10 Tips for Choosing Paint Colours
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there: you're so excited for your room makeover/interior design project! Maybe it’s a full renovation or new build! And it’s time for choosing paint colours. You think you’ve chosen the perfect colour. It goes up on the walls, and suddenly you're like, “I have made a grave error…” 🙃
It’s ok - I know that feeling too! But after years of choosing paint colours, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for choosing the perfect paint colours the FIRST time.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 tips for choosing paint colours for your home - as well as my tried and true favorite colours!
My Top 10 Tips for Choosing Paint Colours
1. Consider how you want the room to feel
The colour paint you choose will have a BIG impact on the *vibe* of your space. Consider how you want to feel in that room: moody, relaxed, energized, safe, comfortable, motivated? Moody could mean a deep navy blue, and relaxed could mean a soft, warm greige. Whereas energized might mean a crisp, pure white. So think about the purpose of your space and how you and your family should feel in that room.
2. Get lots of samples!
Don’t just go with the first swatch you see. Get LOTS of swatches and samples! There’s a reason why there are soooooo many paint colours to choose from: every space is different! From the lighting to the furniture to the flooring to the trim - all of the elements of a space will influence you when choosing paint colours. So lean into patience, get lots of samples, and take your time!
3. Do NOT choose a paint colour at the store
Considering everything we talked about in the last tip, this should go without saying! Buuuuuttt - just in case it wasn’t clear, do not pick a paint colour at the store. First of all, the lighting in hardware stores is… how do I put this gently… atrocious? It had to be said! You need to test your samples in the room you are looking to paint. So, no split-second decisions!!
4. Find the undertone
Most colours have an undertone:
warm, cool, or neutral. The only exceptions are true white, true black, and primary colors. To find the undertone of your paint, compare your swatches to either a true white (for lighter colours) or a true black (for darker colours).
Take a look at all these shades of white and how the undertones make each one so unique!
And if you are looking for a super in-depth tutorial for identifying your paint colour’s undertone, check out this blog post from Kylie M. Interiors here.
5. Test your samples in different lighting & throughout the day
This is where some patience needs to come in. You want to test your samples on multiple walls and for at least one whole day! The lighting throughout your space and throughout the day will change and evolve. And those changes will affect the look of your paint (those dang undertones again). Our painters will paint several swatches around your room and watch them as the day goes on!
If you’d like a super in-depth breakdown of lighting and direction and how they affect the hue of colours, check out these two amazing blog posts here and here.
6. Make sure your trim colour and wall colour are cohesive
Whether your choosing all-new paint colours or selecting a new wall colour with existing trim - make sure that the two colours complement each other. The last thing you want is a big clash between the walls and molding!
7. Consider the surrounding visible rooms
This is an interior designer-level tip! When you are choosing paint colours for one space, consider the surrounding rooms - especially if it’s an open floor plan! Open doors, peek around corners, and really take your time to see how the colours play off of each other. Complementary, not necessarily matching, is the play!
8. I like neutrals - but you don’t have to!
If you follow the Lucyshyns Designs Instagram account or have perused the website, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a big fan of neutrals. Neutrals are timeless! And I love how easy it is to tie together a neutral colour palette that is cohesive, soothing, and elegant. But you don’t have to use neutrals all the time! When choosing paint colours, it’s important to pick a palette that is authentic to YOU and your home! But if you are a fan of neutrals like me, here the Lucyshyns’s go-to paint colours (all by Benjamin Moore):
Colours for Walls
Colours for Cabinets
9. Know your paint finishes and what they are for
Believe it or not, but there is a MASSIVE difference in paint finishes and what they are for. Flat, Eggshell, Semi-gloss, High-gloss - they are all different and they all serve different purposes.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
High-Gloss: for trim, molding, & high traffic areas like the kitchen
Semi-Gloss: again, trim & molding plus cabinets & doors
Satin: medium-to-high-traffic areas like laundry rooms, mudrooms, & bathrooms
Eggshell: moderate-traffic areas like bedrooms, living rooms, & dining rooms
Flat: low-traffic areas like ceilings (haha)
10. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time - you can try again!
I know, I know - it’s not what you want to hear. But sometimes it’s what you need to hear! Remember: it’s just paint! You can paint it again. Yeah, sometimes it is a pain - but landing that perfect paint colour is so worth it! So if it didn’t come out the way you had hoped, come back to these tips and take your time. The perfect paint colour is out there for you!
If you are feeling lost on choosing paint colours and designing your space…
Never fear! Lucyshyns Designs is here! Haha - if you are ready to tackle your next room makeo