How to Pick a Paint Color You’ll Love

I’ve been there too. You’ve decided to take the plunge and paint a room, your front door, trim, or any other surface in your home. 

It’s often stated that the most economical way to transform a room is through paint. I agree. However, with paint costs rising, sometimes it becomes super stressful trying to choose the perfect color. I certainly don’t want to waste a whole can of paint by choosing the wrong color!

Do any of you feel the same way? (Please tell me I’m not alone…)

As I recently went through the process while working on our current Master Bedroom Project, I thought I’d share some tips & tricks I’ve learned over the years.

How to Pick a Paint Color You’ll Love

1. Learn from the Experts

Call me strange, but I love researching paint colors. Through the course of my reading (and learning from HGTV design shows), I’ve taken away many helpful tips from designers. Designers are, after all, completely immersed in the creative process of transforming spaces on a regular basis. They’ve spent not only hours, but YEARS trying out different paint colors and know what works and doesn’t.

I recently discovered a super helpful video of 50 top paint colors by Jennifer Allwood from The Magic Brush Inc.  She gives a great explanation of each paint color and breaks it into color families to make it easier. I watched the whole thing, took notes, and went down to our local paint store to get the swatches!

How to Pick a Paint Color

I also have favorite designers whose work I’ve watched unfold on tv.  My beloved Grey Cashmere paint color (found here,  here & here) is thanks to the inspiration from one of the kitchens Sarah Richardson did a few years ago.

How to Pick a Paint Color

{Source: HGTV Sarah Richardson}

More recently, I’ve become a huge fan of Fixer Upper and the style of Joanna Gaines.

How to Pick a Paint Color

{Source: Hooked on Houses}

I’ve discovered you can google “Whole House Color Schemes from Fixer Upper” and find super helpful articles like this one.

2. View a Color Choice in the Space You Will Use It

This is the most important tip of all. There are so many different factors that affect how a paint color looks in a space. Natural light, square footage, & light fixtures all contribute to the look of a color. It’s important to test paint colors in the actual space they will be used in.

There are a few different methods of doing this:

  1. Tape up the teeny tiny swatch given by the store and view it at different times of the day. The downfall of this option is the size of the swatches. Since they are so small, it’s often hard to envision the paint on a whole wall! ( Which makes the next option one a bit better…
  2. Buy a sample color of the paint and paint it onto a half piece of poster board. That way, you can move the poster board around the room and see it on the different walls.

How to Pick a Paint Color


My friend taught me this method using giant paint swatches and graciously loaned me her samples when I was choosing a color for our living room. It was so helpful!

The above picture is a perfect example of how you shouldn’t pick a paint color based on a picture. Although it looks like those swatches are all the same color of white, in reality, they are very different!

3. Relax! It’s Just Paint…

This concept was actually a game changer in my hesitancy to ever pick a new color. Rather than be afraid of choosing the wrong color, I decided to instead focus on the fact that paint isn’t an investment so large that it would be the end of the world if I got it “wrong”!

I ususally know after I get an entire wall painted whether I’m going to love it or not. (It has to be a BIG space for me!!:)) I always figure if I end up not liking it, it really doesn’t take much time to repaint it in a different color.

4. Add a Few Accessories Before You Decide to Repaint

I’ll explain this more later, but when I painted our Master Bedroom (details & colors coming in the next post!) I wasn’t sure if I liked the initial color choice. However, after adding in accessories and finishing touches, I really like it.

So, there you have it! All my tips and tricks to choosing paint colors. Do you have any tips you’d like to add to the list? I’d love to hear…

How to pick a paint color


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