what you do like, get some momentum going by simply nominating whatcolorsyou know you definitelydon’tlike – this is often much easier to do, as there’s no pressure to commit to any given choice.
Once you’ve identified these, put these colors on a “definitely not this!” list. In doing so, your list of “maybe” color possibilities to pick fromwill now already be that bit shorter.
Step 3. Get clear on what you want to achieve
Forget about colorschemes for a moment and instead take the opportunity to clarify with yourselfwhat it is you’re wanting to achieve with a fresh new paint job.
Colors have been scientifically proven to affect our mood, soin order to find a color scheme you’re going to be happy with,you need to ask yourself how you want your home to feel.
Do you want it to feel bigger? More relaxing? Energised?
Thecolors you decide on will inevitably create the general undertone of the mood for your entire home – so identifying thisaccurately is key.
Once you’ve clarified this, go back to steps 1 & 2 and start to consider (and eliminate) some color choices that match the mood or feeling you’re trying to create.
Step 4. Seek some (free)coloradvice
Hopefullyby now you’ll have a bit of an idea of the colors you’re leaning towards (even if it isstill an extremely long – erm, short-list!).
To narrow your color selections further, seek some (free) coloradvice from some reliable sources. This could include:
- Your local paint shop –anIdeal place to start. Not only are they aware of the current colortrends, theycan give you some clarity on howcertain colors and shades will ‘look’ once painted (versus what’s on the color chart)
- Your painter –obviously scratch this idea out if the painter is you! If not, calling on the thoughts from your selectedpainter may give you somevaluableinsights
- House-proud homeowners -this could be someone you know (and whose home you adore), a fellow neighbour or even an open home you happen to be looking through
And to note – should you randomly come across a color schemeyou absolutely love, don’t be shy to ask the home-owner what colorsthey’ve used – because from personal experience, I’ve found most people to be more than forthcoming with specifics when asked. After all, who wouldn’t be flatteredby someone telling them they love their home as much as they do?!
Step 5. Do some visual testing
It can be extremely challenging to imagine how your entire home will look in a new color using a swatch the size of a matchbox.
Eliminate the guesswork and take advantage of some of the many apps and online tools available to get a visual perspective of how certain colors will look in your home.
Most will require you to upload a photo of your selected room, which you can then easily play around with using the color-chart function.
There are literally countless number of apps and online tools to try – a quick Google search will help you here.Otherwise a few online options to try include:
Dulux Paint Colour Visualizer
Taubman’s Paint Your Own Room
British Paints Colouriser
Olympic Paint Color Visualizer
Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Visualizer
Step 6. Create ColorSample Boards
Although it’s tempting to skip this step, it’s crucial to test your final color choices in paint form before locking your decision in.
Why? Simply because colors can look noticeably different in real life than online or on a chart, as screen or print colorcan varygreatly to paint color.
Create some sample boards by purchasing some small sample pots of your selected colorsand painting a few large (larger the better) sheets of heavy cardboard (or old pieces of drywall, for instance, if you have some on hand).
These boards can then be placed in various rooms around your home to give you a clear image of how the color will ‘throw’ in each space. Remember, look at the boardsunder different lighting and at different times of the day (ie morning, evening and night) as colorsreflect differently depending on the light.
Do this and you’ll see exactly how your selected colors look – which will give you the confidence to lock in that perfect color!
Step 7. The final test!
Finally – before you start the painting process, if for whatever reason you’re still not 100% sold on the colors you’ve chosen, consider purchasing enough paint to complete only one room initially. That way, if you do end up changing your mind once you see an entire room painted, you haven’t wasted an absolute fortune on paint!
Most importantly, don’t rush the color selection process–selecting paint colors can be tricky, however it’s a task worth spending the time on to get it right. You’ll be thankful you did for many years to come!