Choosing the right paint color can be a daunting task for most people. Even designers sometimes have a difficult time deciding the best color to put on such large areas. The thought of "committing" to something as large as a wall space sends some on a mad dash to the paint store to pick out their fifteen favorite samples to splash all over the walls. I once heard someone say, "painting a wall is like having an affair...you don't have to commit". Now, this blog is not meant to get into marital discussions or talk about my thoughts on the subject, but that person was correct when it comes to paint colors.
On the home tour last weekend, one of the questions that I received the most was "what color is on the wall in 'X' room". It made me stop and think that this color solution that comes so easily to some of us is really one of the first steps in helping others visualize how differently a room can look with just a coat of paint. Painting a room is a very inexpensive way to change the entire look of a space. Here are a few tips and some of my favorite shades.
1) Samples. Always, ALWAYS, aLWaYs put a sample on the wall. Choose at least three samples. Select the one that you absolutely love, then select a shade darker and a shade lighter. Paint a 2x2 foot square so that you are able to see a large enough space. You may decide that you do not like a color if you paint a large enough swatch of it.
2) Lighting. Paint colors look completely different depending on the time of day and the light sources in the room. Once you have the sample on the wall, view it during the daylight hours and the evening hours (with the lights on). It's always a good idea to look at the color during the time of day that you plan to use the room most. For instance, a master bathroom is most often used in the early morning and in the evening.
3) Trim and special effects. Don't forget about the trim color. There are great ways to accent trim work and ceilings. You can also increase or decrease the strength of the color to achieve the specific look that you'd like.
4) Finish. Eggshell is the standard finish for most walls, but don't be afraid to use a high gloss in a study or other small space. Semi-gloss/high gloss trim work is also a great way to make the trim really stand out against the wall color.