Paint comes in a variety of sheens as well as in either oil or latex. Latex paint is the most common and preferred paint type to use because of its ease of clean up and long-lasting durability. It also tends to be more fade resistant and breathes better than oil, resulting in less blistering of the paint. I recommend using latex paint for most of your walls and household uses. However, oil-based paint is great for priming real wood mouldings and trim as it tends to seal stains and knots from the wood better than a latex paint wood. It does take longer to dry than a latex paint though, so plan for more drying time. I personally use an oil-based shellac primer on my trim and then opt for latex paint as the topcoat. There are a variety of brands on the market, but my top preference is Behr paint. Looking for the best home painting company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
The easiest way to choose the best interior paint colours is to start with the colours you love. When you start with the colours you love, you are not bound by the traditional colour schemes for a particular decorating style. Using your favourite colour as your base colour, you can use it to create a colour scheme around it. Your favourite colours can be the perfect inspiration for your new colour palette for the whole room.
8 Tips for Choosing the Right Paint Color
Today I’m continuing my quest to making choosing the right paint colour easier for all of you. Last week we talked about neutral paint colours and how to choose the right one, but you will probably still end up with a few different colours or shades that you need to decide between, and that is where today’s post will help you. So here are the eight tips for choosing the right paint colour that has helped me avoid many colour mistakes.
Don’t pick your paint colour first.
I know it seems natural to get the biggest things done first, but it is much easier to choose a paint colour that goes with your furniture and decor than it is to choose decor to go with a paint colour.
Start with inspiration.
Pinterest is a great place to start when deciding on paint colours. Make a board for each room and start pinning rooms that catch your eye. Once you have about ten, you’ll get a feel for what you are drawn to colour and style-wise.
Would you believe that the inspiration for the wall colour that is in 90% of my home came from a Starbucks coffee mug? Yep!
I love grey, but I didn’t want my house to feel cold (or like a prison cell), so I went for a greige that had just enough warmth that my slate grey furniture and accessories go with it, but would still feel warm.
And in my son’s room, the inspiration came from a baby blanket I had received when I was pregnant with him. I used it as a starting point to select fabrics in blues and greens and then chose a really light, but bright green for the walls. Even though it is green, it still plays as a neutral because everything else in the room is the star, not the walls.
Stick with neutrals.
Now I’m not saying avoid colour altogether. Colour is good, but you have to first decide where you want the attention in a room to go. If your answer is the walls, then heck, go bold. And if you go bold on the walls, everything else in the room should be pretty neutral so that you don’t end up with too many things competing. This is why bold colour in a bathroom can work so well because most everything else in a bathroom is already neutral (white). I shared 12 neutral paint colours to get you started in this post.
Buy testers in a few colours/ shades and paint a large enough area on a few different walls so that you can see how the light hits it at different times of the day. Try your best not to test your paint against white walls cause it will throw the colour off. If you have to, just do a larger test area to get a better feel.
Almost all of the brands now have testers available for a few bucks. It is well worth spending the money to buy a few to test in your space before purchasing gallons of the colour. Plus the leftover samples are great for touch up and other small painting projects.
Leave the test areas up for about a week so that you can see what the colour will look at different times of the day and in a different light.
Test your paint colours against furniture and fabrics.
Don’t only test your colours on the wall. Instead, paint a piece of poster board and hold it up against your sofa, table or other items that will be in the room to see if it goes. You don’t necessarily want to match, but you do want the undertones to go nicely.
Pick the right sheen.
Any sheen in the paint will accent flaws, so if you are trying to mask flaws go with an as little sheen as possible.
Here are some general guidelines for the different finish choices:
- Flat (Matte): No shine at all. Perfect for low traffic areas like living rooms and bedrooms, as well as ceilings.
- Flat Enamel: Has almost no shine but is a bit easier to clean than flat paint. This is also perfect for low traffic areas but maybe a better choice if you have kids or pets.
- Eggshell Enamel Has a tiny bit of shine and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms. In my experience, most scuffs can be wiped off of this surface with a damp cloth.
- Satin Enamel Has a bit more shine and works well in high traffic areas or areas that have moisture. It is also super wipeable, which is why it is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.
- Semi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny but not glass-like. This is what you should use on cabinets and trim, or in really high moisture areas.
- Hi-Gloss Enamel: Shiny! This gives an almost glass-like finish and is perfect for high use surfaces (like a railing) or furniture.
Use the darkest colour on the strip to discover the true colour. This will save you from ending up with paint that is too pink, too blue, too yellow, etc.
I wrote an entire post on how to use the darkest colour on the strip to ensure choosing the right colour of greige, but the idea is the same for any colour you are choosing. If you haven’t read it yet, I’m positive it will help you choose colour confidently.
Have a colour theme throughout your home.
I don’t mean you have to paint your entire house the same colour, but especially in rooms that open into one another consider what each room will look like when standing in another. If you are going to play it safe and go with one colour, I would suggest that you at least go a few shades lighter or darker in one room or even on one focal wall. It is a great way to add depth and interest to space.
Model homes are a perfect example of having a colour theme throughout a home. They typically keep the main living space wall colour neutral and use fabrics and accessories to add colour. Then in the bedrooms, they may have the accent colours from the living space on the walls and keep the bedding neutral. Of course, kid bedrooms don’t always follow this rule, but they shouldn’t have to the right?
How To Choose Interior Paint Colors
Create a Color Scheme That Matches Your Home’s Furniture
In a world where thousands of colours can be yours for just $25 a gallon, it pays to consider the advice of architectural colour consultant Bonnie Krims.
“Always remember that while there are thousands of paint chips at the store, there are only seven colours in the paint spectrum,” says Krims, referring to red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (what Color Theory 101 students are often taught to remember by the mnemonic device, “Roy G. Biv”). “I always suggest eliminating a couple even before you go to the paint store.”Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a huge range of melbourne home painter services
Here’s her sure-fire 4 step method for creating a colour scheme:
- Start by selecting three colours from an existing object in your home. “Take a pillow from the family-room sofa, your favourite tie or scarf, or a painting—anything that conveys comfort or has an emotional connection for you and take that object to the paint store,” says Krims. “Find three sample strips with those colours, and you instantly have 15 to 18 colours you can use since each sample strip typically contains six paint colours.”
- The next step is to choose one of the three paint colours as your wall colour and to save the other two to be used around the room in fabric or furnishings.
- To choose the colours for adjacent rooms, take the same original three colour sample strips and select another colour.
- Finally, choose a fourth colour that can be used as an accent: “Splash a little of that colour into every room of the house—by way of a pillow or plate or artwork. It makes a connection between the spaces,”
Decide on the Finish to Create an Appealing Visual Effect
Once you have your colours in hand, consider the finish you’ll be using. Though today’s flat paints have increased stain resistance, conventional wisdom has long held that a satin (also called eggshell) finish is best for walls because it is scrubbable and doesn’t draw attention to imperfections. Semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes, it was thought, were best left to the trim, where they could accent the curves of a moulding profile or the panels of a door.
Today, however, finishes are also being used to create visual effects on the entire wall. Paint one wall in a flat or satin finish and the adjacent wall in a semi-gloss, both in the same colour, and “when the light hits the walls, it creates a corduroy or velvet effect,” says Doty Horn. Similarly, you can paint the walls flat and the ceiling semi-gloss to achieve a matte and sheen contrast. (The ceiling will feel higher the more light-reflective it is.) Keep in mind that the higher the gloss, the more sheen and the more attention you draw to the surface. Used strategically, colour and gloss together can emphasize your interior’s best assets.
Match The Color To The Feeling You Want In The Room
The psychology of colour is a minor obsession among paint professionals. Many say you should choose a colour based at least in part on how a room is used and the mood you want to establish.
Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, co-founder and editor of the blog apartmenttherapy.com suggests, painting social rooms (dining rooms, kitchens, family and living areas) warm colours like daffodil-yellow, coral, or cranberry, and give private rooms (home offices, powder rooms, bedrooms) cooler hues like sage-green, violet, or sky-blue.
Keep in mind, when it comes to emotional effect, of course, one person’s welcome-home orange will be another person’s signal to scram.
Debbie Zimmer, for one, declares that “red will increase your appetite—and your blood pressure; blues and greens are nature like and calming; purple is loved by children but not necessarily by adults; yellow is inviting; and orange can be welcoming but also a little irritating, depending on the tint, tone, or shade.”
Research done by Behr indicates that yellow can stimulate the brain, so it might be worth considering for rooms where homework is done; but avoid yellow in bedrooms, where the goal is generally to chill out. Instead, explore these calming colours in the bedroom to help you sleep better.
Know Your Whites
Whites come in a staggering variety. Pure, “clean” whites are formulated without tinted undertones. These are favoured by designers looking to showcase artwork or furnishings and are often used on ceilings to create a neutral field overhead.
Most other whites are either warm—with yellow, rust, pink, or brownish undertones—or cool, with green, blue, or grey undertones. Behr’s Mary Rice says: “Use warmer whites in rooms without a lot of natural light, or to make larger spaces seem cozier.”
Cool whites, by contrast, can help open up space. Test several at once to see which one works best with the other colours at play in the room.
Which Sheen Should You Select?
The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean up. If you have small children and the room you are painting has high traffic, like in a playroom, or tends to get grease on the wall such as in a kitchen, opt for high gloss sheen as you can easily wipe the wall down with a damp sponge. This will, however, make blemishes and imperfections in your wall more apparent and in rooms such as living rooms, could give off an unpleasant shine. High gloss is also great for trim and will give the trim a nice finished look, complementing the flatter sheen of your walls.
Semi-gloss would also be a good choice for kitchens and baths as well as trim providing you with ease of wash-ability and less shine than the gloss. It is also slightly cheaper than the gloss finish and is a very common alternative. Satin sheens have a satiny smooth finish to them and could also be used in kitchens, baths and hallways. This may be a good choice if you really want some gloss and paint that can clean easily without the shine of a gloss.
If you have walls with lots of imperfections, select a flat or matte paint. You can usually get away with one coat of paint with a flat. The downside to this paint is that it does not stand up well to a good cleaning and does tend to show dirt more so choose this for rooms that will not get lots of fingerprints and dirt on them. Probably the most popular sheen is eggshell, which hides imperfections like a flat does but is easier to wash, so more durable and smoother to the touch. I recommend this for most rooms as it seems to have the best of both the flat and glossy worlds.
Which Color Should You Choose?
If you are in the process of selling your house, I recommend selecting a white or off-white colour as the choice for walls. This will allow the buyer to easily cover the wall with their choice of colour and will give your rooms a brighter and clean appearance. However, you should take full advantage of the hundreds of paint selections and brochures at your local paint store as well as talk to a salesperson about the various colour schemes for the look you want. You can change the feel of any room in your house with a little planning and some colour, varying the shades for a certain look or feel. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer Melbourne home painting services.
A good rule of thumb is to remember the colour wheel. We all learned about the primary colours in school – red, yellow and blue. These are on the colour wheel at 12:00, 4:00 and 8:00 respectively. Combining any of these will give you a secondary colour (i.e. purple, orange). Colours near each other on the colour wheel such as blue and purple are analogous to each other and will allow one colour to stand out more. Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel such as green and red are complementary to one another and will nicely play off each other. Staying within the same shade of colour (i.e. greens) will give you a subtle and soothing look. Painting with cool colours such as blues, greens, and purples make small rooms appear larger and airier while colours such as reds, yellows and oranges will give a room a more vibrant appearance. You can vary the warmth even with a red or yellow by choosing muted shades of those colours such as pink, peach or a buttery yellow. Warm colours have cool ones as their complementary colours while cool colours have warm complements. Shades are either pure or vibrant, muted (which are less intense than their vibrant counterparts) or shaded (the darker colours in the same colour scheme).