When you’re ready to put a new coat of paint inside your house you can easily find yourself stumped as to which colors will go best in your house. The easiest way is to pick from colors you know you love. Don’t let yourself fall into the “traditional” color trap. Starting with a color you know you love will help you create a beautiful color palette.
One easy method is to choose colors from a print pattern. Pillows, bedding, blankets and linens can all have prints that may provide you with color ideas. Take a fabric swatch to the paint store and they will provide you with paint strips to view at home.
Using artwork inside your home is another great way to choose paint colors. You may already have a color palette right on your walls and you don’t even know it! Look around at some of your current artwork and find some colors you love for inspiration.
There are many different versions of color wheels that allow you to compare and contrast colors. Adobe makes a great online color wheel that allows you to mix and match many variations of colors.
Purchase some testers in a few different color variations and paint a large enough area on a few different walls so you can see how it looks at different times of the day. Almost all brands have testers for a small fee for you to try. You can even use the left overs for touch ups later on down the road.
Any sheen in a paint will accent flaws, so if you are trying to mask flaws go with as little sheen as possible.
Here are some general guidelines for the different finish choices:
- Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings.
- Flat Enamel: Has almost no shine but is a bit easier to clean than flat paint. This is also perfect for low traffic areas but may be a better choice if you have kids or pets.
- Eggshell Enamel: Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms. In my experience most scuffs can be wiped off of this surface with a damp cloth.
- Satin Enamel: Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas or areas that have moisture. It is also super wipeable which is why it is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.
- Semi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim, or in really high moisture areas.
- Hi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces (like a railing) or furniture.
You don’t have to hire an interior designer to redo the look of your house. Look for color palettes that already exist in your rooms and imagine ways to make them stand out. You can make the room simply feel different by using different color palettes. If you want to make the room feel more calm, use a light warm or cool shade. Do you want your home to feel more comfortable or “homey”? Use buttery yellows and mellow tans. Looking for more energy? Use more vibrant shades. The point is, you can quickly feel the way you want with a can of paint or two, a paint brush and a little imagination.