As I shared earlier this week, I am in the middle of a huge overhaul of my office and craft room right now. (You can see the finished craft room makeover here.) I can share with you my tips for choosing paint colors — the right paint colors — for any room. And lots of thoughts about why you should paint your walls and why you shouldn’t be afraid to do so.

12 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Settle in with a cup of coffee and a Danish. This is a long post, but one that will calm your fears and settle your nerves when it comes to choosing paint colors for your home. And after you’ve read it, you’ll be an expert in choosing paint colors for your own home.

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I think painting a room scares a lot of people. Maybe because there are so many choices. Or maybe because we’re afraid of getting the color wrong and having to live with it.

But remember, it’s nothing a can of paint can’t fix!

Just kidding! My goal is to help you get the paint choice right the first time so you don’t have to repaint! That is, until you’re ready to redecorate again. You know, like next week if you’re like me.

I have seen time and time again how paint can transform a room — even just switching from one neutral to another. Let me state for the record that I like neutrals, and that’s mostly what you’ll see throughout our house since I tend to like lots of painted furniture and colorful upholstery.

But I do like a pop of color every now and again.

Atta Girl Says: Watery Blue Cottage Style Laundry Room

Like in our laundry room, where I took the color to the door and cabinetry since that takes up most of our wall space! I’m in love with the color. (The color is Watery from Sherwin Williams)

I got a sneak peek today of a friend’s bedroom makeover, and let me just say — wowsers! The walls had been tan, but her husband gave them a fresh coat of gray — and boy does the room pop. It’s brighter, fresher and even looks bigger.

In all the homes I’ve lived and all the rooms I’ve redecorated, I have never, ever regretted my decision to paint. I love walking into a freshly painted room and marveling at the difference color makes. Like how lipstick instantly makes you feel better and prettier!


Even knowing that, I too have been guilty of painting paralysis and white wall syndrome.

You know, living with a color you hate or sticking with builder basic walls because you’re too scared to paint.

It took me a year and a half living in this house to start making paint changes. And I’m still working my way through, room by room.

Fall Dining Room Tablescape

This is what our dining room looked like when we moved into the house. The wainscoting was painted the same color as the wall, and I always thought the room needed more contrast.

Stop the Presses: Valentines Decorations in Newsprint:

So, we painted the wainscoting in the dining room and entryway to match the rest of the trim. A subtle change, but one that made a huge difference as far as brightening both spaces, in my opinion. I’m so much happier with the room now than I was when the wall color and the wainscotting were the same.

I still may change the wall color in the dining room to something a bit more colorful. (I’m seriously considering mason jar blue!) But I wanted to see how much of a difference just painting the wainscoting made. And the change has been enough to keep me happy for more than several years. Plus, there’s only so many makeovers the budget can withstand.

Enough with my painting preaching — I hooked you by promising to share some tips on how to choose a paint color so you’re not wallowing in self recrimination and guilt. And I aim to deliver.

Click Below to Get the Tips

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12 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors

Pages: 1 2 3 4


  1. I am using 2 paintings to pull colors from, but then I ALWAYS have to throw in lime green. What is it with me and lime green?? Was I a kiwi in a former life? And I LOVE Marty’s gray!!

  2. Brilliant post, my friend. Seriously, your writing shines through! As far s the topic, I’m sure my painter hubby would agree for all his customers, but apparently his wife lives life a bit more dangerously. Or maybe I unconsciously do these things and don’t know it. My inspiration usually starts with something from a yard sale and goes from there. Ummm, pick fabric first? hahahahahha

    Thanks for the shoutout by the way!

    Living on the edge,

  3. I love the “Chip It” software but I love doing it the old fashioned way by picking 3 colors that coordinate with the fabric, painting those samples on the wall and then live with it for a week…Great tips Amy!…have fun painting!!

  4. Amy, great tips. I find choosing a paint color to be very very difficult! You tips will certainly help! xo

  5. What’s the color of the gray bathroom–it’s wonderful and it’s just what I’ve been looking for!

  6. Jesscia Kratzberg says:

    Could you tell me the color of the gray by the desk window? With the closet in the background.

  7. What is the blue on bath walls in tip #8? Thx

  8. Rick Norell says:

    Very interesting article. We’re in the middle of a remodel and can’t agree on colors. My wife won’t let me bring in a professional to help us and declares we can do it even though she can’t decide what she wants… Grrr, I didn’t sign up for this, pick a color and paint it… :)

    • Atta Girl Amy

      Sorry I missed your comment in the post holiday busyness. I hope you and your wife were able to decide on a color. And I’ve totally called in a professional in the past when I was having trouble making a decision about a paint color. Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion or to have someone help you narrow down all the choices. You can still use sample pots, to make sure you love the color, but you won’t have to buy so many of them. (Those little samples can be expensive.) Good luck with your remodel. They’re always stressful.

      • Mary McGinnis says:

        What color is the aqua in your laundry room? And what color is your trim and wainscoting?

        • Atta Girl Amy

          The laundry room is Watery by Sherwin Williams. I’m pretty sure the trim and the wainscotting is an old MAB color called Lyric White. I think Sherwin Williams bought MAB. They should have MAB’s old color formulas and can match this color.

  9. We just moved into a new home and every room was painted a horrible color so I’m desperate to change them right away!!


  1. […] friend Amy wrote a terrific post with 12 tips on choosing paint colors. My painter husband would probably recommend all of them for his […]

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