How to Select the Right Paint Colours

paint color selectionsColour will often be the first deciding factor when you decide it is time to paint your home. Of the multitude of reasons to paint your home’s interior let’s just say it’s time for a change. Even if the colours haven’t faded it may be that the love for the colour scheme has. Paint colour influences us in a wide variety of ways. Certain colours will look dirty to us or be loud in a calm area and very often we simply feel that the colour looks tired. To invigorate the paint selection we will need a theme, a few collections of complimentary colours and actual paint in the selected colour palette.

The inspiration for the paint colours or the theme can come from many sources. Architecture for some is the inspiration; Tudor, contemporary, modern and eclectic are a few styles that help hone a paint palette. Locations such as the beach or forest also inspire a selection of colours. For some a favourite colour will lead the way for other colours to flow. For the pragmatist it is often a central piece of furniture that will anchor the colour inspiration. This theme, wherever found will help limit our selection from the thousands of available colours to a few dozen.

Converting a theme into actual collections of complimentary colours can be as simple as reading an issue of a favourite magazine or online posting to see what is trending within an architectural style. More or less abstract themes will alter the ease of choice. For a beach theme comparing driftwood greys or the glaucous green of wild grass to colour fans will bring the wind swept space into the real world of colour codes. Once one or two colours are selected it is rather simple to find complimentary colours. In any room there are colours for: ceiling, trim, doors and walls.

Painting becomes very personal when the colours come into the home; lighting effects both natural and artificial add hues or highlight undertones that are site specific. Painting an interior only to discover that the paint colour was a favourite only in the paint store is a huge amount of wasted effort. Colour boards and computer renderings are simple to make but limited by size, the graphics capability of computer and screen resolution. Ideally with a colour board and rendering, paint selection will be a 90% certainty. The test patch or sample wall, demonstrating true paint colour in the home will solidify the choices made or lead to only slight modifications.

While this all sounds a little esoteric there are some concrete things you can do with this information to make the colour selection process easier:

  • Talk to a painting contractor
    o Ask them if they are comfortable helping with colour selection
     They either will be able to help or will be able to send you in the right direction
  • Go to your local paint store and work with the colour pallet that your contractor uses
  • Talk with a designer
    o Sometimes it is worth paying the consultation fee to get exactly what you want
     This can also save you time pouring over colours and making trips to the paint store
  • Apply test patches
    o Always roll on test patches and ensure there are no lumps or lines
     Brushing on can leave lines that require extensive sanding
    o Apply to areas next to trim or features so you can see the contrast
    o Label your patches with painters’ tape so you can remember the colours

Inspirational paint choices will have each room colour accenting the next and providing the mood for each room and the living space as a whole. Following a simple process to uncover the desired colour effects in your home will make painting fun and rewarding. Professional help is not always needed but it usually speeds things up and increases the rewarding bits. Keeping records of colours will help future projects as well as helping out all your friends who will be asking what that great colour is.