Are you planning to paint the inside of your home? If so, then meet your new best friend: the paint swatch. These colorful cards help you narrow a multitude of options to just a few hues for actual sampling on walls. Swatches also serve as a portable representation of your final choices to be used as a reference whenever shopping for furniture and home décor.
Pick Up Paint Swatches
While you can print colors from paint company websites to use as examples, doing so often leads to dissatisfaction. Your home equipment may not print the color exactly as the company makes it, leaving you with a slightly different shade.
Head to your local paint or home improvement store instead and browse the swatches, which are available as single color cards and in combination with complementary hues. Pick up those that catch your eye and interest, and don’t worry about taking too many. The paint company offers them for free, plus you can reuse the rejects in a variety of fun art projects-check out this fun collection of ideas on how to do exactly that on Pinterest.
Look at Color Cards Next to Items in the Room
Paint color, furniture and décor together create the color palette of a room. If you plan on keeping the same furniture and décor, look at your swatches next to them to find those that work well with those existing hues. You may want to pick up a background color in upholstery to use as a wall color, or you may choose a color in décor to also use as an accent.
If you plan to redecorate entirely, be sure to choose paint colors you can work with, whether they be neutrals that work as a base or accent colors you can envision incorporating into new pieces.
Hang Paint Swatches
Once you have eliminated colors that will not work with existing or new décor, hang the remaining swatches on the respective walls you plan to paint, in areas on each that get all of the different natural and artificial lights of the day and night; light can significantly change how the color appears to you. Also leave plenty of distance between the color cards so that one does not influence how you perceive another. Live with them for a week or so, taking down colors you dislike at a given time of day.
Paint Sample Colors
Once you have narrowed the options to a final two or three, head back to the store to get samples of the color combinations to actually apply to the walls. The paint version may differ slightly from the card, and taking this extra step allows you to be totally sure about your final choices. Again, look at how the colors appear in different lights and next to any furniture or décor that remains.
Your professional painter can also help at this point, or earlier in the process if you prefer, steering you toward the right colors for each room of your home. He or she can take into consideration how the different colors in different rooms play off each other. Not factoring that in can result in jarring transitions from room to room and colors that are not complementary being seen together from certain points in your home.
A professional can also advise you as to the right sheen for each room. For example, a high gloss works best in the kitchen and bathrooms due to durability, but would not be the best finish for a bedroom. He or she can also recommend the highest quality paints for your particular budget.
Good luck with your painting project!