Choosing interior paint colors is an involved process. Start by picking out swatches and narrowing your options to one or two color schemes with backup trim and accent hues. Then follow these five steps.
1. Tape the paint swatches to the wall or walls in each room to be painted.
Pick a wall that will get all levels of light throughout the day and night, with the latter involving lamps and other artificial lighting. Choose multiple walls if one won’t give you a good sense of how colors will look at different times of the day. Tape the paint swatches to the walls, layering them to also see how the colors will affect each other in different lights.
Do this for every room of the house to be painted.
2. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Check the paint swatches at these three times one day, taking notes on which color schemes you like and don’t like on their own as well as how they complement or clash with adjoining rooms. The following day, play with your backup hues to see if other trim and accent colors create schemes you like better.
Do this until you have gone through all of your backup colors and have chosen two finalists.
3. Apply paint samples to the same wall or walls in each room.
While swatches offer an excellent way to narrow your options, actual samples from your local paint store show the colors exactly. Start this step by removing the swatches and prepping the surface. That means cleaning the wall and applying a base coat of white paint to serve as a background for the samples. Prep a large enough area to fit both finalists with space left between so one does not affect how you view another.
Apply two coats of each paint color in their respective schemes. Allow to dry overnight.
4. Look at the colors in the morning, in the afternoon and at night.
Repeat the evaluation process above. At this point, you should have a clear favorite. Ask for the opinions of friends and family members if not, as they might help sway you to one paint color scheme over another.
Pick the interior color schemes for your house.
5. Hire a professional painter.
You can certainly take the DIY route if you have experience painting, but keep in mind that a professional painter is exactly that: professional. With that expertise comes:
- Knowledge-A pro knows which products and methods deliver the longest-lasting paint job, which could be for up to 10 years depending on the amount of wear and tear it sees. He or she can also offer advice on colors if you simply cannot make a decision.
- Efficiency-The work gets done over the course of a few days, as opposed to whenever you can fit it in your busy life. Would you rather spend your days off enjoying the lovely fall weather or inside working around the house?
- Equipment-Do you own a paint sprayer? A professional does and will use it appropriately in your home.
- Warranty-It takes time to see every inch of a paint job. If there are any issues, a warranty will ensure they get addressed. You don’t get such a guarantee with the DIY route.
One last tip: When choosing your paints, keep in mind that higher-quality paints deliver a longer-lasting result, making up for their higher cost by reducing the frequency with which you must paint. Considering application makes up a large portion of the cost when painting, going with better brands can actually save you money in the long run.