How to Choose Paint Colors Like a Pro

Choose Paint

From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center/Divinely Organized   

How to Choose Paint Colors Like A Pro

The most economical way to remodel or give a room a new look is with paint. Paint is inexpensive and can truly add the “wow” factor to a space. But how do you decide which areas to emphasize and which to minimize with paint? How do you decide which color to paint a bedroom for a soothing night’s sleep or a dining room to encourage guest to linger and converse over dinner? It’s not as simple as designers make it appear. This article will explore how to choose paint colors like a pro. Let’s dig in.

You have heard it before, “it’s only painted or “you could always paint over it if you don’t like it”. But I art-creative-apple-creativity-largehave a different philosophy. I think painting is hard work and I simply do not want to “just” paint over it because I did not take the time to make a choice I could actually live with and enjoy. I want to get it as close to right as I can the first time.

I’m not afraid of color. I am not afraid to try new things. But I am not one to fall into the trend trap. Especially not on big stuff like the color of my walls. If I fall in love with the new lime green, I would not paint an entire room lime green, but I would add that beautiful and trendy lime green via accents like pillows, flowers or other decorative items.

So Many Colors So Few Rooms

Before you choose a paint color, it is best, if you can, to choose your decorative style. I know, I know there are those very bold decorators who paint each room a bright color with no rhyme or reason and they are totally happy going from a purple room to an orange room to a room painted with black stripes. All in the same home. Perhaps even on the same floor of the home. But I would be a babbling idiot if I did that. I found that out the hard way. I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I was first bitten by the DIY/decorating bug, I was all over the place. I chose room colors with no apparent connection and it wasn’t long before I would tire of them and have to redo a space much too soon. As time moved on and my decorating style matured, I learned to choose colors that made me feel a certain way.

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  • My first tip is to know your personal style. I’m not saying you have to live with one particular style color but at least know your foundation. For example, I love the Tuscan color scheme which is warm, rich colors, golds, greens, beiges, browns, etc.
  • Know that choosing a style will not limit your creativity. Paint companies mix and match and create new colors for all decorating styles every year. And although there is a basic color scheme for each style, those colors can be mixed and matched to make more colors than you will ever need. Check out the range of Tuscan colors below and believe me there are more. The Tuscan style is based in yellow and orange undertones that make the colors warm and they are made to blend one with the other.
Choose Paint

Choose Paint

After You’ve Chosen Your Color Samples

  • Next, I would advise you to never choose a color from one of those small color samples they give you in the store. Instead, purchase a small sample-sized can of paint and paint the color(s) onto the wall in the room you want to paint. I suggest adding the paint to every wall you intend to paint and leave it there for a couple of days to experience it in different lights. I am looking for a warm Tuscan gray and believe me before I introduce gray into my color scheme, I will live with it on the walls for a few days. I have fallen in love with gray but I have to have a warm gray because warm colors are throughout our home.
  • Another tip is the virtual painter. Did you know you can now upload a picture of your room onto a site and virtually paint the walls the color you are considering? It’s a great way to see the entire room engulfed in your new color. The downside is that you do not get to see the paint color in your home in natural light. But the upside is that you do get to see the entire room painted in your color of choice. It is so much fun! Try the paint visualizer here and have fun with it.
Room Visualizer

Finally, What You Should Know About The Color You Chose

  • After you have lived with a possible color for a few days, perhaps used the virtual painters, you should make your choice knowing that the color you’ve chosen will speak to everyone who enters your home.
  • While there is nothing wrong with trying a new color style, you should be careful when and if you do because the color of a room does indeed have a lot to do with the mood of a room.
  • If you love cool colors, a room painted in a warm color may make you feel a bit uncomfortable.You may not know why you feel a bit antsy or drowsy in a certain room but next time that happens spend some time in a room painted in a color that is more in tuned with your style. One that truly appeals to you and if you feel differently, perhaps it’s the paint color that is affecting your mood.
  • One last thing, if you feel that you just have to have that trendy new color, consider highlighting a tray ceiling, or the back of a bookshelf, or perhaps a focus wall. Learn to accentuate the positive in a room with color and divert attention away from the less than perfect aspects. Paint can truly be the basis for a beautiful space.
Choose Paint

To summarize, choose colors that make you feel and look good in your space and don’t be afraid to try new things; however, you must respect the fact that paint and flooring cover more space in your home than anything else and both are very important. With that in mind do not take your paint choices for granted.

I don’t know about you, but although I love the feel of newness when a room is freshly painted, I am not fond of the painting process, I take my time and I do consider how the color will make me feel as well as how it will present my family to all who enter our home.

Don’t forget to check out my eBook; Organize Your Life in 21 Days is available for download and has a variety of small projects to help you take on and complete projects you may not have thought of.   Get your copy today.

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14 thoughts on “How to Choose Paint Colors Like a Pro

  1. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Tiffany, thank you for reading along. I love the Tuscan colors as well. They are throughout my house. Sometimes I look at the cool colors and think about painting a room in a beach blue, but it never seems to work out. I am simply drawn to these colors. Good luck with your new house and choosing your paint colors. I do hope you will stop by again.

  2. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Vanessa. Thank you for reading along. I agree. Nothing changes the mood of a room like paint. I’m not fond of the painting process, but I love the result. Please stop by again soon.

  3. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Leslie. I am so happy this article was timely for you. 🙂 Please come back and let me know if my suggestions help you choose your perfect color and…drum roll please…the color you choose. 🙂 Happy painting.

  4. Pat Abbott says:

    Thank you for well written article which came at perfect time for me in process of redecorating, painting etc. Will take you’re advice when choosing paint colors, just waiting for kitchen remodel to be complete before choosing new colors, will keep you posted. Thx, again Pat

  5. Anita Shull says:

    Hi Pat,
    I love the idea of color and fear it as wel. But living with builder”s beige can get on
    Your nerves also. So if I want to take a chicken’s way out- hiw do you reliably pick one wall Of a room only for an accent color wall? I see it done all the time, but can’t figure out they make this decision. Are there some rooms you should never pick this option! Thanks, Anita
    Enjoyed reading g your tips and I am with you’re painting is NIT my style either. It better be right the first time or there will. E no repaint at least if my husband did the painting🙏🏻

  6. Darcy Kulczycki says:

    Excellent tips, thank you!

    One little tip that I’d heard years ago, and trust me, I’ve wished I’d adhered to it . . . is to never paint with a colour you would not WEAR!! I’ve found this to be very good advice.


  7. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Darcy,

    I am glad you enjoyed the article. I had never heard your tip before, but you had better believe I am filing it away for future use. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for reading along. I hope you will continue to follow along.

  8. Clearissa Coward says:

    Hi Anita,

    There is no need to fear color. But there is nothing wrong with taking small steps with an accent wall. I suggest sitting in the room for awhile before making the decision. Sit there and make sure you are choosing the best wall and the right color of paint for the focus. I like to choose the wall that you see when you walk into the room. At least that’s what I did in my bedroom. It’s all a personal choice but some say you should not paint a focal wall in a small room. I have and it worked out just fine. Just don’t go too dark with your paint choicefor your focal wall in a small room. That is my opinion. Go ahead and give it try. 🙂

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