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10 Tips For Selecting an Interior Paint Color

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Selecting interior paint colors can be tricky and expensive if done wrong. So what is a person to do and how can they make selections like a professional interior designer?

The reason paint colors are hard to select is because the colors change with the lighting in the space that is being painted. The color can appear different in the same room depending on how much natural light is hitting the area. If an area is shaded the exact same color can appear different, usually darker, than a sunny area. Lighting can affect color too, as can the type of bulb being used. So it is imparitive that a sample be tested in different areas of the room before painting the whole area. Usually a 2’x 2′ area is enough to get the feel for the color in the room.

Here are some professional tips to help select the color that you love for the room:

1. When looking at color chips put the color chip on a piece of white copy paper or something similar. The white paper helps you see the true color better.
2. Always buy a sample of 2 or 3 colors to test in the room first before getting purchasing large quanties. See the colors in different lighting and night and day.
3. Paint 2′ x 2′ patches of the sample colors on different walls and look at them over a 24 hour period. That way you can see the color in the natural light and artificial light that is in that room.
4. Number each wall sample in pencil and write the number on the paint sample can. Use pencil lightly and not ink, as ink will not come off easily.
5. Stand back from the samples so that you can see the colors with other colors that are nearby. Be sure to include floor colors, ceiling colors, wood colors, tiles, fabric colors, window coverings or anything that will be in the same general area.
6. Also consider the sheen of the paint as a flat paint will look different than a semi-gloss paint of the same color.
7. Many of the paint companies have online computer programs that actually will show the color painted in a room. I never trust that because it because the color is not in my room with my lighting. I kind of use it as a guide and then do the above tests to see what the color really looks like in my exact room.
8. It is ok to check magazines, google, popular websites and see what others are using, but my biggest tip is to test, test, test first so that you are not shocked by the outcome. Because, believe me, it can be a shock and very expensive to repaint or change later.
9. As far as selecting your personal colors, it is fun to find out if your personal colors are warm based (yellow undertones) or cool based (blue undertones). If your skin tone is warm based, choose warm base colors and if your skin tone is cool based, choose cool colors to surround yourself with.
10. Sometimes I use a favorite piece of my neutral clothing that I love on me for color inspiration. If it looks wonderful on me. It could look beautiful in the room. Lord knows, that is important! But seriously, we do feel good with colors that are right for us surrounding us.

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By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; And by knowledge it's rooms are filled with all precious
and pleasant riches. Ps 24:3