This segues nicely into Tip #5. Collect paint strips and swatches. Then when you’ve narrowed down your options, buy some sample cans and try them on your walls.
Paint strips and swatches are free, and even at $3 to $8 a pop, sample cans are cheaper than buying a gallon of the wrong color. And you can always use those samples for other craft and DIY projects around the house, as long as you topcoat the paint.
For my office, I broke out the sample cans I had from the powder room makeover and also added a few more before finally deciding on a color.
Make sure you paint large swatches — mine here might actually be a little too small. And in large rooms, you may want to test out your samples on several walls to account for differences in lighting.
And lighting is important. For tip #6, I recommend viewing your samples at different times of the day, in different lighting.
Wait a few days; live with the color to see if you really like it and can live with it longterm.
The two rooms below are painted Shagreen, another Sherwin-Williams color, which we used on an accent wall in the living room of our last home.
You can see subtle differences in how the color reads, based on lighting and furnishings in these rooms. In our old house, the color read much darker, which I loved.
Tip #7: In addition to lighting, be mindful of the undertones and temperature of other painted and large surfaces in a room. Like trim and flooring and countertops. If you stick to the same color family — cools with cools and warms with warms — and the same undertones — you should do just fine choosing a paint color that complements rather than competes with the other surfaces in your room.
If you don’t know what I mean when I say undertones, grab a bunch of tan or gray or even white paint swatches and look at them side-by-side in natural light. You’ll see that some grays are more brown and others are blue and others are purple. It’s amazing how different gray can look. There are a lot more than the 64 colors you find in a Crayola box!