How to Ease the Process of Choosing Paint Colors

Color crayons helped shape who I am today!

While choosing paint colors can come naturally for some people, it is one of the most common dilemmas I see people struggle over.  It’s also an area where people seem to make a lot of painful mistakes.

Choosing colors always came naturally for me, but then again I spent many hours as a kid playing with color crayons…  I even had the colors sorted out by masculine verse feminine and then would pair them up as couples!  (My parents didn’t let us watch much TV.)

What is My Tartan by Frank Adam

We also had a book of tartans (plaids), and I spent hours mulling over the different color combinations.  A little strange eh, but we’re all drawn to different things!   Enough about me though, the purpose of this article is to help ease your pain when trying to decide on paint colors.

 Make sure you have a design plan for the room before you choose your paint colors. 
This is VERY IMPORTANT!!!  This will save you so much time, money, and lead to a polished and finished room that you’re happy with.   I have been hired many times to help people pull a room together and give it finished look after they started by choosing their paint colors first, typically because they were moving in and wanted to quickly get it done.  This is a big mistake because it is much more difficult to match area rugs, upholstery and artwork to an existing paint color, than it is to match a paint color to furnishings.  The options for paint colors are unlimited, but the options for furnishings are not.  It can take a lot of time to shop around for the right color match of furnishings, particularly when retail stores only stock in the color trends of the season.

Click on images for a larger view

The non-neutral colors can be added through accessories, making it much easier to change your color scheme when you tire of it. Benjamin Moore paints.

How to choose a color scheme…   It works well to base your color scheme on an area rug or the artwork you want put in the room because these are two of the hardest areas to match if you add them after you’ve done everything else.  If you are starting totally from scratch, look at other rooms for inspiration in magazines.  Or think about one of your favorite outdoor places, take a photo of it, and base your color scheme on that.

Click on photos for larger view

Base your color scheme on existing artwork or area rug. Benjamin Moore paint colors shown.

Upholstery fabric can be the inspiration for your color scheme. Benjamin Moore paint colors.

The color scheme of this room was based around the area rug.

Consider how long you will be in the space.  If you plan to sell your home in the near future, consider painting just one accent wall if you want to add a non-neutral color.  It will be easier to neutralize when you put your home on the market.

One accent wall is much easier to change in the future. Benjamin Moore paints.

You can always keep your wall paint color neutral and add the color on your furniture! Benjamin Moore paint colors.

You can always keep your paint color neutral and add the color on your furniture! Benjamin Moore paint colors.

What are neutral colors?  Warm grays are the new neutral.  Also tan, beige, taupe, white, browns, and goldish tones.  Green is a safer non-neutral color to use.

Neutral paint colors from Benjamin Moore paints

Neutral paint colors from Benjamin Moore paints

Green– a safe and calming color. Benjamin Moore paint.

View the paint color in the space to be painted before purchasing your paint.  Some paint colors will drastically change in the various lighting of different rooms.   In the least, attach the paint swatch to the wall, and observe how it looks during different times of day and at night.

Beware of flourescent lighting in stores…. It distorts the color.    If you’re in a rush,  at least take the paint swatch outside to view it in natural light.

Has this information been helpful to you?  I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section!

For more detailed tips on pinpointing your decorating style, please refer to this post.

*Click here for tips on how to mix different sytles of furniture.

Feel free to subscribe to this blog (from the home page) and/or “Like” us on Facebook for quick decorating tips.

9 Responses to “How to Ease the Process of Choosing Paint Colors”
  1. Dorothy Ray says:

    Great post on color. Have a mind to send my readers to it since I’ve been saying so much of the same thing re baby rooms.

  2. Dorothy Ray says:

    Thanks for the post on colors. Lots of good information. I only wish you’d have names the Benj Moore colors.

    • Hi Dorothy,
      Actually the names of the paints are included… Clicking on the images will provide a larger view in order to read the paint descriptions.
      Thank you for your feedback! Did you see I added a link to your blog on the right menu bar?

      • Dorothy Ray says:

        Thanks for that nice link, Ragan. About the paint colors. Most email subscriptions come through so lousy on email, I’m forced to click on the real thing, but yours look so good, I don’t feel like I have to. Well, I just did and found a world of difference. So well laid out. Beautiful blog. Keep ’em coming.

  3. Thank you Dorothy!

  4. Great information on choosing paint colors!

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  1. […] but please be sure to have an interior decorating plan before you choose the paint color!   (How to Ease the Process of Choosing Paint Colors.)  Additionally notice how the goldish-tan paint color warms up the room in comparison to the […]

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