12 Tips for Choosing Paint Colors
My #1 rule of thumb when choosing paint colors: pick your fabrics first.
You will make the job so much easier on yourself if you match the paint to your upholstery, inspiration piece and other fabrics and finishes in the room. It is so much harder the other way around.
My home office is a great case in point.
As soon as I saw this fabric, I fell in love with it. And I knew it would be the inspiration for my makeover and also play a predominant role in the space.
So, I knew I would pull my wall color from the fabric.
Here’s tip #2 – if you find a color you love in a fabric, in a magazine, in the garden, take it to the paint store and match it a color chip, using the handy natural light boxes they have. Or use an online tool, like Sherwin-Williams Chip It! tool or Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app.
Now here’s where Tip #3 comes in: Don’t buy your paint directly from this color selector and matching tools, especially when you’re matching to a fabric.
The scan may pull color from the fabric fibers, as well as the print, so the match probably won’t be perfect. I took my color recommendations to the paint store WITH MY FABRIC and grabbed the corresponding swatches.
It turns out the suggested Unique Gray had a lot of purple undertones, when the gray in my fabric really didn’t. But Larchmere was pretty much a spot-on match for the aqua in the fabric, and I bought that to paint my armoire — yet again.
So, I hit the racks of swatches to find the perfect gray, and it turns out that Worldly Gray and Amazing Gray, both from Sherwin-Williams, were pretty spot on.
Would you believe that those two grays were on the same sample strip, just above Intellectual Gray — the dark, rich color I used in our powder room? When I saw that, I knew I was very close to finding the perfect paint color for my office! If I’d liked the color family once, chances were I would like it again.
I didn’t buy any paint that first trip, though. Instead, I took the sample cards with those colors and several others home with me to view them in the room — at different times of day.
That leads us to painting Tip #4. Don’t make any rash decisions. Take your time and do your research and you won’t have any regrets. You don’t want to rush a paint job. Or a paint selection job.