The California Paints Blog

5 Pro Tips For Choosing an Interior Paint Color

Posted on Thu, Feb 05, 2015 @ 10:58 AM

Interior painting is one of the most inexpensive ways to instantly refresh the look of your home. With an endless amount of choices, it can be an overwhelming task to select just the right color. Luckily, learning to deal with the color spectrum is part of our DNA at California Paints. Here are five tips that will have you selecting interior colors like an expert.

Consider the Mood

When choosing a paint color, think about the mood you want to create. In an entryway, do you want to create an inviting, comforting feeling or a dramatic, exciting environment? 

Each color on the color wheel evokes a different feeling and effect. For instance, blues create a calming effect and are great for bathrooms and living rooms, while reds enliven with drama and are a good color for dining areas to stimulate the appetite. 


Assess Your Color Scheme

A big reason it’s so tough for homeowners for choose paint colors is because they select them one room or one project at a time. It is much easier to work from a master palette that works as the plan for your entire home. Architectural Color Consultant Bonnie Krims of This Old House recommends choosing a combination of at least three colors that are common in all rooms, especially in open concept areas. This helps maintain the color flow between the rooms so there no visual disconnect.  


Color scheme: Bonnie Krims created the above whole-home palette using California Paints' Historic Colors of America. Photo: Ted Morrison

Reflect Your Surroundings 

Do you live near the ocean? Consider an aquatic palette of nautical blues and earthy neutrals like those in our Coastline Palette. If you’re in an urban setting, think about choosing more contemporary colors like soft grays, crisp whites and a deep accent. We love the Interior Contemporary Living palette by color consultant Beth Burns. Any inspriation you can take from your natural surroundings will help create a harmonious balance between your living space and the life around it. 


Test Your Lighting

Have you ever gone to the paint store, selected the perfect color for your walls, started rolling and brushing it out, only to take a step back and think to yourself, Is this the right color? The truth is, the same exact color painted in two different rooms can look like two completely different colors. It’s all due to lighting.

Natural sunlight shows color in its most pure state, but it is not consistent. As the sun rises and sets throughout the day, the color of its light varies from blue to red. Artifical lighting from fluorescent bulbs tend to give off a bluish tint that enhances greens and blues but dulls warm tones. The llighing you use is important to your color choice because it will effect how your color looks. 

To find the best color for your lighting, select a total of three shades of your color: your first choice, one shade lighter and one shade darker on the spectrum. Sample the colors in the area with the most light such as next to the window and in the darkest area of the room like a shadowed corner. View the colors at different times throughout the day, and choose the color the works best for your lighting situation.


Have Fun

Color selection is highly subjective and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your own personal taste. Painting your home is an opportunity to express yourself, so have fun with it! The great part about painting is that as soon as you want to switch up the color, you can repaint for not a lot of money. 

Now that you have all of the insider tips on color selection, you're ready to pick your color and get painting. Remember to keep in mind what mood you're trying to achieve, consider the overall palette of your home, reflect your natural surroundings, test colors with your lighting and most importantly have fun! What color are you going to paint with next? For expert advice on color, product selection and more vist a California Paints dealer near you. 

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Topics: interior paint, paint colors, color schemes, paint color, paint project

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