7 Steps For Paint Colours Success

Posted in: Colour, Paint | 0

So it’s that time again. It’s time to decide what colour to paint your walls. Yikes! You dig out the dog-eared envelope of paint colours you’ve collected in the past. Sift thought 30 paint swatches. They either all look the same or they’re all over the map. You have 6 different paint blobs on the walls and you’re no closer to the colour you think is right. Every time you go and get a paint chip you come home to discover its way grayer, bluer, yellower, wrong-er. You don’t even know. But what about that couch you wanted to get recovered? And do you buy your accessories and artwork first or after? Is it supposed to match the furniture or contrast with it? Every time you start down this paint colour selection road you hit a brick wall because you’re overwhelmed with all it entails.. or all you think it entails.

I can help clear the brain clutter and get you selecting your colours with confidence… and maybe even with a little finesse.

Who knew?

So here’s what you’ve got to do.


Borrow a fan deck from your paint store of choice. You can often sign out a fan deck for a deposit. It’s worth a purchase if you often find yourself selecting paint colours. The reason is that you will have all of the colours on hand when you get home in your lighting. We often pick up a few chips that we think could work when we are at the paint shop only to find out they are WAY off mark when we get home. I usually stick with my trusty Benjamin Moore paint fan decks because I love the quality of the product in application and wear.


Take a seat in room or area of your home in question. I find a beverage is lovely for this step – a tea, a glass of wine, a scotch on rocks (I’m not judging. Colour selection is wearisome work). Now that you’re comfy and possibly half buzzed. Look at everything in the room to be taken into consideration. Look at your flooring, window coverings, furniture, accessories, and artwork. Not that pile of clutter your putting off until you paint. Or that sofa that needs new accent pillows, like… last year. Try and focus on what will not be changing and the things you love about the room. Now, what colours are all of these aspects? All different colours, because you have an eclectic style? All neutral because you’re a scaredy cat practical? This is your biggest indication as to what needs to happen on your walls. Do you want to introduce some/more colour? Do you want a neutral backdrop for your already wild style? What things to you want to compliment or highlight? You will start to see the room in terms of colours alone after a few minutes.


Start flipping through the fan of colours. Obviously a million samples is overwhelming to you. But only a few of them are possible candidates. So stay focused. Pull out ones you’re attracted too. Set out whatever ones stop you in your tracks. Check them with the pieces and materials in the room that are to be taken into consideration (i.e. the sofa, hardwood floors, artwork). Do they coexist or do they clash hard?

Note: If some of the colours you like seem “off the wall” (pardon the pun) than they just might be excellent indicators of your accessories colour scheme. Make note of them and confirm this after you’ve painted. Still like them? Take them shopping with you as a colour scheme guide.


Put the paint chips you’ve set aside on the wall. Not the floor. Not your lap. Not under a lamp. Not on the table. On the wall. As a fun activity (a break from the hard work choosing colours) put the chip in those different spots and watch what happens. It changes. Every time. So the best and only way to get an idea of what the colour will look like on your walls is to put it on the walls. Kapiche? Lay it as flat as possible. (If you are painting a piece of furniture I then encourage you to place the chip flat on the surfaces to be painted. The idea is to have the light hit the chip as it would once painted)


Check you colours in the light. All light. Day light, evening light, morning light, night light, lamp light, overhead light etc, etc. You get the idea. A colour that seems like the possible winner can lose it all once the lights are on. Kind of like a “go to bed with a 10 wake up with a 2” situation. Not pretty. So check it and check it again. It will help eliminate a lot of candidates.


Collect paint samples, larger chips, or a few of the regular sized chips from the paint store and pin them up around the room so you can watch them for a couple of days. Whenever one strikes you as wrong, pull it down.


Once you’ve narrowed it down to one to or two, it’s time to bite the bullet. If you do have 2, they are probably so similar you wouldn’t notice the difference between two walls in the same room painted in each colour. But if you are still unsure or are really particular about how the big picture will look (I don’t blame you bit) but a quart of the paint and do a wall. That should be enough confirmation to get you up on a ladder… or calling your trusted painter(s).

Good luck to you with your next paint colour selection. Have fun! Wall colour is the best bang for your buck in terms of impact on your room’s design.

Still feeling lost in the sea of paint colours? Can’t stop thinking of the worst-case scenario of colour picking (the dreaded repaint)? If you want more guidance on selecting your paint colours or you’re looking for a personalized colour consultation – you know where to find me. I’m always happy to help.

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