6 Things You Should Never Do When Choosing Paint Colors

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Painting a room (Photo:@Korneevamaha via Twenty20)
It can be a lot of fun to paint the interior of your house, apartment, or condo, because the end result can be extremely gratifying and exciting. If you find your home feeling dull and uninspiring, a new coat of paint is often the perfect remedy. With a fresh coat and the right color, your home can be exciting, inspiring, invigorating, comforting, and fun, all at once.
However, it’s absolutely vital that you choose the right colors when painting your home. And that’s something that a lot of people struggle with. Not choosing the right color can be the difference between loving your home and dreading going home to it.
So, before you buy a few gallons of paint and break out the brushes, consider these bad mistakes that a lot of people make.

1. Only looking at a small sample

The samples and swatches available at the paint store are great, but they don’t tell the whole story. You don’t really know what the paint is going to look like until it’s on the wall in a large sample.
If you think you’ve found the right paint for the job, just use it to paint one wall of one room. Then put the brush down, spend a day with that color, and make sure you still like it in a larger sample size. If you do, then you can proceed as normal. But you might find yourself ready to move on and try something else.

2. Not testing at different times of day (and night)

If you take a sample home from the paint shop, you might notice as soon as you get home that it’s not quite the same color that you were looking at before. That’s because color changes as lighting does.
Paint shops usually have commercial lighting that isn’t going to be replicated in many rooms of your home. So, take home a sample and see what it looks like in each room, and check it all through the day, as the lighting changes. Note how it looks in the morning, how it looks in the afternoon, and how it looks at night with the lights on and off.

3. Going too dark

Dark colors can be beautiful in homes, but people often make the mistake of purchasing paint that’s a few shades too dark. Remember that you’re going to be painting a large area, and usually a few coats. That will make the paint look a little bit darker than it actually is. If you find the right sample in the store, consider going a shade lighter.

4. Just picking a color you like

Most people have a favorite color. But just because you have a favorite color doesn’t mean you want the interior of your home to be that color. A surprisingly common mistake people make when choosing colors for their home is to pick a color they like, rather than a color they like for the interior of their house. Always remember that you’re not just picking a color, you’re picking a color for something specific.

5. Not taking into account the kind of home you have

Different homes call for different color schemes. What might work well on a modern high-rise probably doesn’t work as well for a wine country getaway, which probably doesn’t work as well for a snowy mountain cabin or a suburban bungalow.
Always consider the architecture of the home, the furniture in the home, and the other design choices you’re making when picking a color.

6. Overlooking the finish

Adding a finish to your paint job might feel like a small detail, but it greatly impacts how the color looks. Don’t forget that you’ll be adding this detail when you’re picking out a color. Many people do, and it costs them.
All of these are common mistakes that people make when choosing a paint color for their home. Avoid these pitfalls, and you’ll be able to find the perfect color for your walls.