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Choosing the right paint colors can make all the difference

Choosing paint colors

Choosing colors for your home   choose paint colors

Color is a very important decorating tool. It is one of the first things you notice about a room. Color has the power to change the shape and size of furnishings as well as the shape and size of the room itself.

To have a beautiful home, you do not have to worry about trends. Color trends will come and go. The people who live in a home make it beautiful by choosing colors that reflect their likes and their personalities. The trick is to blend those colors you like into a pleasing combination.

Because of its versatility, paint is ideal for introducing color into your home — it’s economical and available in practically limitless shades. You can paint frequently to update the appearance of a room, suit a season or express a personality. Although, most people prefer to paint a room only once every several years, so choosing the right colors can be an important decision.

Selecting colors is not difficult if you equip yourself with some basic information about color and its effects.
The first step in choosing colors for your home is to select an overall color scheme.

  • What type of mood do you want to create?

  • What furniture, architectural features, or artwork are going to remain in the room that you may want to accentuate.

  • Remember, color may appear differently depending on how large the painted area is, whether a glossy or flat finish is used, what other colors are nearby and the type of lighting used in the room. Also, because of the number of pigments that can go into creating some paint colors, the actual color you see may change 4 or 5 shades during the day depending on the lighting in the room.

Tips for Choosing Color

• Consider the function of the room being painted and choose an appropriate color.

• Limit the number of colors in a room to no more than three or four. Too many colors can make a room look busy or cluttered

• If you have already chosen the furnishings for the room bring swatches or samples and try to use 1 or more of these colors when choosing your paint colors. That way your paint colors will already have a relationship to some of the other colors in the room.

• If you want to manipulate the perceived size of the room with color, choose an appropriate palate; light colors and white ceilings to increase size, dark bold tones with a darker ceiling color to shrink.

warm and cool colors

Warm colors generally lean towards red, orange, and yellow. They speed up our perception of time and produce feelings that are warm, cozy, and inviting. These colors are associated with excitement, warmth, and happiness.

Cool Colors generally include violet, blue, light blue and green. Emotions associated with these colors range from calm and peace to sadness if the shades are too intense or overwhelming.

Colors also have different symbolic meanings in different cultures. For example, white is the color for weddings in western societies but for funerals in traditional Chinese culture; red is associated with rage and excitement in America but with happiness and good fortune in China.

Selecting a Color Scheme
The process of selecting a color scheme for your home is a personal matter. There are no strict rules governing the selection of a color scheme, but there are some harmonious combinations inspired by the color wheel.

primary colors          secondary colors          tertiary colors

The color wheel is basically a circle of color. At three triangulated points are the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. From there we combine these colors to create the secondary colors of Purple, green, and orange. And finally we combine them further to create our tertiary colors of yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. By blending shades of white or black with our colors, we can lighten or darken the values of any color even further, creating virtually endless possibilities.

    • The monochromatic color scheme is a popular one today because, by using various intensities of one color, it lends continuity and spaciousness to small or crowded spaces. It is one of the simplest schemes to use; yet it can produce very sophisticated results. Simply select a color you would love to surround yourself with and use it in different shades to decorate the room. Try not to use colors that are too close in value, or it may appear washed out

  • A complementary or contrasting color scheme combines colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as green and red, or blue and orange. At its best, the complementary color scheme produces a lively effect. But color shades should be chosen carefully to avoid a jarring effect.

  • An analogous color scheme uses neighboring colors on the wheel, such as green, blue-green, and blue, for a particularly harmonious effect. To avoid a static effect, use more of one color than the other.
    You can get the inspiration for your color scheme from an Oriental rug or a favorite painting. Either may suggest a pleasing color combination and could then help tie together the colors in the room.

Whether you’re decorating your entire house or merely redoing one room, be sure to maintain a certain amount of color continuity throughout the home.

In some cases, you may want to make your wall treatment the focal point of the room. For instance, an accent wall that’s painted a different color than the other walls in the room, or perhaps a faux finish on one or more walls.

Selecting Paint Colors

    • Select several paint chips that you think will work well with your furnishings, keeping in mind that the color will be much more intense on a large wall than on a small paint chip.

  • Take the chips of several possible colors home and examine them in the room you will be painting — under both natural daylight and artificial night lighting. If you’re still unsure about your color choice, buy the color that seems best in the smallest available quantity. Brush out several 2 foot x 2 foot samples on different walls of the room you will be painting. After they’ve dried, study the samples in daylight and under artificial lighting.

The main thing to remember is to have some fun choosing your colors. Paint colors are not permanent; so don’t get stressed out about choosing the wrong colors, because if you really don’t like them, it’s a simple remedy to change the colors with a fresh coat of paint!

Update: I found this neat little paint color tool online at the Sherwin-Williams paint store website. You can upload a picture of your room and change the colors around to see what your rooms would look like with different colored walls.

Here’s the link… Sherwin-Williams color visualizer  – just keep in mind that while this color visualizer tool can help narrow down your paint choices, the colors won’t be 100% accurate because you’re looking at them on a computer monitor and not actually looking at genuinely painted walls.

Serving Southern New Hampshire and surrounding areas since 1995

For A Quality Interior House Painter Call

(603) 864-9783



Change of paint color

Sometimes all that’s needed is a change of paint color to bring a drab looking room back to life. (But don’t forget the prep work. If we don’t fix the holes, cracks, and other ugly stuff first, all we’ll end up with are ugly walls that are painted a different color)

Here’s a few pictures for you to look at from some rooms I’ve painted over the years. See how a change of color can change the entire feel of the room.
(Please don’t judge the picture quality too harshly, I’m a way better painter than a photographer)

This stairwell / foyer was all white before I started… But with some deep red and orange, it’s like a whole new entryway.

This children’s bathroom hadn’t seen any love in over 15 years… So they let the kids pick the colors, and I got to work.

These walls needed a fresh coat of paint… don’t you think? “Richmond Gold” makes the whole room so much warmer

Plain white walls are OK… But a little color really shows off the architecture

Plain white dining room with a sample color swatch on the walls The color was right, so I finished the room

These next before and after pictures show you how a deeper paint color can give a room more dimension and can dramatically change the look and feel of a room.

So, there’s a few examples of how changing the colors of a room can give it a whole new look and feel. I’ve got a lot more I could show you, but I’m really more of a painter than a website designer… and right now I have to get back to work.

If you’re trying to decide what colors to paint your own rooms,
check out my page on choosing paint colors for your home to get you started.

Serving Southern New Hampshire and surrounding areas since 1995

For A Quality Interior House Painter Call

(603) 864-9783