the painted surface
How To Choose Colors
Choosing paint colors for painting projects can be one of the last decorating decisions. Paint can be made in almost any color. Where as the palette of colors found in carpet, cabinets, textiles, tile, furnishings and decorative objects is limited, paint can be mixed to match any of these items. The paint color will complement the decorative furnishings in the room. In total makeovers or new construction the shades and tones of the colors of furnishings, cabinets and floor coverings should be considered. Make sure they complement each other and when it is time to choose colors for paint the selection will be easier. For more information about color and tips to choose colors see “COLOR” and “Six Step Color Choice”. Here are some thoughts to help choose colors for paint.
Get a color fan deck.
Get a color fan deck showing all colors of a paint company. The small charts show only a few of the colors available but the fan deck will include from 800 to 1800 colors depending on the manufacturer. Become familiar with the layout of the fan deck. Notice how families, shades and tones of colors are arranged. The groupings can be starting places to choose colors. The fan deck may have special markings to indicate light reflectivity, covering strength, need for primers and the paint's base among other specialized notations. These will vary according to each manufacturer. When looking for a light color and the right shade is hard to find try halving or doubling the formula to produce a slightly lighter or darker shade.
- Take inspiration from personal likes and dislikes.
- Let the furnishings in the room guide the choice of color to a particular color family.
- A theme may be desired, let it narrow the color palette.
- A favorite work of art or family heirloom can suggest a color palette.
Narrow down the potential choices.
- Compare color families or palettes and rule out the least dsirable.
- If a color works but is not a favorite, discard it.
- Keep the colors that add to the original inspiration. Some will, some will not.
- Stay focused.
- Compare the colors underlying tones and shades to rule out unwanted color casts.
Sample the actual paint.
The color charts are very accurate but seeing the actual paint on a large surface is the best way to make a final decision. When the choices are narrowed down to a couple or three it is time to buy paint. Sample amounts of paint can usually be bought for a low cost. This is much cheaper than buying a gallon of paint that is never used because it turned out to be the wrong color. Paint large pieces of poster or foam core board and place them around the room. Seeing them with the furnishings and observing them in different light and times of day will lead to a final choice.
These steps will hopefully make choosing colors a simpler task. More details about specific painting subjects are covered in the additional articles. In those will be found details, tips and techniques gathered from over 20 years of painting experience. Here is a list of links to the articles:
More helpful painting tips, techniques and how-to articles can be found by following these links.
How To Paint a Room ◊ How To Paint a Stairway ◊ How To Paint a Two-Story Room ◊ How To Choose Colors ◊ Six Step Color Choice ◊ Popular Color Ideas ◊ How To Choose Paint ◊ Tools ◊ How To Caulk ◊ How To Patch a Hole ◊ How To Patch a Crack ◊ How To Cut In a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Roll a Wall or Ceiling ◊ How To Paint Woodwork ◊ How To Paint a Window ◊ How To Paint Baseboard ◊ How To Paint a Door ◊ How To Paint Crown Moulding ◊ How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets ◊ How To Choose a Premium Paintbrush ◊ How To Paint a MDF Bookcase ◊ How To Paint Aluminum or Vinyl Siding ◊ How To Paint Over Faux Finishes ◊ How To Use Magnetic Paint ◊ How To Use FrogTape ◊ How To Paint Repair Water Damaged Drywall ◊ Hiring a Contractor ◊ Paint Stripper Safety ◊ Painting Louvered Shutters ◊ 2013 Color Trends ◊ Choosing Front Door Colors