How to choose paint colors

No doubt about it, it’s time for a change. You are more than ready for something new and different on the walls of your home. Maybe you’ve grown tired of the same old shade of beige in the dining room and are looking for something bold and fresh. Perhaps you’ve moved and the existing color scheme will not work with your furniture. There are many great reasons to change your interior paint color, but how will you decide what shade to change to?

Most folks don’t know where to begin when it comes to how to choose paint colors, and no wonder. Look at all the countless shades of tan, beige and white. It’s natural to feel intimidated by all the options, choices and variations in hue and texture. Fortunately, choosing the ideal shade is easier than you might think.


While there’s no one right way to choose paint colors, here are six things you can do to make sure the color you go with is a color you can live with.

  • Open Your Closet

One way to get a sense of your color preferences is to take a good look at your wardrobe. The colors we choose to dress ourselves are often the ones we’d be happiest with “dressing” our surroundings. Make a note of the colors that tend to repeat in your clothing and accessories.

  • Monkey See, Monkey Do

Take some time to walk through some model homes, take a virtual tour on-line or just browse a magazine and see what the designers are doing with color. Don’t feel like you have to go with a particular shade just because it is popular or in fashion, but you may get some ideas you’d never considered. One of our client’s fell in love with a purple hue for her dining room after seeing it at an open house.

  • Play Up Your Favorites

Another way to choose your paint color is to focus on a favorite possession. Maybe you have a treasured piece of artwork or area rug or a special upholstered chair. You can use the hues of your furnishings and decorations as the basis of your paint selection, finding shades that compliment and bring out the colors of your favorite things.

  • Find Your Color Magnets

Armed with some good ideas and examples, go to your local hardware store and check out their rainbow of paint samples. With an open mind, see where you are naturally drawn. Which part of the color spectrum keeps catching your eye? Darker, lighter? Reds? Yellows? Bright’s or pastels? Find the ones that draw you like a magnet. Don’t rule anything out. Even if you think the color you like best would not work on the entire room, it might just make the perfect accent wall or trim.

  • Process of Elimination

Often, the easiest way to choose paint colors is by eliminating the ones you don’t like. We had a client who wanted to repaint the master bedroom of the new home she’d bought. “I really don’t care what color you paint it,” she told us. “Just get rid of the mint green.” By focusing on what she didn’t like – pale, pastel hues — we were able to direct her towards the richer, deeper tones she was happy with.

  • Get a Consult

Once you have a general idea of the colors you want to work with (and those you don’t) it’s time to call in an expert. A paint professional can assist you in narrowing your search to the ideal color for your space, taking into consideration dynamics such as natural light, size and dimension, coverage, texture.

Your paint professional knows the nuances of hue and shading, warm and cool and neutral. You won’t have to worry about your choice clashing with woodwork or flooring. An expert has the talent, knowledge and experience to ensure that you make the best selection for your project. Not only will they help you choose a paint color you will be truly happy with, they will ensure you avoid any costly mishaps or mistakes.