A Guide to Paint Color Dos and Don’ts

Picking out paint color is always a daunting task, no matter how experienced you are in the world of interior design. Sometimes, the color just doesn’t turn out right, or perhaps you didn’t take into consideration the amount of light the room gets, or some other reason here or there. Whatever the case may be, there are plenty of ‘do and do not’ tips when it comes to choosing paint colors.

Do study the color wheel.

Knowing what colors pair well together and what colors do not will help you make a more informed decision. Plus, you’re more likely to choose a color you’ll fall in love with rather than a color you’ll need to paint over.

Don’t ignore light.

Light will affect how the color looks on your wall. Sure, that paint chip looked super appealing under that bright white fluorescent light, but it might not look as appealing in the light of the room you’re painting.

Do buy paint samples.

That being said, definitely buy paint samples. Let the samples sit up on the walls for a few days so you can see how the paint color looks in various lights. It will help you make a better choice.

Don’t feel that you have to paint an entire room the same color.

It’s true. Sometimes, one color just doesn’t belong on every wall. You’re better off having an accent wall of that color combined with some lighter tones in the same palette on the other walls.

Do accept that you might make a mistake.

The great thing about paint is that you can paint over it. Enough said.

Don’t assume that beige is the only natural.

Beige is not the only natural, there are thousands of different shades of greens, yellows and browns that can all be considered neutral. In fact, even some shades of reds and blues can be considered neutral.

Do step outside the box.

If you’re not ready for a new paint color, don’t rule out new color completely. Try adding in a few throw pillows or accessories in a fun new color. One day, when you’re feeling more daring, paint an accent wall that color. You might surprise yourself.

Don’t overload on color.

When done right, a large color palette can be extremely attractive. When done wrong, it can look like a college dorm room. If you’re unsure of how many colors you have, consider scaling back a few; you might be pleased with the results.

Do look into tried and true color schemes.

If you’re stumped on where to start with paint color, consider looking at pictures of tried and true color schemes. Great schemes to start with: brown and blue, yellow and blue or black and white.

Don’t rely on trends.

As a regular follower of color trends and styles in the interior design world, I’ve learned the hard way that following a color trend isn’t a good idea. Though most of my house guests won’t know my color choice is “last year,” I do, and if you’re like me, having “last year’s color” will drive you nuts. Choose colors you truly love, rather than the latest color trend and you’ll be less likely to repaint every year.

Do follow your heart.

If a certain color is calling your name, go for it. Let the paint sit for a few days before deciding if it really isn’t for you. After all, a color change can be a serious shock, even if you’re prepared.

Don’t be focus on “gender-specific” colors.

Pink doesn’t have to be “girly,” nor does blue have to be “manly.” Anyone who says otherwise is just jealous of your great taste.