Few home improvement projects can make a large impact for a low price the way painting can. All you need to completely change the look of a room is a can of paint, some brushes and rollers, and some time. While actually painting a room can take quite a bit of energy, one of the most difficult things about getting ready to paint is choosing the right color. It’s not quite as simple as deciding you want to paint your walls a certain color, you have to settle on the exact right shade of your desired color.
Once you know what general color you want to paint a room, you’ll go to the store to look at their paint samples and be confronted with a wall full of thousands of different shades of that color. Trying to figure out which shade is right for you can take a lot of time and guesswork. Here are a few helpful hints to make the process a little bit easier.
Decide the Mood of the Room
The color you choose to paint a room with can change more than the room’s appearance, it can change the entire mood of a room. Some colors are very calming to look at while others give off a more energized vibe, so the purpose of a room is something you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, if you’re painting a room you’ll spend a lot of time resting or relaxing in, such as a bedroom or a home library, you may want to consider cool, soothing colors. On the other hand, if you’re painting a room that sees a lot of activity, like a kid’s playroom, rec room, or a kitchen, you might feel like checking out some brighter or bolder colors.
Bring Items from the Room You’re Painting
When you go to the store to look at paint samples, it can be helpful to take a couple of things from the room you’re planning to paint. Things like throw pillows, cushions, swatches of fabric used on your upholstery or curtains, or even a leftover piece of your flooring can be nice to have with you since you’ll be able to see how they look next to various colors of paint.
Take Paint Samples Home
One very common mistake people make when choosing a paint color is buying the paint without bringing the sample home and seeing how it looks in their room. Even if you absolutely love how a paint sample looks in the store, there are a few very good reasons why you should always bring it home before buying a gallon of it. First of all, the color might look great in the store’s lighting, but the lighting in the room you’re painting will very likely be different, which can change how the color looks.
Secondly, bringing paint samples home with you will give you a chance to see how it looks with everything in your room. Even if you take things from the room with you when you go to the store to look at samples, there are lots of things that make a big difference in a room’s appearance that aren’t exactly portable. Furniture, rugs, and other types of flooring materials all make a big difference in how a room looks, but you can’t bring those sorts of things to the store with you and taking pictures of them isn’t always the most reliable way to get a true color representation.
Test It Out
Once you’ve decided on a color you like, have the store mix up a small sample size of the paint for you and use it to paint something like a piece of white paper or poster board. That way, you’ll be able to have a decently-sized sample to put on your wall for a few days. You’ll have the chance to see how it looks throughout the day in various lighting conditions. This can be a particularly smart step to take if you’re planning to completely change the color of a room or want to experiment with bright, bold colors.
Remember the 60-30-10 Rule
The 60-30-10 rule is a guideline designers use when planning a room. This means that 60% of a room’s color scheme should be the dominant color, 30% should be your secondary color, and 10% should be an accent color. Since walls are such a large focal point of your room, you’ll probably want to have those account for the 60% and let the 30% and 10% come from other things in your room like furniture and accessories.