Choose the Right Paint for Your Room

Take your time and make the right choice.

By FamilyTime


Chances are good that you will live with the color you paint a room for years to come. It makes good sense to take your time when selecting a color. 

When you redecorate, the paint color is the last major decision you should make. Choose it with the colors from the carpet, upholstery, drapes and wallpaper in mind.

At the Paint Store

If you can, take samples of the fabric and any other items that you want to match or accent. The safest and most sensible course is to match the paint color to a background color in the fabric or rug.

Once you decide on a few color "families," look at the chips in the store and then look at them outside the building in natural light. This exercise could help you eliminate a few colors.

Talk to the experts at the store for their advice on colors and types of paint. Take home as many paint chips as you want. (Don't feel shy about doing this; the chips are there for this purpose.) 

At Home

Lay the chips out in the room and near the fabric, wallpaper, or drapes. Look at them in electric light, morning light, afternoon light, and bright sunlight. The color should work regardless of the light.

You might want to go online and take advantage of the virtual paint matching and viewing programs. These sites let you choose paint colors and then see how they look on walls.

Some of these sites are powered by Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams, Martin Senour, and Bob Vila.

Make the Decision

Usually, the best bet is to pick the most neutral color in a color family. This will be one of the middle patches on a color strip. Even so, it's important to see the full color family because you can tell a lot about a color from its darkest and lightest hues.

Choose two or three colors and then buy as small a can as possible of each paint for each of those colors. Some paint stores now sell very small samples of paint, which makes this process far easier.

Paint white cardboard with the paint or fairly large swatches on your walls, not too close to each other, and then look at the paint colors in all lights and with the other colors in the room.

Most colors look lighter on the wall than they do on the chip or in the paint can.

When you select trim and ceiling colors, remember that not all whites are alike. Some could have pink, yellow, or blue tinges.

If you decide you have made a major mistake with the paint color, you can always repaint. While it's a chore to do so, changing the paint color is usually a lot less costly than changing the carpet, furniture, or wallpaper.