How to Choose a Paint Color

Depending on what you choose, the right interior paint colors can energize, revive, or relax your home. Cool colors like green and blue add a sense of calmness and balance, while paint colors in warmer shades like apricot, dark gray, or rich red will create coziness. With the thousands of shades and hues available, knowing how to pick paint color can be overwhelming. 

Here are some tips for choosing the paint colors that are right for you:

Understanding Color

The three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue; mixing these create green, orange and violet. From just these six hues, you can create millions of colors, each with its own mood. 

First, decide if you want a passive, active, or neutral mood in your space. Passive colors like blue, green, and purple create a calming effect and help small spaces seem more spacious- ideal for a bedroom paint color. Active colors like yellow and red invigorate a room, serving well for an office or kitchen. Lastly, neutral colors like browns, beiges, grays, whites and blacks create natural harmony, working well for a living room.

Picking a Color Scheme

A color wheel can help you create a color scheme for your room by showing which hues work well together. Select various shades and tints of your chosen color for a monochromatic color scheme, combine your color with its opposite on the wheel for a complementary color scheme, or add your primary hue to two other primaries for a bold, triad color scheme.

Paint Finishes

Another step in determining how to choose a paint color is selecting a finish or sheen. The higher the sheen, the more your painted surface will reflect light, paint comes in three levels of sheen, from highest to lowest: gloss, eggshell, and flat. 

Testing Paint Colors

Once you’ve narrowed down your paint choices, see how they look in your home in both natural and indoor light. Get sample cans and paint test strips of your colors, directly on your wall or on a poster board. Make sure your test strips are eye level, and if the space you’re painting is very large, paint test strips on two walls to see how the color works in all areas of the space.

Transitioning Color

Once you’ve picked your color, make sure it can transition seamlessly through your home. A good rule of thumb is to darken or lighten the wall color in adjacent rooms. Consider adding drama with an accent or feature wall in a shade warmer or cooler than your main color. 

Source: Home Depot

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