How to choose your perfect paint colour


Choosing the perfect paint color for your project can be overwhelming. There are thousands of colours to choose from and you can easily become frustrated with the process. I’ve been fortunate to have my daughter-in-law, Cindy, and my contractor, Matt, to help me sift through paint samples for numerous projects.

Changing the color of your paint is a fairly easy and low cost task that will quickly transform the look of any room. Taking your time in choosing the colors will, however, save you from having to repaint sooner than you wish.

Points to consider when choosing paint colors

* What colors appeal to you? Warm, cool, neutral, bold…..

* What items in the room would you like to coordinate the paint with? A favorite comforter, a couch, a rug, a piece of artwork…….

* How much natural light does the room get?

* What have you seen in magazines or on HGTV that you like?

* What fixtures are in the room that you need to work with? Fireplaces, tile floor, cabinets, appliances…..

Hopefully, you now have a general idea of the colors you want to consider. Off to the store you go for paint swatches. Try to choose only a few (4-5) swatches for each painting project but get several swatches of each color. Too many variations will seriously overwhelm you. Look for paint colors that will match the undertones of other items in your room.

Back at your place, tape the swatches to the wall at different places in the room. The light will make the color look different from various angles. Also, compare the swatches to the floor, furniture, cabinets and other fixtures.

An exact color match may not be the best choice.

Some years ago, I had my den walls painted Botany Beige which is a good color for the right place. However, as it turned out, my couch, loveseat and ottoman were almost exactly the same color as the paint. My furniture blended into the walls and you could not tell where the furniture ended and the walls began. I was horrified when I first walked into the room.


Your next step is samples.

Paint stores will prepare for you a small sample of the colors that you are ready to try. Even though you can actually paint blocks of color directly on your walls, I

recommend painting the colors on a piece of poster board. Then you can move the board to different places in the room to see how you like the color in different lights and by different pieces of furniture or fixtures. Live with these samples in your actual space for a few days before making a final decision.

If you find a color you like but prefer it in a lighter shade, the paint store staff can blend in white to achieve your look. Since there won’t be a swatch, be sure to get a sample to try at home.

Paint manufacturers have online tools where you can upload a photo of your room and view it in different paint colors. This can be a great tool but it is not a substitute for actually seeing the color in your own room.

My favorite and most used paint colors are…..

The most recent project of mine is painting the interior of our coastal cottage. With a lot of input, I have decided on Agreeable Gray for the living area and bedroom. In the bathroom, we will use Sea Salt on the upper areas and the bottom half is white beadboard. We’re also having the kitchen cabinets painted Extra White to blend in with the white appliances. For a pop of color, I have used a coastal blue for my accessories such as pillows, seat cushions, wall décor and rugs.

I have also used Accessible Beige in several rooms of my home and also in my office. All of these colors are neutral and work well with many other colors in your room.

Now it’s your turn.

What colors have you used recently that you loved?

What upcoming projects are you searching for the perfect paint color?

Be BOLD! Find your own color of BEAUTIFUL!

Written by: Louise Pistole you can follow Louise Pistole at or

One comment

  1. Great tips! I agree that colors that are really similar to each other are disconcerting — you need a bit of contrast. My parents recently repainted their kitchen and it was quite a process but looks great now.

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