Whether you want to breathe some life into a room that feels tired or you just want to completely switch up the feeling of your home, painting is a great way to do that. If you do it yourself, it can be a cheap way to completely transform a space.
But actually picking a color can be intimidating. What if you pick the wrong color and it looks bad? How can you know which color is right?
Lucky for you, we’ve made this simple guide to help you learn how to choose paint colors for your home. Keep reading to learn more.
Follow the Color Wheel
We’ll start off with the basics: reading the color wheel. You probably remember the color wheel from elementary school lessons. You have the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Combining any of these colors will result in a secondary color. For example, yellow and blue combine to make green.
How can this help you choose color schemes for house painting?
Colors next to each other on the color wheel (known as analogous colors) go together well and will easily bring out the fill color of each other. For example, a room with many purple accessories or accents would go well with a blue paint color.
If you want a more intense or striking room, you can match up opposite, also known as complementary colors. These colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel. An example of this would be blue and orange.
You can also use the color wheel to determine cool vs. warm colors. If you draw a line down the middle of the color wheel between yellow-green and red-violent, the colors on the left side are “warm” colors (red, yellow, orange, etc) while the right side are “cool” colors (blue, purple, green, etc).
This can help you match different temperature hues to the feel of the room you’re painting.
Match Accessories or Patterns
Another thing that can help you pick between different paint schemes is the accessories or patterns that are already in the room you’re painting. Pick out a color that you like within the accessories or furniture, whether that’s a teal lampshade, a purple rug pattern, or a pastel green sofa pillow.
Zoning in on one small accent color and using it for the paint of the room will make those accessories and patterns pop while bringing the room together with a specific decorating color scheme.
Consider the Lighting
The lighting you get in the room can affect how the color will look.
If you’re painting a room that gets a lot of natural sunlight, the paint will look pretty true to color. However, a large amount of natural light can sometimes make something too bright. A bright or intense color might look better as an accent in a room with a lot of natural light as opposed to covering every wall.
Incandescent lights can easily bring out warm tones like yellows, reds, and oranges. Rooms with this paint color would look good in incandescent lighting.
However, if it is a strong or intense color, incandescent lighting can make it too overpowering or distracting. You might be better using softer warm tones, or go for cooler tones to avoid it being too much.
Fluorescent lighting usually casts a blue hue on its own. This means it will enhance green and blue colors, but it can also mute or diminish warm colors like red, yellow, or orange.
This means a few things: cool colors can look too cool, almost clinical, when in fluorescent lights. Your best bet would be to go for a cool color with warm undertones to counteract the coolness projected by the fluorescent lighting.
Consider the Mood
Colors portray different moods. For example, if you want a light, airy type of living room, painting it a dark maroon would give it a more somber and heavy feeling.
There’s an entire subset of psychology called color psychology. This tells us that certain colors elicit certain emotions. For example, warmer colors can make a room feel more inviting and ready for socializing. Consider painting dining areas or social spaces with warm or bright colors like reds and yellows.
Rooms with a quieter more reserved mood would do well with neutrals (white, tan, grey) or with cooler blues and greens.
If you want a room to feel luxurious or expensive, try out accents of gold.
Test It Out
There’s no rule that says you have to pick one second and paint the whole room that color the next. Get a few different samples of colors and try out small swatches on the wall you’re painting.
This will help you compare different hues and temperatures if you’re unsure about the choice you’re making. It will also be a perfect time to try out a few different decorating color schemes if you can’t quite decide.
You also can’t often tell in the store exactly how the paint is going to look with your furniture, accessories, and the lighting of the room. Testing it out before you go all in is a key step to picking a paint color.
Don’t Forget Sheen
Sheen refers to the glossiness of a paint color. The higher the gloss, the easier the paint is to clean.
Do you have numerous animals? Small children? Or just particularly messy hobbies like hiking, crafting, or mud wrestling? Then a high gloss paint color would be the best choice for you to be able to clean it and have the paint last as long as possible.
But high gloss also has a distinct, well, gloss to it. It’s shiny and distinctive, which might not go well with every room or interior color pallet.
How to Choose Paint Colors: Wrapping Up
Knowing how to choose paint colors is truly an art form that takes practice. You need an eye for color, pattern, and color schemes. You’re either born with it, or you learn from articles like this.
Hopefully this brought you one step closer to having an intuitive sense of color for your home’s aesthetic. Contact us if you need more help or have any questions.